“All those moments will be lost in time. Like tears in rain…” that’s how I often feel about movies that get lost under the radar. I’m sure you’re familiar with the feeling. You watch a movie that you end up loving, implore other people to watch it, but then you find out it made fuck-all at the box office.
Granted, we shouldn’t need to worry about box office intakes. Yes, it’s tragic when a great movie doesn’t get the money it deserves. But it shouldn’t deter us from going out and enjoying these movies ourselves and/or showing it to our friends and family. Don’t get me wrong, I too get frustrated when a shit movie rakes in the big bucks (You fuckers are all responsible for financing another Transformers trilogy. You should be ashamed of yourselves and your families). But the great movies will always be there.
Remember the Twilight saga? Yeah I don’t really remember it either. Something about werewolves and vampires being emotionally abusive to a teenage girl or something. It made all the dollars with every theatrical release, but the final chapter has long since come and gone, does anybody actually care anymore? Or, I should say, does anyone care apart from the rabid fans cavorting in the corners of the internet.
The Twilight saga isn’t anything new. There have always been/will be bad movies (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing). While it’s tragic that these movies find success in the box office, there is little sign of them having any shelf life. You know what movie came out the same year as the first Twilight movie? The Dark Knight. A superhero movie that doubles as a crime drama with some political subtext to boot! I don’t think I need to clarify when I say it’s kind of a masterpiece (If you don’t understand why, read this and this).
Need an example from this year because you live in the present? (Cause Namaste and shit)? Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took down Transformers: Age of Extinction. I was lucky (and unlucky) enough to review both and it’s a pretty jarring difference in quality. Dawn represents what I love about movies in general with thematic value that kept me thinking well after the credits rolled. Age of Extinction aggravated me to such end that I wrote 5 ways to fix the franchise (And have subsequently sworn off any future Transformers movies until there’s a change in management).
The Dark Knight and Dawn of the Apes are both modern movies that have been met with successful box office results and critical acclaim, but that isn’t entirely necessary to be deemed great. There are hundreds of classic movies that never made their money back on initial release and dozens that constantly make their way onto “Best Movies of All Time” lists. If I still haven’t convinced you that only the good movies survive, take a look back at the previous century. Citizen Kane comes to mind… You know, CITIZEN FUCKING KANE? A movie that turns three-quarters of a century old next year and still floods the hearts of every cinephile with pure joy and wonder at the craftsmanship required of film? Yeah, that movie.
Citizen Kane made a modest 1.5 million dollars on initial release but still couldn’t make back its budget (at least partly thanks to marketing and some really shady extraneous circumstances I won’t get into here). It even disappeared from the public consciousness and American cinema for over a decade! And that’s it. Good movies fade away. The end. Make sure to follow Audiences Everywhere on Twitter and like our Facebook…
No. Wait. (That would’ve been a bummer of an ending huh?) Citizen Kane managed to reach Europe, was eventually rediscovered in 1956, and was quickly labeled “The Great American Film.” Pretty bold statement, but America was recovering from the Korean War at that time. America needed to have something new to call their own and hold in high regard (Barely over a decade ago we invented the atomic bomb. Not exactly something to be proud of). Citizen Kane still entrances people with its performances and direction. It is one of the finest representations of the argument in proving cinema can be considered high art. And it was a flop. It was lost in time.
There were surely terrible movies coming out the same year as Citizen Kane. But have you heard of them? Do you remember them? Were you even alive then? Do they matter? No. The answer to all these questions is “no” (Unless you are a very old person checking in on our website. Hello, senior citizen!). You want to know why these movies should never matter? Because like everything else in life, only the good stuff is worth remembering.
The truth is that truly great movies touch us, speak to our sentimentality. How does a movie affect us enough to give us an emotional response? What does it all mean? Why hasn’t anybody seen them?! Off the top of my head, here are some of my favorite movies that fall under the category of Financial flops:
Scott Pilgrim vs the World, The Thing, Serenity, Blade Runner, Ed Wood, The Wizard of Oz, The Iron Giant, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Brazil, It’s a Wonderful Life, CITIZEN FUCKING KANE.
Maybe there are some movies you recognize on there (*COUGH* Wizard Of Oz *COUGH* It’s a Wonderful Life) maybe there are some you’ve never even heard of (There are still people that haven’t heard of Blade Runner for some reason) But what makes these movies special is that they’ve found special places in the hearts of people who love movies. Can we measure sentimentality against hundreds of millions of dollars? I don’t know. But, I do know that at the end of the day, the great movies always find their way into our hearts. That’s got to be worth something.