one-hit wonders

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One Hit Wonders in Film

The phrase "one hit wonders" is often used to describe a band or singer who achieved only one Billboard hit in their musical career. Does this phenomenon occur in the film industry? Are there any directors who have only had one successful film over the course of their career (and the director is likely known solely for that movie)? Or is the idea of "one hit wonders" not applicable for the film genre? If so, why?

  • One director that comes to mind is Neil Blomkamp. He directed District 9, and It was a phenomenal sci-fi movie because the story was clever and new. Then he directed Elysium, which was not necessarily bad, but it was just a water downed version of District 9. And then he Directed this years film Chappie, and that was hated by most audiences and critics. Elysium and Chappie are tonally just repeats of what made District 9 so good, and that is never a good sign for a director. – Aaron Hatch 5 years ago
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  • "One hit wonder" is a term used in the music industry, so why not film? I think the idea of a movie one hit wonder is absolutely applicable. One such director who fits the bill is Ruben Fleischer, who after directing the wildly successful Zombieland in 2009, regressed in his next two features: the Jesse Eisenberg-starring environmental terrorism dark comedy 30 Minutes or Less, and the and the expensive ensemble Gangster Squad in 2013. The self-referential, meta-genre aspect that made Zombieland so great with both critics and the box office was left behind. That being said, there is potentially a Zombieland 2 on the horizon, so maybe he will return to form. – BriceBlaise 5 years ago
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  • Josh Trank. Loved Chronicle, which did well and made a good deal of money, especially considering he had a low budget. But then he flopped HARD with Fant4stic, and his behavior on set and in Twitter are not good signs at all.M. Night Shyamalan might also be a good example because he has a much larger film base. Most people and critics loved Sixth Sense, Signs was generally well received as was Unbreakable, but all of his other attempts at films have been disastrous. – nsnow 5 years ago
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