Samuel L. Jackson’s Pulp Fiction Saved Bruce Willis’ Acting Career After His $15 Million Worth Box Office Bomb With Tom Hanks

Bruce Willis found himself saved by Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson's movie!

Samuel L. Jackson’s Pulp Fiction Saved Bruce Willis’ Acting Career After His $15 Million Worth Box Office Bomb With Tom Hanks


  • Bruce Willis' role in 1994's Pulp Fiction provided a much-needed breakthrough for the actor.
  • Willis initially survived a career scare after his 1990 movie The Bonfire of the Vanities crashed at the box office.
  • While he eventually recovered and achieved huge success, the 1990 flop only raked in $15 million at the box office, and was widely criticized.
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Bruce Willis has had an iconic career over the years in Hollywood. Becoming famous for portraying the iconic role of Butch in Samuel L. Jackson and Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 movie Pulp Fiction, Willis narrowly survived a comprehensive downfall.

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With the movie set about redemptions and violence, Bruce Willis found his career redemption by starring in the 1994 film. It was back in 1990 that Willis starred in the iconic failure of a movie that almost ruined his career!

Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction (1994)
Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction (1994)

The Film That Almost Ruined Bruce Willis’ Career!

Although he is a veteran actor, that doesn’t mean Willis hasn’t had his fair share of failures and disappointments. Starring in some not-so-great roles for quite a while, the Armageddon actor almost ended his career with one iconic box office failure.

Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis regretted doing The Bonfire of the Vanities

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Portraying the role of Peter Fallow, Bruce Willis starred in the 1990 movie titled The Bonfire of the Vanities. Based on the famous 1987 book, the film follows a hotshot investment banker whose life goes into chaos when his mistress mistakenly kills a young African-American teenager. The film was a comedy/thriller that raked in a meager amount of $15 million at the box office.

Starring alongside Bruce Willis was Tom Hanks who found his way out by starring in A League of Their Own. Willis on the other hand, had to wait for 4 years to star alongside Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction to find his redemption. The Bonfire of the Vanities received a simple rating of 5.6/10 on IMDB and an average of 15% on Rotten Tomatoes.


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Samuel L. Jackson Initially Hated The Non-linear Storyline

John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction
John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction

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After becoming famous for portraying the role of Jules Winnfield, Samuel L. Jackson talked about how he initially hated the non-linear storyline of Pulp Fiction. Talking about the scene in the bonus documentary of the film, Jackson talked about the unique storytelling narrative (via Looper).

“Not the usual mindless boring getting to know you chit chat. I remember my mom saying, ‘Why didn’t they put the movie together right? … It was jumping all over the place, back and forth, you’re dead, you’re alive, you’re back, you’re here!’ I said, ‘Ma, that’s just how the movie works … Everybody can’t watch it, apparently you can’t.’”

With Bruce Willis having redeemed himself as an actor, Pulp Fiction received a rating of 8.9/10 on IMDB and a whopping 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The iconic Quentin Tarantino movie is available to stream on Max in the U.S.


Written by Visarg Acharya

Visarg Acharya, Associate Content Writer, has been heavily involved in movies, series, and history. Having an experience of 2 years in the field of content writing, Visarg is a seasoned writer. Having a degree in Physics, Visarg Acharya has published a dissertation alongside a plethora of poems and short stories along the way.