GREAT FILMS That Made NO MONEY In Theaters

Let me stress that in almost all cases, there was no breaking even or modest success but rather a loss of millions. Many of these movies, now seen by film fans as favorites and seminal milestones, were in fact commercial disasters.
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1.
Duck Soup (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale. (68 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
 
2.
Citizen Kane (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance. (119 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
 
3.
Sorcerer (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle. (121 mins.)
 
4.
Cruising (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A police detective goes undercover in the underground S&M gay subculture of New York City to catch a serial killer who is preying on gay men. (102 mins.)
 
5.
Prince of the City (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption. However, he soon discovers that he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted. (167 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
 
6.
The King of Comedy (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin attempts to achieve success in show business by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy. (109 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
7.
Videodrome (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a very unusual fashion when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station. (87 mins.)
 
8.
Brazil (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state. (132 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
 
9.
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In New Jersey in 1935, a movie character walks off the screen and into the real world. (82 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
10.
Salvador (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An American photojournalist gets caught in a political struggle at El Salvador in 1980. (122 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
 
11.
Something Wild (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A free-spirited woman "kidnaps" a yuppie for a weekend of adventure. But the fun quickly takes a dangerous turn when her ex-convict husband shows up. (114 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
 
12.
Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens... (105 mins.)
Director: Stephen Frears
 
13.
Rampage (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Liberal district attorney decides to seek the death penalty for a man who slaughtered a family at Christmastime... (97 mins.)
 
14.
Mystery Train (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Three stories are connected by a Memphis hotel and the spirit of Elvis Presley. (110 mins.)
Director: Jim Jarmusch
 
15.
Miller's Crossing (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties. (115 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
 
16.
Barton Fink (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood. (116 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
 
17.
Naked Lunch (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally murders his wife and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa. (115 mins.)
 
18.
Shadows and Fog (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
With a serial strangler on the loose, a bookkeeper wanders around town searching for the vigilante group intent on catching the killer. (85 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
19.
The Age of Innocence (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin. (139 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
20.
Heaven & Earth (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The final movie in Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy follows the true story of a Vietnamese village girl... (140 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
 
21.
Last Action Hero (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
With the help of a magic ticket, a young film fan is transported into the fictional world of his favorite action film character. (130 mins.)
Director: John McTiernan
 
22.
Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A middle-aged couple suspects foul play when their neighbor's wife suddenly drops dead. (104 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
23.
Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In New York in 1928, a struggling playwright is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced. (98 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
24.
Crooklyn (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Spike Lee's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973. (115 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
25.
Ed Wood (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An ambitious but troubled movie director tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite his lack of support. (127 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
 
26.
Clockers (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Young drug pushers in the projects of Brooklyn live hard dangerous lives, trapped between their drug bosses and the detectives out to stop them. (128 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
27.
Dead Man (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange North American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world. (121 mins.)
Director: Jim Jarmusch
 
28.
Nixon (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A biographical story of former U.S. president Richard Milhous Nixon, from his days as a young boy to his eventual presidency which ended in shame. (192 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
 
29.
Strange Days (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A former cop turned street-hustler accidentally uncovers a conspiracy in Los Angeles in 1999. (145 mins.)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
 
30.
Bottle Rocket (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Three friends plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run. (91 mins.)
Director: Wes Anderson
 
31.
Bound (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Corky, a tough female ex con and her lover Violet concoct a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet's crooked boyfriend Caesar. (108 mins.)
 
32.
Crash (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife. (100 mins.)
 
33.
Citizen Ruth (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An irresponsible, drug-addicted, recently impregnated woman finds herself in the middle of an abortion debate when both parties attempt to sway her to their respective sides. (106 mins.)
Director: Alexander Payne
 
34.
Hard Eight (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Professional gambler Sydney teaches John the tricks of the trade. John does well until he falls for cocktail waitress Clementine. (102 mins.)
 
35.
The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A partially idealized film of the controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech for all people. (129 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
 
36.
Schizopolis (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Fletcher Munson, the lethargic employee of a pseudo-religious self help company, and his doppelganger, the friendly but dull dentist Dr. Jeffrey Korchek. (96 mins.)
 
37.
Deconstructing Harry (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him. (96 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
38.
The Ice Storm (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
1973, suburban New Canaan, Connecticut: middle class families experimenting with casual sex and substance abuse find their lives beyond their control. (112 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
39.
Kundun (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
From childhood to adulthood, Tibet's fourteenth Dalai Lama deals with Chinese oppression and other problems. (134 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
40.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades. (118 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
 
41.
He Got Game (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A basketball player's father must try to convince him to go to a college so he can get a shorter sentence. (136 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
42.
Primary Colors (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA. (143 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
 
43.
Rushmore (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The extracurricular king of Rushmore preparatory school is put on academic probation. (93 mins.)
Director: Wes Anderson
 
44.
A Simple Plan (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
When three blue collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash they make a plan to keep their find from the authorities but find complications and mistrust weaving its way into their plan. (121 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
 
45.
Snake Eyes (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A shady police detective finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy at an important boxing match in an Atlantic City casino. (98 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
 
46.
Bringing Out the Dead (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Haunted by the patients he failed to save, an extremely burned-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic fights to maintain his sanity over three fraught and turbulent nights. (121 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
47.
eXistenZ (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged. (97 mins.)
 
48.
The Limey (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An extremely volatile and dangerous Englishman goes to Los Angeles to find the man he considers responsible for his daughter's death. (89 mins.)
 
49.
Man on the Moon (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The life and career of a legendary comedian, Andy Kaufman. (118 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
 
50.
The Straight Story (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An old man makes a long journey by lawn-mover tractor to mend his relationship with an ill brother. (112 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
51.
Summer of Sam (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another. (142 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
52.
Bamboozled (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A frustrated African-American TV writer proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, but to his chagrin it becomes a hit. (135 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
53.
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An insurance investigator and an efficency expert who hate each other are both hypnotized by a crooked hypnotist with a jade scorpion into stealing jewels. (103 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
54.
Human Nature (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A woman is in love with a man in love with another woman, and all three have designs on a young man raised as an ape. (96 mins.)
Director: Michel Gondry
 
55.
The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A laconic, chain-smoking barber blackmails his wife's boss and lover for money to invest in dry cleaning, but his plan goes terribly wrong. (116 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
 
56.
Femme Fatale (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her. (114 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
 
57.
Hollywood Ending (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness. (112 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
58.
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding. (95 mins.)
 
59.
Solaris (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet. (99 mins.)
 
60.
Alexander (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Alexander, the King of Macedonia and one of the greatest military leaders in the history of warfare, conquers much of the known world. (175 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
 
61.
I Heart Huckabees (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A husband-and-wife team play detective, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the happy duo helps others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means. (107 mins.)
 
62.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
With a plan to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, oceanographer Steve Zissou rallies a crew that includes his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who may or may not be his son. (119 mins.)
Director: Wes Anderson
 
63.
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people. (144 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
64.
The Black Dahlia (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Two policemen see their personal and professional lives fall apart in the wake of the "Black Dahlia" murder investigation. (121 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
 
65.
Bug (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
An unhinged war veteran holes up with a lonely woman in a spooky Oklahoma motel room. The line between reality and delusion is blurred as they discover a bug infestation. (102 mins.)
 
66.
The Good German (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
While in post-war Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference, an American military journalist is drawn into a murder investigation which involves his former mistress and his driver. (105 mins.)
 
67.
Idiocracy (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Private Joe Bauers, the definition of "average American", is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, he awakes five centuries in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed down that he's easily the most intelligent person alive. (84 mins.)
Director: Mike Judge
 
68.
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result. (100 mins.)
 
69.
Southland Tales (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
During a three day heat wave just before a huge 4th of July celebration, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy. (145 mins.)
Director: Richard Kelly
 
70.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader. (160 mins.)
Director: Andrew Dominik
 
71.
Cassandra's Dream (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The tale of two brothers with serious financial woes. When a third party proposes they turn to crime, things go badly and the two become enemies. (108 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
72.
I'm Not There. (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, where six characters embody a different aspect of the musician's life and work. (135 mins.)
Director: Todd Haynes
 
73.
Grindhouse (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's homage to exploitation double features in the 60s and 70s with two back-to-back cult films that include previews of coming attractions between them. (191 mins.)
 
74.
The Kingdom (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A team of U.S. government agents is sent to investigate the bombing of an American facility in the Middle East. (110 mins.)
Director: Peter Berg
 
75.
Mr. Brooks (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A psychological thriller about a man who is sometimes controlled by his murder-and-mayhem-loving alter ego. (120 mins.)
Director: Bruce A. Evans
 
76.
Zodiac (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree. (157 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
 
77.
Be Kind Rewind (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars. (102 mins.)
Director: Michel Gondry
 
78.
Che: Part One (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In 1956, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and a band of Castro-led Cuban exiles mobilize an army to topple the regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista. (134 mins.)
 
79.
Che: Part Two (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1967, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara leads a small partisan army to fight an ill-fated revolutionary guerrilla war in Bolivia, South America. (135 mins.)
 
80.
Miracle at St. Anna (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Set in 1944 Italy, the story of four black American soldiers who get trapped in a Tuscan village during WWII. (160 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
81.
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play. (124 mins.)
Director: Charlie Kaufman
 
82.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants. (122 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
83.
Funny People (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
When seasoned comedian George Simmons learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship causes him to take a relatively green performer under his wing as his opening act. (146 mins.)
Director: Judd Apatow
 
84.
The Girlfriend Experience (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
A drama set in the days leading up to the 2008 Presidential election, and centered on a high-end Manhattan call girl meeting the challenges of her boyfriend, her clients, and her work. (77 mins.)
 
85.
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Inspired by a true crime, a man begins to experience mystifying events that lead him to slay his mother with a sword. (91 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
86.
The Conspirator (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Mary Surratt is the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. As the whole nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her life. (122 mins.)
Director: Robert Redford
 
87.
The Killer Inside Me (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A West Texas deputy sheriff is slowly unmasked as a psychotic killer. (109 mins.)