T Nation

Sleeper Hits

Sleeper hits - Movies that were not huge at the box office but were really good anyway and often create loyal fans. What are the best of the last couple of years? I vote for Brotherhood of the Wolf. Cast your vote!

Reign of Fire … the more I thought about it, the better it was. The Star Wars bit was priceless. The biology was okay - maybe - if the original male was capable of changing its sex. Then again, I really love monster movies (LOVED Godzilla). Yeah, I’m loyal to RoF. But, wow! was that a body transformation (and I’m not talking mr. Bale)

donnie darko. if you havn’t seen it, go rent or buy it, it kicks ass.

Boondock Saints

“And shepards we will be…”

TEK: dude, I can name a LIST of movies that were “sleepers”. “Galaxy Quest”, “Heathers”, “Sid and Nancy”, “Repo Man”, “Near Dark”, - shall I go on? Another one? “The Secret of Roan Inish” or any of John Sayles’ movies.

“Momento” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

“FINDING FORRESTER” is a - “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear
story!” It stars Sean Connery, who portrays a crusty, reclusive literary icon, William
Forrester. Newcomer, Robert Brown, has a profound impact in the role of Jamal Wallace.
Jamal, a prodigy desperately in need of a mentor, is a black youth hoping to escape the
ghetto, with his pen. Fate brings the two together in a beautiful story about friendship
and the breaking down of barriers! Other noted appearences are by Busta Rhymes and
Anna Paquin .

A must see for anyone with a love for journalism... or a soul! I give it the highest honor of five Z. Z. Z. Z. Z.'s !

whipped. it was one of the funniest movies ive ever seen

I gotta give a bump for Boondock Saints!!

Highlander, of course. Talk about a cult following. That’s one of the biggest sleepers I can think of.

Titanic and Ben Hur are my favorite sleeper hits. No one seemed to pay much attention to them but they were decent movies.

The Big Lebowski.

I agree with Ross with Donni Darko. Also Things to do in Denver when your dead, Happiness, Being John Malkovich…wait a minute, almost all of my favorite movies fit into this categorie.

Grosse Pointe Blank.

hey man im glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed those movies. i hear hawaii allows same sex marriages, so you might want to check there.

I know your real name, JC. The truth is: I find you attractive. I was hoping to stir you up. Thanks for the response, honey.

This is a great thread! It’s always been a stange thing to me when something was “so-so” at the Box Office, but took off in the hearts and minds of movie-goers much later on. Just some that come to mind:
“Blade Runner”


“Beetle Juice”


“Highlander”


Don’t forget “The Wizard of Oz”. It has to go down as the biggest. (1939 was a HECK of a movie year!)Anyway…it’s original Box Office was “okay”, but it’s yearly release year’s later made it popular BEYOND BELIEF!I don’t know who in their wisdom decided to make it only a yearly release…but they were BRILLIANT!


“A Christmas Story”; TERRIBLE numbers at the Box Office. But can you guys think of going through a Christmas Eve or Day without seeing it on the Turner Networks, or playing it in the background? Just one of those cosy, feel-good movies that has become a classic AFTER it’s original release.


“It’s A Wonderful Life”: Terrible original Box-Office. HUGE afterwards with the benefit of limited yearly release.


“Lil’ Shop of Horrors”: "FEEEED me, Seymour! Great on Broadway…okay at the Box-Office. Huge afterwards!..


There are many more! I just have to think about them!

Sorry, TEK…you asked for the last couple of years! I have to give that one a little more thought. It sometimes takes a little longer for a movie to become a “sleeper hit” or “cult classic”.


I agree with “Brotherhood of the Wolf”. Two more will probably be “Sleepy Hollow” (with Johnny Depp) and “From Hell” (the adaptation of the story of Jack the Ripper), AGAIN with Johnny Depp!.


They all just have that “Cult Classic” feel about them, wherein the Box Office was disappointing… I see all three as being the type that people will sit around and watch at their Halloween Parties!!! Cool stuff!

Yeah! Grosse Point Blank, one of my all time favorites! Nobody I know has even heard of it. Funny as hell!

Most of the movies I see here aren’t sleeper hits at all. I’m sure there’s varied definitions for what a sleeper could be considered: sleeper while still in theatres, after dvd release, etc. I think the most popular ones would be Sixth Sense and Shawshank. Sixth Sense started out slow, (debuting in 8th place if i’m not mistaken) and then built by word of mouth. Shawshank never did well in theatres but later found a following after the Oscars and on VHS.