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8 underrated performances of modern box office bombs


A good or bad run at the box office isn’t always indicative of a film’s true quality. Movies can be a smash hit on their opening weekends, but be forgotten overnight, and vice versa. Cult classics, for example, show how a movie can slowly become beloved over time, despite how well it performed when it was originally released.

RELATED: 7 Underrated Movies That Ultimately Became Cult Classics

Box office failure can happen for many reasons, whether it’s due to poor or untimely marketing or cinemas closing due to the recent global pandemic. Whatever the reason they underperformed, box office bombshells can sometimes contain standout performances from some of the best in the business, performances that audiences would neglect to overlook.


Brad Pitt in “Ad Astra” (2019)

ad astra is an Academy Award-nominated science fiction drama directed by James Gray. Released in 2019, the film features brad pitt as Roy McBride, an astronaut who travels through space to find his missing father, who disappeared while researching the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

Pitt — an accomplished actor capable of pulling off both charismatic criminal and action hero — is careful to portray the conflicted McBride. Despite his efforts, ad astra only grossed $135 million worldwide, making it a box office bomb, considering its $80-100 million budget. And yet, the film received positive reviews; according to review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, ad astra holds an impressive 83% approval rating. It’s possible that Pitt’s work here was overshadowed by the release of Once upon a time in Hollywooda historical comedy-drama film (which also highlighted the fight club and Se7fr star) directed and published by Quentin Tarantino that same year.

Ariana DeBose in “West Side Story” (2021)

West Side Story is Steven Spielberg2021 adaptation of the romantic musical drama of the same name. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the biggest modern box office bombs, grossing $76 million worldwide against a production budget of $100 million.

The film’s commercial failure upon release is a terrible disgrace for apparent reasons, but more particularly because of the stellar performance of Ariana DeBose, who plays Anita in the Spielberg film. The hamilton The star was so unquestionably brilliant that she won both the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Anita. Underrated may not be the word for DeBose’s efforts, but given the film’s disappointing commercial success, it’s obvious that not many people testified to DeBose’s talent.

Ana de Armas in ‘Blade Runner 2049’ (2017)

Now a household name for appearances in recent hits like Knives out and no time to die, Ana de Armas play in Blade Runner 2049the 2017 sequel to the classic 1982 sci-fi film blade runner. Despite critical acclaim and massive earnings, the film’s worldwide earnings of $259 million were a disappointment compared to its sizable production budget of $150–185 million.

Under the direction of Denis Villeneuve (Dunes), de Armas plays Joi, the holographic sidekick of the film’s protagonist K (Ryan Gosling). The film sees de Armas playing not only K’s virtual girlfriend, but also the various other versions of the artificial intelligence that appear throughout the film. His hard work is largely overshadowed by the more extensive and significant appearances in the story of Harrison Fordby Deckard and Jared Letois Niander Wallace, but that doesn’t make his performance any less impressive.

Charlie Hunnam in “The Lost City of Z” (2016)

Director James Gray can’t get a break. before leading ad astradirected by Gray The Lost City of Z, another box office bomb. A biographical drama about one man’s attempts to find a hidden town in the Amazon rainforest, the 2016 film failed to recoup its $30 million production expense, grossing just $19 million worldwide. .

movie stars Charlie Hunnam as real-life explorer Percy Fawcett. Hunnam convincingly conveys the ambition and inner restlessness of the British adventurer and works alongside other recognizable stars, Robert Pattinson (The Batman), Tom Holland (Spider-Man: No Coming Home), and Ian McDiarmid (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) in Gray’s film. Despite its cast and positive reception (the film holds an 87% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), The Lost City of ZThe disappointing performance of means that, in this instance, Hunnam and the rest of the cast have gone largely unseen.

Cillian Murphy in “Sunshine” (2007)

After playing Thomas Shelby on the hit TV series Peaky Blinders and appearing in films like Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece, Creation, Cillian Murphy is now a household name. However, it is not clear whether Sunshine contributed to Murphy’s status as one of the film and television industry’s most respected actors, as the 2007 sci-fi thriller underperformed financially upon release. The film grossed $32 million worldwide, slightly short of its $40 million production budget.

Realized by Danny Boyle (28 days later), Sunshine follows the desperate mission of a group of astronauts attempting to rekindle the dying Sun. Murphy shines as physicist Robert Capa and was nominated for the 2007 British Independent Film Award for Best Actor. Sunshine features an ensemble cast with the likes of Chris Evans (Captain America: Civil War), michelle yeo (Everything everywhere all at once), and Benoit Wong (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), although Murphy’s performance is incredibly compelling.

Karl Urban in “Dredd” (2012)

With the excitement building around future projects like DC’s black adam and Marvel Studios Thor: Love and Thunder, comic book movies are all the rage. Despite the MCU’s long arc reaching its zenith with Avengers: Endgamein 2019, shows like the Disney Plus series Ms. Marvel are always published with great success. It’s a shame that 2012 is Dred, or “Dredd 3D”, did not meet with the same fanfare. Realized by Pete Travisand written by Alex Garland (of Annihilation fame), the action-packed cinematic revival of the ruthless Judge Dredd only grossed $41 million on an estimated $30-45 million budget. The film’s mature rating likely contributed to its disappointing box office returns, but the comic book flick has developed a cult following since its release.

RELATED: Why ‘Dredd’ Is An Underrated Adult Superhero Movie

It should be noted the adoration of his fans for the cast of the film, which includes stars like Lena Headey (game of thrones) and Olivia Thirlby (Y: The Last Man). But it would be a crime not to admit it Karl Urban (The boys) shines as the titular character. Although Judge Dredd is somewhat reserved and to the point, Urban’s nuanced portrayal of the ruthless enforcer might be one of the actor’s best performances yet.

Asa Butterfield in “Hugo” (2011)

Realized by Martin Scorsese and boasting a cast that included the likes of Ben Kingley (Schindler’s list), Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick ass), and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), 2011 Hugo seemed like a surefire hit. Unfortunately, Scorsese’s film only made $185 million, making it a commercial failure against its estimated $150 million budget. But a highlight of the film was undoubtedly the performance of Asa Butterfield like the eponymous Hugo Cabret.

At just thirteen years old, Butterfield made the lead role his own, moving audiences with a touching portrayal of a boy drawn to the real-world filmmaker’s world and legacy. Georges Méliès. Despite HugoButterfield’s performance at the box office helped propel Butterfield’s career to new heights. The actor went on to star in major movies and TV shows like Ender’s game and those of Netflix Sex education.

Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master” (2014)

Paul Thomas Andersonpsychological drama The master explores the relationship between Navy veteran Freddie Quell and Lancaster Dodd, the L. Ron Hubbard-like leader of a religious movement dubbed “The Cause.” Despite its thought-provoking subject matter and peerless performances by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman (of The hunger Games movies) and Amy Adams (Arrival), The master ultimately underperformed at the box office, earning $50 million worldwide against its $37 million production budget.

Relatively small box office gains didn’t stop Joaquin Phoenix to give one of the best performances of his career. Although the Gladiator and Joker star is no stranger to commercial success, the fact that audiences have missed out on some of his best work proves that Phoenix remains one of the industry’s most underrated actors.

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