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Top 5 Films That Found New Life On Home Release

Just because a movie doesn’t do as well as a studio expects it to in its theatrical run, it doesn’t mean the movie is done forever. In fact, numerous films have found great popularity since being available on a home viewing system (i.e Netflix, DVD, On Demand) and via great word of mouth. Today, we take a look at 5 of the best examples of movies that grew in popularity after their original theater run.

Just because a movie doesn’t do as well as a studio expects in it’s initial theatrical run – that doesn’t mean the movie is done forever. In fact, many films have found great popularity once available on a home viewing system (Netflix, DVD, Blu-Ray, Demand, etc.) and from word of mouth.

Today, we’re taking a look at the 5 best films that found new life on home video:

5. Donnie Darko

This movie definitely has the lowest box office total of any of the films on the list. It made $514,545 in its first theatrical run – on a 4.5 million dollar budget. Most people would look at you like you were stupid if you were to say “hey, want to watch a movie called Donnie Darko?”  but once you get your friends (or family) to actually sit and watch it – they may end up not liking it but it’s definitely a film that won’t be forgotten.

This movie is the definition of a Cult film, which isn’t necessarily what we were getting at with this list, but it still fits the criteria. After it bombed in 2001, the film became so popular that it was re-released into theaters in 2004 and spawned all kinds of merchandise and would now be considered a well-known film.

4. Warrior

Warrior was a relatively low budget flick that flew under many people’s radars upon initial release. It was released in September, an odd time for movies, and had a meh ad campaign behind it. This led to ho-hum box office numbers overall. But – those that saw the film praised its performances, especially that of Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton. With its fans raving, more and more people began to watch the film and talk about it as one of the most underrated sports films and also one of Tom Hardy’s best performances. It slowly began to develop a following and respect from viewers who realized this film goes the distance.
– Nate Arel


Make my sequel, dammit.

Dredd is one of the prime examples of a comic adaptation done right. Unfortunately, the film bombed at the box office due to several different reasons. There was an extremely lackluster ad campaign and most people just associated it with the ’95 Stallone film.

What the film actually was, however, was one of the best and most violent action films in recent memory – with a great lead performance by Karl Urban.

Sure, the film bombed in theaters  but that wasn’t the end for Dredd. It was actually the highest selling Blu-Ray/DVD the first week that it came out and people quickly began lobbying for a sequel and its popularity continues to grow. Over time, I’m sure it will end up being #1 on lists like this in the future.  –FP

2. Fight Club

Like DREDD, David Fincher’s Fight Club initially bombed in theaters because audiences and critics weren’t really sure what to make of it (or to go and see it for that matter). Eventually, once word of mouth got going – the film took off.

I still remember watching this on VHS (yes, VHS) when it was first released. I don’t think I had ever heard of it being in theaters but what I got was one mind f*ck of a movie. Sure, it bombed in theaters but over time – it has become one of the biggest movies ever. It’s still considered to be one of the most out of the box and original films ever. I’d tell you more about Fight Club but… I’m sure you know the rule.

1. The Shawshank Redemption

Like how Andy escaped from Shawshank Prison, this film became what it is because of time and pressure. The Shawshank Redemption was a commercial failure, barely making its 25 million dollar budget back. But to be fair to the film, 1994 was just an excellent year for film. However, the film still received several Oscar nominations and that could possibly have turned audience’s heads.

When the film reached home release, it received a new wave of popularity. It quickly became a crowd and critical favorite, even being thrown around in the discussion for one of the best movies of all time. In fact, it currently sits at #1 on IMDB’s Top 250 Films of All-Time.

Whether you agree with it or not, there’s no denying the power that Shawshank has. There are good reasons why people come back to it time and time again and why TNT shows it almost every week. It’s because it has garnered that respect and admiration from fans over 20 years, despite its initial box office floundering. -Nate Arel

So, what do you think of the list? Sound off below!

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