In 2017, Taika Waititi was Marvel Studio’s secret weapon when he apparently came out of nowhere to instruct Thor: Ragnarok, one of the biggest surprise hits of 2017.
All of the director’s films until then were heartfelt, growing comedy-dramas that few people had heard of, but which were still modest successes in Waititi’s homeland, New Zealand. As Waititis’ popularity has grown over the last few years, his directorial efforts have deservedly become much more popular, but compared to the Goliath franchises he works with now, their ticket intake is only a fraction.
6 Eagle vs. Shark (2007) – $ 1.298 million
It just shows how much power Marvel Studios has. Waititi has been directing films since 2007, but few had heard of him before he began working on the studio 10 years later.
Hardly anyone had heard of Eagle vs Shark nor, and it made almost no money at the box office, despite Jemaine Clement starring. But it’s still a fantastic, heartwarming comedy about two maladapted people who take revenge on high school thugs. And with the forthcoming release of Waititis coming Next goal wins, it will hopefully contain the same kind of humor.
5 What We Do In The Shadows (2014) – $ 7.2 million
When it was first released, What we do in the shadows got a little fanfare and that’s a shame because it’s one of the funniest mockumentaries ever made. The film follows a group of vampires who go about their daily (or nightly) lives, whether it’s trying to lure ignorant virgins to the house or just arguing about chores. Unfortunately, the film earned just over $ 7 million.
But like the vampires, What we do in the shadows had his own second life. After the success of Thor: Ragnarok and the auteuristic vision it had, people started learning about Waititi, and viewers captured the film from 2014. The film even exceeds viewers’ expectations of those who did not want to see it, and it now also has a successful TV series spin- off.
4 Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016) – $ 23.9 million
The film may have earned only $ 23 million, but it’s still almost 10 times its budget. Hunting for Wilderpeople was made with only $ 2.5 million, the majority of which probably went to Sam Neill for his lead role. However, it was not the small star power it had that made the film a modest success, but the big story and word of mouth that followed.
Hunting for Wilderpeople is one of the best growing movies that people have not seen as it follows a man who reluctantly becomes the caretaker of his nephew after his aunt dies. It even made a star out of Julian Dennison, who was only 15 years old at the time of the film’s release, and he has since starred in big blockbuster hits such as Deadpool 2 and Godzilla vs. King.
3 Boy (2010) – $ 43.5 million
Together with Hunting for Wilderpeople, the 2010 film is yet another fiercely growing comedy drama, and it has one of the best characters in a Waititi film. It again sees Waititi do what he is best at, creating bittersweet tales as it follows the titular character who takes on adventures to track down his much-talked-about father. But when he finally finds his father, it is nothing but disappointment.
Despite its simple title, which is a pain to google, it did not prevent the audience from finding Boy. The film earned more than $ 40 million, which is more than impressive considering how low budget it is. And interestingly, most of the film’s profits come from its home country, New Zealand, as it earned a minimum of $ 250,000 in the United States.
2 Jojo Rabbit (2019) – $ 90.3 million
After the success of Thor: Ragnarok, Waititi was treated like a movie god in Hollywood, and many different studios offered him the world to work with them. The writer-director had the choice to do whatever he wanted, whether it was one Star wars movie or a He-Man: The masters of the universe restart. But instead, he chose to go for a low-budget drama about a member of Hitler’s youth camp, whose imaginary friend is Adolf himself.
But strange as it may sound, Jojo rabbit turned out to be a whirlwind of emotions. Not only is it funny, but it has such an emotional premise, as Jojo’s mother is secretly anti-Nazi and hides a Jewish girl under the floorboards. $ 90 million may seem like small change compared to what Waititi’s previous film did, but given that it had a budget of only $ 14 million, the film was a huge success supported by Scarlett Johansson’s lead role.
1 Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – $ 853.9 million
There is nothing less surprising than Taika Waitit’s most lucrative filmmaking Thor: Ragnarok. At first glance, it seems that Waititi is a strange choice to direct a major film, especially based on his career in making quiet upcoming comedies. However, Marvel Studios has made it a regular event to hire directors from unique, independent backgrounds and give them huge budgets to play with, and it has not worked out better than when they hired Waititi to lead this space odyssey.
That Thor the series desperately needed an overhaul, as the first two films, which look boring, made it seem as if the series could not keep up with the other genre-bending MCU films. But Waititi turned Ragnarok to a colorful, wonderful experience that was as much a comedy as it was a superhero movie.
NEXT: 10 Ways Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok Can Inspire Her Star Wars Movie
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