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15 Beloved Movies That Flopped in Theaters

Michael Cera holds a flaming red sword in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Michael Cera holds a flaming red sword in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World | Universal Pictures

Not every film can be a hit. But for some movies, a disappointing run at the box office doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a failure. For whatever reason, be it mishandled marketing or poor timing in concurrence with world events, a great motion picture may find its success after it has left the theater.

Most of these flicks are critic-approved, but audiences didn’t appreciate them until they were available for home viewing. Some, however, didn’t get the greatest reviews, but have managed to gather a significant following among a particular crowd, often owing their appeal to the “so bad it’s good” factor.

Whether they were under appreciated or just ahead of their time, these are 15 of the most loved movies that tanked at the box office.

1. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Edgar Wright’s critically acclaimed genre-hybrid, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is now one of his best-known works. At the time, however, the comic book adaptation was “a major financial disappointment,” partially due to the cost of production. The film came in at No. 5 in the box office its first weekend, and No. 10 its second weekend.

But in the years since, it has become a cult favorite. People were “slow to discover” it, according to the film’s star, Michael Cera. It has an 81% certified fresh rating from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Scott Pilgrim has also had significant lasting impact, with influence in Japanese culture and small anniversary screenings at theaters that embrace the “geek” demographic.

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