It was a great year for movies — but it wasn’t necessarily a great year for movie theaters. There were some bright spots amidst the summer movie season, but there were also very lean periods where the major studios’ output slowed to a trickle, and the films that did get released failed to connect with audiences. While things were greatly improved from 2020 and 2021, if you compared 2022’s yearly box-office total ($7.1 billion as of this writing) compared to any pre-pandemic year — like 2019 and its $11.3 billion — it’s clear that theaters’ financial recovery still has a long way to go.

The blame doesn’t fall completely on distributors, though. Plenty of outstanding 2022 films — including some of the year’s very best titles — struggled to sell tickets. Whether that’s because of the lingering effects of the pandemic, audiences’ increasing preference for streaming content, poor marketing, or a combination of all of the above, 2022 had more than its share of undeserving box-office flops.

Hopefully this list can go some small way toward correcting that. The ten motion pictures that follow all struggled in theaters relative to their budgets or expectations. (They’re listed from highest-grossing movie to the smallest, which didn’t even clear $20,000 in theatrical release.) Some are still playing in multiplexes and arthouses, and many of the others are already available at home for streaming or rental. Wherever or however you prefer top watch them, they’re very much worth your time. And hopefully movie theaters have such a great next year that this list isn’t even possible in 2023.

2022 Flops That Deserved Better at the Box Office

These 2022 movies were not blockbusters — but they deserve to be seen by much wider audiences. But it’s not too late to change that.

The Worst Movies of 2022

ScreenCrush’s picks for the 10 worst films released in 2022. Watch them at your own risk.

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