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A subtrope of Vindicated by History, this is when a work is an utter failure (either critically, commercially, or both) when it first comes out, and the few years afterwards.

However, as time passes, much, MUCH worse movies/games/comics/shows/etc. come out in the same genre, making most (though not all) think that the original work wasn't really that bad, at least when considering the genre it belongs to.

Often causes the work to become a Cult Classic.

Seinfeld Is Unfunny works are often prone to this trope.

Examples of The Citizen Kane of Shark Movies include:


Anime and Manga

  • The utterly catastrophical job 4Kids! Entertainment did in dubbing anime means Robotech is seen in a much more favorable light.
    • Those who grew up with the first Pokémon dub will claim that was the only thing 4Kids! did right when they compare it to the other anime the company dubbed, the Pokémon seasons dubbed by Pokémon USA, or both.

Comic Books

Live-Action Film

  • The trope name refers to the Jaws sequels, Jaws 3 and Jaws: The Revenge. For a long while, they were so critically despised that they made it to several "worst movie ever" lists. However, after several worse movies in the "killer marine animal" genre came out (Piranha 3DD, all of the Sharknado movies, both Crocodile movies, both Octopus movies) came out, it means people are more open to appreciate the genuine effort that went into Jaws 3 and Jaws: The Revenge.
  • The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy was utterly lambasted when it first came out, and several years afterwards...until the Disney movies came along. Nowadays, the general consensus is that, flawed as the prequels may be, they are still better than any of the Disney movies. The same goes for the Holiday Special, which is seen in a much warmer light after the Disney movies.
  • The Charlie's Angels movies were panned at the time of their release. After several worse female-led action movies came out (Ultraviolet, Bloodrayne, Catwoman, Elektra, the Ghostbusters reboot), the Charlie's Angels movies are seen in a much better light. And then the 2019 sequel/reboot came along, causing the 2000s movies to be hit with this trope again.
  • Speaking of video game movies, after the Video Game Movies Suck trope became evident, Super Mario Bros, Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter are seen in a much better light, at least compared to everything else in the genre that came out after those three movies.
  • Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, and the 2006 tribute movie Superman Returns were all poorly received by critics, but are looked back on just a bit more fondly after the Darker and Edgier Zack Snyder Superman films (Man of Steel and Batman v Superman) received mixed to almost universally negative reviews due to their bleak and joyless approach to the character of Superman.
  • The Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie and the two Fantastic Four movies from the 2000s are seen in a much more positive light after the release of the 2015 Fantastic Four movie, with the general consensus that, flawed as they may be, the Corman movie and the 2000s movies capture the "fun adventure" feel of the comics, as opposed to the 2015 movie, that generates Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy.

Live-Action Television

Web Original

Western Animation

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