6 Recent Movies That Flopped At The Box Office But Ruled At Rotten Tomatoes


 Annapurna Pictures

2019 has been full of lousy movies with box-office performances that reflect their poor Rotten Tomatoes critic scores, a few of which have come to theaters in the last few weeks.

But there have also been some great movies that have failed to attract large audiences, including the teen comedy “Booksmart.” It’s one of the best reviewed movies of the year, with a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score, but it’s a box-office misfire.

The latest example is Mindy Kaling’s “Late Night,” which Amazon Studios bought earlier this year from the Sundance Film Festival for $13 million. It opened over the weekend with $5 million. It’s not an impressive debut, but as Box Office Mojo pointed out, “it should have a long life on Amazon’s Prime Video platform.”

Some industry speculation pointed to marketing, lack of star power, or release strategy being potential reasons for “Booksmart’s” failure at the box office. Others posited that comedies like it and “Late Night” could be more popular on streaming services. Comedies generally aren’t as successful at the box office as they once were, while Netflix has filled some of that void with movies like the recent viral rom-com, “Always Be My Maybe.”

But it wasn’t just comedies.

Earlier this year, “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” disappointed compared to its 2014 predecessor, “The LEGO Movie.” The sequel opened in February with half of what the first movie made in its opening weekend, and grossed just $191 million worldwide compared to the first movie’s $469 million.

Below are six movies with Rotten Tomatoes scores above 80% that flopped at the box office this year (based on numbers from IMDb Pro).

“Late Night”

Amazon Studios

Release date: May 24

Domestic gross: $5.4 million (so far)

Worldwide gross: $6 million (so far)

Production budget: N/A

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 80%

What critics said: “Heightened by an impressive performance from Thompson, it’s a fun movie that tackles a variety of issues, including sexism in the workplace, with panache.” — Chicago Reader

“Long Shot”


Release date: May 3

Domestic gross: $30.2 million

Worldwide gross: $43.7 million

Production budget: $40 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 81%

What critics said: “It’s funny, uproariously so at times, and funny forgives a lot.” — Detroit News

“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part”

Warner Bros.

Release date: February 8

Domestic gross: $105.8 million

Worldwide gross: $191.1 million

Production budget: $100 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 85%

What critics said: “If you’re willing to let the quantum mechanics slide, you’ll have a pretty awesome time.” — Time Out

“The Kid Who Would Be King”


Release date: January 25

Domestic gross: $16.8 million

Worldwide gross: $32.1 million

Production budget: $60 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 89%

What critics said: “If you factor in the movie’s faith in the kindness of children and its eventual optimism about the future, it becomes, in essence, a healing myth for the ills of contemporary Britain. With or without a deal.” — Times

“Fighting With My Family”


Release date: February 22

Domestic gross: $23 million

Worldwide gross: $39.1 million

Production budget: N/A

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

What critics said: “Though it’s set in the world of wrestling, ‘Fighting With My Family’ can be understood by anyone who has ever wanted anything intensely, which is everybody.” — San Francisco Chronicle



Annapurna Pictures

Release date: May 24Domestic gross: $19.7 millionWorldwide gross: $19.9 millionProduction budget: N/ARotten Tomatoes critic score: 97%What critics said: “Booksmart is a teen sex romp well suited for the summer of 2019: feminist but not preachy, raunchy but not nasty, emotionally intelligent but not sentimental.” — Slate

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