It would be great if it didn’t matter how well a movie did in theaters; if films were judged purely by how much they moved or entertained people and not by how many tickets or Blu-rays or streaming subscriptions they sold.

But we don’t live in that kind of world. In our world, it does matter. The monetary success of movies is everything in Hollywood. It determines who gets to keep making films — and, perhaps even more importantly, who doesn’t get to keep making them. It determines what those projects look like, and who gets to appear in them, and which ideas get recycled over and over again. (Who‘s ready for several years of pictures about iconic children’s toys coming to life and having existential crises? Woo!)

As a result of all that, if a film flops in theaters it often gets labeled a “failure.” But we all know that financial failure is not the same as creative failure. Yes, sometimes a film bombs for good reason. (Looking at you, The Marvels.) Sometimes, though, a box-office disappointment is out of the artist’s control. Maybe the timing wasn’t right. Maybe the film’s star became embroiled in scandal right before opening weekend. Maybe there’s two simultaneous Hollywood strikes and no one can promote their work. A million things determine a movie’s success, and the actual

So let’s celebrate a few of the best movies that weren’t hits in 2023 for one reason or another. Rather than list them by the size (or lack of size) of their box-office grosses, or by their reported budgets, I decided to rank them according to how successful they were regardless of monetary concerns, with #10 being less enjoyable and the movies towards including a few that appeared on my top 20 films of 2023. That seemed more appropriate for this subject,

The Best Box Office Flops of 2023

These movies weren’t hits — but that doesn’t mean they were bad.

Gallery Credit: Matt Singer

READ MORE: The Best Movie Posters of 2023

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The 10 Most Underrated Films of 2023

From underseen to unloved, these are the movies from 2023 that deserve another chance.

Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky