Many superhero films, including those from major brands like Marvel and DC, have underperformed at the box office for various reasons. Some of these films, like Mystery Men and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, have developed a cult following despite their initial lack of success. Films like Birds of Prey and The Suicide Squad faced challenges such as poor marketing and release timing, but still offer entertaining and unique takes on the superhero genre.

While superhero films typically perform well at the box office, many from Marvel, DC, and other brands have underperformed. Whether audiences didn’t recognize the character or poor reviews led to people losing interest, several superhero flicks have flopped at the box office. However, many films within the genre that didn’t make a lot of money received praise from both audiences and critics. Many of these films developed a following later, but that didn’t stop them from being box office flops upon initial release.

Some of these films centered around lesser-known comic book characters and didn’t interest audiences unfamiliar with them. Others came from major studios such as Marvel and DC but still didn’t attract many viewers for various reasons. Either way, there are many fantastic superhero movies that didn’t receive the attention they deserved when they premiered. Here are the 11 best superhero movies that nobody saw.


10 Best Superhero Movies Of All Time

From multiple Batmans to Spider-Man, multiverses and time travel, here’s our rundown of the best superhero movies ever.

Mystery Men May Have Done Better After The Superhero Movie Boom

Mystery Men is a unique superhero comedy film that starred hilarious actors like Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, William H. Macy, Paul Reubens, Janeane Garofalo, and Geoffrey Rush. While the cast is excellent, the premise and plot were too bizarre for many viewers, and it received mixed reviews from audiences and critics, leading to it flopping at the box office. However, the film has become a cult classic, with many appreciating it for its zany and distinct take on the superhero genre. It’s a funny film, but also a refreshing take on a genre that often plays it safe.

9 Hellboy II: The Golden Army Arguably Out-Did Its Predecessor

The Hellboy Reboot Lacked The Original Series’ Charm

The Hellboy series starring Ron Perlman was helmed by Guillermo Del Toro, who delivered two phenomenal fantasy epics that gave comic book readers the Hellboy they had always wanted to see. While Hellboy: The Golden Army performed well on its opening weekend, it was overshadowed by The Dark Knight, which debuted the following week. The Golden Army received praise from critics and audiences, but it didn’t fully deliver for the studio, and a third film was never made. It’s unfortunate Del Toro never got to conclude the trilogy to follow up this creative sequel.

8 Birds of Prey Was Underseen Despite Starring Harley Quinn

Birds Of Prey Was Robbie’s Second Appearance As Harley Quinn Following Suicide Squad

Birds of Prey is a film that fell victim to poor timing and poor marketing. While the film starred Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, DC couldn’t decide to advertise whether this was a Harley Quinn movie or a Birds of Prey one, leading to confusion. While it didn’t have the best opening, it was also impacted by COVID-19, which shut down theaters a month after its release. Still, Birds of Prey is an entertaining film that features some of the DCEU’s best action sequences and a darkly comedic villain in Ewan McGregor as Black Mask. It’s worth checking out, especially for viewers who love Robbie’s portrayal of Quinn.

7 Darkman Is Sam Raimi’s Original Superhero

Raimi Went On To DIrect Three Spider-Man Movies And Doctor Strange 2

Darkman is a wholly original creation by director and writer Sam Raimi. The film stars Liam Neeson as Dr. Peyton Westlake, a man who develops superhuman abilities after a treatment gone wrong leaves him disfigured and subject to violent tendencies. It’s an intriguing take on superheroes, as Darkman’s obsession with vengeance makes his methods morally questionable. While it was financially successful, it wasn’t a massive hit, and many are still discovering it today.

6 The Rocketeer Is The Right Level Of Cheese

The Rocketeer Was One Of A Few Disney Superhero Movies Before They Bought Marvel

Based on the comic book of the same name, The Rocketeer was released by Disney in 1991. The film had disappointing results at the box office and received mixed reviews from critics. However, the film has received a cult following over the years, as many appreciate the charming, somewhat cheesy, but also energetic atmosphere that this film evokes. It includes great performances from Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, and Alan Arkin, along with a phenomenal James Horner score. It’s a film that’s buried in the Disney vault, but it deserves to be sought out.

5 Watchmen Faithfully Adapted Difficult Source Material

Watchmen Was Helmed By Zack Snyder Before He Started The DCEU

Watchmen (Director’s Cut)

Based on the beloved comic book by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen was met with mixed reactions when it first premiered in 2009. While it contains many Zack Snyder-isms that can divide an audience, Watchmen is still a faithful adaptation that delivers on the action and provocative themes that made the series so intriguing. Still, the adaptation has found its fanbase since then, especially among comic book readers and Snyder supporters, but that didn’t help it from underperforming at the box office.

4 Chronicle Mixed Superheroes With Found Footage

Dane DeHaan And Michael B. Jordan Would Both Go On To Star In Marvel Movies

Chronicle is a fascinating superhero film that took advantage of the found-footage boom. The film stars Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, and Michael B. Jordan as friends who develop superpowers after being exposed to a mysterious object. Chronicle is one of the unique superhero films within the genre, featuring phenomenal performances and a genuinely captivating story that becomes more disturbing as the trio discovers more about their powers. The film performed well at the box office against a small budget, but it still deserved a larger audience.

3 Sky High Is An Engaging Take On A Superhero School

Kurt Russel Later Starred In Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

While Gen V was a brutal yet thought-provoking spinoff of The Boys, one could argue it took inspiration from Sky High, which introduced viewers to a superhero high school in 2005. Disney’s Sky High is a hilarious and endearing story about a group of outcasts trying to fit in at a high school where everyone has superpowers. Some are destined to be great heroes, while others are deemed sidekicks. While this film is beloved by the generation that grew up with it, it initially didn’t land a huge audience, grossing $86.4 against a $35 million budget.

2 Dredd Succeeded By Keeping The Story Simple

Carl Urban Went On To Star In The Superhero Series The Boys

It’s truly unfortunate that Dredd flopped at the box office. Set in a dystopian future where police act as judge, jury, and executioner, the film follows Karl Urban’s Dredd and a young officer as they ascend through a building to take down a dangerous drug kingpin. It’s an R-rated flick that contains some hardcore gore and phenomenal action, along with one of Urban’s best performances. Dredd now has a passionate following, but it only grossed around $41 million. Perhaps not enough people knew about the character, or they still had Sylvester Stallone’s Judge Dredd lingering in their minds.

1 The Suicide Squad

Some Suicide Squad Characters Will Return In The New DCU

The Suicide Squad is one of the best films in the DCEU, but it got the short end of the stick upon its release. Directed by James Gunn, this sequel received significantly better reviews from critics and audiences but made substantially less money. The film is hilarious and filled with great action sequences, but it also has a surprising amount of heart, making viewers sympathize with a giant talking shark. There are a few reasons why The Suicide Squad flopped, including the fact that Warner Bros. released it in theaters and on HBO Max on the same day. However, it still deserved more love, especially from its own studio.

 These superhero films deserved to do better.  Read More