In 2024, a movie is often labeled a success or failure before it’s even “opened” in theaters.

In the parlance of the film industry, we still say that movies are “opening Friday.” But most of the top tentpoles begin screening on Thursdays — sometimes as early as 3PM in the afternoon. The box-office receipts from those early exhibitions are breathlessly reported on within hours — at which point some pundits have already declared a film a hit or a flop.

Years of work, and the outcome is determined in hours.

But that is only one side of the story. As I have said many times before here at ScreenCrush, financial success does not equal creative success. (And, sadly, vice versa.) Whenever possible, this site likes to celebrate the movies that may not have connected with mass audiences, but were still outstanding — like our list from 2023 of the best box-office bombs of the year.

When I’ve done lists like this in the past, I’ve often ranked them by the size of their failure at the box office; the bigger the financial loss, the higher on the list. This time, I’ve decided to go the other route and rank them in order of personal preference. I did include their reported ticket sales and budgets as well, though, in case you were curious how these films fared with audiences, relative to one another.

Now let’s take a look at the best box-office bombs in history. If you haven’t watched any of them, you really should; nearly all are available for rental or streaming right now.

The Best Box-Office Bombs in History

These films flopped in theaters — but they are worth watching now.

READ MORE: 10 TV Flops That Turned Out to Be Huge Hits

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The Best Movies of 2023

ScreenCrush’s editor and critic picks the best films of the year.

Gallery Credit: Matt Singer