Not every movie that reaches the number one spot at the box office is one that fans will remember for decades. In fact, in many cases, it doesn’t even mean that the movie is well-liked or critically lauded at all. It can be hard to determine exactly what drives a movie to that coveted #1 spot, but marketing, the actors and directors involved, and the other movies that are showing at the time can all play a major role in determining what makes it to the top.
Over the years, there have been plenty of great movies and plenty of terrible movies that have made it to the number one spot, but even fewer still are the movies that were just about completely forgotten.
10 Kangaroo Jack (2003)
Although many people who were children when this movie was released may have somewhat fond memories of it, it’s an indisputable fact that this movie was critically panned.
Shoddy CGI, a plot that made almost no sense and tons of jokes that simply missed the mark, Kangaroo Jack is probably Jerry Bruckheimer’s worst film to date. Even an unusual appearance from Christopher Walken couldn’t save this movie from being wiped from the viewers’ collective memories. But despite the negative reviews from fans and critics, the movie still managed to gross almost $89 million dollars at the box office.
9 Along Came Polly (2004)
With a career as impressive as Ben Stiller’s, it makes sense that a few of his movies have been lost in the shuffle. But despite being one of Stiller’s best and funniest movies and one of the more well-received rom-coms to come out in the 2000s, Along Came Polly failed to make a lasting impression on pop culture.
The film Stars Ben Stiller opposite Jennifer Aniston as two childhood classmates that strike up a relationship after Stiller’s marriage goes awry on his honeymoon. Filled with lots of heart and plenty of laughs, the movie also has a killer cast that includes Philip Seymour Hoffman and Alec Baldwin, among others. The film grossed $178 million at the box office, but it still failed to make a lasting impression on moviegoers and is often forgotten today.
8 Lakeview Terrace (2008)
Psychological thrillers can be a tricky genre. They seem to either wow critics and fans, as is the case with films like Scorseses’ Shutter Island, or they are box office bombs that are panned by fans and critics. Lakeview Terrace is a rare exception to this, though.
The movie debuted at #1 and sat at the top spot for a week before it was bumped. The film was generally well-received, only to be forgotten about in subsequent years. The film follows a newlywed couple who are terrorized by their new police officer neighbor, played by Samuel Jackson. The film is far from perfect, but surprisingly enjoyable, even today.
7 Antz (1998)
Many people that watched Woody Allen’s animated film that bore a suspicious resemblance to A Bug’s Life quickly tried to forget it. Despite its finically successful box office run, the movie was reasonably liked amongst fans and critics, but it ultimately paled in comparison to Pixar’s similar effort.
With virtually the same premise as A Bug’s Life, the movie was quickly forgotten after the Pixar film’s success, which helped to launch the animation studio into the powerhouse it is today. Over 20 years later, Antz hasn’t managed to hold up as well as other animated movies from the time, as the 3D animation looks quite dated and Woody Allen continues to make headlines for the wrong reasons.
6 Cat In The Hat (2003)
A movie that many forgot about and the rest wish they could forget, the incredibly strange depiction of the Dr. Seuss classic is simply too creepy and weird to actually enjoy for many viewers. Trying to capture the whimsical and colorful world of the book, the movie feels more like a fever dream or some kind of hallucination gone terribly wrong.
Critics panned the movie for being filled with out-of-place adult jokes, odd costumes and set design, and a swing-and-a-miss performance from Mike Myers. Thing 1 and Thing 2 were also some of the most unanimously criticized aspects of the movie and might even be to blame for the lack of further Dr. Suess adaptions, according to The Express. Still, the film managed a fairly impressive $134 million at the box office, placing it in the number one spot for a time.
5 Disturbia (2007)
Shia LaBeouf has had an interesting and at times turbulent career. From his time as a child star, the Transformers franchise, and most recently becoming a director and writer, many people forgot about the mystery thriller, Disturbia.
The film follows Kale, under house arrest, as he investigates his neighbor who he suspects to be a serial killer on the run from the police. The movie received mixed reviews, but it still managed to turn a hefty profit at the box office. Still, the film was largely forgotten in the years that followed. Although well-received and managing a box office haul of $118 million, the movie it’s far from LaBeouf’s best role.
4 Race To Witch Mountain (2009)
It’s hard to imagine any Dwayne Johnson movie being forgotten given the amount of box office success the actor has had in recent years. However, Race To Witch Mountain only achieved a 52% on Metacritic.
A remake of the 1975 film, Escape to Witch Mountain, the film didn’t quite impress the young audience it was aiming for, nor did it appeal to fans of the book series or sci-fi fans in general. It did manage to spend a week on top of the box office, though, before being dethroned.
3 Safe House (2012)
A movie starring both Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington sounds like the kind of thing that would get tons of attention, but in 2012, Reynolds was still finding his footing as a Hollywood star.
Despite debuting at number one, the movie was not particularly bad but only managed to receive average reviews from critics. With a twist that seemed slightly unnecessary, Safe House feels more like an action thriller than the nuanced spy drama genre it seemed to be going for. Still, the film is by no means bad and Denzel Washington is brilliant, as always.
2 The Magnificent 7 (2016)
Some movies simply can’t handle the star power attached to the project, such was the case as the disappointing Magnificent 7 remake. Starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio, the movie was a box office bomb despite spending a week in the top spot.
Despite its phenomenal source material and impressive cast, the movie was never able to impress critics, and ultimately failed to live up to expectations for many viewers.
1 Non-Stop (2014)
Action movies, in general, seem to get fans in the theatres, but they often fail to make a lasting impact. Like other action-thrillers, Non-Stop managed to debut at the #1 spot and pull in a whopping $222.8 million, even with reviews that range from middling to poor.
The movie stars Liam Neeson as a bored air marshall that is suddenly flung into action after passengers start ending up dead in the middle of a flight. Liam Neeson has been in some memorable movies over the years, but for most viewers, this isn’t one of them.