From John Swansburg’s “The Shawshank Reputation” (Legal Affairs: March/April 2004):
Yet even King didn’t think [The Shawshank Redemption] stood a chance at the box office-and he was right. Though the movie got good reviews, and seven Oscar nominations, Shawshank in its original release grossed only about half of the $35 million it cost to make.
The movie came back from the dead on video. It was the top rental of 1995, and its popularity has not much abated since. The new Zagat film guide, for instance, rated it higher than Annie Hall and a little picture called Citizen Kane. The movie is currently ranked second on the Internet Movie Database’s Top 250 movies poll, behind only The Godfather.