This weekend Machete Kills tanked at the box office with only $3.8 million dollars despite boasting a cadre of stars that would have made any business affairs exec blush in their heyday. While Machete isn’t really a horror film – I often see the “no star” angle bandied about whenever a horror movie fails to live up to commercial expectations (however insane those expectations might be). And it’s not uncommon to see horror films filled with A-list talent die on the vine.
The fact is that’s a usually a misinformed argument. Horror, more than any other genre, has the highest immunity against “negative starpower.” For better or worse, horror films usually live or die based on word of mouth and marketing (sadly, these days it’s mostly dependent on marketing for the first weekend – with word of mouth picking up the slack to fill future playdates).
Finding examples for this list was like shooting fish in a barrel, and there’s a silver lining in that. In horror, you don’t necessarily need a star – you just need the best actor for the part (of course, that doesn’t stop lazy hacks from exploiting gene goodwill by filling their films with talentless nobodies – but one step at a time). This is only the tip of the iceberg. READ MORE
The passing of time provides us with context and perspective. And, when it comes to film, while box office is the most immediate gauge of a film’s impact – it’s not the best. Time and context are the best gauges. When you watch Slither or The Thing now do you think of their underwhelming box office? Probably not. You think about how you’ve seen them a million times and still love them (unless you read my article in October), which is how it should be. Box office is temporal and ultimately irrelevant to your enjoyment
But when you reverse this approach by taking films that you rarely even think about anymore and look up their grosses, you get some surprising results. IE – “That made HOW much?!” The same goes for movies that you love but assume – due to them actually being daring and good – that they must have been flops. With that in mind, I’ve decided to share the results of a recent foray into the past. Note that some of these films might not be “hits” when viewed through the lens of the return on their production budget (and these amounts don’t include foreign takes or ancillary revenue streams like DVD and VOD). No, these are just movies that shocked me when I saw certain numbers beside their title.
Head inside for 5 Horror Movies That Were Surprisingly Hits. READ MORE