In this day and age, it is pretty easy for a movie to get panned by critics yet still bring in hundreds of millions at the box office. In fact, it is almost proven that a movie doesn’t need to be good, it can just be a sequel in a popular film franchise and people will see it no matter what. More often than not, when critics give a movie a low score or totally pan it, that movie really isn’t very good. But sometimes bad ratings happen to good movies! Either way, not too many major movie studios see these bad reviews as a loss. Out of some of the most successful films in the world, these movies didn’t fair well on Rotten Tomatoes.
If you’re not familiar with the Tomatometer used by Rotten Tomatoes, films get ratings based on average reviews by critics. The rating is on a scale of 0-100%. Rotten Tomatoes certifies films as “Rotten Tomatoes Fresh” if they maintain steady at 75% or higher. A film is deemed rotten with 59% or lower. But if these films were taking a test, wouldn’t you say they’d want to score higher than 70% to actually be any good? You’ll be surprised by some of the scores that these top box office earners got!
1. Jurassic World
Worldwide Gross: $1,671,713,208
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%
With over 305 reviews, Jurassic World could not clock in to is predecessor, Jurassic Park. The original film has a score in the mid-90s, whereas this sequel barely makes it into the 70s. The movie was entertaining to audiences, as it had the nostalgia of the original and updated special effects, but audiences are now so demanding. This sub-par rating didn’t seem to impact the massive success that is Jurassic World. We’ll see in 2018 if this film’s sequel can get a higher Rotten Tomatoes score.
2. Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Worldwide Gross: $1,263,521,126
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%
A theme on this low-ratings list is most of the movies are either remakes or sequels, not original films. Critics are making it clear that remakes are being held to high standards and Beauty and the Beast’s low rating is proof of that. The film has 299 critic reviews and received a slightly higher audience score of 81%. One critic, from The Atlantic, claims that “Disney has ripped a jewel out of its casing” by remaking this film.
3. The Fate of the Furious
Worldwide Gross: $1,238,764,765
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%
Is at all surprising that this film garnered upwards of $1 billion? Not at all, given how successful the previous film was. But that being said, it’s also not THAT surprising that the 8th film in a franchise series didn’t win over critics. There are too many other movies in the series to compare it to. Some critics suggested that it is a film where audiences know what they’re getting before they even go. The Furious franchise is getting far too predictable!
Worldwide Gross: $1,159,398,397
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%
Among the many movies on this list that are sequels, Minions was not well received by critics or audiences. But it still performed well at the box office. Many people suggested that the minion characters are better off in small doses, and not in their own feature film. Either way, even if critics didn’t love this film, it has a sequel set to be released in 2020 and made bank in the box office. We’ll get even more banana jokes then!
5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Worldwide Gross: $1,123,794,079
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%
This is only the first of the Transformers films to make this list. Being the 3rd film in the series and the last movie that Shia LaBeouf appeared in, the Rotten Tomatoes score is LOW. By this point, critics and audiences knew exactly what was coming and weren’t impressed to see it come to fruition. Michael Bay packs every Transformers movie with explosions, loud noises, and fighting robots. It was getting dated by this point in the film franchise, yet it was still not even the final film released…
6. Transformers: Age of Extinction
Worldwide Gross: $1,104,054,072
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 18%
In a surprising turn of events, Shia LaBeouf left the Transformers franchise, but not even his departure would mean the end of the franchise. Mark Wahlberg stepped in to fill the starring role and we got this film that absolutely no one asked for or wanted. Essentially, if anyone did want more than loud crashes and explosions, they would be very disappointed by this movie. Critics disliked it so much that the Rotten Tomatoes score doesn’t even rank in the 20s. You’d think this would be the last movie they’d make, yet another was released in 2017… WHY?!
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Worldwide Gross: $1,066,179,725
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%
Another franchise full of sequels that not too many folks wanted is Pirates of the Caribbean. Captain Jack Sparrow is arguably Johnny Depp’s best character. Which is the only logical reason, other than the money, that these films continued to get made. Issues many critics and fans had with this film (which is the second in the franchise) is that it could not live up to the original script… not even close. While many sequels struggle with the exact same thing, this score seems strikingly low for a move lead by Johnny, Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Worldwide Gross: $1,045,713,802
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 34%
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was the first film in the franchise without Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley and it was not good. It’s no big surprise that the film wasn’t well received by critics and audiences considering the massive cast changeups. When two core cast members leave a film franchise or TV show, the follow-up always seems to take a hit, even if it isn’t actually that bad. In this case, the film was just another excuse to have Captain Jack Sparrow parading around drunk and stealing the show.
9. Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace
Worldwide Gross: $1,027,044,677
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%
Popular film franchises are not without flaw and this film is the prime example in the Star Wars franchise. After three successful films in the ’70s and ’80s, George Lucas came back with a prequel series. Pretty much everyone felt the film was burdened with too much exposition and unneeded characters. It was hailed for being visually stunning, but many characters were criticized for their lack of chemistry.
10. Alice in Wonderland
Worldwide Gross: $1,025,467,110
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52%
Typically, Tim Burton can do no wrong. He has a huge cult following and has worked with Johnny Depp more times than he probably needed to. While Alice in Wonderland isn’t necessarily a bad movie, it wasn’t great either. The visual effects are impressive and the costumes are award-worthy. But out of all the old Disney movies that needed revisiting, Alice in Wonderland was not one of them. The film was also faulted by critics for deviating from the story’s plot.
11. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Worldwide Gross: $1,021,103,568
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%
The Lord of the Rings franchise when it first came out was incredibly beloved by the majority of people who went to see it. Given that success, Peter Jackson decided to return to Middle Earth again with the Hobbit franchise. The film looked amazing, which all critics could agree upon, but looks ain’t everything. They also felt the pacing of the film was too slow. Compared to the action of Lord of the Rings the first time around, this first installment in the Hobbit films was not a huge hit among critics or fans.
12. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Worldwide Gross: $963,420,425
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%
Much like the other Pirates movies on this list, it did well at the box office but not with critics. This was the very last film with Keira and Orlando. The issue that many felt that happened in this film was that it had too much going on. There were too many characters and too many storylines to follow. There was not enough time dedicated to each one, especially because we only really cared about three people. It was full of the flair and charm that every Pirates of thhe Carribean film has, but it needed to have its plot streamlined to get a higher score.
13. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Worldwide Gross: $956,019,788
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 59%
This movie has only a slightly lower score than the first Hobbit film in the series. Many hailed it for the visual effects and thought it was a *decent* finish to the series. A critic from The New York Post said, “It’s adequately visionary, it’s routinely spectacular, it breathes fire and yet somehow feels room-temperature.” Hard to argue that one! Sometimes movies that are meant to wow us just don’t.
14. Spider-Man 3
Worldwide Gross: $890,871,626
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%
In the last 15 years, there have been three different live-action versions of superhero Spider-Man. This movie is the prime example of why there was a revamp of the series. Out of all the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies, this is by far the worst one. The movie had too many villains and too many subplots to be a good viewing for anyone. Critics said the movie just could not live up to the first two in this franchise. It might have had something to do with how lackluster the villains in this one actually were.
15. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Worldwide Gross: $886,686,817
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%
The Ice Age series was a refreshing new animation franchise that wasn’t about cute little animals. However, this was the third movie in the franchise and it got stuck in the middle. The animation of the dinosaurs was well-liked by critics. But the plot was deemed boring. After two other movies about animals on the brink of extinction, this was considered to be a tired story. And yet, after this came out and got such poor reviews, two more movies were released. There are even talks for a sixth installment in the franchise. WHHHHYYY?!
Worldwide Gross: $880,674,609
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%
While many like Daniel Craig’s version of 007, they felt this movie put the series in a halt. The film relied too much on the typical Bond formula. While the formula has worked time and time again, it felt bored in this plot. One critic wrote, “If one of the most successful and long-running franchises in movie history wants to keep pumping, it’s once again time to change the formula.” With fans calling for a new Bond daily, this could just happen!
17. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Worldwide Gross: $873,260,194
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%
Is anyone at all surprised by this score? If anything, it could be said we’d all think it was lower. DC and Marvel are in fierce competition to see who’s better, and not to sound biased, but this film proves who is currently winning. While this movie made a pretty penny at the box office, it was deemed the be smothering. Like many other films on this list, there was way too much going on in Batman v Superman. With all of the confusing subplots and sloppy introductions to new heroes, there wasn’t much room for praise in this movie. Plus, Ben Affleck as Batman?! Puh-lease.