Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Clara Blandick, Pat Walshe
Budget: $2.8 million
Domestic Box Office Gross: $3 million
NOW it's considered one of the greatest movies of all time, and NOW it's a cultural touchstone for generations, but back when The Wizard of Oz was first released, it barely broke even. MGM considered it a massive failure. It took regular TV screenings to turn the adaptation of L. Frank Baum's novel into the juggernaut it is today.
You know the story: Sepia-tinted girl leaves her sepia-tinted world for the colorful Oz, where she helps three strangers fulfill their dreams, while simultaneously destroying the facade of a puppet government. And the monkeys fly. Legendary stuff today, but in 1939, no one showed up.