Science fiction is a genre filled with as many instant classics (Star Wars,T2) as it is with hidden gems. And those gems have a lot in common: most have great reviews but less-than-stellar box office to back them up. And all usually rolled into theaters quietly upon their initial release, only to eventually find overwhelming praise and appreciation years (in some cases, decades) after they left the big screen. Some of our favorite sci-fi films, or even beloved classics, did not seem destined for such designations when they first hit theaters.
Here are 11 great science-fiction films that overcame lackluster box office to become some of the genre’s most iconic staples.