10. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)
It seems unfair to pick on a franchise that perfectly caters to the under-served demographic of teenage girls. That said, the first Breaking Dawn film irritated even the most sympathetic of film critics, who universally panned the film. Regardless, a critical mauling couldn’t stop this clunker from sucking the money right out of twihards‘ wallets.
Adjusted for inflation: $737,557,378
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 24% rotten
Best quote from a critic: “The whole idea of a vampire baby may strike non–fans as ridiculous. I think the problem with this movie is that the idea strikes Bill Condon, the director, as ridiculous…I’m a middle–aged man, I’m not going to pretend to be a Twilight fan, it would be creepy and bogus and patronising – but I do think that Twilight fans deserve better than this because I think they’re being laughed at.” – Danny Leigh, Film 2011
9. Bad Boys 2 (2003)
Bad Boys 2 was gratuitously violent, too long, not very nice in its portrayal of women, and vacuous. Sadly, this vacuum sucked in a mighty box office return. As they both feature multiple times in this list, perhaps Will Smith, and Michael Bay should never work together again.
Worldwide box-office: $273,339,556
Adjusted for inflation: $295,752,326
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 23% rotten
Best quote from a critic: “Way over the top, the film is morally off-kilter, designed for laddish lunkheads with a thirst for the lowest common denominator.” – Derek Adams, Time Out
8. Van Helsing (2004)
Van Helsing was basically put together by combining elements from a mix of classic gothic horror films. Sadly, critics lamented the fact that any semblance of horror had been removed in favor of daft action and less-than special effects. Silly looking and silly sounding; it made silly money.
Worldwide box-office: $300,257,475
Adjusted for inflation: $370,286,292
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 23% rotten
Best quote from a critic: “Writer and director Stephen Sommers is less interested in developing the characters and more interested in smashing them into things.” – Uri Lessing, kcactive.com
7. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)
Everything about this ‘squeakquel‘ suggested that it was going to be terrible. The original film sucked, the trailer look irritating and the title clawed its way under the skin of film critics and audiences alike. It’s the definitive example of how there’s nothing that even the most haranguing review can do if a film has been marketed colorfully enough to children.
Worldwide box-office: $443,140,005
Adjusted for inflation: $481,187,703
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 21% rotten
Best quote from a critic: “This desperate sequel – sorry “squeakquel” – is such a blatant cash-in that the producers might as well have gone straight round to young viewers’ houses and stolen their piggybanks.” – Nicholas Barber, Independent on Sunday
6. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Revenge of the Fallen was decried as incomprehensible, bloated and (worst of all) deeply sexist, provoking genuine hatred and revulsion from critics. Action fans took no notice, and somehow Director Michael Bay managed to transform the outcry into hundreds of millions of dollars at the box-office.
Worldwide box-office: $836,303,693
Adjusted for inflation: $908,108,156
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 20% rotten
Best quote from a critic: “Its like seeing somebody just getting a towel with money in it and just squeezing the money out and you can hear the cash registers, they go: ‘OK, we’re hitting all the points, we’re doing all this stuff, we’re doing as far as we can get away with’ in a way that has no artistry, no invention, no wit, no nothing at all, it is just there to milk the money out of the largest possible audience in the most cynical, most dreary, most boring possible way. I hated it!” – Mark Kermode, BBC Radio 5 Live