Since this is our inaugural year for The Vikies, we're taking a more in-depth look at each category and nominee to help give you some context for the awards.
Every year there are a number of high profile box office disappointments, and almost without fail, a handful of them turn out to be great movies that audiences unfairly ignored. Here are five of the best "box office bombs" that didn't deserve to be saddled with such a title.
When my pre-ordered copy of this film arrived this weekend, I couldn't wait to throw it on again and see the film in 3D since it was no longer showing in 3D when I finally got around to seeing this on Christmas Eve. Within five minutes, I was once again floored by the apathy with which this film was greeted in its original theatrical release. While certainly not Pixar's best effort, even within the calendar year, The Good Dinosaur is marred by pacing problems and an episodic plot that is more often hindrance than help, but this film has one of the softest cores in a Pixar film since Monsters, Inc. and I feel that time will be very very kind to this beautiful little film.
While none of Aardman's movies have ever set the North American box office ablaze, I was particularly disheartened that this film was quietly dropped into theaters in the box office doldrums of August. A lively, quick adventure that could be equally enjoyed by people from 4-104, this charming film was ignored by audiences who would have rather taken the kids to see Minions or Inside Out again than try something new. Aardman always offers something different and unique, and this film was no exception. It honestly just came out at a bad time, because it's as close to perfect as any film got this year.
At a time where cynicism reigns supreme, especially in the multiplex, Tomorrowland was a breath of fresh optimistic air it seemed no one had the patience for in late May. While the advertising campaign was purposefully cagey, Brad Bird is on the shortlist of directors for whom I think a little leeway goes a long way. While the film wasn't an unqualified success and suffered from the same third act problems that plague everything co-writer Damon Lindelof touches, it was a great film for pre-teens and their parents, particularly parents raised on The Wonderful World of Disney and other boldly optimistic experiments of the 1950s. The film has its fair share of problems, but offering hope and solutions in a time when no one seems to want to isn't one of them.
Decent thrillers are harder and harder to come by these days, and though The Gift was certainly one of them, it's more famous for being another victim of a terrible late summer release date. The directorial debut of Joel Edgerton wonderfully toys with its characters, and in turn the audience, making for an above average potboiler. While it's not one of the year's best, by any stretch of the imagination, it's a chilling and fun film that somehow manages to stick the landing despite everything seeming to conspire against such a feat. Add in a career best dramatic performance from Jason Bateman, and you've got one of last year's most overlooked films.
What We Do in the Shadows
If narrow audience appeal has been a prominent theme on this list, Thor: Ragnarok & Hunt for the Wilderpeople director Taika Waititi's vampire mockumentary might have the narrowest appeal of them all. This Kiwi comedy features Flight of the Conchords star Jemaine Clement, along with Waititi, Jonny Brugh, and Ben Fransham play undead flatmates struggling to survive in a world that's no longer kind to immortals. Their macho posturing and fits of insane violence provide some of the biggest laughs in the film, but more than anything else, it's nice to have a mockumentarian not named Christopher Guest turn out an hysterical entry in the genre.
Click here to see the full list of nominees and check back later this week as we dig into our Best Movie category before presenting the winners this Friday, February 26!