(Photo by Trans World Entertainment /courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail: 20th Century Fox / courtesy Everett Collection.)
Jaws. The Karate Kid. Speed. Paul Blart: Mall Cop. All classic movies. What’s also binding them together is the fact they’ve all had terrible sequels. These forlorn follow-ups are below 10% on the Tomatometer and we’ve rounded them up, and other movies like them, for our guide to the 50 worst sequels of all time.
Franchises with multiple entries include Atlas Shrugged, Highlander, and Big Momma’s House. If you’re questioning why Police Academy only appears only once despite multiple sequels with a 0% Tomatometer score, it’s because there’s a 10 review minimum, to ensure that each sequel that shows up here has crushed enough critics’ hopes for getting a decent follow-up. And for movies with the same Tomatomter score, we ranked the the ones with more reviews higher up. We used the same ranking method for our list of the 100 worst movies ever.
Now, get ready for some brand name disappointment with the 50 worst sequels of all time!
They’ve been a long time coming, but Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are reaching the climax with Fifty Shades Freed, opening wide this Friday. And if history is any indication (Grey and Darker are 25% and 10% respectively on the Tomatometer), Freed won’t be hitting the spot with critics, prompting this week’s gallery of the most Rotten movie trilogies ever.
Hollywood plays the race card this weekend opening a pair of star-driven comedies, one for white moviegoers and the other for black audiences. Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson get the wider release with the romantic adventure comedy Fool’s Gold while debuting in 741 fewer theaters is Martin Lawrence‘s family reunion laughfest Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. Adding to the mix is the standup comedy concert pic Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show which will also try to tickle funnybones from coast to coast. Not all three films will get to laugh all the way to the bank.
Five years and one day after their date flick How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days became a number one hit, McConaughey and Hudson reteam for Fool’s Gold. Directed by Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama), the PG-13 picture tells of an ex-couple that must band together to find sunken treasure. The Warner Bros. release looks like a winner on paper. Take two stars with a proven track record, put them in a film that combines romantic comedy with action adventure, and hefty grosses from both genders should come rolling in. The marketing has certainly been pushing all the right aspects trying to sell this as a Romancing the Stone for today’s twentysomethings and thirtysomethings.
But the film’s poor execution will be a major liability in the long run. Reviews have been among the worst of any film in this new year. Since Fool’s Gold will play to an over-25 crowd, the thumbs down from critics could have an impact. Bad word-of-mouth will certainly kick in after this weekend and hurt future weeks. Then again, critically-panned comedies packed with big stars usually sell pretty well with the paying public. Gold will play to the same crowd that powered 10 Days to a $23.8M bow and McConaughey’s 2006 rom-com Failure to Launch to $24.4M. Both skewed female and heavily white. The actor’s latest offering could open in the same neighborhood but should suffer weaker legs. Opening in 3,125 theaters, Fool’s Gold may bow to about $23M.
Roscoe Jenkins will pull in most of its business from the African American audience. Turnout should be robust given the starpower. Sure the family reunion story has been done a hundred times, but moviegoers will want to see all the big names under one roof giving them two hours of laughs. In the right film, and when surrounded by other marquee stars, Martin Lawrence is still a big draw at the box office. His comedy sequel Big Momma’s House 2 opened to $27.7M around this time of year in 2006.
Plus with this weekend’s Top 20 set to offer no other films led by black casts, direct competition will be minimal. The Ice Cube comedy First Sunday debuted to $17.7M a month ago and Martin and gang could do better. Reviews will not be very good, but that should not matter much. The only limiting factor will be the theater count. Debuting in 2,384 locations, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins could collect around $20M this weekend.
The Eye settled for a decent second place finish over the Super Bowl frame and like most fright flicks, should not enjoy a good hold on the second weekend. The new menu of comedies won’t provide too much competition so a decline of 50% would leave Lionsgate with about $6M lifting the total to $21M after ten days.
Fox’s female-skewing comedy 27 Dresses will take a direct hit from Matt and Kate’s reunion. Look for the Katherine Heigl film to fall by 40% to $5M for a 24-day score of $64M. Playing to a slightly different audience, Rambo took a sizable blow over the Super Bowl frame and should see its drop stabilize to 50%. That would leave the ultraviolent Lionsgate sequel with $3.5M putting the overall cume at $36M.
LAST YEAR: Following soon after his first-ever Oscar nomination for Dreamgirls, Eddie Murphy rocketed to number one at the box office with the powerful $34.2M debut for the comedy Norbit. The Paramount release went on to gobble up $95.7M domestically and about $160M worldwide. Opening in second with a respectable $13.1M was the thriller Hannibal Rising which went on to gross $27.7M for The Weinstein Company. The previous weekend’s top two films followed, but switched their order. Universal’s Diane Keaton comedy Because I Said So held up well and grossed $9.2M while the horror pic The Messengers fell harder and took in $7.2M for Sony. Rounding out the top five was the unstoppable holiday hit Night at the Museum with $5.8M in its eighth frame.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
As the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts get ready to rumble at the Super Bowl on Sunday, Hollywood goes into counterprogramming mode and targets female moviegoers with a pair of new releases.
Those looking for big names will get to laugh with the new comedy "Because I Said So" while those in the mood for a scare get the haunted house flick "The Messengers." Overall, it should be a low scoring game at North American multiplexes this weekend.
Diane Keaton leaves behind the men and anchors her own comedy in "Because I Said So" playing an overbearing mother trying to find the right man for her youngest daughter. Directed by Michael Lehmann ("Heathers," "40 Days and 40 Nights"), the PG-13 film boasts some added girlpower in the cast with Mandy Moore, Piper Perabo, and Lauren Graham playing the daughters. The Universal release will undoubtedly skew heavily female and heavily Caucasian, but the acting ensemble could lead to a broad age range with mature women drawn in by Keaton’s motherly problems and young women connecting with the sisters. Aside from Mother’s Day weekend, the Super Bowl frame could indeed be the best time to launch a film like this as male interest will be low.
In a world where Meryl Streep can open "The Devil Wears Prada" to $27.5M, Jane Fonda can drive "Monster-in-Law" to a $23.1M debut, and Helen Mirren keeps bringing in audiences month after month with "The Queen," there certainly is box office gold with Hollywood’s elder stateswomen. Whether Keaton can join the ranks with this particular vehicle might be a different story. The studio has been pushing "Because" with great energy, but poor reviews could prompt many to just wait for the DVD. Starpower should help drive women of different ages to the box office and away from football and in a weak marketplace, that may be enough to reach the top spot. Opening in 2,526 theaters, "Because I Said So" might debut with around $14M.
Also opening on Friday is "The Messengers," the fourth horror film in as many weeks to hit multiplexes. The PG-13 film directed by the Hong Kong-born Pang brothers tells the story of a family that moves into a run-down old house only to find creepy forces at play. Audiences have rejected every fright flick Hollywood has offered since October and "The Messengers" does not seem to bring anything new and exciting to the table to change things. Teens and young adults seem to be the core audience and with the big game in Miami commanding a lot of attention from the boys, Sony is hoping that teenage girls will be up for a scare. Marketing has been textbook and identical to every other horror pic. The starpower battle will be lost against "Because" so this flick will have to cater to those young ladies who do not want to be reminded of how meddlesome mothers can be. "The Messengers" opens in 2,528 theaters and could scare up around $12M for the weekend.
Among holdovers, the spoof comedy "Epic Movie" may have won last weekend’s box office derby beating fellow freshman "Smokin’ Aces," but the R-rated action pic has taken over at number one each day during the mid-week period as "Epic" fans have gone back to class. The Fox comedy should see the larger drop as word-of-mouth will be nonexistent given its pathetic 3% score on RottenTomatoes.com which makes it the odds-on favorite so far for next year’s Razzie Awards. A 50% fall would leave "Epic Movie" with about $9M and a ten-day cume of $30M.
"Smokin’ Aces" has held up better during the week and newcomers won’t threaten its audience of young men that much. A 45% drop would give the Universal release around $8M for the weekend and a total of $27M after ten days.
The blockbuster "Night at the Museum" will enjoy yet another weekend when no kid movies enter the marketplace. That should lead to a small drop, possibly 25%, giving the Ben Stiller pic roughly $7M for the frame pushing the cume to an amazing $225M.
LAST YEAR: Thrills ruled the box office as the scary pic "When a Stranger Calls" opened at number one with a strong $21.6M to easily lead the frame. Sony found its way to $47.9M. Fox’s "Big Momma’s House 2" dropped a notch to second with $13.6M in its second weekend while the kidpic "Nanny McPhee" finished in third with $9.8M. "Brokeback Mountain" climbed to the highest position of its entire run coming in fourth place with $6M. Rounding out the top five was the animated hit "Hoodwinked" with $5.3M. Focus opened its new cross-cultural romantic comedy "Something New" in seventh place with a mild $4.9M on its way to only $11.5M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
A quartet of poorly-titled films will hit the multiplexes on Friday hoping to grab some business opposite a string of acclaimed releases fresh from earning their Oscar nominations.
Leading the newcomers with the most theaters is the spoof comedy "Epic Movie" which goes head to head against the crime drama "Smokin’ Aces." Horror fans get the werewolf pic "Blood and Chocolate" while those who prefer non-violence get the Jennifer Garner drama "Catch and Release."
Fox tries to tap into the immature crowd with its new comedy "Epic Movie" which spoofs many of the big-budget action and fantasy blockbusters of recent years. The "Scary Movie" series has ushered in more spoof flicks and Fox even saw solid results a year ago with its "Date Movie" which lampooned popular romantic comedies. That film bowed to $19.1M and found its way to $48.5M. Fans may be getting a little sick of the same template over and over again so the opening may not be as big, but the genre still works especially with young teens looking for mindless entertainment after a long week of classes. Commercials and trailers do not look that funny, but given the weak marketplace and the success rate of comedies with specific concepts, "Epic" may take in all the cash it needs to hit the number one spot. Holdovers do not seem like they will break into double digit millions this weekend. With a wide release in 2,801 playdates, the PG-13 pic could amass around $14M.
The weekend’s solo R pic comes in the form of the mob thriller "Smokin’ Aces" from Universal. Jeremy Piven, Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, and Alicia Keys star in this ensemble piece about a witness in protective custody being hunted down by a crime boss before he can testify. Young men are the target audience here in this Vegas-set flick that tries too hard to be cool. The NFL’s weekend off should make guys more available for ticketbuying which will help. The studio saw an underwhelming $6.4M three-day debut for another R-rated crime saga earlier this month – "Alpha Dog" – and will probably see many of the same customers this time around. An extra 1,000 theaters will ensure a bigger opening, but there is no A-list star or director in the film to truly attract a large crowd. A quick in and out of theaters should result. Opening in 2,204 locations, "Smokin’ Aces" might collect roughly $8M in its first hand.
Jennifer Garner plays a woman trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband in the new drama "Catch and Release." Sony proudly offers the only major new pic for female moviegoers and hopes to stand out from the crowd by going after an audience few others are targeting. The PG-13 film will test the starpower of the former "Alias" star who last hit screens two years ago with the big-budget bomb "Elektra." Her comedy "13 Going on 30" which she anchored solo performed well with a $21.1M bow, but "Catch" lacks the same fun factor and will probably draw fewer males too. Plus the studio is going into the marketplace with less than half the theaters they gave to "13." A supporting role by Kevin Smith is not likely to help bring in many dudes. But with so few films playing specifically to young women, a decent average is likely. "Catch and Release" hits 1,622 theaters on Friday and could take in about $7M.
Werewolf terror hits the multiplexes in the form of "Blood and Chocolate," a new supernatural fright flick aiming for teens and young adults. The MGM release carries a PG-13 rating which could work well in getting in younger teens, but the film lacks the zing or interesting concept that fans need in order to pay top dollar at the local theater. Every recent horror film has underperformed at the box office and this one does not seem like the savior that can turn things around. Plus other new releases will be distracting the target audience too. Opening in roughly 1,500 theaters, "Blood and Chocolate" could debut to around $4M.
After racking up over $200M through its five-week stay in the top two slots, "Night at the Museum" should get bumped down a bit. The Ben Stiller film once again faces no new competition for the family audience so a slim decline should result. A 30% fall would give Fox about $8M for the weekend and a towering cume of $215M. Sony’s "Stomp the Yard" looks to fall harder so a 40% drop to around $7M could occur pushing the cume to $50M.
After scoring the most Oscar nominations of any film with eight, the big-budget musical "Dreamgirls" shot up to the number one spot on Tuesday after finishing in third last weekend and on Monday. Although it missed out on the top prize of a Best Picture nomination, the Jamie Foxx–Beyonce Knowles film is still getting media attention which is fueling the buzz and the studio has wasted no time in advertising the fact that no other film has more Academy Award nods. Still, the film is aging and many other awards contenders are expanding and trying to attract upscale moviegoers too. A small 20% slide to around $6M may occur giving "Dreamgirls" a solid $85M total.
LAST YEAR: Martin Lawrence topped the box office with his hit comedy sequel "Big Momma’s House 2" which bowed to a plump $27.7M. The Fox release went on to gross $70.2M. Debuting in second was the family film "Nanny McPhee" with $14.5M for Universal on its way to $47.1M. Sony’s "Underworld: Evolution" tumbled by 58% in its second weekend and placed third with $11.4M. The military drama "Annapolis" opened in fourth with a modest $7.7M before finishing with $17.1M for Buena Vista. The animated hit "Hoodwinked" rounded out the top five with $7.5M in its third caper.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
After some furious debate over David Germain‘s discussion of films "not screened for critics," RT takes a look at the Tomatometers and respective B.O. performances of the flicks withheld from critics so far this year.
Films Not Screened For Critics In 2006:
29% — Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion (Feb. 24)
17% — Grandma’s Boy (Jan. 6)
16% — Underworld: Evolution (Jan. 20)
10% — When a Stranger Calls (Feb. 3)
9% — Ultraviolet (Mar. 3)
8% — Date Movie (Feb. 17)
7% — BloodRayne (Jan. 6)
6% — Stay Alive (Mar. 24)
5% — Doogal (Feb 24)
4% — Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (Mar. 24)
Average Tomatometer not screened for critics: 11%
As Germain noted, this is becoming a common trend; in 2006, 10 films have already been withheld from those mean old scribes, with "The Benchwarmers" and "Phat Girlz" joining that illustrious list this week. Apparently, the whole of the studio system is terrified that the following exchange will take place within the coveted teen and young adult demographic:
Teen No. 1: "Man, am I ever stoked to be first in line to see ("Date Movie"/ "Underworld: Evolution"/ "The Benchwarmers," etc.)! This film will certainly be off the chain! Oh look, there’s my friend!"
Teen No. 2 (running, looking frantic): "Bad news, homie. David Denby, Andrew Sarris, AND Stephanie Zacharek all dissed ("Date Movie"/ "Underworld: Evolution"/ "The Benchwarmers," etc.). They say it’s really stupid."
Teen No. 1: "Curses! I’m getting out of the line for this movie, and I shall not be seeing it on its opening weekend. Dear fellow, perchance is ‘The Best of Youth‘ still playing in the local arthouse?"
The phrase "critic-proof" has entered the lexicon for a reason: it perfectly sums up a certain type of move, one that the studios still feel is necessary not to screen.
And what do the critics have to say about these films? Unsurprisingly, the average is an 11 percent on the Tomatometer. Of the twenty worst reviewed wide releases of the year so far, these ten films occupy the top slots. Still, that doesn’t mean too much; "Big Momma’s House 2" was screened for critics, got a six percent on the Tomatometer, and still made a lot of money. So while the films that aren’t screened are by no means cinematic gems, there’s an excellent chance they will make lots of money regardless.
When the staff of Rotten Tomatoes is not meticulously analyzing the films of Bergman, Ozu, and Bresson, we’ve been known to watch (and unironically enjoy) such critically drubbed flicks as "Stealth," "Black Knight," and the collected works of Jean-Claude Van Damme. Some movies aren’t "good" per se, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have potential audiences. Studios should know this better than anyone; they made the movies.
That it would debut in the #1 spot was a foregone conclusion, but Sony/Screen Gems’ "When a Stranger Calls" did a whole heckuva lot better than that by grossing an unexpectedly high (albeit estimated) $22m from just about 3,000 screens. Sony chose to shield the flick from the press, as if teenagers interested in PG-13 horror movies give a wet slap what film critics think.
Dropping 51% into second place was the comedy in which Martin Lawrence dresses up like a fat old lady. "Big Momma’s House 2" made about $13.3 million over the weekend, lifting its total tally to $45.4 million.
In third place was Universal’s family comedy "Nanny McPhee," which added another $9.9 million to its $26.6 million total.
Gaining an addition 400+ screens over the weekend was Oscar favorite "Brokeback Mountain," which broached the top five with a $5.6m haul. Its grand total presently stands at $59.7 million.
Rounding out the top five was the animated comedy "Hoodwinked," which tucked another $5.3 million into its $44m piggy bank.
Focus’ "Something New" semi-sputtered out of the gate, tallying about $5 million from 1,200 theaters, placing it seventh behind Sony’s "Underworld: Evolution," which added another $5.1 million to its $52.7 million kitty.
Next week sees the wide release of four big titles: The feature-length debut of "Curious George," the Harrison Ford thriller "Firewall," the long-delayed farce remake "The Pink Panther," and the horror sequel "Final Destination 3."
As always, you can visit the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page for a closer look at the weekend numbers.
Proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that there’s nothing in the universe funnier than a desperate comedian in drag (preferably fat drag), "Big Momma’s House 2" snagged the #1 spot at the weekend box office by tallying an estimated $28 million from 3,200 theaters. And yet everyone will complain when Fox announces the inevitable "Big Momma’s House 3."
Clocking in at second place, with a surprisingly strong $14 million haul from 2,000 theaters, was the British family comedy "Nanny McPhee," starring Emma Thompson. Third place went to last week’s #1 winner, the vampire vs. werwolf thriller "Underworld: Evolution," which added an additional $11 million to its $44 million coffin.
Another new arrival, the Disney military boxing drama romance amalgam "Annapolis," debuted in 1,600 theaters with a haul of $7.7 million, while the top five was rounded out by "Hoodwinked," the animated comedy that added another $7.3 million to its $37 million goodie basket.
For a closer look at the weekend numbers, stop by the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office page.
At the premiere for "Big Momma’s House 2," Tom Rothman (head of Fox) spoke about "X-Men 3," but also of note are his comments below on the "Alien vs. Predator" sequel. SKNR.net reported months ago that a film was coming and that it would have a contemporary setting, based on the planned script, and thanks to IESB.net and their exclusive interview, the news below seems to confirm this.
Q: AvP 2. any development there?
TR: Yeah, uh, Hutch would know actually better but I think they just got the script, they just got the script in…we are making that movie, it’s gonna be kick ass (smiles).
Q: How soon?
TR: We’re hoping for August of 2007 release. That’s what we hope.
Click here for the full interview.
Annapolis, the renowned naval military school, is an institution steeped in history; unfortunately, the movie can lay claim to that as well. Starring James Franco as a new recruit who needs to set his priorities straight, the movie’s shopworn story and clichï¿½s will remind viewers of "Rocky," "Top Gun," and "An Officer and a Gentleman," movies "Annapolis" can’t favorably stand against. Currently at 10% on the Tomatometer, the best encouragement we can give "Annapolis" is better luck tomorrow.
Obviously, of all the movies needing a sequel, the most pressing one has to be Martin Lawrence’s "Big Momma’s House." How else can we explain "Big Momma’s House 2," a comedy called painfully unfunny and unnecessary by the critics? Lawrence is back in a fat suit and incognito as Big Momma. There’s a story about him going undercover to avert a national disaster, but that’s only an excuse to string together the fat jokes. At 29% on the Tomatometer, "Big Momma’s House 2" is at least an improvement over Lawrence’s last effort, "Rebound."
Nanny McPhee is no Mary Poppins, but there isn’t a rowdy kid she can’t handle. Starring Emma Thompson as the title character, she finds that her latest charges will need all the help they can get to keep their family together. Hovering at 72% on the Tomatometer, "Nanny McPhee" is a fine film to take the kids, critics say.
If you want the newest and most up-to-date MPAA ratings, release date changes, and theater counts, you probably already know that Filmjerk.com is the place to visit every Sunday. This week brings a delay for Aniston & Vaughn’s "Break Up," a release date for some "Dark Materials," and the news on Larry Clark’s latest ick-fest.
"Dave Chappelle’s Block Party" (Rogue Pictures): The part-concert film/part sketch comedy movie from the one-time king of Comedy Central will open March 3.
"Flicka" (Twentieth Century Fox): The horse drama remake has been pushed back from February 17 to July 28.
"His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass" (New Line Cinema): The first adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy will hit cinema screens on December 7, 2007.
The Untitled Sarah Michelle Gellar Supernatural Thriller (Focus Features): It might not have a title just yet, but the latest film from the one-time vampire slayer will open in theatres September 1.
For a lot more info just like the stuff above, feel free to visit Filmjerk.com’s Early Report, and be sure to stop back every weekend.