Top 10 Hit Movies That Were Initially Rejected by Studios

Misfire
They may have been huge successes, but it was only after these films got turned down and then again by movie studios. Despite all the rejections they received, the people behind these films still stuck with their own work until a studio finally picked up the project. Let's take a look at some of these brilliant films that have been rejected once, or even more than that, which just goes to show that regardless of how many “no’s” you'll receive, all it takes is a single “yes” that could send you on your way.

The Top Ten

1 Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Most studio executives failed to see the potential in George Lucas' concept for Star Wars. The screenplay George Lucas had written for Star Wars was said to not be so great at the time. It's understandable why they've turn it down, since during that time sci-fi movies were considered to be a huge risk, especially for a newcomer. After United Artists and Universal passed on the project, George Lucas eventually found a home for Star Wars at 20th Century Fox. However, the studio essentially invested in Lucas rather than the concept itself. - Misfire

Best movie ever made!

And it became one of the greatest and most influential movie franchises of all time. To this day the series is unsurpassed in pure awesomeness factor. I cannot wait for Episode IX to see how this new trilogy wraps up. LONG LIVE STAR WARS!

This series is amazing in my opinion - Pokemonfan10

I think that is true for most people, though there are def Star Wars haters out there - germshep24

2 Back to the Future

In the early '80s, Robert Zemeckis had a deal to write for Columbia Pictures. Everything was in line for a great film, until Columbia decided they wanted nothing to do with the project, as it was thought to be too family-friendly. Other studios couldn’t see the potential in it, either, and various drafts of the film were also rejected. Ironically, Disney turned it down as well, as they thought that the film was not family-friendly enough. Finally, Zemeckis and Gale tapped their friend Steven Spielberg to back the movie, after being turned down by studios over 40 times. - Misfire

Columbia made a mistake. But Back To The Future’s home definitely belongs at Universal. - RadioHead03

3 Pulp Fiction

English mofo do you speak it?! - HaloFanboy

Despite being a quick rising star in Hollywood at the time, Quentin Tarantino had his fair share of rejections with Pulp Fiction. If it wasn't for Harvey and Bob Weinstein, John Travolta’s comeback film probably would've never been made. TriStar originally optioned the film and was even in talks to produce it, but then declared, "This is the worst screenplay that this film company has ever been handed. This is awful. It’s not funny. It makes no sense. This guy’s dead, he’s alive. What’s going on? " - Misfire

4 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

Columbia Pictures had ordered a horror film, but when Spielberg got back from making Raiders of the Lost Ark, he set about turning his alien horror film into an alien kids' movie. Meanwhile, bosses at Columbia weren't impressed with Spielberg’s proposal, dismissing it as “a wimpy Walt Disney movie”, and allowed Universal to bid on the script instead. Part of the deal with Universal allowed Columbia to keep 5 percent of the net profits anyway, and the head of Columbia remarked that the small stake made the studio more money than any of the movies they released themselves that year. - Misfire

5 Raiders Of The Lost Ark

It wasn’t actually Lucas’ screenplay that lead to it being rejected by every major studio in Hollywood, but it was more on the fact that Lucas wanted to go big and asked for a $20 million budget, which is worth $75 million in today's dollars. Paramount eventually agreed to finance the film and it has become a huge success, and it is now widely considered by many to be one of the greatest action-adventure movies of all time. - Misfire

6 The Lion King

Disney were working on 2 movies at the time: The lion king and pocahontas. Disney thought Pocahontas was going to be iconic and the Lion King was expected to be a failiure, but that turned out to be the opposite

I didn't like this movie when it came out and I can see why the studio was s incontinent about it - myusernameisthis

Imagine if FOX animation made it - Maddox121

7 Home Alone

Production on Home Alone was assigned just $14 million, however, Chris Columbus wanted to expand the budget to $17 million. Warner didn't negotiate, and instead, they canceled the project just three weeks before production started and put the rights up for sale, which was then bought by Fox. - Misfire

8 Boogie Nights

The script for Boogie Nights was rejected by numerous studios. 20th Century Fox considered the concept and storyline "poor," while the characterization and dialogue was only considered to be "fair." Recommendation: “NO.” The rights to Boogie Nights was then eventually bought by New Line Cinema. - Misfire

9 Dumb and Dumber

Originally, agents wouldn't even look at the script because they thought the title alone was stupid. To generate some interest, The Farrelly brothers temporarily changed the name to "A Power Tool is Not a Toy", but even with a new, temporary name, many studios still rejected it. Finally, New Line Cinema took a chance on Dumb and Dumber, but even after the Farrelly brothers found a buyer, the studio's CEO said that they wouldn't finance the film unless the Farrellys could get two comedic actors from a list of 25 provided by the studio. They didn't, but the movie was made anyway. - Misfire

Such a great movie. - Stalin

10 The Exorcist

When author William Peter Blatty published his novel The Exorcist in 1971, it was initially a commercial failure. He then tried to gain interest in Hollywood for an adaptation of his novel, but was unsuccessful. After he expounded on his novel on the Dick Cavett Show for 45 minutes, American readers finally took notice and the book topped the bestsellers list. Warner Bros. then took interest and bought the rights, and even asked Blatty to write the script, and later on the film became one of the most profitable horror movies ever made. - Misfire

The Contenders

11 American Graffiti

Studios rejected George Lucas' script because an interwoven story with a rock 'n' roll soundtrack was too bizarre for them. After multiple rejections, American Graffiti was finally bought by Universal. - Misfire

12 Psycho (1960)
13 Twilight
14 Nightmare Before Christmas
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List Stats

14 listings
149 days old

Top Remixes

1. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
2. Back to the Future
3. Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Misfire
1. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
2. Back to the Future
3. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
egnomac

WRemix

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