With the popularity of streaming platforms growing like never before, there is plenty of new content each week. It can be difficult to keep up with all the new releases, which makes the audience’s rediscovery of older works all the more impressive and interesting.
From 1990s comedies to more modern box office busts, streaming audiences are getting the chance to give underrated films another shot at glory. Whether it’s parents introducing their children to favorites from their own childhoods, or people reintroducing themselves to their childhood favorites for the sake of nostalgia, either way, films that fell off the radar are now back.
10 Major Payne (1995)
A couple of old favorites saw their popularity resurge on Netflix in late August 2021, according to What’s on Netflix. Major Payne (1995) sat at number four for the entire month, and it is also one of several overlooked movies to stream on Peacock.
Damon Wayans stars as the titular, gold-toothed Marine. After being discharged from the service, he takes on a mentorship role for a group of bickering, unfocused young cadets. Critics, at the time, noted the film’s predictability for adults but acknowledged its appeal to children. Perhaps children of a new generation are either discovering or being introduced to it.
9 Doctor Sleep (2019)
Doctor Sleep met critical acclaim back in 2019, but not much in the way of fanfare or box-office results. This was odd, considering its release was right in the middle of Stephen King’s cinematic renaissance (the other side of the coin was perhaps this being the very problem, with Pet Sematary and It: Chapter 2 releasing the same year).
When it hit HBO Max in 2020, though, the slow-burn companion piece to The Shining is generating a legion of well-deserved fans, as evidenced by a number of Twitter threads celebrating the film.
8 Real Steel (2011)
Real Steel was a modest hit back in 2011, but it’s finding even more fans on Netflix, where it was recently in the streaming service’s Top 10. Shawn Levy’s (Free Guy) involvement could be a factor, or audiences could be drawn to Real Steel for the same reason they’re drawn to Free Guy: an original story.
Among those thrilled about Real Steel‘s popularity resurgence is none other than its leading star, Hugh Jackman. After so much time dealing with a COVID world, audiences are understandably looking to have their hearts warmed, and a father-son bonding adventure with robots is a way to get that fill that need.
7 Four Brothers (2005)
Mark Wahlberg’s 2005 actioner, Four Brothers, found itself near the top of Hulu’s worldwide list in July 2021. The gritty, underrated Wahlberg revenge film also features The Fast & The Furious franchise’s Tyrese Gibson as well as Andre Benjamin.
According to Giantfreakingrobot, it reached the number two position in terms of worldwide Hulu viewership, second only to Melissa McCarthy’s Identity Thief. It’s nice for fans of one of Mark Wahlberg’s best movies to see it rise in the ranks.
6 The Lorax (2012)
2012’s Dr. Seuss animated adaptation, The Lorax, fared well in theatres, but it hasn’t gone on to have the perennial love received by Despicable Me (certainly Illumination’s most successful franchise).
However, according to Forbes, there is still love for it on Netflix. When their piece was written, The Lorax had been performing exceptionally for three weeks. This is impressive considering the fact that Netflix has animated/kid-friendly content all its own, and also because The Lorax had been out for eight years.
5 Black Hawk Down (2001)
Ridley Scott’s intense and intimate portrayal of the U.S. military’s 1993 Mogadishu raid has gone on to see a resurgence in its popularity.
According to WeGotThisCovered, Black Hawk Down saw a recent bump in its viewership courtesy of iTunes, where it was in the Top 10 back in March 2021. Ridley Scott’s war film was liked upon its release and has always had a mostly positive reception, but a Top 10 spot on iTunes is still impressive.
4 The New Mutants (2020)
Back in November of 2020, troubled production The New Mutants finally found some love on streaming. Its theatrical release was a bust (at least partially due to the coronavirus) but there is an audience out there for it.
On its first weekend of streaming, it topped both FandangoNOW and Vudu’s charts, according to MovieWeb. This applies both in terms of rentals as well as overall revenue. Furthermore, the film has had the chance to build a further audience ever since its HBO Max release in April of 2021.
3 Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Few would argue that Spider-Man 3 was a box office juggernaut back in the summer of 2007 (another summer 2007 movie, Knocked Up, went so far as to have a Spider-Man 3 subplot).
Even fewer would argue that Spider-Man 3 was nothing if not divisive. However, it’s currently experiencing a surge of popularity on HBO Max, according to WeGotThisCovered. This surge is most likely due to the release of the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer. With at least a few cameo appearances from Raimi’s trilogy in that upcoming film, fans are digging into Spidey’s back catalog.
2 Daddy’s Home (2015)
Another Wahlberg movie, Daddy’s Home is currently finding a new lease on life courtesy of streaming, according to TheToysMatrix. The film was a big enough hit in theatres to warrant a sequel, but it has not held positive critic reviews over the years.
As recently as August of this year, Daddy’s Home was on Paramount+’s Top 10 list of streamers for the month. While it remains to be seen if the slightly lighter-toned sequel will find the same success, it appears the original is again finding an audience. Plus, considering Daddy’s Home 2 features one of John Cena’s strangest movie roles, further success seems likely.
1 The Losers (2010)
The Losers didn’t perform especially well at the box office back in April of 2010, according to BoxOfficeMojo. It was a fairly packed month, which also included the releases of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Clash of the Titans, and a fellow comics adaptation, Kick-Ass.
In what felt like a summer movie month just before the summer movie season, one title was bound to be cannibalized. However, in August of this year, The Losers found itself as the sixth most-watched movie on Netflix, according to BusinessInsider. A big bump, at least partially due to its cast. Many stars who were about to blow up were featured, including Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Chris Evans (one year shy of the MCU).