19 Movies That Flopped But Became Cult Classics 

Not all movies find commercial success immediately after their release. Oftentimes, we witness films that failed at the box office, either deservedly or otherwise, but gained a cult following over time. Here, I shall explore 19 movies that received bad reception when they premiered but have risen to the status of cult classics:

The Boondock Saints (1999)

Boondock Saints (1999) - Franchise Pictures
Photo Credit: Franchise Pictures.

The Boondock Saints was a total crime movie flop. It was so bad, the movie only had a theatrical release of one week. Fortunately, Troy Duffy got a new deal with Blockbuster, and the movie garnered a cult following, going from a $30k run to a cool $50 million in rentals.

Children of the Corn (1984)

Photo Credit: New World Pictures.

Stephen King movie adaptations are often great, but this one wasn’t. Critics have described it as an ugly movie to look at. Adapted from King’s 1977 short story, the film tells the tale of an isolated Nebraska town and follows a child-led religious cult.

Empire Records (1995)

Empire Records (1995) Warner Bros. Studios
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Studios.

The saving grace of Empire Records was its later acceptance by outcast teens when it was shown on TV. It became so loved that more cuts were released. Its initial release had garnered harsh reviews from critics and quite the roasting from the general public.

Idiocracy (2006)

Idiocracy (2006) 20th Century Fox
Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

I love Terry Crews, but I wish I could have unwatched him in Idiocracy. Idiocracy was a major box office flop, grossing just $495,000 against a budget of $2.4 million. Nevertheless, it had a second life on home video, earning $9 million in DVD rentals.

Heathers (1988)

Photo Credit: New World Pictures.

Heathers was supposed to be a teenage favorite, but it came under harsh fire from critics, who thought it too provocative. However, some one-liners from the movie have survived, sticking with a niche group of hardcore fans. With a $2 million budget, it garnered just past $1 million in viewership.

Road House (1989)

Roadhouse (1989) - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

Despite having a dedicated cult following today, many still consider Road House undeserving of any meaningful attention. The sentiment is understandable, really. The movie’s plot is downright silly. The only terrific thing in the movie was Sam Elliott’s performance.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Tim Curry – Frank-N-Furter (The Rocky Horror Show) 20th Century Studios
Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

Garnering a miserable $22,000 after its release in eight cities, The Rocky Horror Picture Show easily enters any list of terrible movies. However, it gained traction later with its midnight screenings. Viewers came out in numbers, and a cult following was born.

Troll 2 (1990)

Troll 2 MGM Studios
Photo Credit: MGM Studios.

Troll 2 was so bad that a documentary had to be made about how such a terrible movie came about. Maybe the annoyance was fostered by the lack of trolls in the movie. Yes, there were no trolls, only goblins. Troll 2 could arguably pass for one of the worst movies ever made.

Grandma’s Boy (2006)

Grandma’s Boy (2006) Twentieth Century Fox
Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

Grandma’s Boy was a comedy that hardly made anyone laugh. The characters were the actual jokes. Surprisingly, it has garnered a cult following for its cheesiness and lack of good humor. It’s definitely at the top of the list of awful movies.

Barbarella (1968)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Barbarella was not that cool when it was released in 1968. It was badly shredded by critics, but its re-release ten years later changed the tune. It was still a flop. There was a sudden attraction to its music, fashion, and cinema for quite a while.

The Room (2003)

Photo Credit: Wiseau Films.

The Room was a cinematic mess. Terrible acting, unremarkable dialogues, subpar plots, continuity gaffs, dead-end subplots, pointless characters, and baffling decision-making—that’s how you would read The Room. However, this film’s awfulness was appealing to some, as it quickly became a cult film.

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

Photo Credit: Valiant Pictures.

Plan 9 from Outer Space had good intentions, but many viewers couldn’t appreciate the movie properly on first watch. The plot was a story about aliens trying to save the world. Its bland, watery dialogue and atrocious homemade special effects made it more difficult to understand.

Clue (1985)

Clue (1985) Guber-Peters Company
Photo Credit: Guber-Peters Company.

Clue was a murder mystery that left us feeling miserable. Its budget was a whopping $15 million, but it only made $14 million at the box office. However, Clue later achieved success despite its initial poor reception; people lined up to buy VCR copies when it was reduced to $20.

Showgirls (1995)

Photo Credit: United Artists.

Showgirls did not give the performance it was going for. Even the stars of the show were shocked by how horrific it turned out. It did win seven Golden Raspberry awards and gained late-night cult status, as viewers flocked to re-experience its seizure-inducing dialogue and tasteless costumes.

The Hunger (1983)

Photo Credit: MGM.

The Hunger was directed by Tony Scott, and the story follows a vampire couple living in the human world. Starting out with very mixed reviews, The Hunger has managed to garner a cult following, especially within the gothic subculture.

The Wicker Man (2006)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

The Wicker Man, starring Nicholas Cage, garnered a cult following through various references in internet memes. “Oh no! Not the bees!” had people going back to watch the terrible remake of the 1973 pagan horror.

Dredd (2012)

Dredd (2012) - Lionsgate
Photo Credit: Lionsgate.

Although Dredd enjoyed a positive reception from critics when it was released in 2012, it was nevertheless a commercial failure. It however garnered a cult following after its home release, captivating with its slo-mo sequences, blood-soaked humor, and loyalty to the source material, making it appeal to fans of the original comic.

The Wraith (1986)

Photo Credit: New Century Vista Film Company.

The Wraith had an impressive cast, but things didn’t work out as expected. The movie was characterized by stereotypical characters, predictable lines, and cheesy special effects. And although the murderous gang members were unimpressive, it still managed to garner a cult following.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

We’ll blame Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’s failure on poor marketing, because it was a little tricky to pitch to the audience. However, its video game-influenced fight sequences and nerd culture later transformed it into a box office hit.

READ MORE – 20 MOVIES THAT PREDICTED THE FUTURE AND ACTUALLY GOT IT RIGHT

Photo Credit: Miramax Films.

Movie makers often leave certain plot points ambiguous to spark discussions and theories among the audience. While some mysteries are later resolved in sequels or by the filmmakers themselves, others remain unexplained. Here are 18 movie mysteries that still leave us scratching our heads

20 MOVIES THAT PREDICTED THE FUTURE AND ACTUALLY GOT IT RIGHT

20 MOVIES WE WISH WE COULD ERASE FROM OUR MINDS AND WATCH AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME

Avengers_ Endgame
Photo Credit: Marvel Studios.

Do you ever wish you could travel back in time to relive a favorite movie experience all over again? Reddit recently compiled a list of such amazing movies, and here are 20 of our favorites.

20 MOVIES WE WISH WE COULD ERASE FROM OUR MINDS AND WATCH AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME

18 MOVIE MYSTERIES THAT STILL HAVE NO EXPLANATION

American Psycho (2000) - Lionsgate Films
Photo Credit: Lionsgate Films.

Movie makers often leave certain plot points ambiguous to spark discussions and theories among the audience. While some mysteries are later resolved in sequels or by the filmmakers themselves, others remain unexplained. Here are 18 movie mysteries that still leave us scratching our heads

18 MOVIE MYSTERIES THAT STILL HAVE NO EXPLANATION

20 MOVIES THAT WERE SO GOOD WE WISH WE COULD WATCH THEM AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME

Interstellar - Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Some movies are so great that we wish we could watch them again for the very first time. Someone recently asked the users of Reddit which movies they would choose, and we’ve listed the top 20 answers below.

20 MOVIES THAT WERE SO GOOD WE WISH WE COULD WATCH THEM AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME

THE 38 MOST AWESOME ‘BAD GUYS’ IN MOVIE HISTORY

T-1000
Photo Credit: StudioCanal.

They’re the ones we love to hate, the characters that make our blood boil, and keep us on the edge of our seats. These are the 38 best movie villains of all time.

THE 38 MOST AWESOME ‘BAD GUYS’ IN MOVIE HISTORY