Box office: Ten obscure films of 2014 you never heard of (windows poster edition)


When researching the U.S. box office for 2014,
I came across an interesting trend.  Many obscure films have posters using windows as a theme.  Scouring films with domestic box office rank of 201 through 300 (boxofficemojo.com), here is a list of 10 obscure films of 2014 you never heard of with actors you have.

203. Repentance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Forrest Whitaker
Financials: $1.1 million domestic take.
Production budget estimated at $5 million.
Public reaction: 4.8 on imdb.com
Widest release: 157 theaters

A horror/thriller, the poster suggests personal tension and many possible culprits or clashing personality.  The dreary backdrop is something the other four will have in common.  A February opening, Repentance closed four weeks later.

229. Ek Villain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Sidharth Malhotra
Financials: $730K domestic take.
Production budget unknown.
Public reaction: 6.4 on imdb.com
Widest release: 104 theaters

Ek Villain is a multi-genre production from India.  IMdB plot summarizes the film’s lead as someone between the lines of good and evil.  The poster suggests a man with a split personality and a woman in danger or limbo.  Notice the smiley face button.  Its release lasted two weeks after a June opening.

236. Frankie & Alice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Halle Berry
Financials: $695K domestic take.
Production budget unknown.
Public reaction: 6.5 on imdb.com
Widest release: 171 theaters

Halle Berry stars as a dancer with multiple personality disorder.  Much like Ek Villian, the poster showcases a subject split up with different windows.  The African-American Film Critics Association awarded her Best Actress for her performance.   While imdb.com score is somewhat favorable, Rotten Tomatoes grade is 21%.  An April release, it closed four weeks later.

243. The Signal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Laurence Fishburne
Financials: $610K domestic take.
Production budget unknown.
Public reaction: 6.1 on imdb.com
Widest release: 204 theaters

An obscure science fiction film that opened in June and closed four weeks later.  While the movie may be ahead of its time, the poster is extremely clever with mirrored panels.  It represents inescapable repetition and blunt truth.  The mirror does not lie.

260. Beijing Love Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Sicheng Chen
Financials: $428K domestic take.
Production budget unknown.
Public reaction: 5.8 on imdb.com
Widest release: 12 theaters

A romantic drama from China, the poster employs the common poster technique when there are multiple love stories to tell.  See Love Actually (2003).  While not screened more than 12 theaters, it officially stayed open for 6 weeks after a February opening.

267. Women Who Flirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Xun Zhou
Financials: $375K domestic take.
Production budget unknown.
Public reaction: 5.9 on imdb.com
Widest release: 27 theaters

Another Chinese production that opened on Thanksgiving week in 2014 and remained open until January the following year.  The poster uses windows but has haphazard tones between rows.

275. Chinese Puzzle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Romain Duris
Financials: $338K domestic take.
Production budget unknown.
Public reaction: 7.0 on imdb.com
Widest release: 29 theaters

Don’t be fooled by the title, its a French production set in New York.  The poster boasts its stars, an urban setting, and Blokus pieces.  A May release, it hung on for 2 months competing against The Hunger Games and super-hero movies.  The poster really is quite bland and I’m guessing it’s one of those films you have to listen to the dialog.

291. The Last of Robin Hood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Dakota Fanning, Susan Sarandon
Financials: $288K domestic take.
Production budget unknown.
Public reaction: 5.7 on imdb.com
Widest release: 78 theaters

An independent, rated-R filn about Errol Flynn.  A late August release, it lasted three weeks.  The poster is clever with its use of arrows.  Unfortunately, its more persuasive when people know and care who Errol Flynn was and realize he defined Robin Hood.

299. The Love Punch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Emma Thompson, Pierce Bronson
Financials: $266K domestic take.
Production budget unknown.
Public reaction: 5.7 on imdb.com
Widest release: 121 theaters

Emma Thompson and and Pierce Bronson are anything but unknown.  Each take an egotistic one-third of the poster separated by images inspiring serenity and wealth.  As the characters are a divorced couple, the separated space between them is deliberate (and a poster theme not yet discussed).  With questionable decision to release on Memorial Day weekend, the apex of summer blockbusters, The Love Punch screened for one month before disappearing.

300. Life of Crime

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Jennifer Aniston
Financials: $104K domestic take.
Production budget estimated at $12M.
Public reaction: 5.8 on imdb.com
Widest release: 37 theaters

How could we finish the list without a Jennifer Aniston comedy?  Like many of her other films, she is posted high and center in a film for the like of me don’t understand why it was made.  Released in late August, it closed a month later, and had zero box office internationally.  Why would they make a film screened in only 37 theaters?  The cost to make the posters had to be more than the movie’s revenue.


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