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13 Horror Movies That Bombed at the Box Office but Became Classics After Home Video Release

Written by: Matt Molgaard

Unfortunately not all great pictures draw great theatrical crowds. In fact, a lot of amazing productions fail on a grand scale when they arrive on the big screen. And that’s what this entire article is about: amazing movies that went terribly neglected upon arriving in theaters. This list however, will highlight 13 of those failures that went on to become stunning successes on home video!

The Mist

Synopsis: Everyone thinks of it as a harmless lightning storm. When Dave Drayton notices a strange mist on the lake, he thinks nothing of it. When he, his son, Billy Drayton, and his neighbor Brent Norton travel to the supermarket, the unthinkable happens. On their way to the market, they see the army, firefighters, and the police heading toward the mist. When he sees this Brent mentions something about “Project Arrowhead”, a secret military project that no one knows about. As they are shopping, they see three soldiers walk in, pick up a few things, then head toward the mist. All eighty of the store’s shoppers have no clue what is going on until an old man runs in the market with a bloody nose and declares “Something in the mist!” He tells them to close the door. About five seconds after they close the door, the entire store shakes, as though it has been lifted several feet above the ground. When David is asked to check on the generator, he finds the loading dock door being pushed on by something outside. Then Dave hears a groan. He asks three people to come with him. When Norm the bag-boy volunteers to go out, he is dragged away by a creature with large squid-like tentacles that have mouths, teeth, and arms. After Dave and the other three fight off the tentacles, they warn everyone in the store what is out there. Upon hearing this, Mrs. Carmody exclaims that it is the End Time and that God is punishing them. People don’t believe it, but finally Mrs. Carmody has almost everyone in the store on her side. Does ‘Project Arrowhead’ have anything to do with this? Will Dave Drayton, his son, and his friends make it out alive as they make a last stand against this destruction? Or will they be taken by the demon-like creatures of ‘The Mist’?

Domestic Box Office: $25 million

Budget: $18 million

Opening weekend: #9

The Verdict: The Mist made its budget back, especially when you factor in international sales, but make no mistake, expectations were not met. Not by a long shot. The flick debuted on the tail end of the box office top 10 and never gained much steam during its theatrical run. It’s a shame really, as this is one the grealest King transfers in existence. While moviegoers missed a fine big screen premiere home viewers didn’t miss a beat; the DVD sold like hotcakes (racking up nearly $30 million in sales, which comfortably surpassed domestic box office figures, obviously) and the pic earned an immediate following.

Event Horizon

Synopsis: The year is 2047 and a ship named the Event Horizon has re-appeared after disappearing 7 years prior, in experiments for faster than light travel. A rescue hastily speeds to the returned vessel after a transmission was picked up from the ship, garbled, but vaguely resembling a human voice. As the crew reach the ship, and spend longer on it, it appears that someone or something is toying with them, and more, the question is what has the Event Horizon become?

Domestic Box Office: $26 million

Budget: $60 million

Opening weekend: #4

The Verdict: Despite being the victim of massive cuts and edits, Paul W.S. Anderson’s creepy space horror piece left most viewers feeling extremely gratified. The pic is loaded with doom and gloom and the gore is damn solid for a commercial genre release. Sadly, most missed it in theaters. That didn’t stop the film from performing well once it hit discs, however. I haven’t had much luck in tracking DVD figures, but the flick became an immediate fan favorite upon home video release.

Visit the next page to continue reading our list.

About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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