Underrated Action Movies That Flopped At The Box Office

Over 6.0K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Underrated Action Movies That Flopped At The Box Office
Voting Rules
Vote up the action movies that deserve a bigger audience.

The action genre is the gift that keeps on giving; however, we aren’t always appreciative of the treasures the deities such as Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Dudikoff share with their loyal worshippers. There are many underrated action movies that have slipped right under the radar, flopping at the box office and threatening to be forgotten as nothing more than yippee ki-yays in the void.

Hindsight isn’t 20/20, though; it’s a roundhouse kick to our sensibilities, waking us up from slumbers of indifference. It’s time to dig through the action film archives and pick out the diamonds in the rough. Don’t forget to vote on the flicks you think are dreadfully underrated and deserve more attention.

  • How Much It Cost: $19-25 million

    How Much It Made in the US: $11.1 million

    Big Trouble in Little China's greatest sin was releasing around the same time as James Cameron's Aliens. It might not be as famous as John Carpenter and Kurt Russell’s other team-ups, such as Escape from New York and The Thing, but the film features a scrumptious combo of martial arts madness and fantastical elements that’s stood the test of time and left the audience wanting more. Big Trouble in Little China has become a bona fide cult classic and a mandatory mention on every best action movies of the 1980s list. Equally important, its unique aesthetic and unmistakable tone inspired other films such as 1995’s Mortal Kombat and Thor: Ragnarok.

    3,765 votes

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  • How Much It Cost: $75 million

    How Much It Made in the US: $45.4 million

    As an adaptation of the 1960s TV show, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has an unremarkable name. It doesn’t exactly tell us what the film is about, which is one of the reasons the general audience gave it a skip upon release. It’s a shame, because the Guy Ritchie-directed spy movie, starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, electrifies with a stylized approach that’s categorically different from other espionage franchises such as James Bond and the Bourne films. Despite the forgettable title, this action-packed film more than proves Cavill has the license to thrill and should always be a contender to play 007.

    3,677 votes

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  • 3
    3,130 VOTES

    How Much It Cost: $85 million

    How Much It Made in the US: $47.7 million

    A Peter Berg-directed action comedy starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Seann William Scott, and Rosario Dawson? Take our money! Unfortunately, 2003’s The Rundown didn't. It arrived before Johnson laid the smackdown on Hollywood's A-list scene and not everything he touched turned to gold, so it went relatively unnoticed upon release despite the good reviews. The buddy comedy dynamic between Johnson and Scott deserves a revisit, though, as these two actors show off a natural chemistry that can’t be faked. Dare we say, it might be as strong as Johnson and Kevin Hart’s exchanges.

    3,130 votes

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  • 4
    2,065 VOTES
    Photo: Lionsgate

    How Much It Cost: $25 million

    How Much It Made in the US: $13.7 million

    Surprisingly, Warrior didn’t open against a major film in 2011, but it still failed to clean up at the box office. Considering how UFC had only started to crawl into the mainstream spotlight around then, Gavin O’Connor’s film was a picture well ahead of its time. That takes away nothing from its quality, though. It’s a sports drama bursting with heart and character, exploring the dynamics of brotherhood and the intensity of life in the octagon. It was never meant to be a blockbuster by design, but it holds all the action-packed moments and a decent story to boot as well.

    2,065 votes

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  • 5
    3,273 VOTES

    How Much It Cost: $50 million

    How Much It Made in the US: $13.4 million

    Judge Dredd is not a typical comic book series. There are no capes and cowls; instead, it’s an exploration about the dangers of police states and authoritarianism. Dredd - the second live-action adaptation of the Mega-City One judge, this time played by Karl Urban - embodies this message and flaunts it in a sci-fi film that’s the illegitimate love child of The Raid and RoboCop. Much like the comic book, it looks and feels different from everything else out there. Unfortunately, Dredd arrived in a year when audiences had just watched the record-breaking The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, so they both eclipsed this effort. Even so, Dredd still remains the best comic book film of 2012.

    3,273 votes

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  • 6
    1,957 VOTES

    How Much It Cost: $39 million

    How Much It Made in the US: $12.8 million

    Before John Wick and his mastery of everything with a barrel took over the screen, there was Shoot ‘Em Up. The action film explodes with a tantalizing taste of gun-fu, raining down a hailstorm of bullets and artful dodging in its breezy 86-minute running time. Despite an all-star cast featuring Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, and Monica Belluci, the film debuted on the same weekend as 3:10 to Yuma, which divided the box office and took some sheen off this action spectacle.

    1,957 votes

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