I get the "unusual amount of devotion" angle
Posted by Pugeye on March 10, 2018, 9:07 am, in reply to "Re: Is the idea of the "cult film" still relevant"
but still have trouble referring to something like "Casablanca" (which was hugely popular from the beginning and is one of the most acclaimed and well-known films of all time) as a cult film. If the yardstick is simply an usually devoted following that will show up, often in costume, any time the film is shown, then ####ing "Star Wars" is a cult film. And what, "It's A Wonderful Life" is a cult film because a lot of people like to watch it every Xmas? And something like "The Wizard of Oz" is so popular and referenced so often and is so ingrained in pop culture that it also seems kinda silly to refer to it as a cult film.
Might be splitting hairs but maybe you can say that certain well-known mainstream films have what can be referred to as "cult followings" without really qualifying as "cult films", at least not in the way most folks understand the term. I mean, for the last decade or 2, a lot of places that rent and sell DVDs have "cult" sections and they usually include the usual suspects so it does seem like there's an established consensus on the meaning of the term.