Top 10 Movies You Forgot Dominated The Box Office



Top 10 Movies You Forgot Dominated The Box Office

VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio WRITTEN BY: Timothy MacAusland
These movies dominated the box office but have since been forgotten. For this list, we'll be looking at films that the general public may not remember were big box office successes. Our countdown includes "We're the Millers", "Stuart Little", “Real Steel”, and more!

Top 10 Movies You Forgot Were Big Hits

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movies you forgot were big hits.

For this list, we’ll be looking at films that the general public may not remember were big box office successes. These flicks don’t need to have been critically well received or well liked by the public. As long as they made at least double their budget, they’ll be considered.

What movie did you forget was a kind of a big deal? Let us know in the comments below!

#10: “Stuart Little” (1999)

Many a ‘90s kid will remember this adaptation of the E.B. White book of the same name. But do they remember it raking in the dough to the tune of $300 million? Since we’ve gotten plenty of live-action/CGI hybrids since, it’s easy to forget when the combination was nothing to scoff at. The script was also co-written by M. Night Shyamalan - yes, you heard that right - and came out hot on the heels of his even bigger hit, “The Sixth Sense”. Released in December of that year, “Stuart Little” essentially had a chokehold on the family market during the holiday season. Its success ensured that we’d get a sequel...although that one was not nearly as much of a hit.

#9: “Safe House” (2012)

Much like Liam Neeson, Denzel Washington has built himself up as quite the bankable middle-aged action star. Between projects like “Déjá Vu” and the “Equalizer” movies, Washington starred in the surprisingly successful and yet forgettable “Safe House” in 2012. Though it received mixed reviews, the film managed to amass over $200 million at the global box office. It managed to succeed in the face of stiff competition like “Chronicle” and “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.” Since the film paired Washington with Ryan Reynolds, just think what kind of business it would have had if it came out after the first “Deadpool” movie!

#8: “Vantage Point” (2008)

“Vantage Point” overcame negative reviews to become a neat little earner for Sony. Released in 2008, the film took in $152 million against a $40 million budget. It managed to do this even though a bigger action flick, “Jumper” came out a week before. Chronicling the many perspectives of a political assassination, “Vantage Point” employed a host of veteran actors. Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver and others likely drew in the crowds on their starpower alone. That said, the film’s time-shifting gimmick made for a frustrating viewing experience. Its storytelling approach probably kept audiences from remembering it at all years later.

#7: “The Rescuers” (1977)

While there are plenty of classic titles in the Disney Animation library, it can be easy to forget about the solid stories that were released in the Bronze Age between 1970 and 1988. Of these films, the most successful one overall was arguably “The Rescuers”. Released in 1977, the family adventure about talking mice initially grossed $29 million domestically. But that’s not why we’re talking about it. “The Rescuers” was actually re-released twice, once in 1983 and again in 1989. When all three release box office numbers are combined, the movie accumulated $169 million over its lifetime. Its success likely incentivized the release of the first Disney animated film sequel to come out in theaters,“The Rescuers Down Under” in 1990.

#6: “We’re the Millers” (2013)

We doubt Warner Bros. has any “ragrets” about making this warped crime comedy. Released in 2013, “We’re the Millers” was THE surprise comedy hit of the summer. It raked in $270 million worldwide. That’s over seven times its budget! Since it boasts just 48% on Rotten Tomatoes, it wasn’t exactly a critical darling. But audiences clearly seemed to enjoy it just fine. With an affable cast that included Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Will Poulter and Emma Roberts, it’s honestly not hard to see why people loved it. Although a sequel, tentatively titled “We’re Still the Millers,” was announced six months later, we’re still waiting for it.

#5: “Father of the Bride” (1991)

Steve Martin family comedies have been fairly bankable over the years. General audiences may remember that “Parenthood” and “Cheaper by the Dozen.” did well. But they may forget that “Father of the Bride” - co-written and co-produced by Nancy Meyers - was a hit too. The comedy earned $129 million against a $20 million budget. With that kind of money, we doubt Martin’s George Banks would be worried about how much the wedding is costing him. The movie also proved popular enough with audiences to spawn a “Part II.” But that one wasn’t quite as successful. Audiences might also forget that both films are remakes of Spencer Tracy-Elizabeth Taylor comedies from the 1950s. Just in case you were curious, the original films turned profits too.

#4: “The Pacifier” (2005)

Between “Tooth Fairy” starring Dwayne Johnson and “My Spy” starring Dave Bautista, we’ve gotten enough “muscular action stars babysit children” movies to make a whole film genre. But before those two films came along, we got Vin Diesel in “The Pacifier.” Despite being critically panned, the film managed to rake in nearly $200 million back in 2005. Sure, it’s not the kind of film that’s warranted rewatches over the years, but it did make an impact in its time. It just goes to show that family comedies can do some serious business when the right people are involved. Now if only there was some way we could see Diesel’s furious Pacifier character go up against The Rock’s fast Tooth Fairy…

#3: “Need for Speed” (2014)

Once the “Fast & Furious” franchise really started to hit the gas, we had a feeling that studios would want to clone the idea for their own. But since most studios don’t have the luxury to rev the engines five times on an original concept before it finds its stride, they rely on intellectual properties. Enter “Need for Speed.” This Aaron Paul action vehicle is based on the racing video game series of the same name. Although it didn’t do “Fast & Furious” numbers, the movie did manage to hit the $200 million mark thanks largely to international markets. There were originally rumblings of a sequel, but poor critical reception and the lack of a fan following put that prospect in doubt. Sorry, Aaron.

#2: “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” (2013)

There have been so many dark updates to fairy tales over the years that it’s seriously difficult to keep track. Although many try to scale back the darkness a little to appeal to mass audiences like “Snow White and the Huntsman,” others take big risks and go all out like “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.” Starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as the titular brother/sister duo, this film took no prisoners. “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” had absolutely bloody action sequences and a grim sense of humor. While it was critically panned in the theaters, it paid off in the company’s bank accounts. Thanks largely to a great international run, this dark fantasy earned $226 million when it was all said and done.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“The Forgotten” (2004)
Kind of Appropriate This Would Get Forgotten, No?

“George of the Jungle” (1997)
George, George, George of the Jungle, Watch Out for that Paycheck!

“Willow” (1988)
Big Things Really Do Come in Small Packages

“The Full Monty” (1997)
Kind of Like the British “Magic Mike” of Its Time

“Beethoven” (1992)
This St. Bernard Slobbered Up Box Office Dollars

#1: “Real Steel” (2011)

We’re honestly surprised that a boxing robot movie starring Hugh Jackman didn’t make even more money. Granted, Hugh Jackman isn’t playing one of the robot boxers, but we digress. “Real Steel” drummed up quite a bit of excitement for something that wasn’t already based on a major film property. It nearly managed to bring in $300 million worldwide. A partial reason for Jackman’s robot success might have been the fact that its competition was “The Three Musketeers”. The swashbuckling movie tanked so hard that it earned less money in its opening week than “Real Steel” did in its third weekend. Although Jackman’s movie received modest reviews from critics, the general audience’s wallets made sure the movie stuck around. Can you say, “People’s champion?”