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Classic Films that were Box Office Bombs

 
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:07 pm    Post subject: Classic Films that were Box Office Bombs Reply with quote

All the talk about box office is nice but it doesn't mean a movie is good or not. In my view, the public has always been full of shit. In the 60's & 70's many of the best & most interesting films were bombs but it didn't matter as much because they could be used as tax breaks.

Many of the greatest films is movie history were box office bombs. The most well know is CITZEN KANE. A huge bomb in it's time that got 9 nominations at the 1941 Academy Awards but got booed every time it was announced.

I just read a good book on Jimmy Steward and some of his most famous films were bombs. VERTIGO was a bomb & Hitchcock was so pissed he pulled it & it didn't get shown again for 30 years. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE was a bomb & put Frank Capra's film company into bankruptcy & ended his career. HARVEY was a bomb. Anthony Mann's THE NAKED SPUR was a bomb. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER was a bomb & dumped by the Studio.

In Movie books, you read about classic films being bombs all the time. To a fan of good movies, making money isn't everything.

Steve Yohe
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3041
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ridley Scott's first film THE DUELLISTS was a bomb because it was poorly marketed & didn't reach the mass audience. The studio only printed 7 copies of the film & it only played in art houses. I think anyone who has seen it on VCR or DVD considers it a classic.

Scott's BLADE RUNNER was a big budget bomb. Today that's hard to believe.

THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES will probably be considered the best western of this generation. It was a bomb & even the use of the biggest movie star of the time didn't get it out of art houses. Brad Pitt in interview claims he lost millions on it and it's still his best film.

I read movie books a lot and I'll list more classic bombs in time. I've found a book on Ridley Scott at the moment. Other than that, I'm not going to look for them. There are a lot of them around.--Yohe
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jdw
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Joined: 01 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duck Soup wasn't a hit.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen was a bomb, but is rather good in a Terry Gilliam way. :) Which brings up Brazil, which is considered a masterpiece in it's full Euro version, but was cut up and bombed here.

Cotton Club bombed. I don't care for it, but Lee loves it. ;)

I'm not sure if Once Upon a Time in America is a "great" movie. It bombed huge. The US version is a mess. The Euro version is 229 minutes / 3:49. It debuted longer at Cannes before that (4:29), and there's some effort now to restore it to that. What's amazing is that he original had 8+ hours of film, and initially cut it down to 6 hours. The Euro version that's been out for sometime is better than the US version... there are great things in it... but I'm not sure as a whole it's great. Maybe... been a long time since I've seen it. There are a lot of critics who think it's great in the Euro version.

No one remembers that Fight Club bombed in the US:

http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=fightclub.htm

Shawshank Redemption barely covered it's budget at the box office, which means it didn't make money on it's domestic release. I sort of give it a pass since it came across more as made for Oscar rather than for Box Office.

Same goes for The Big Lebowski: barely over it's budget in the US. That's the case of a lot of Cohen Brother's movies: Miller's Crossing was a low budget, but it was way under it. Barton Fink bombed.

Lots of smaller movies like that that lost money at the box office domestically, made money on DVD and what not, and were so low budget that it didn't matter.
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow John you thought FIGHT CLUB was a good movie?? What a bomb!--Yohe
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jdw
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wasn't a question of whether I liked it. It's whether it's thought to be a classic in some circles.

It's #12 over at IMDB:

http://www.imdb.com/chart/top

Since TDKR is #9 and will likely fall over time (as in within the next few weeks), that's a pretty safe #12 for Fight Club.

So it's become a beloved cult classic since it we released, pretty iconic in a way.

Critics were mixed: some thought it was brilliant, some thought it was a mess.

Take The Duellists in contrast:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075968

7.7 rating from 8700+ folks who've chosen to rate it. That's actually "good". But it doesn't crack the Top 250 in movies rated over there.

Granted... I don't put a ton of weight in that list: Return of the King is #10. On the other hand... RotK was highly rated by critics, won a shitload of Oscars, and tons of people liked it. I hate it... but lots of people think it's a classic.

I've always been pretty ambivalent to Fight Club, both the movie and the book. Some interesting things in them... but not really my cup of tea. Can get people loving them... and get people hating them.

John
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Rian



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fight Club is a great movie until the ending. Seriously, a fight club starts because one guy kicks the crap out of himself?


Please....
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Kronos



Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it was Gary Cooper who said he only needed one in three pictures to be a hit, and he could keep on working.

Now, we have such a massive investment in movies that they have to succeed. Few directors or producers (or lead stars) could keep working if they had a few flops.
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting back to Steve's original post, I think what's unique about Citizen Kane was that it was one of those films that you had to go back and watch again to really get the gist of what the film was really all about -- and it turned out to be one of those films that, while not necessarily leaving a strong impression at first, has left a stronger impression over time because it ages better than expected.

I can't comment much on the other films that Steve mentioned, other than It's A Wonderful Life, which seems to me may be a film which just did better when it was aired repeatedly on television and just kind of gave people a warm feeling when they did.

And that was during a time in which DVD, and even VHS, didn't exist, so television was the main medium for replaying theater movies. Today, it's a different environment, with DVDs, cable TV, digital downloads and far more movies hitting the box office each week than in the past.

Hard to say what films released in the era will go down as classics when there are so many films out there -- it really comes down to which films truly hold up well under repeat viewing by the majority of the public.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to say hi after messing up.---Yohe
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