Watching a movie’s success can be astounding. Watching a film ride an unstoppable wave of popularity to the point of making just below or above $1 billion is incredible. It’s even more astounding when the movie is bad! Today’s Phenomenal 5 looks at bad movies that raked in insane amounts of money despite their quality. To narrow it down I kept my choices within the top 60 grossers of all time and surprisingly there were plenty to choose from. So considering that I wouldn’t call this the definitive list, but in my mind these five top movie grossers are simply and plainly bad.
#5 – “The Da Vinci Code”
In 2006 “The Da Vinci Code” was a hot topic. I had absolutely no interest in Dan Brown’s best-selling novel so obviously the movie adaptation wasn’t high on my list either. The controversies and the film’s popularity eventually lead me to check it out. That was a mistake. Ron Howard’s long, absurd, bore of a movie plods along trying hard to be a provocative thriller. It fails. But despite that “The Da Vinci Code” made $758 million at the box office. Don’t ask me. I can’t figure it out either.
#4 – “Spider-Man 3”
Its hard to believe that a movie which made $890 million at the box office would push a studio to pull the plug and completely reboot the series. That doesn’t happen often, but it reveals just how bad the film is. “Spider-Man 3” is a prime example of a movie trying to do too much. Too many side stories, too many villains, too many half-baked relationships, and too many flimsy characters. Apparently people loved it enough to see it again and tell their friends. I thought it was a complete mess.
#3 – “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
Take a quick look through the top grossing movies and you will see all four Transformers films. That blows my mind. The first installment was pretty decent but after that it was all downhill. I didn’t want to make this all about Transformers so I just chose the second film “Revenge of the Fallen”. Talk about a loud, dopey, bloated up movie. Sure Michael Bay’s movies look great but this thing doesn’t know when to end. It goes on and on and on. Apparently some people didn’t mind sitting through the brain-frying cerebral bombardment. It made $836 million worldwide.
#2 – “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
This one is personal. What should have been a monumental moment for Indy fans turned into one of the most frustrating and rage-inducing movie experiences. The thought of Indiana Jones returning to the big screen was a big deal to me. How could it be bad? Ford, Allen, Lucas, and Spielberg were all on board. Not only was it bad, it was offensively stupid. Yet despite its crappiness the film would go on to rake in $786 million. I’m sure much of that is due to the name in the title, but screw-ups like this don’t deserve that kind of attention. Rant complete…
#1 – “Avatar”
Let me honest, not everything about “Avatar” is bad. No one can argue that the special effects and the cutting edge use of 3-D were groundbreaking and something to behold. But everything good I could say is restricted to the technical side because Avatar’s characters and overall story was absolutely horrible. James Cameron’s career project swipes story points from so many other films. This is literally “Dances with Wolves” in another galaxy. Completely predictable, awkward acting (Stephen Lang gives one of the worst performances in history), and insanely lame and heavy-handed political messaging. Yet despite its glaring story problems “Avatar” stands as the highest grossing film of all time – $2.8 billion. For that tragic reason it is my #1.
There they are in all of their dubious glory. Agree or disagree? Please let me know in the comments section below.