2014’s Most Surprising Box Office Hits — From 'John Wick' to 'Ride Along'

Try using the arrow keys

To all those who mourned the Hollywood box office after a summer of shape-shifting robots and death-defying Scientologists failed to bring the public into theaters, take heed: we can still always bank on Keanu Reeves going trigger happy over a dead dog. Following just enough press to make you feel like you might have heard somebody mention the title on the subway at some point, John Wick opened this weekend to a pleasantly surprising $14.2 million.

Despite a deficit of marketing, a two-line premise (“He shoots”), and a headlining star who was a punch line at the peak of his career, the Lionsgate picture topped just about everyone’s expectations, exceeding its projected intake by at least 75 percent. Although the action thriller finished second to Ouija, its fervor has already lain hints of a sequel, branding it a success right out the gate.

While '14 has seen plenty of blockbusters disappoint due to people's diminishing interest in the methodologies of dragon training, John Wick is jut one of the year's underdog success stories. From surprisingly engaging indie comedies to shockingly accessible high-concept sci-fi adventures to the odd religious parable that, for whatever reason, people couldn’t help but see, here’s a round-up of some of 2014’s most surprising box office hits.

Image: Lionsgate

More Slideshows