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a question by Feb 17, 2011
I'm curious about personal definitions of what makes a movie a "sleeper" and list 3 of the ones that really surprised you, not necessarily the favorites.
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answered:    February 17, 2011
This is usually a small budget movie (these days they are usually less than 10 million) that surprises everyone and becomes a smash hit (Clerks, The Blair Witch Project come to mind). Then there are some bigger budget films that shock us. I remember going to see Arnie in Terminator right after seeing Conan and thinking, this is just a way to kill a couple of hours. I think most people back then thought that going in. That film turned the Steve Reeves like muscleman into an instant Hollywood big star and spawned one of the most quoted movie lines of all time. Titanic was one of the biggest large budget sleepers of all-time (for all the reason it succeeded, Pearl Harbor failed). It was a story that had been already portrayed on film successfully (A Night to Remember) and everyone knew going in how it would turn out. When people kept seeing it more than once, the public realized that this was worth checking out.
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answered:    February 17, 2011
I dunno. Usually I found that films which are referred to as "sleepers" do lull me to sleep. ;-)
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answered:    January 16, 2012
I think it's the films that aren't supposed to be hits and turn out to be hits and may not have a huge budget to work with. The three that come to mind: Clerks, Blair Witch (not my fave but, definitely surprising), and Office Space.
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answered:    January 15, 2012
sleeper hit? Hm....for me something that was totally unexpected to have become a box-office success and have spawned several sequels that it became a franchise. "Paranormal Activity", John Carpernter's "Halloween" and the Asian film "Oldboy" which had become a cult-classic in its own right.
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answered:    January 24, 2012
Movies that the movie executives don't have any confidence in but catch fire with the public. The classic example of a movie sleeper is "Star Wars" and the classic television series was "Star Trek." One executive took a look at a publicity still with Mr. Spock and said, "Lose the Martian." His pointed ears were brushed out. Both of course were the start of billion dollar continuing story lines.
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