Morgan Freeman Is Convinced His Iconic Movie Bombed Purely Because of Its Title
One of the most legendary actors of all time is sure that his not-so-favorite movie failed at the box office only because of its name. What was it, and is Freeman right?
Without a doubt, Morgan Freeman is an icon and one of the most famous and beloved actors in the entire world. With almost 60 (!) years in the industry, Freeman has a phenomenal track record, and his name is a synonym for quality.
However, not every movie by this legendary actor did well at the box office.
In 1994, the cult classic movie The Shawshank Redemption was released, marking one of Morgan Freeman’s most memorable performances — and while today, it may sound wrong, back then, the movie didn’t perform too well commercially.
There have been quite a few reasons for that, but Freeman has his own opinion on this failure.
According to the actor, The Shawshank Redemption failed because of… its title!
“Nobody could say, ‘Shawshank Redemption.’ What sells anything is word of mouth. Now, your friends say, ‘Ah man, I saw this movie, The…what was it? Shank, Sham, Shim? Something like that. Anyways, terrific.’ Well, that doesn’t sell you,” Freeman explained to Vanity Fair.
While that’s a valid point, there were more objective reasons for the film’s underwhelming performance. The most obvious one is that The Shawshank Redemption came out back-to-back with two other movies that became instant classics and captivated the audience: Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump.
This was, indeed, some tough competition, and with that information, it’s not surprising that The Shawshank Redemption struggled at first. Later, however, after playing in empty theaters for a while, the movie received the recognition it deserved. It happened thanks to the whopping seven Academy Awards nominations it got.
After the Oscars, The Shawshank Redemption quickly became the most-rented movie at the time and received its cult classic status.
Even despite its name that, according to Morgan Freeman, virtually deprived the movie of any chance for redemption, today, The Shawshank Redemption is still considered one of the best movies ever.
Source: Vanity Fair