Cult Films

As Fight Club is considered a cult classic, I decided to look in to cult films and see what it is that makes a film a ‘cult classic.’ For the most part, it seems like this genre is defined by audience reaction to the film unlike other genres which are defined by their story line or the intentions behind the movie.

Because of this, when looking at lists of ‘Cult Classics’ there are no two that are exactly the same, as what people consider to be a cult film varies greatly from person to person and has also changed with time, becoming less strict with it’s definition than it once was.

When Fight Club was first released in 1999, it was a box-office disaster with it earning only $37 million, just over half it’s production cost of $63 million. It has however found success in ways other than just cinema with it selling over 6 million copies on DVD and video, and a 10-anniversary edition being sold on Blue-Ray. Since it’s release there have been several actual fight clubs set up based on the rules the film started and a celebrity blog set up which took it’s name and early attitudes from the film.

Looking at this blog really helped me understand what made a cult film a cult film other than just it’s following. They say that aspects of a cult film include:

  • The anatomy of the film (content, style, format, etc)
  • The consumption of the film (the audience reactions, fan celebrations, and critical receptions.)
  • The political economy
  • The cultural status (the way in which a cult film fits a time or region; whether it complies with its surroundings or if it exploits, critiques or offends them.)


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