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5 Horror Movies That Shouldn’t Have Bombed!!!

Box Office success has very little to do with a film’s actual quality. There are so many factors at play – the release date, the marketing campaign, the general mood of the moment or the studio dumping it. And sometimes, audiences are just too dumb to get it the first time around.

A surprising amount of the films we love and revere as classics today (though not every film on this list is thought of as such – some of them I just plain like) either flat-out bombed on their initial release or “underperformed” with regard to the expectations of the studio and filmmakers.

Head below for 5 Horror Movies That Shouldn’t Have Bombed!!!

The Thing (1982)

U.S. Box Office (Initial Release) – $13,782,838

One of the first times John Carpenter swung for the fences commercially. This film had his biggest budget to date but didn’t connect with audiences when it was released in 1982, the general consensus at the time being that the film was too “gross” and “mean.” Now, it’s a bona fide classic with widely praised FX work by Rob Bottin and a great ensemble performance. It’s also one of Carpenter’s most assured directorial outings (which is saying something), and carries an impressively sustained palpable sense of dread. Although it could have been worse, the 2011 version only made $17 Million on a $40 Million production budget.


U.S. Box Office – $7,802,450

I’ve already written at length (also here) about James Gunn’s wonderful Slither and the tragedy that befell this nation when we refused to collectively show up at the theaters. I take heart in the fact that Mr. Gunn will be owning us all by this time next year with Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Drag Me To Hell

U.S. Box Office – $42,100,62

This is one of those instances where the word “underperformed” is more appropriate than “bomb.” I sort of feel like if you make a horror movie and it makes over $40 million (with a $90 Million worldwide take in this case), you’ve kind of won. However, Universal Studios didn’t see it this way (likely due to the film’s wide release, P&A budget and PG-13 rating), and Sam Raimi himself I believe was disappointed in the film’s performance himself. None of that impinges upon my enjoyment though. It’s f*cking great.

Hostel Part II

U.S. Box Office – $17,609,452

This is another one of those instances where the movie I’m sure eventually made a little money on home video. After all, it only cost $10 Million to make and at that point the DVD/Blu market hadn’t eroded to the state that it’s in today. Still, as a fan of all of Eli Roth’s directorial efforts (though I have yet to see The Green Inferno), this film deserved better. It’s his best shot film, it’s got the most interesting ideas and it’s a cinematic leap forward ahead of anything he had done up until that point.

Jennifer’s Body

U.S. Box Office – $16,204,793

I’m not sure what happened here, aside from the fact that Jennifer’s Body was positioned as a horror comedy and those rarely do well. Still, it was interesting, gory and funny. Diablo Cody was still finding her voice at that point (I feel like her true abilities lie more in the Young Adult range than in Juno), but the script still works really well. And director Karyn Kusama was no slouch in visually or in terms of dragging the co-dependent dynamic out of Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried. Also? Adam Brody is hilarious in it.




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