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  • Samuel Rutherford

Underrated movies: Why they flopped

Throughout Hollywood’s long history, countless movies have been made; some became culture defining masterpieces, some others become utterly reviled messes of cinema, and many ends up as largely forgotten films that came and gone on the box office.

Most of these forgotten films were forgotten because they were generally bad, boring, generic/cliched, or just plain forgettable.

However, some of those forgotten films were actually decent movies that never got the audience they would of have if it were not for a variety of factors. Here are 3 such movies that needs a larger audience.

Dredd (2012)

With the overwhelming success of family-friendly comic book movies in recent years, audience members wondered if the more mature and darker comic books would get adapted to the big screen.

Surely enough, there was with 2012’s “Dredd,” based on the long running comic “Judge Dredd.” The movie takes place in a super city where all crime is dealt with by brutal law enforcement officers known as Judges who act as judge, jury and executioner.

The movie follows a Judge known as Dredd, who is tasked to take down a crime gang that controlled a massive 200 story high rise of flats, but gets thrown into a life or death ordeal. The film was praised for having impressive visual effects, intense action scenes and for having a brutal and ultra-violent tone, much like the comic it is based on.

So, if the movie is faithful and got positive reviews, then why is this movie not remembered by many movie fans?

Well, there are a few factors that contributed to its obscurity. First and foremost, this movie is actually a reboot of the 1995 predecessor “Judge Dredd,” which is, pardon the pun, dreadful. That movie was critically panned for being loosely based on its source comic and for being unoriginal and its awfulness had an impact on the 2012 iteration.

Another factor that contributed to its obscurity was its release date was close to “The Raid,” an intense action movie that shared the same premise with “Dredd;” the concept of a tough police officer fighting his way through a crime filled building to take down a gang.

Finally, “Dredd” was even pulled from select theaters early in its theatrical run for its content, drastically reducing the potential box office earning it would have gotten.

In short, “Dredd” had bad timing, a short run at the box office, and the misfortune of having to be related to a horrible movie, but regardless, “Dredd” is still a gritty, mature comic book movie that is not for kids.

The Iron Giant (1999)

This movie appearing on this list might come as a surprise for movie fans, as “The Iron Giant” was, and still is, heralded as one of the greatest animated movies ever made.

The movie is set in 1950’s America, where a young boy discovers a massive robot that came from outer space that develops a friendship for him. However, the government soon discovers the existence of the hulking giant and tries to destroy it, leaving the boy to protect it from the military and the public.

As mentioned before, “The Iron Giant” is held in high regard by both its audience and critics for its stellar animation, touching themes, great voicework and compelling story. With this in mind, it begs the question: how did such an esteemed and highly praised animated film be considered underrated?

Surprisingly, “The Iron Giant” is considered a box office failure, despite the critical praise it received. The movie only managed to pull in $31.3 million against a budget around $70 to $80 million, which makes the movie a flop.

Its failure is blamed on the stunning lack of advertising the movie received prior to its release because the release date was given on short notice.

Due to the abysmal commercial promotion, “The Iron Giant” mostly flew under the radar and never really got its intended audience during its box office run. However, “The Iron Giant” is still worth a watch.

Pandorum (2009)

Space thrillers are nothing new, so finding one that stands out can be rather difficult. “Pandorum” is not like most other space thrillers however.

The movie takes place in the future where Earth is dying and humanity must find salvation on a distant planet that can support life. However, something goes wrong, naturally, and a few survivors must escape the ship while being chased by grotesque monsters.

“Pandorum” may sound like a typical space thriller, but it is a movie that requires close attention to get maximum enjoyment and has an incredible twist that completely changes the way viewers see the movie.

So why is this movie mostly forgotten about?

Well, aside from the part where it sounds like a generic space thriller, “Pandorum” also suffered from an abysmal advertisement campaign, much like what happened to "The Iron Giant." The studio making the film spend almost the entire budget on the movie and had almost no money for an ad campaign big enough to garner enough attention.

Because of this, “Pandorum” flopped and inevitably became forgotten. Despite all of this, “Pandorum” might be worthwhile, as long as the viewers pay close attention to the whole thing.

A lot of movies that can be called underrated or overlooked for never getting the audience they deserved, but those movies would have been considered classics if everything went according to plan and had a smooth run at the box office without incident.

Thankfully, there is nothing stopping people from watching these overlooked films and there are plenty to choose from, the only requirements for these movies are an open mind and attention to enjoy these underrated movies.

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