10 streaming exclusives that could have been box office hits if they had hit theaters

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After a series of disappointing sequels, the hellraiser The franchise is finally getting a new lease on life, as a female Pinhead reboot is set to release later this year. The movie will be released exclusively on Hulu, but 20th Century Studios might be leaving money on the table as it could have been a box office hit, especially since horror movies tend to do well with their small budgets.


Since streaming services are now developing so many of their own movies, a number of them could have made massive box office numbers. Between several blockbuster $200 million action films, a comedy made in secret about the pandemic, and a psychological horror that was memorized to death, these films would have made billions in total.

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The Gray Man (2022)

It’s no secret that a good quality movie doesn’t necessarily guarantee box office success. The Netflix Original Movie The gray man did not receive the best reviews, as it was considered by some to be one of the ugliest and worst-written action films in recent memory.

But whatever its reception, The gray man was still so popular that The gray man 2 has already been enlightened. With a huge, top-notch cast led by two of Hollywood’s most bankable stars and a globetrotting story full of bombshell and destruction, it’s a popcorn movie that could have easily made hundreds of millions. of dollars.

Borat Next Movie (2020)

In many ways, Borat Next Movie was literally a product of its time, as it was shot during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was an important part of the movie. And he also took advantage of the fact that it was an exclusive version of Amazon Prime Video, since most cinemas were still closed. However, even though not everyone liked Borate 2the film could have been a massive box office hit, either by being delayed until multiplexes fully reopened, or by simply still being released in theaters in 2020.

The film is the sequel to one of the most popular, memorable and iconic comedies of the 21st century. And the sequel’s controversial topics and interviews were reportedly the subject of so much word of mouth that there’s no way the film failed. It would have been hilarious and ironic if Borat Next Movie was the release that saved movie theaters.

The Irishman (2019)

2019 The Irishman is director Martin Scorsese’s late-career masterpiece, and it brings to mind his gangster classics like Freedmen and Casino. While young audiences wouldn’t care until Joe Pesci came out of retirement for the film and reunited Pesci, Scorsese and Robert De Niro, this trio is enough to attract older fans who no longer visit theaters. . multiplex.

As Top Gun: Maverick appealed to an older audience and achieved phenomenal success, The Irishman could have done the same. And even though it’s one of the longest films of the 21st century at 3 hours and 20 minutes, The Batman proved that audiences love sprawling three-hour epics.

Klaus (2019)

by Netflix Klaus has an unusual and unique art style, as it is by no means a conventional-looking animated film. However, many animated films that didn’t play it safe and had unique art directions have always been hugely popular. movies like Coraline and isle of dogs found a large audience, and Klaus could have done the same.

The film was said to have been particularly successful because the Netflix exclusive was so well received, as it has an incredible 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.1 on IMDb. But more than anything, the movie could have made waves at the box office because it’s Christmas-themed, and there hasn’t been a truly classic holiday movie released in years.

Prey (2022)

This year Prey is the latest success story in streaming-exclusive movies, as the Predator prequel was released on Hulu, and it became one of the most talked about movies of 2022. Not only do fans think it’s the best release since the first movie, but some even think Prey is better than the original movie.

The film doesn’t quite look like a box office hit, as its non-star cast and somewhat lackluster digital effects don’t give off an exciting blockbuster vibe. But the story is so well told and no other Predator the film is also suspenseful. And between the overwhelmingly positive reviews and word-of-mouth, the film would undoubtedly have been a big hit.

Soul (2020)

Light years performance is not a good sign that Soul would have performed well at the box office. The 2022 Pixar movie bombed at the box office, but there are several other reasons why, as people didn’t quite understand how it fit into the toy story universe. On top of that, potential audiences probably thought the movie would be put on Disney+ the same time it was released, as fans were conditioned to think Pixar movies had day-and-date releases.

The difference is that Soul is a really great Pixar movie, because it has deep and surprisingly mature themes about mortality and death, and it’s hugely entertaining. Since equally complex Pixar movies like Upside down made a whopping $858 million, there’s no reason why Soul couldn’t have done the same.

The Witches (2020)

While HBO is generally considered the gold standard of television, that’s not so much the case when it comes to its exclusive movies. There hasn’t been a single HBO Max movie to be a critical darling, but although The witches isn’t great, it still could have made hundreds of millions. The movie was originally supposed to hit theaters, but COVID threw a spanner in the works, and it was made available on the streamer instead.

The witches had an extremely limited release, but such a limited release is just another way to market the movie than to make money. The film is a remake of a cult classic, has the generally excellent presentation one expects from Warner Bros. and a starring role from the ever-bankable Anne Hathaway, so all signs point to it being a box office success.

Red Notice (2021)

Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson are two of the biggest working movie stars today, and just about anything Johnson stars will be a huge hit, good or bad. And bringing these actors together in an action-adventure movie can only mean a huge box office, even if the film wasn’t so well received.

So many Netflix subscribers must have tuned in, because Red Notice 2 is currently in development. As it was undoubtedly a financial hit for Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson’s liquor brands considering all of the product placements, the film could have been a financial hit for Netflix if it had been released in theaters as well.

Bird Box (2018)

In the 2010s, even though films becoming memes could be insulting to the cast and crew, it also meant they garnered more attention from audiences. A movie that becomes a meme could be the reason a movie ends up being a box office hit, and that’s definitely why. bird box was popular on Netflix for so long.

The image of Sandra Bullock blindfolded on a boat has been the subject of millions of jokes online, but the joke has also enticed social media users to watch the film. Movies typically have a 60-70% drop after their first week of release, but bird box would have had great staying power if it had been released in theaters, and that would be thanks to memes.

Don’t Look Up (2021)

How can a movie with such a large star cast not be a box office success? Don’t look up stars Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep and more. The film is so starry that Timothée Chalamet only plays a tertiary character. And between the cast and director Adam McKay, who is known for his impromptu shoots, it’s a heavenly match.

The movie got an extremely limited release, but again, that was just to promote the Netflix exclusive movie. But given that the streamer had clear success, a wide release followed by a release on the platform two months later could easily have been $500 million. It’s a move Netflix could have made for so many of its movies, but it continues to leave so much money on the table.

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