It’s impossible to truly predict the future, especially within the movie industry. While most studios examine statistics, talent, and star power to anticipate the fate of their films, life sometimes has the tendency to ruin a release through bad timing. Natural disasters, tragedies, scandal, media competition—these are just a few real-life occurrences that can arise in conjunction with a film to hurt its public reception. Here are 15 examples of movies that were compromised by poor timing.
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Though Zoolander ultimately emerged a modest hit for director/star Ben Stiller, the film received a very slow start at the box office. This has been attributed to the film’s proximity to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, which occurred weeks before Zoolander’s release. Many believe the film’s assassination-conspiracy plotline was too much, too soon for American audiences still grieving over the tragedy. Nevertheless, Ben Stiller and Paramount stuck to the release, which likely hurt the film’s chances to become the comedy hit many anticipated.