Few movies have a legacy that can compare to director Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption. Released in September 1994, the movie barely snuck into the box office top 10 the week it was released nationwide—then earned just a bit over $28 million against a budget of $25 million in the U.S. Not exactly an impressive haul, especially considering that the movie was actually nominated for its fair share of Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
But in a risky move, Warner Bros. decided to ship more than 300,000 copies of The Shawshank Redemption to VHS rental stores when the time came, which was well over the amount a movie like that would normally command. As a result, it wound up finding an audience as the most-rented title of 1995 and became one of the decade's most notable films as a result, despite not seeing success in theaters.
Even today, a quater-century after its release, The Shawshank Redemption is still at the top of IMDb’s user list of the 250 most popular films of all time, looking down on cinematic institutions like The Godfather (1972), Star Wars (1977), and The Dark Knight (2008).
Thanks to Fathom Events's TCM Big Screen Classics series, The Shawshank Redemption is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a return to select theaters on September 22, 24, and 25. Each Fathom screening of the movie also includes exclusive insight from Turner Classic Movies. To find out if there’s a screening in your area and score some tickets before they're gone, you can head to the Fathom Events website.