47 Video Game Movies Ranked Worst to Best

It was in 1993 that Hollywood realized the dream of putting a video game movie up on the big screen with Super Mario Bros., and setting the stage for a long legacy of questionable choices, troubled productions, and gamers’ pixel tears left in their wake. But like the kid who just has to pump in one more quarter to reach for that high score, the studios keep on trying (while the fans just keep on hoping), and we’re celebrating that sort of sheer tenacity with this guide to the best video game movies (and plenty of the worst) ranked by Tomatometer!

Here, you will find the near-decent (Rampage, Resident Evil), the should’ve-been-goods (Assassin’s Creed, Warcraft), the ridiculous-but-we-love-thems (Mortal Kombat, Silent Hill), and the ones made by Uwe Boll, who deserves his own category (Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead). We’re using a 20-review minimum cutoff for inclusion from theatrical releases only, because it’s not just enough to make a questionable movie, critics need to witness the aftermath, too.

And in May 2019, Detective Pikachu officially broke the video game curse! Fitting that Nintendo, whose Super Mario Bros. movie started all this trouble, would be the one to end it. And in another surprise 2019 development, the second Angry Birds movie has slingshot the naysayers by racking up plenty of critical praise, toppling Pikachu mere months after its release.

Then in 2020, when it didn’t seem it had a chili dog’s chance in hell, Sonic the Hedgehog to general critics enthusiasm, marking three Fresh video game movies in two years. And then, in 2021, Werewolves Within went Certified Fresh, establishing it as by-far the best-reviewed video game movie! See all the high scores (and lots and lots of the lows) with our guide to 46 video game movies, ranked worst to best!

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 5497%
Critics Consensus: Inept on almost every level, Alone in the Dark may not work as a thriller, but it's good for some head-slapping, incredulous laughter.
Synopsis: When the investigations of supernatural detective Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) lead him to uncover a long-lost tribe called the Abskani,... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 4395%
Critics Consensus: A grungy, disjointed, mostly brainless mess of a film, House of the Dead is nonetheless loaded with unintentional laughs.
Synopsis: Simon (Tyron Leitso) and Greg (Will Sanderson) meet a group of friends and set out to attend a rave on... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#45
Adjusted Score: 4735%
Critics Consensus: The combination of a shallow plot and miscast performers renders Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li a perfectly forgettable video game adaptation.
Synopsis: In Bangkok, Bison (Neal McDonough), a crime boss, and his henchmen (Michael Clarke Duncan, Josie Ho, Taboo) begin a bid... [More]
Directed By: Andrzej Bartkowiak

#44
Adjusted Score: 5813%
Critics Consensus: With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat - Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: Every generation, a portal opens up between the Outerworld and Earth. Emperor Shao-Kahn (Brian Thompson), ruler of the mythical Outerworld,... [More]
Directed By: John R. Leonetti

#43
Adjusted Score: 4331%
Critics Consensus: Featuring mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue, and shoddy production values, In the Name of the King fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film.
Synopsis: As war looms in an idyllic kingdom, a man named Farmer (Jason Statham) begins a heroic quest to find his... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#42

BloodRayne (2005)
4%

#42
Adjusted Score: 4413%
Critics Consensus: BloodRayne is an absurd sword-and-sorcery vid-game adaptation from schlock-maestro Uwe Boll, featuring a distinguished (and slumming) cast.
Synopsis: In 18th-century Romania, after spending much of her life in a traveling circus, human-vampire hybrid Rayne (Kristanna Loken) escapes and... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 12826%
Critics Consensus: Hitman: Agent 47 fails to clear the low bar set by its predecessor, forsaking thrilling action in favor of a sleekly hollow mélange of dull violence and product placement.
Synopsis: Genetically engineered from conception to be the perfect killing machine, he's the culmination of decades of research, endowed with unprecedented... [More]
Directed By: Aleksander Bach

#40

Postal (2007)
9%

#40
Adjusted Score: 9062%
Critics Consensus: An attempt at political satire that lacks any wit or relevance, Postal is nonetheless one of Uwe Boll's more successful films -- for what it's worth.
Synopsis: A phony cult leader (Dave Foley) hires a jobless trailer-park denizen (Zack Ward) to help him carry out his plot... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#39

Wing Commander (1999)
10%

#39
Adjusted Score: 10625%
Critics Consensus: The low budget may explain Wing Commander's cheesy special effects, but can't excuse the lame dialogue or the movie's obsessive reliance on sci-fi cliches.
Synopsis: A space pilot (Freddie Prinze Jr.) with an encoded message, his sidekick (Matthew Lillard) and their superior (Saffron Burrows) fight... [More]
Directed By: Chris Roberts

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 11823%
Critics Consensus: Mediocre effort even by the standards of video game adaptations, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D features weak characters and an incomprehensible plot with a shortage of scares.
Synopsis: For many years, Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens) and her father, Harry (Sean Bean), have been on the run from dangerous... [More]
Directed By: Michael J. Bassett

#37

Street Fighter (1994)
12%

#37
Adjusted Score: 14247%
Critics Consensus: Though it offers mild entertainment through campy one-liners and the overacting of the late Raul Julia, Street Fighter's nonstop action sequences are not enough to make up for a predictable, uneven storyline.
Synopsis: Gen. Bison (Raul Julia), the evil dictator of Shadaloo, captures a busload of relief workers and holds them for ransom.... [More]
Directed By: Steven E. de Souza

#36

Max Payne (2008)
15%

#36
Adjusted Score: 20098%
Critics Consensus: While it boasts some stylish action, Max Payne suffers severely from an illogical plot and overdirection.
Synopsis: After the murders of his family and his partner, maverick cop Max (Mark Wahlberg) becomes hell-bent on revenge. Teamed with... [More]
Directed By: John Moore

#35

Pokémon 4Ever (2002)
16%

#35
Adjusted Score: 15441%
Critics Consensus: Only for diehard Pokemon fans.
Synopsis: Ash and his friends travel to an island to search for a rare species of Pokemon that has the power... [More]

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 19679%
Critics Consensus: Audiences other than children will find very little to entertain them.
Synopsis: Ash, Misty, Brock and Pikachu face Mewtwo, a bioengineered Pokémon, and the super-Pokémon it has created. With short "Pikachu's Vacation."... [More]

#33

Hitman (2007)
16%

#33
Adjusted Score: 20072%
Critics Consensus: Hitman features the unfortunate combination of excessive violence, incoherent plot, and inane dialogue.
Synopsis: A professional assassin known only as Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) gets caught up in a dangerous political takeover. He flees... [More]
Directed By: Xavier Gens

#32

Pokémon Heroes (2003)
17%

#32
Adjusted Score: 17610%
Critics Consensus: This series isn't getting any better.
Synopsis: Two thieves go to an island city to steal a giant jewel that was once used to defend the canal... [More]
Directed By: Larry Juris

#31

Doom (2005)
18%

#31
Adjusted Score: 23165%
Critics Consensus: The FPS sections are sure to please fans of the video game, but lacking in plot and originality to please other moviegoers.
Synopsis: A team of space marines known as the Rapid Response Tactical Squad, led by Sarge (The Rock), is sent to... [More]
Directed By: Andrzej Bartkowiak

#30

Assassin's Creed (2016)
18%

#30
Adjusted Score: 31964%
Critics Consensus: Assassin's Creed is arguably better made (and certainly better cast) than most video game adaptations; unfortunately, the CGI-fueled end result still is still a joylessly overplotted slog.
Synopsis: Cal Lynch travels back in time to 15th-century Spain through a revolutionary technology that unlocks the genetic memories contained in... [More]
Directed By: Justin Kurzel

#29
Adjusted Score: 20550%
Critics Consensus: Despite being somewhat more exciting than the previous film, this kiddy flick still lacks any real adventure or excitement. What is does contain is choppy animation and poor voice acting. Doesn't match up to virtually anything out there.
Synopsis: Ash's adventure begins when a powerful storm beaches him and his friends on Shamouti Island just as the islanders are... [More]
Directed By: Michael Haigney

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 23540%
Critics Consensus: Resident Evil: Apocalypse has lots of action, but not much in terms of plot or creativity.
Synopsis: A deadly virus from a secret Umbrella Corporation laboratory underneath Raccoon City is exposed to the world. Umbrella seals off... [More]
Directed By: Alexander B. Witt

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 26312%
Critics Consensus: Angelina Jolie is perfect for the role of Lara Croft, but even she can't save the movie from a senseless plot and action sequences with no emotional impact.
Synopsis: This live action feature is inspired by the most successful interactive video-game character in history -- Lara Croft. Beautiful and... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 22557%
Critics Consensus: Critics say that the third Pokemon movie has a better plot than its two predecessors. This is not enough, however, to recommend it to those not already fans of the franchise.
Synopsis: Young Pokémon trainer Ash Ketchum and his loyal friends journey to the beautiful mountain town of Greenfield, where they will... [More]
Directed By: Kunihiko Yuyama

#25

Ratchet & Clank (2016)
21%

#25
Adjusted Score: 24384%
Critics Consensus: Ratchet & Clank may satisfy very young viewers, but compared to the many superior options available to families and animation enthusiasts, it offers little to truly recommend.
Synopsis: Ratchet is the last of his kind, a foolhardy lombax who grew up without a family. Clank is a pint-sized... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Munroe

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 24542%
Critics Consensus: As dim-witted and lifeless as its undead antagonists, Resident Evil: Afterlife is a wholly unnecessary addition to the franchise.
Synopsis: In a world overrun with the walking dead, Alice (Milla Jovovich) continues her battle against Umbrella Corp., rounding up survivors... [More]
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

#23

Need for Speed (2014)
22%

#23
Adjusted Score: 29787%
Critics Consensus: With stock characters and a preposterous plot, this noisily diverting video game adaptation fulfills a Need for Speed and little else.
Synopsis: Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a mechanic, races muscle cars in an underground circuit. Struggling to keep his business afloat, he... [More]
Directed By: Scott Waugh

#22
Adjusted Score: 28911%
Critics Consensus: Though the sequel is an improvement over the first movie, it's still lacking in thrills.
Synopsis: Fearless explorer Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) tries to locate Pandora's box before criminals Jonathan Reiss (Ciarán Hinds) and Chen Lo... [More]
Directed By: Jan de Bont

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 27833%
Critics Consensus: Resident Evil: Extinction is more of the same; its few impressive action sequences unable to compensate for the pedestrian plot.
Synopsis: Captured by the Umbrella Corp., Alice (Milla Jovovich) receives genetic alterations that leave her with superhuman abilities. Hiding out in... [More]
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy

#20
Adjusted Score: 33662%
Critics Consensus: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is an affectionately faithful adaptation that further proves its source material is ill-suited to the big screen.
Synopsis: Returning to the origins of the massively popular RESIDENT EVIL franchise, fan and filmmaker Johannes Roberts brings the games to... [More]
Directed By: Johannes Roberts

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 30168%
Critics Consensus: Despite flashy sets and special effects, Super Mario Bros. is too light on story and substance to be anything more than a novelty.
Synopsis: Brooklyn plumbers Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi (John Alberto Leguizamo) rescue Princess Daisy from King Koopa (Dennis Hopper) and the... [More]
Directed By: Rocky Morton

#18
Adjusted Score: 30481%
Critics Consensus: Resident Evil: Retribution offers everything one might reasonably expect from the fifth installment in a heavily action-dependent franchise -- which means very little beyond stylishly hollow CGI-enhanced set pieces.
Synopsis: As Umbrella Corp.'s deadly T-virus continues to turn the world's population into legions of flesh-eating zombies, Alice (Milla Jovovich), the... [More]
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

#17

Warcraft (2016)
28%

#17
Adjusted Score: 42429%
Critics Consensus: Warcraft has visual thrills to spare, but they -- and director Duncan Jones' distinctive gifts -- are wasted on a sluggish and derivative adaptation of a bestselling game with little evident cinematic value.
Synopsis: Looking to escape from his dying world, the orc shaman Gul'dan utilizes dark magic to open a portal to the... [More]
Directed By: Duncan Jones

#16

Silent Hill (2006)
32%

#16
Adjusted Score: 35906%
Critics Consensus: Silent Hill is visually impressive, but as with many video game adaptations, it's plagued by inane dialogue, a muddled plot, and an overlong runtime.
Synopsis: Unable to accept the fact that her daughter is dying, Rose (Radha Mitchell) decides to take the girl to a... [More]
Directed By: Christophe Gans

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 33201%
Critics Consensus: With a ridiculous plot and comical acting, checking one's brain at the door is required before watching DOA: Dead or Alive.
Synopsis: Four beautiful rivals at an invitation-only martial-arts tournament join forces against a sinister threat. Princess Kasumi (Devon Aoki) is an... [More]
Directed By: Corey Yuen

#14

Resident Evil (2002)
36%

#14
Adjusted Score: 38967%
Critics Consensus: Like other video game adapations, Resident Evil is loud, violent, formulaic, and cheesy.
Synopsis: Based on the popular video game, Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez star as the leaders of a commando team who... [More]
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

#13
Adjusted Score: 44009%
Critics Consensus: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter may prove mind-numbingly chaotic for the unconverted, but for fans of the venerable franchise, it offers a fittingly kinetic conclusion to its violent post-apocalyptic saga.
Synopsis: The T-virus unleashed by the evil Umbrella Corp. has spread to every corner of the globe, infesting the planet with... [More]
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

#12
Adjusted Score: 44763%
Critics Consensus: It doesn't offer much in the way of substance, but Prince of Persia is a suitably entertaining swashbuckler -- and a substantial improvement over most video game adaptations.
Synopsis: In the holy city of Alamut resides the Sands of Time, which gives mortals the power to turn back time.... [More]
Directed By: Mike Newell

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 52707%
Critics Consensus: The Angry Birds Movie is substantially more entertaining than any film adapted from an app has any right to be -- which may or may not be much of an endorsement.
Synopsis: Flightless birds lead a mostly happy existence, except for Red (Jason Sudeikis), who just can't get past the daily annoyances... [More]
Directed By: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly

#10
Adjusted Score: 49505%
Critics Consensus: The movie raises the bar for computer animated movies, but the story is dull and emotionally removed.
Synopsis: Blurring the lines between reality and computer animation, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is the first feature-length motion picture that... [More]
Directed By: Hironobu Sakaguchi

#9

Mortal Kombat (1995)
45%

#9
Adjusted Score: 47418%
Critics Consensus: Despite an effective otherwordly atmosphere and appropriately cheesy visuals, Mortal Kombat suffers from its poorly constructed plot, laughable dialogue, and subpar acting.
Synopsis: Lord Rayden (Christopher Lambert) handpicks three martial artists -- federal agent Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson), Shaolin monk Lui Kang (Robin... [More]
Directed By: Paul Anderson

#8

Monster Hunter (2020)
45%

#8
Adjusted Score: 51052%
Critics Consensus: Monster Hunter is mostly a mindless blur of action, held together by the slenderest threads of dialogue and plot -- and exactly what many viewers will be looking for.
Synopsis: Behind our world, there is another -- a world of dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly... [More]
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

#7

Rampage (2018)
51%

#7
Adjusted Score: 68247%
Critics Consensus: Rampage isn't as fun as its source material, but the movie's sheer button-mashing abandon might satisfy audiences in the mood for a brainless blockbuster.
Synopsis: Primatologist Davis Okoye shares an unshakable bond with George, an extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla that's been in his care since... [More]
Directed By: Brad Peyton

#6

Tomb Raider (2018)
52%

#6
Adjusted Score: 71689%
Critics Consensus: Tomb Raider reboots the franchise with a more grounded approach and a star who's clearly more than up to the task -- neither of which are well served by an uninspired origin story.
Synopsis: Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery... [More]
Directed By: Roar Uthaug

#5

Mortal Kombat (2021)
54%

#5
Adjusted Score: 70064%
Critics Consensus: Largely for fans of the source material but far from fatal(ity) flawed, Mortal Kombat revives the franchise in appropriately violent fashion.
Synopsis: In "Mortal Kombat," MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage--or why... [More]
Directed By: Simon McQuoid

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 79111%
Critics Consensus: Fittingly fleet and frequently fun, Sonic the Hedgehog is a video game-inspired adventure the whole family can enjoy -- and a fine excuse for Jim Carrey to tap into the manic energy that launched his career.
Synopsis: The world needed a hero -- it got a hedgehog. Powered with incredible speed, Sonic embraces his new home on... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Fowler

#3
Adjusted Score: 86484%
Critics Consensus: Pokémon Detective Pikachu may not take its wonderfully bizarre premise as far as it could have, but this offbeat adaptation should catch most -- if not all -- of the franchise's fans.
Synopsis: Ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son, Tim, to find out what happened. Aiding in the... [More]
Directed By: Rob Letterman

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 78223%
Critics Consensus: Like its non-aerodynamic title characters, The Angry Birds Movie 2 takes improbable yet delightfully entertaining flight, landing humorous hits along the way.
Synopsis: Red, Chuck, Bomb and the rest of their feathered friends are surprised when a green pig suggests that they put... [More]
Directed By: Thurop Van Orman

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 92203%
Critics Consensus: Werewolves Within is the rare horror comedy that offers equal helpings of either genre -- and adds up to a whole lot of fun in the bargain.
Synopsis: After a proposed pipeline creates divisions within the small town of Beaverfield, and a snowstorm traps its residents together inside... [More]
Directed By: Josh Ruben

Ratchet & Clank: Recently re-imagined for your PlayStation 4, now appearing on the big screen for the first time. The movie invites viewers back to see the origin team-up of the duo (one a robot, the other a bobcat-ish thing, probably a descendant of prolific serial killer Bubsy), which inspires this week’s 24 Frames gallery: a history of video games-based movies by Tomatometer!

It’s been around since 1981 — making it older than a number of our readers — but the Wolfenstein series of games is still going strong, and after over five years in development, a film adaptation appears to finally be moving forward: Variety reports that the big-screen version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein has got itself a producer, director, and screenwriter.

That producer would be Samuel Hadida, who fans of game adaptations will recognize as the man behind the Silent Hill movie and the first and third Resident Evil films. Handling double duty as Wolfenstein‘s director and screenwriter will be Roger Avary, who, not coincidentally, wrote Silent Hill. (Seriously, it’s all about who you know in this town.)

The games are proven sellers, of course, but whether anyone wants to see Army Ranger B.J. Blazkowicz bring his act to a nearby theater remains to be seen. Return to Castle Wolfenstein blended the series’ traditional World War II action with battles against the undead, making it more than your average WWII game, but it’s hard to imagine the game making a truly successful leap to film. Then again, people said the same thing about Robert Ludlum’s Bourne books, so a Wolfenstein move might just be crazy enough to work.

Source: Variety

Mr. Avary told Shock Till You Drop: “I’m not gonna do Silent Hill 2 … If Christophe’s not gonna do it, I’m not…”

And since Mr. Gans seems to have his plate full with other projects (including another video game adaptation called Onimusha), it looks like Silent Hill 2 will fall to some newcomers. If, that is, Sony is still interested in continuing the series. (At this point I’d expect a direct-to-video sequel with none of the original cast.)

Avary, for his part, co-wrote Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of Beowulf — which certainly promises to be something to see. He’d also like to get a movie version of The Nocturnals off the ground, which sounds like a comic book that’d be right up my alley.

But since next to nobody liked Silent Hill in the first place, I doubt this news will cast much of a shadow over your weekend.

Source: ShockTillYouDrop.com, IGN Movies

In this week’s Ketchup, another European has surfaced as a possibile star for the third "Terminator" sequel, "Alien vs. Predator 2" gets a ‘horrific’ makeover, and we get an inside look at "Iron Man."

Also, an update about the "X-Men" spinoff films, and some "Dark Knight" IMAX action. Read on.

This Week’s Most Popular News:


Schwarzenegger vs. Schenkenberg in "Terminator 4"?

Ladies and gentlemen, do we have a new "Terminator"?

"Alien vs. Predator 2" is a "Horror Movie"

It’s been a while since we’ve done anything on "Alien vs. Predator 2," so let’s talk about that one for a few minutes.

Lots of New "Iron Man" Stuff!

Entertainment Tonight hit the "Iron Man" set and came back with some video footage, plus we found another spy pic from the scene.

Update on the "X-Men" Spinoffs

Wondering what’s up with the "Wolverine" and "Magneto" movies? So were the guys at the "X-Men" Films blog, so they got in touch with producer Tom Rothman…

Four ‘Dark Knight’ Sequences to Be Shot in IMAX

As if you needed one more reason to go see the "Batman Begins" sequel: Four of the scenes, including the introduction of The Joker, will be shot in the IMAX format.


More teasers on the way.


In Other News:

  • Helen Mirren will star in the drama "Gaza," about a Jewish woman in the strife-torn Gaza Strip.
  • Chris and Paul Weitz are planning to adapt Michael Moorcock’s fantasy saga "Elric" into a possible feature film series.
  • Darnell Martin will direct the period drama "Cadillac Records" for Sony BMG’s film division.
  • Dennis Iliadis will direct "The Last House on the Left," a remake of Wes Craven‘s first film, with Craven serving as producer.
  • Dane Cook is in talks to star in the comedy "Bachelor No. 2," with Howard Deutch in talks to direct for Lionsgate.
  • Random House pictures and Rogue Films has acquired Scott Sigler’s thriller novel "Infested" for a feature film adaptation.
  • Miramax Films has signed the team behind "Half Nelson" to adapt the Marisha Pessl novel "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" into a feature film. Ryan Fleck will serve as director with Anna Boden producing.

More projects for this guy.

For the fourth consecutive weekend, four or more new wide releases will cram into multiplexes trying to get at their piece of a dwindling box office pie.

Nicolas Cage targets his second trip to the top spot this year with the action film "Next," rival actioner "The Condemned" counters with Stone Cold Steve Austin in the lead, horror fans get yet another creepy tale with "The Invisible," and Jamie Kennedy goes for some laughs with "Kickin’ It Old Skool."

Mostly garbage titles were programmed into this weekend’s menu since any studio with a decent film would not risk getting crushed on the second weekend by the webslinger sequel. Including these newest films, the first four months of 2007 boasts 64 wide releases hitting the marketplace, up slightly from last year’s 60 but up sharply from the 42 over the same period in 2005. With a mass quantity of weak April films, look for the North American box office to plunge to its lowest point of the year this weekend during what is essentially the calm before Sandman’s storm hits next Thursday night at midnight.

Following his Marvel Comics hit "Ghost Rider," Nicolas Cage once again plays the action hero card with the sci-fi thriller "Next." The PG-13 film finds the Oscar winner playing a man with the ability to see into the future who is called in to foil a terrorist plot before it happens. Directed by Lee Tamahori ("Die Another Day," "Along Came A Spider"), "Next" has the advantage of having the most screens and the most starpower of any new release this weekend. Plus with current films rotting away quickly (9 of the 16 holdovers in the Top 20 last weekend plunged by more than 55%), competition will not be too fierce. Paramount has been giving "Next" a decent amount of marketing, that is for a film being dumped into the final weekend of a month starting with the letter A. In almost any other time of year this would get clobbered, but given the current alternatives it will make for the only reasonable choice for many moviegoers. Hence, a number one opening by default and quite possibly the weakest one of the year. Crashing into over 2,500 theaters, "Next" could reach the top with around $13M.


Cage and Biel required an escort when exiting the "Next" premiere.

"The Condemned" offers a reality show idea not likely to be on any network’s fall schedule. In the weekend’s sole R-rated film, death row inmates duke it out to the death in order to avoid being executed, all while television cameras capture every brutal moment. World Wrestling Entertainment head Vince McMahon produces behind the scenes while former superstar grappler Steve Austin stars in front of the camera. Other WWE stars who headlined recent feature films include Kane in last May’s "See No Evil" ($4.6M debut) and John Cena in last fall’s "The Marine" ($7.1M bow). Both films averaged less than $4,000 on their opening weekends. Young men will make up the only audience segment for the new Lionsgate title and "Next" will provide some direct action competition. Still some hardcore wrestling fans will turn up to theaters since a movie ticket will be cheaper than ordering a pay-per-view event. But overall, prospects seem bleak. "The Condemned" will attack 2,310 theaters and may end up with $6M.


Steve Austin and some unfortunate soul in "The Condemned."

As if moviegoers don’t have enough scary films to choose from, Buena Vista offers up one more with the supernatural thriller "The Invisible." The PG-13 film follows a high school student whose spirit wanders after a brutal accident. Fright flicks have been flopping left and right recently and there is no reason to believe that this one will turn things around. The marketing volume has been stuck on low as this remake of a Swedish pic is more of a spring cleaning film tossed into the marketplace hoping to be forgotten soon. With no starpower, there will be almost nothing driving in traffic. "The Invisible" will appear in over 2,000 theaters this Friday, but might only collect roughly $5M.


One of them is "The Invisible."

Jamie Kennedy headlines the new comedy "Kickin’ It Old Skool" playing a 1980s breakdancer that falls into a coma and awakens two decades later to a much different world. Yari Film Group is targeting teenagers with this PG-13 pic which essentially offers the same laughs as the comedian’s 2003 film "Malibu’s Most Wanted." That modest hit bowed in late April to $12.6M from 2,503 theaters on its way to a $34.4M domestic final. "Skool" does not have a big studio marketing push behind it but it may grab the attention of some young dudes killing time before Peter Parker busts into theaters. DVD is where most people will find this one. Breaking into 1,600 theaters, "Kickin’ It Old Skool" could find itself with around $5M over three days.


Jamie Kennedy and Webster kick it "Old Skool."

Among holdovers, two-time champ "Disturbia" will find it difficult to hold onto its crown given the arrival of Nicolas Cage. But Paramount won’t care as it should still claim the number one film for the fifth consecutive weekend. A 40% decline would give the Shia LaBeouf pic about $8M for the frame and a healthy $51M after 17 days. The Anthony HopkinsRyan Gosling thriller "Fracture" has been well-received and competition is not too fierce so a 40% drop could be in order as well. That would leave New Line with $6.5M and a ten-day tally of $21M.

LAST YEAR: Three new flicks topped the charts led by the family comedy "RV" starring Robin Williams which opened at number one with $16.4M. The Sony hit enjoyed stellar legs and went on to collect $71.3M. Universal followed in second with the 9/11 thriller "United 93" which debuted in half as many theaters with $11.5M. The critically acclaimed pic went on to gross $31.5M. Buena Vista’s gymnastics film "Stick It" bowed in third with $10.8M on its way to $26.9M. Rounding out the top five were "Silent Hill" with $9.3M and "Scary Movie 4" with $7.8M. Also opening was the spelling drama "Akeelah and the Bee" with a weak $6M leading to a $18.8M final for Lionsgate and its promotional partner Starbucks.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Another week, another horror film. That’s the mantra in Hollywood at the moment. Among the four new films going into wide release this weekend are Sony’s terror tale "Vacancy" which represents the fourth scary flick in three weeks to hit the multiplexes.

Also debuting are New Line’s murder drama "Fracture," the Warner Bros. romantic drama "In the Land of Women," and the British action comedy "Hot Fuzz" all looking to help moviegoers kill some time as they await the return of the webslinger.

Sony offers a new batch of frights in its latest horror pic "Vacancy" starring Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as a couple stranded at a dirty motel where occupants are filmed while being brutally killed. The studio is making the right move by selling the R-rated film on concept first, and starpower second. The marketing has been creepy and effective plus the plot is different and appealing. Horror fans are likely to take interest. But moviegoers have been bombarded with scary movies so much in recent weeks that you’d think it was October. Plus the harsh rating will keep out some of the younger teens who may want in on this action. Also a wildcard will be this week’s massacre at Virginia Tech as college students may not be in the mood at this moment for a movie about senseless killings.

Most of the business will depend on marketing and the campaign has been solid. It is very difficult nowadays to set your horror flick apart from all the other ones but "Vacancy" has done it right. Competition from "Disturbia" will be a factor, but older teens and young adults who like a good scare should line up in decent spring-like numbers. "Vacancy" opens in 2,551 theaters on Friday and could pull in around $14M over three days.


Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson are forced to snoop in "Vacancy."

Recent Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling plays an assistant district attorney prosecuting a man who murdered his wife, played by Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins, in the new courtroom thriller "Fracture." The New Line release will play to a mature adult audience which puts it in a strong position given all the films targeting teens and young adults at the moment. Both actors are well-respected, however they are not necessarily box office powers. Hopkins has done well when he’s playing a cannibal, but otherwise his track record is spotty when anchoring a film with no other major commercial draws. Reviews have been somewhat positive which could help a tad. "Fracture" debuts in about 2,400 theaters and may collect roughly $12M over the frame.


Ryan Gosling wishes there was a time limit in "Fracture."

Warner Bros. goes after the ladies with the weekend’s only PG-13 entry "In the Land of Women." Written and directed by actor-turned-filmmaker Jonathan Kasdan, the romantic drama stars "The O.C."’s Adam Brody along with Meg Ryan and Olympia Dukakis in the story of a young man who learns the complexities of the other sex while caring for his ailing granny. Male appeal will be close to zero. That means that "Disturbia," which is playing very well with teenage girls, will be a major competitor here. Aside from that, there aren’t too many direct threats however the overall marketing push has not been very loud on "Women." Landing in 2,155 theaters, "In the Land of Women" might capture about $8M for the weekend.


An Adam Brody sandwich, courtesy of "In the Land of Women."

The creative team behind 2004’s cult hit "Shaun of the Dead" is back with its take on cop buddy flicks with "Hot Fuzz." The R-rated action comedy finds an overachieving London cop being transferred to a seemingly peaceful countryside village before stumbling upon a series of mysterious killings. Young men will make up the core audience. But through video and cable, "Shaun" has built up a loyal fan following which is likely to give this new entry a try. Add in positive buzz from its blockbuster release in the U.K. earlier this year (it’s already grossed $48M outside of North America) plus glowing reviews from U.S. critics and it is sure to pack a punch in the per-theater average race. Holding it back will be the moderate wide release in 825 locations. In 2004, "Shaun" debuted in 607 sites and grossed $3.3M for a solid $5,487 average. "Hot Fuzz" should be hotter and could arrest about $6M this weekend.


The dandy "Shaun of the Dead" gang is back in "Hot Fuzz."

Following its surprisingly potent number one opening, Shia LaBeouf‘s thriller "Disturbia" will face some hefty competition from "Vacancy" which also goes after those seeking a scary flick. A 45% drop could be in order giving the Paramount title around $12M for the frame and a ten-day tally of $39M.

Will Ferrell‘s hit comedy "Blades of Glory" looks set to break through the $100M mark this weekend. A 35% decline would give the Paramount release about $9M for the frame and $102M after 24 days. Disney’s animated film "Meet the Robinsons" has been holding up very well and with another weekend of mostly R-rated new entries, look for another slim dip. The 3D toon might slide by just 25% to roughly $9M boosting the cume to $84M. An invitation to the century club is in the mail.

LAST YEAR: Spooky flick "Silent Hill" topped the charts opening to a strong $20.2M on its way to $47M for Sony. The Weinstein Company’s spoof hit "Scary Movie 4" tumbled 58% in its second weekend to $16.8M for the runnerup spot. Debuting in third was the Michael Douglas actioner "The Sentinel" with $14.4M before finishing with $36.3M for Fox. The studio’s toon sequel "Ice Age: The Meltdown" followed with $13.3M in its fourth frame while competing animated entry "The Wild" rounded out the top five with $8.3M. The weekend’s other new release, the Hugh Grant comedy "American Dreamz," bowed poorly in ninth with $3.7M on its way to just $7.2M for Universal.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

In this week’s Ketchup, Talia Shire gives her views on Adrian’s absence from "Rocky Balboa," and we’ve got all sorts of trailers and teasers, from "The Fantastic Four 2," "Grind House" and "Ocean’s 13."

Also, this week’s version of a "Transformers" update is a peek at Optimus Prime, and director Sam Raimi gives some insights on "Spider-Man 3." Read on.

This Week’s Most Popular News:

Talia Shire Responds to Adrian’s Absence in "Rocky Balboa"

Like most "Rocky" fans, I found myself wondering why Talia Shire didn’t pop up in "Rocky Balboa." Did Sylvester Stallone simply want the character … gone, or was the actress simply unwilling to return for a fifth sequel? Well, USA Today has the answer.

"Fantastic Four 2" Teaser Bulletin: Johnny Storm vs. The Silver Surfer!

We’ve heard all the rumors and the casting announcements and various pieces of sequel-mania, but now comes the first official footage (and flipbook!) from "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," and I think it looks pretty damn solid.

Tarantino, Rodriguez, Clooney & Pitt: It’s "Grind House" and "Ocean’s 13" Trailer Time!
A pair of pretty high-profile movie trailers hit the ‘net quite recently, one for the long-awaited Quentin Tarantino / Robert Rodriguez action-horror combo "Grindhouse," and the other for the second star-studded sequel to "Ocean’s Eleven."

First Good Peek at Optimus Prime

The recent trailer has me pretty enthused for Michael Bay’s "Transformers," but it’s tough finding new stuff to say every time a new piece of promo material hits the wire. Anyway, Empire Magazine has Optimus Prime on its most recent cover. Pretty nifty, too.

Sam Raimi Spills Some "Spider-Man 3" Beans

The world has to wait for May to see what’s up with good ol’ "Spider-Man," but based on the guy’s most recent theatrical trailer, the web-head looks to be knee-deep in trouble. Director Sam Raimi recently had a chat with Premiere Magazine and shared some insights that the fans should find pretty enticing.


Giving the fans what they want.

In Other News:

  • "Casino Royale" has officially become the highest grossing James Bond film of all time, with a worldwide gross of $451.8 million, surpassing "Die Another Day" which grossed $431 million.
  • The long-running off-Broadway musical "Naked Boys Singing!" will be filmed for the big screen, with a behind-the-scenes documentary to be added as a bonus DVD feature.
  • Director Adam McKay has confirmed that the upcoming comedy "Step Brothers," with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, will deliberately be rated R, to prevent any self-censorship on language or nudity.
  • Finally, RT would like to remember the "Godfather of Soul" James Brown, who died on Christmas morning at age 73.

RIP Soul Brother #1

The studios have been hiding movies from those pesky scribes all year long, but this time they’ve outdone themselves. This week, three movies won’t be screened before getting tossed into the theaters: Neil LaBute‘s remake of "The Wicker Man," starring Nicolas Cage; "Crank," another high-octane actioner starring Jason Statham; and Mike Judge‘s "Idiocracy," a "Futurama"-esque comedy starring Luke Wilson.

What’s odd about this batch of unscreened films is that two of them are directed by established helmers. They include the generally blameless Judge, the man behind such beloved creations as "Beavis and Butthead" and "Office Space," and LaBute, whose filmography is a bit darker ("In the Company of Men," "Your Friends and Neighbors") but has never been uninteresting. Even stranger, "Idiocracy" is opening in limited release, but is bypassing the normal release pattern by playing outside of New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area.


No, these aren’t the sad movie critics waiting in vain to see "The Wicker Man"….

So we’re going to play that increasingly popular party game: Guess the Tomatometer! (If the studios continue to stop screening movies beforehand, GTT may replace the NFL and Nascar as one of the most popular games in America.) But we’ll make it easier for you with some super unscientific calculations. The average Tomatometer of the movies not screened for critics is just under 15 percent; Basically, we’ve taken the average Tomatometer of unscreened films plus the average Tomatometer of the key participants’ films divided by two. By factoring in the combined Tomatometers of LaBute, and stars Cage and Ellen Burstyn, we’re guessing "The Wicker Man" will wind up around 42 percent. Utilizing Judge’s and Wilson‘s Tomatometers, "Idiocracy" may wind up in the area of 38 percent. And since the directors of "Crank" are relative newcomers, we’ll use Statham, Amy Smart, and Dwight Yoakam to guesstimate that "Crank" will end up around 32 percent. Feel free to knock as many points off as you feel is necessary.


…and no, this is not a metaphor for what the studios think those mean ol’ critics will do to the opening weekend grosses.

Films Not Screened For Critics In 2006 (Best To Worst Tomatometer Score):
————————————————
69% — Snakes on a Plane
28% — Silent Hill
27% — Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion
23% — Phat Girlz
16% — Grandma’s Boy
15% — Underworld: Evolution
11% — The Benchwarmers
10% — Ultraviolet
10% — When a Stranger Calls
7% — Date Movie
7% — Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector
6% — Material Girls
6% — See No Evil
5% — Doogal
5% — BloodRayne
5% — Stay Alive
0% — Zoom

"Snakes on a Plane," the movie with the greatest title since "Dude, Where’s My Car?", has captured the imagination of the blogosphere. But now that it’s finally hitting theaters, does "SoaP" live up to the buzz?

Fangirls and boys of the world, the moment of truth is here. The reviews for "Snakes on a Plane" are in, and it appears to be exactly what you wanted, no more, no less. It does indeed feature snakes on a plane, it includes Samuel L. Jackson‘s colorful way with obscenity, and it is undoubtedly a B-movie through and through, kinda like "The Towering Inferno." Or perhaps "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," since it’s been duly noted that the film works best in front of an enthusiastic audience. The critics agree that the film is utterly ludicrous (what did you expect?), and the positive reviews emphasize that "SoaP" is an unapologetically campy, fun ride. However, some critics say that in setting out to make a so-bad-it’s-good movie, the filmmakers negate the reason for the whole enterprise, since true cult status must be earned, not created. Still, at 64 percent on the Tomatometer, "SoaP" is getting a pretty clean bill of health.


"But I’m tyring, Ringo. I’m trying… real… hard… to get these @#&$*$ snakes off this @#&$*$ plane."

It’s by far the best reviewed not-screened-for-critics film of the year (the runner-up, "Silent Hill," is at 28 percent on the Tomatometer), and it’s also leaving "Snakes on a Train" in the dust.

I finally go to see a widescreen and very clean version of the "Casino Royale" trailer (it was on the "Silent Hill" DVD), and you can now color me officially psyched for the 21st James Bond adventure. Series producer Michael G. Wilson and new Bond Daniel Craig recently shared their thoughts on the 007 kick-start with Entertainment Weekly…

…and IGN FilmForce was kind enough to turn the EW piece into a handy little news item: ""After the last film, we spent eight months trying to come up with a story, but just couldn’t," veteran Bond producer Michael G. Wilson revealed in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. "The movies had become so fantastical—with invisible cars and stuff like that—there was just no way to continue in that same vein. There was nothing new left to do. So we decided to start all over with the story we’ve always wanted to tell — how Bond became Bond in the first place."

"To prepare for his role, Craig said he "watched every single Bond movie three or four times, taking in everything I could about how the character had been portrayed in the past — then threw all that away once I started doing the role. There’s no point in making this movie unless it’s different. It’d be a waste of time unless we took Bond to a place he’d never been before."

Click here for the full article. "Casino Royale" opens on November 17th.

This week at the movies, we’ve got Oliver Stone paying tribute to the heroes of 9/11 ("World Trade Center," starring Nicolas Cage); two youngsters trying to start a dance dance revolution ("Step Up," starring Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum); a school for young superheroes ("Zoom," starring Tim Allen and Courteney Cox); and an evil website ("Pulse," starring Kristen Bell). What do the critics have to say?

Oliver Stone has never been the subtlest of directors, nor has he shied away from controversy or conspiracy-mongering. So it’s something of a surprise to critics that with his latest, "World Trade Center," he has tackled a subject (the 9/11 attacks) rife with talk of dark machinations and created a straightforward, apolitical tale of heroism. Based on a true story, "World Trade Center" stars Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena as a pair of Port Authority police officers who became trapped in the ruins of the World Trade Center while attempting to rescue others. Critics say the narrow human focus is one of the strengths of the film, along with its stunning visuals and an old-fashioned sense of resilience and heroism. At 70 percent on the Tomatometer, "World Trade Center" may be a cut below Paul Greengrass‘ 9/11 film "United 93" (90 percent), but it’s a worthy examination of a day that will live in infamy. It’s also Stone’s best-reviewed film since "Nixon."


Nicolas Cage as real-life officer John McLoughlin in "World Trade Center"

"Step Up" tells the story of a hip-hop dancer from the wrong side of the tracks (Channing Tatum) and a privileged ballerina (Jenna Dewan) who overcome their differences to make beautiful music together on the dance floor. Sound familiar? It should, if you’ve seen "Saturday Night Fever," "Save the Last Dance," or "Dirty Dancing." Perhaps the Bee Gees presciently spoke for the critics of "Step Up" when they sang, "You should be dancing," for the scribes say the film is at its best in its electrifying dance sequences, but dramatically flat otherwise. At 21 percent on the Tomatometer, the critics are putting this baby in a corner.


"Step Up": Do fries come with that shake?

The studios apparently believe "Pulse" is pretty lifeless, and that "Zoom" is full of cinematic gloom. What else could explain the fact that the Kristen Bell J-horror remake and the Tim Allen superhero comedy, respectively, were not screened for critics? It’s time to bust out those crystal balls and guess those Tomatometers, people.


"Sometimes when we touch/ the horror’s just too much"

Also in theaters this week, in limited release: "Half Nelson," starring Ryan Gosling as a troubled inner city teacher, is at a whopping 95 percent on the Tomatometer; the Czech surrealist horror film "Lunacy" is at 80 percent; "House of Sand," a visually remarkable Brazilian epic, is at 80 percent; "Conversations With Other Women," a tale of a romantic reunion starring Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart, is at 70 percent; "The Trouble With Men and Women," a low-budget Brit relationship drama, is at 50 percent; "Poster Boy," a drama about the gay son of a senator, is at 43 percent; and "The Ordeal," a dark Belgian horror import, is at 43 percent.

Recent Oliver Stone Movies:
———————————–
16% — Alexander (2004)
50% — Comandante (2003)
48% — Any Given Sunday (1999)
51% — U-Turn (1997)
74% — Nixon (1995)

Recent Nicolas Cage Movies:
————————————
61% — Lord of War (2005)
59% — The Weather Man (2005)
42% — National Treasure (2004)
82% — Matchstick Men (2003)
90% — Adaptation (2002)

Films Not Screened For Critics In 2006 (Best To Worst Tomatometer Score):
————————————————
28% — Silent Hill
27% — Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion
24% — Phat Girlz
16% — Grandma’s Boy
15% — Underworld: Evolution
11% — The Benchwarmers
10% — Ultraviolet
10% — When a Stranger Calls
7% — Date Movie
7% — Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector
6% — See No Evil
5% — Doogal
5% — BloodRayne
5% — Stay Alive

Are you between the ages of 13 and 19? Do you like … stuff? Then click right here and cast your votes for the 329th annual Teen Choice Awards, which is where you can tell the universe that Puffy is more illing than Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell is funnier than Brad Pitt, and Katie Holmes is cuter than Katey Sagal. Or something.

Click right here for the ballot, but don’t even think of voting if you’re older than 19. The Teen Choice Awards employ a bunch of enforcers who’ll come to your house and check your birth certificate.

I had to lie about my age to check out the nominees (don’t tell anyone), but the TCAs are poised to celebrate some of the following flicks:

Best Action Adventure:
"King Kong," "Mission Impossible 3," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest," "Superman Returns," "V for Vendetta," "X-Men: The Last Stand"

Best Drama: "Flightplan," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Pride & Prejudice," "Take the Lead," "Goal!," "Walk the Line"

Best Chick Flick: "Failure to Launch," "Just Like Heaven," "Just My Luck," "Last Holiday," "Aquamarine," "The Lake House"

Best Comedy: "Click," "Nacho Libre," "Scary Movie 4," "She’s the Man," "The Benchwarmers," "The Break-Up"

Best Thriller: "An American Haunting," "Hostel," "Red Eye," "Saw 2," "Silent Hill," "The Omen"

They also have a bunch of actor’s categories, but the choices managed to somehow get even sillier. Click here to cast your votes, kids.

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