10 Movies That Should Have Been Hits But Weren’t

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The movie business is just that — a business. It’s driven by box office results, and for better or worse, a movie is not considered a success by industry professionals unless it made money, no matter how good the actual film may have been. That’s the reason so many remakes, TV show adaptations and pre-branded titles have been getting green-lit in recent years. Knowing there’s an existing audience is a way for producers to hedge against the possibility of losing money.

Even so, sometimes there’s just no predicting what will strike a chord with moviegoers and what won’t. It’s an inexact science at best, and even what seems like a sure bet can come up short. Here are 10 good movies that seemed to have all the makings of a box-office hit, but put up underwhelming box office totals in the end.

10. Winnie the Pooh (2011)

With such a timeless and beloved character anchoring the movie, many industry observers expected this 2011 animated children’s movie to approach nine figures at the domestic box office. But after a lackluster opening weekend in July of 2011 which saw Winnie the Pooh take in a meager $7.9 million, the film ended up grossing only $26.7 million in the United States on a $30 million budget. What went wrong? In retrospect, it may have been a mistake to release this movie during the height of the summer blockbuster season, when it faced stiff competition from the year’s biggest cinematic spectacles. Even so, its poor performance caught many people by surprise.
winnie the pooh


9. Winter’s Bone (2010)

Suffice it to say that performance expectations aren’t usually very high for movies with $2 million budgets, but this 2010 drama earned such widespread acclaim that it’s puzzling to understand why it only took in $6.5 million at the domestic box office. Factor in a brilliant performance from A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence and the mystery grows even deeper.

Winter’s Bone was nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. Too bad nobody saw it or it might have won in one or more of those categories.