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Why worry about the
Oscars when you can break box office records? Superhero flicks alone grossed more last year than most small countries did. But do these smash hits always deserve the dollar recognition they get? Sometimes the stinkiest turds grow into the biggest money trees ( Kingdom of Crystal Skull, anyone?) For cinematic failures of this magnitude, we must ask ourselves: how much did that make? Prepare thyself for some of the biggest movie flops of all time (that killed at the box office).
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'Fifty Shades Darker'
Remember when you couldn't walk down the street without seeing someone nose-deep in
Fifty Shades of Grey? It was a golden day when that era ended, but we all knew it was only a matter of time before it came back as a 50-foot monster (in a theater near you). Even though Darker stank worse than its predecessor, it managed to gross nearly $400 million at the box office. Listen, we'll Netflix and binge terrible movies all day long (when there's a blizzard out), but paying full price to see a flop is a fetish we just can't get into.
'Alice In Wonderland'
A classic tale, America's great emo director, an alluring newcomer playing the titular role: the set-up was promising. But by the time the movie had climaxed with Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter dancing a disturbingly epic jig in a not-so-wonderful Wonderland, we all knew the movie had flopped before our very eyes. Still, at a nice global take home of $1 billion, it nearly inspired another Depp-ressing franchise.
'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace'
almost got the title right. While it definitely was a "menace" to die-hard fans and critics alike, there was no phantom at work here. Everyone agreed the movie itself was to blame. After two decades between Wars, Lucas coughed up the $115 million movie budget out of his own pocket. The move paid off when the legacy-tarnishing stinker grossed more than $1 billion dollars worldwide. Who needs the force when you're filthy stinking rich?
'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle'
What do The Rock, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart have in common? We don't know, other than they made a terrible movie. Rehashing whatever '80s nostalgia was all the rage in 2018, and propping up one-dimensional characters with a lousy script, the movie falls flat on its face.
Regardless of these minor shortcomings, Dwayne Johnson, one of Hollywood's most bankable stars, helped the movie gross a whopping $962 million.
Fanboy reprisals aside, it must be said:
The Hobbit movies kinda sucked. The visionary might and genius on display in pictures like Dead Alive and Heavenly Creatures, vanished when Peter Jackson started making all his movies in a world of green screen. The Hobbit became a lot like dating a blow-up doll; sure, the dancing was fun, but the chemistry just wasn't there. Nevertheless, the reigning king of quest movies succeeded big time at the box office when his three-part retelling of the classic novel raked in nearly $3 billion. That's money in the Baggins!
'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom'
Amazingly, the original
Jurassic Park still ranks as one of the highest grossing films of all time. Twenty-five years and running, the franchise has been jumping the dinosaur ever since. After their latest effort, you might wish the franchise had gone extinct in the '90s. Cheap thrills and expensive VFX garnered this colossus well over $1 billion dollars. Boy, can a dino-turd sell for a lot of money!
Spin-off movies almost never out-gross the original. All the more confounding then that
Minions, a creature ripped from the Despicable Me universe, was so popular with movie-goers it became the second highest grossing animated film of all time. The little yellow guys live to serve, and they sure made their master proud when they delivered $1.16 billion on a silver platter.
Michael Bay may have written the script for high-grossing, action-drenched, mindless summer flicks. And though the plot remains the same, his beloved franchise of glossy, high-flying robots, has generated a hefty $4.4 billion worldwide (with no end in sight). Stay vigilant, people, the next time Michael Bay strikes, he may transform your television into a pile of dog poop.
The king of the (box office) world,
Avatar holds the title for highest-grossing movie of all-time. This monster smash hit single-handedly took home close to $4 billion, and was nominated for an impressive nine Oscars (and won three). While the experience of entering the new-fangled 3-D movie-going experience was exhilarating at the time, in hindsight the movie proved to be a future resident of the $1 bin. A prince in three dimensions, 'twas but a pauper in two. Oh, how the mighty had fallen...onto a bed of $1,000 bank notes.
'The Fast and the Furious' (The Entire Thing)
Selfies. Kim Kardashian. Racism. Things we didn't expect to last this long that have somehow gotten stronger over time.
The Fast and the Furious franchise falls into this category. The first one was a passable, pointless action flick with cardboard characters driving souped-up cars. (Or was that the second one?) All told, the franchise has grossed an insane $5.1 billion, with two more sequels already slated for release over the next two years. Like our dependence on fossil fuels, F&F will never stop. A potential prequel in the works might involve Jesus and Ben-Hur as rowdy teens learning to race chariots outside their town of Bethlehem. Working title: Beyond Caring: Passion of the Chrystler.