MOVIES

Animated Box Office Bombs That Are Actually Worth Watching

It didn’t take long for “The Iron Giant” to be deemed a historic box office flop. Just a few weeks into its theatrical run in August 1999, former president of production at Warner Bros. Lorenzo Di Bonaventura used “The Iron Giant” as an example of the financial risks studios take in making “smarter” motion pictures aimed at families. Making a dismal $31.3 million worldwide on a $50 million budget, the feature-length directorial debut of Brad Bird just didn’t resonate with audiences initially. Of course, it’s now common knowledge that this box office run did not reflect the overall quality of “The Iron Giant.” In fact, “The Iron Giant” has endured over the decades for a reason: it’s a truly special motion picture.

Right away, major critics back in 1999 recognized that “The Iron Giant” was sophisticated, emotionally powerful storytelling that anyone could enjoy. In the years that followed, the film’s critical profile has only increased, thanks to Bird going on to helm a slew of beloved Pixar titles like “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille.” Decades after its release, outlets like The Los Angeles Times and Fatherly celebrated the feature for not just paving the way for Bird’s career, but also opening up new narrative areas for American animated movies to explore. Thanks to its lasting influence on animated cinema, “The Iron Giant” has become well-known for far more than its box office shortcomings.

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