8 Critically Praised Movies That (Surprisingly) Failed At The Box Office – CINEMABLEND

Good reviews or a high production cost of some feature films are not always accompanied by good economic results.

It can happen -and, in fact, it happens many times- that popularity and good reviews do not go hand in hand. A film can become the biggest blockbuster of the year without having achieved the unanimity of the specialized press. It is something that happens a lot lately as a result of the ‘boom’ of ‘streaming’. Many films are lambasted by critics while their viewing hours continue to increase.

The opposite also happens and that is already a little more unfair. There is movies with great performances, strong scripts, and original storytelling what they fail to reach the general public. For whatever reasons, good ratings are not enough to attract people to theaters and these productions are the best example.

We collect 8 very good films -and that we recommend you see without a doubt- that failed at the box office. Some of them are auteur films, which we know do not bring together large masses, but others were a blow to the studio. They had everything to destroy and, even so, they fell short. Fortunately, many are available for streaming.

sons of men

Defined as a sophisticated drama about the struggles of the human being and a highly recommended violent thriller, it is clear that Children of men has its defenders. And we are not talking about a small group, but that it has an 85% score in the votes of more than 250,000 users of Rotten Tomatoes, in addition to many critics in favor. If we say that it is considered one of the best films of 2006 we would not be wrong and, nevertheless, it obtained some fateful results at the box office.

Alfonso CuarĂ³n’s feature film received three Oscar nominationsbut It barely exceeded 70 million dollars in worldwide collection. Universal had spent 76 million to produce itso it did not cover expenses.

You can see it at: Prime Video and Movistar+.

Mulholland Drive

It is clear that critics and audiences do not always go hand in hand. A good example of this is Mulholland Drive, the film directed by David Lynch that premiered in Spanish cinemas in 2002. Despite having been nominated for an Oscar for Best Director, and being considered one of the best films of the 21st century, for the British publication BBC Culture, its reception at the world box office was a complete failure.

The film starring Naomi Watts and Laura Harring grossed just over 20 million dollars worldwide. A very poor figure if we take into account that its approximate cost exceeds 15 million dollars. But above all very impressive if we look at the percentage of opinions in favor that it has on Rotten Tomatoes, 84% from critics and 87% from viewers. These data suggest that perhaps the promotion of the film at the time of its release was not adequate, or that it is one of those titles that improves over time, and viewers usually reach it through word of mouth.

You can see it at: Only available to rent on Apple TV+, Rakuten and Google Play.

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blade runner 2049

The case of Blade Runner 2049 must be analyzed carefully, and taking into account several parameters. One of them is the expectation that the title managed to generate from its announcement until its arrival in theaters. Another has to do with how the exorbitant budget exceeds the $150 million with which Denis Villeneuve had to film the sequel to the 80s science fiction classic. Not to mention, the participation of Harrison Ford -protagonist of the original-, the two Oscars with which she was awarded at the 2018 ceremony and the 88% favorable reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

None of these aspects, which a priori could be considered as a guaranteed success value, helped the film starring Ryan Gosling to succeed at the box office. Worldwide, the film grossed just over $250 milliona number that far from that obtained by other feature films released that same year. Among them, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Wonder Woman and It with global collections of 1,300, 820 and 700 million dollars, respectively.

You can see it at: Netflix.

The master

The Master is directed by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson and for that alone it deserves a recommendation. After its premiere in 2012, the critics fell in love with it and placed it as one of the best of the year. It was not so well received among the public and therein lies the problem. Just grossed $28 million worldwidewhat it was not enough to reach the 32 it had cost.

Keep in mind that The master It is not for the general public. The film tells how a troubled war veteran – played by Joaquin Phoenix masterfully, as always – becomes part of a new philosophical movement called The Cause. He ends up touring the US East Coast spreading the word alongside his charismatic leader, played by the brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman. A plot that, a priori, does not seem very appealing.

You can see it at: Not available on platforms.

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Z, the lost city

Adventures, explorers, Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson. Z, the lost city has very powerful components to attract the public to the cinemas, but it did not manage to become a success. With the 19.3 million dollars that it raised compared to the 30 that it costthe film directed by James Gray can be considered a failure at the box office, but not critics, who see it as a recommendable film without a doubt.

Z, the lost city is based on the true story of Percy Fawcett, a British officer who, in the early 20th century, became known for his expeditions to South America. When they tell him about a lost city unknown to Western man, he will do everything possible to find it. A wonderful adventure of tragic overtones that must be seen.

You can see it at: Filmin, Netflix, Prime Video and Rakuten.

only lovers survive

The world of vampires is one of those that usually arouses a lot of interest among the public, although as in any rule there is always an exception. On this occasion, that exception is entitled Only Lovers Left Alive, the film directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring the mediatic Tom Hiddleston and the Oscar winner, Tilda Swinton. A feature film that achieved a consensus close to 90% among the critics, but that was a real fiasco on an economic level.

Considered as one of the best movies of 2014tape only managed to enter 7.6 million dollars in the world box. A number that only It served to cover the expenses of the production that amounted to 7 million dollars.

You can see it at: Filmin.

The Sister Brothers

The Sisters brothers generated a lot of buzz after passing through the Venice festival in 2018, where they received the Silver Lion for Best Direction. Everyone wanted to see Thomas Bidegain’s nonjudgmental western that features John C. Reilly, joaquin phoenixJake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed in its cast, but it seems that the expectation was left in the specialized press.

When The Sister Brothers It was released in theaters in 2018 as it only grossed $13 million worldwide. Their budget was 38 million, so we can point it out as a great economic failure. Fortunately, streaming offers a second chance to jewels like this one.

You can see it at: Filmin.


We close this brief compilation of critically acclaimed films that were punished at the box office with Warrior, Gavin O’Connor’s drama, starring Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy. Despite having 92% favorable reviews from viewers, based on more than 50,000 opinions, on Rotten Tomatoes, his box office receipts were not even used to cover the total cost of production, estimated at 25 million dollars.

Considered one of the most emotional sports dramas of the last decade, and applauded, in part, for the brilliant performances not only of its two protagonists, but also of secondary Nick Nolte -nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the film- , The movie it only grossed $23 million worldwide. It is speculated that one of the possible reasons for its poor reception at the box office could be the fact that it was released in September. An unfavorable month for film productions.

You can see it at: Netflix and Movistar+.

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