(Photo by 20th Century Fox. Thumbnail: Netflix/courtesy Everett Collection.)
The Worst Superhero Movies of All Time
Great leaping tomatoes! It’s the worst superhero movies ever, an infamous league of Rotten films that scored less than 30% on the Tomatometer!
First off, to keep this list spandex-tight, not only did we include superhero movies below 30%, but each had to have at least 20 reviews, guaranteeing enough critics witnessed of these erratic efforts, franchise non-starters, and would-be blockbusters.
After looking through the list, if you’re wondering why you didn’t see the 1990 Captain America movie, a bunch of those sequels to The Crow, or Dolph Lundgren’s The Punisher, they were cut out by not accumulating at least 20 critics reviews. But, don’t worry, still plenty of room for Frank in this castle of decrepitude, as the other two Punisher movies, the Thomas Jane one and War Zone, are represented. In fact, they both even currently have the same score at 29%, just squeezing into the list. And while most Audience Scores are in the same realm as its movie’s Tomatometer, there’s a divergence on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Dark Phoenix: Both Rotten movies according to the critics, but which settled above 60% on the Audience Score.
Nic Cage appears twice on this list because they made two Ghost Rider movies. Ryan Reynolds also shows up twice but in two separate franchises, mucking it up in both houses of Marvel and DC via Blade: Trinity and Green Lantern. And because who doesn’t like a comic book showdown, in the battle of Marvel vs DC over who’s made the most worst superhero movies, Marvel is “triumphant” with 10 listings, and DC at 9. We didn’t count The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the movie so bad it made Sean Connery quit acting, because though it was at the time produced at an imprint of an imprint of DC Comics (it’s imprint-ception, people), the comic was always wholly owned by its creator Alan Moore.
Of course, let’s not count out other labels making special appearances, like 2000 A.D. (Judge Dredd) or Image (Spawn). Then there’s the magic that happens when when Hollywood executives come together to create something that didn’t come from a comic book, with sparkling results like Tim Allen’s Zoom, an adaptation of TV cartoon Underdog, and the toy-based Max Steel.
One last thing: For movies with the same Tomatometer scores, whichever had more reviews was placed higher. Now, come take a flying leap as we rank the worst superhero movies of all time! —Alex Vo
Adjusted Score: 56814%
Critics Consensus: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice smothers a potentially powerful story -- and some of America's most iconic superheroes -- in a grim whirlwind of effects-driven action.
It's been nearly two years since Superman's (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 35883%
Critics Consensus: A good cast fails to elevate this overly violent and by-the-numbers revenge flick.
This dark action film, based on the comic book series, follows FBI agent Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) as he transforms... [More]
Adjusted Score: 32228%
Critics Consensus: Punisher: War Zone recalls the excessively violent, dialogue-challenged actioners of the 1980s, and coincidentally feels two decades out of date.
Frank Castle, aka The Punisher (Ray Stevenson), turns the streets of New York City red as he wages a one... [More]
Adjusted Score: 51630%
Critics Consensus: Suicide Squad boasts a talented cast and a little more humor than previous DCEU efforts, but they aren't enough to save the disappointing end result from a muddled plot, thinly written characters, and choppy directing.
Figuring they're all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret... [More]
Adjusted Score: 35251%
Critics Consensus: Noisy, overproduced, and thinly written, Green Lantern squanders an impressive budget and decades of comics mythology.
Sworn to preserve intergalactic order, the Green Lantern Corps has existed for centuries. Its newest recruit, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds),... [More]
Adjusted Score: 31912%
Critics Consensus: Ghost Rider is a sour mix of morose, glum histrionics amidst jokey puns and hammy dialogue.
Years ago, motorcycle stuntman Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) sold his soul to save the life of a loved one. Now,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 30602%
Critics Consensus: Louder, campier, and more incoherent than its predecessors, Blade: Trinity seems content to emphasize style over substance and rehash familiar themes.
The war between humans and vampires continues, but the humans' best hope, human-vampire hybrid warrior Blade (Wesley Snipes), has been... [More]
Adjusted Score: 27462%
Critics Consensus: Venerable action star Chow Yun-Fat is the only saving grace in this silly action flick that more often than not resembles a commercial in style.
For 60 years, a mysterious monk with no name (Chow Yun-Fat) has zigzagged the globe to protect an ancient scroll... [More]
Adjusted Score: 45291%
Critics Consensus: Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc -- with deeply disappointing results.
The X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe when one of their own, Jean Grey, starts to spiral out... [More]
Adjusted Score: 23138%
Critics Consensus: Judge Dredd wants to be both a legitimate violent action flick and a parody of one, but director Danny Cannon fails to find the necessary balance to make it work.
In the crime-plagued future, the only thing standing between order and chaos is Judge Joseph Dredd (Sylvester Stallone). His duty:... [More]
Adjusted Score: 26872%
Critics Consensus: Neither entertaining enough to recommend nor remarkably awful, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may bear the distinction of being the dullest movie ever made about talking bipedal reptiles.
Spawned from a lab experiment gone awry, teenage terrapins Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael live in the sewers beneath New... [More]
Adjusted Score: 26990%
Critics Consensus: It's got a few chuckles, but Thunder Force is largely a superhero comedy that's neither exciting nor funny -- and an egregious waste of its co-stars' talents.
Two childhood best friends reunite as an unlikely crime-fighting superhero duo when one invents a formula that gives ordinary people... [More]
Adjusted Score: 19227%
Critics Consensus: It's a case of one sequel too many for the heroes in a half shell, with a tired time-travel plot gimmick failing to save the franchise from rapidly diminishing returns.
Reporter April O'Neil (Paige Turco) purchases an ancient Japanese scepter that can cause those simultaneously holding it in different centuries... [More]
Adjusted Score: 22668%
Critics Consensus: With a weak script, uneven CG work, and a Nic Cage performance so predictably loony it's no longer amusing, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance aims to be trashy fun but ends up as plain trash.
Now hiding out in Eastern Europe, Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is still struggling with the curse of the Ghost Rider... [More]
Adjusted Score: 23775%
Critics Consensus: Just ordinary. LXG is a great premise ruined by poor execution.
A team of extraordinary figures culled from great adventure literature (including Alan Quatermain, vampiress Mina Harker from Dracula, the Invisible... [More]
Adjusted Score: 19243%
Critics Consensus: Spawn is an overbearing, over-violent film that adds little to the comic book adaptation genre.
Covert government assassin Al Simmons (Michael Jai White) is killed after being double-crossed by his boss, Jason Wynn (Martin Sheen).... [More]
Adjusted Score: 29664%
Critics Consensus: Cursed with uninspired effects, rote performances, and a borderline nonsensical story, this dreary mess is a vein attempt to make Morbius happen.
One of the most compelling and conflicted characters in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters comes to the big screen... [More]
Adjusted Score: 17531%
Critics Consensus: Underdog is a mostly forgettable adaptation that relies far too heavily on recycled material and sloppy production.
After a lab accident gives him extraordinary powers, including the ability to speak, a canine (Jason Lee) declares himself the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 15410%
Critics Consensus: No no, Power Rangers.
The young superheroes square off against an evil villainess who plots to free a fiery monster from its volcano cage.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 18362%
Critics Consensus: Though its visuals are unique, The Spirit's plot is almost incomprehensible, the dialogue is ludicrously mannered, and the characters are unmemorable.
Apparently murdered cop Denny Colt (Gabriel Macht) returns as the Spirit, dedicated to protecting Central City from crime. His archenemy,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 15837%
Critics Consensus: While it has its moments, Howard the Duck suffers from an uneven tone and mediocre performances.
In this film based on the comic book character, Howard the Duck is suddenly beamed from Duckworld, a planet of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 16896%
Critics Consensus: Josh Brolin gives it his best shot, but he can't keep the short, unfocused Jonah Hex from collapsing on the screen.
Having cheated death, gunslinger and bounty hunter Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) has one foot in the natural world and one... [More]
Adjusted Score: 16556%
Critics Consensus: Joel Schumacher's tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that's too jokey to care much for.
This superhero adventure finds Batman (George Clooney) and his partner, Robin (Chris O'Donnell), attempting to the foil the sinister schemes... [More]
Adjusted Score: 11234%
Critics Consensus: Steel is a badly-acted movie that indulges not only in superhero cliches, but also the sappy TV-movie-of-the-week ones.
Former Army scientists (Shaquille O'Neal, Annabeth Gish), one in a steel suit, team up in Los Angeles against another (Judd... [More]
Adjusted Score: 17029%
Critics Consensus: Jennifer Garner inhabits her role with earnest gusto, but Elektra's tone deaf script is too self-serious and bereft of intelligent dialogue to provide engaging thrills.
Assassin-for-hire Elektra (Jennifer Garner) works for a mysterious international organization known as the Hand, for which she kills her targets... [More]
Adjusted Score: 12485%
Critics Consensus: The Crow: City of Angels is a sloppy pretender that captures neither the mood nor energy of the original.
After mechanic Ashe (Vincent Perez) and his son (Eric Acosta) witness a murder, they are captured and killed by drug... [More]
Adjusted Score: 11391%
Critics Consensus: The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot's going.
Seeing the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a nuclear arms race that could lead to Earth's destruction,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 18968%
Critics Consensus: Dull and downbeat, this Fantastic Four proves a woefully misguided attempt to translate a classic comic series without the humor, joy, or colorful thrills that made it great.
Transported to an alternate universe, four young outsiders gain superhuman powers as they alter their physical form in shocking ways.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 16029%
Critics Consensus: Halle Berry is the lone bright spot, but even she can't save this laughable action thriller.
"Catwoman" is the story of shy, sensitive artist Patience Philips (Halle Berry), a woman who can't seem to stop apologizing... [More]
Adjusted Score: 8757%
Critics Consensus: The effects are cheesy and Supergirl's wide-eyed, cheery heroine simply isn't interesting to watch for an hour and a half.
Kara (Helen Slater) of Argo City poses as Clark Kent's cousin, Linda Lee, to recover the Omegahedron from a witch... [More]
Adjusted Score: 9080%
Critics Consensus: Overly frantic, painfully unfunny, and sorely missing the presence of Jim Carrey.
A cartoonist and family man, Tim Avery (Jamie Kennedy) lives a peaceful existence with his wife, Tonya (Traylor Howard), as... [More]
Adjusted Score: 6318%
Critics Consensus: Lacking the punch and good cheer of The Incredibles and Sky High, Zoom is a dull and laugh-free affair.
Capt. Zoom, or Jack (Tim Allen), as he is now known, has long since given up his career of fighting... [More]
Adjusted Score: 502%
Critics Consensus: Bereft of characterization or even satisfying rock 'em sock 'em, Max Steel feels like futzing with an action figure without any childhood imagination.
Teenager Max McGrath (Ben Winchell) discovers that his body can generate the most powerful energy in the universe. Steel (Josh... [More]
(Photo by Orion/courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail: Vertical Entertainment, TriStar Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)
100 Worst Movies of All Time
It’s bad movies galore as we encounter the Rottenest of the Rotten: 100 movies that scored less than 5% with the critics on the Tomatometer!
You’re going to see lots of 0% movies, and there’s even more out there, but the ones on this list all have at least 20 reviews. We wanted to make sure the movies we’re “vouching” for as the worst ever have inflicted a minimum threshold of agony on critics. And the 20-review entry applies for every other movie on this list, and that includes the usual suspects of garbage cinema, like the deep space train wreck Battlefield Earth, the box office turkey (turtle?) The Master of Disguise, Netflix’s lazy western The Ridiculous 6, and flaccid softcore Killing Me Softly (which also makes a dubious appearance in the 200 best and worst erotic movies).
You may also note a number of significant stinkers are from the past 20 years. It’s not just because Uwe Boll was employed during this time period. And, by the way, he’s actually beat by dubious directing duo Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, who have four movies on the list. Instead, it’s the fact more reviews are being written and collected than ever before, so today’s disasters have a better chance of vaunting over 20 reviews. (And for movies that share the same score, more reviews means you’re placed higher within the ranking.)
But fret not: Plenty of yesteryear’s bombs are here. After all, the decade that produced Mac & Me has a lot to account for. Some of the classic trash featured includes the soul-sucking Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Speed 2: Cruise Control (see what happens when you throw Keanu overboard?), off-the-deep-end Jaws: The Revenge, and prime directive-violating RoboCop 3.
What you won’t see: Some legendary bad movies like Cats, Birdemic, and The Room, all of which have cleared at least a 10% Tomatometer. That’s right, they were too good. And Miami Connection and Plan 9 From Outer Space are actually Fresh!
Now that we set the mood for truly bad movies, start the most painful watchlist you’ll ever make with the 100 worst movies of all time! —Alex Vo
Adjusted Score: 8231%
Critics Consensus: Mac and Me is duly infamous: not only is it a pale imitation of E.T., it's also a thinly-veiled feature length commercial for McDonalds and Coca-Cola.
A young extraterrestrial, separated from its family and stranded on Earth, finds friendship with a boy in a wheelchair.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4399%
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.
As war looms in an idyllic kingdom, a man named Farmer (Jason Statham) begins a heroic quest to find his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4635%
Critics Consensus: Plagued by paper-thin characterizations and a hackneyed script, Material Girls fails to live up to even the minimum standards of its genre.
Two sibling cosmetics heiresses (Hilary Duff, Haylie Duff) must grow up quickly when a company scandal leaves them penniless. Though... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4564%
Critics Consensus: BloodRayne is an absurd sword-and-sorcery vid-game adaptation from schlock-maestro Uwe Boll, featuring a distinguished (and slumming) cast.
In 18th-century Romania, after spending much of her life in a traveling circus, human-vampire hybrid Rayne (Kristanna Loken) escapes and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4686%
Critics Consensus: A Little Bit of Heaven subjects viewers to a whole bunch of schmaltz - and strands Kate Hudson and Gael García Bernal in a fatally misguided film.
New Orleans ad executive Marley Corbett (Kate Hudson) is a free-spirited woman who embraces her easy sexuality, shuns commitment, and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4567%
Critics Consensus: Yet another predictable variation on the hoary old haunted-house movie, Darkness is an illogical, portentous mess.
Paul (Stephan Enquist) and his older sister, Regina (Anna Paquin), unpack and settle into their new country home with their... [More]
Adjusted Score: 6318%
Critics Consensus: Lacking the punch and good cheer of The Incredibles and Sky High, Zoom is a dull and laugh-free affair.
Capt. Zoom, or Jack (Tim Allen), as he is now known, has long since given up his career of fighting... [More]
Adjusted Score: 6337%
Critics Consensus: The Fog is a so-so remake of a so-so movie, lacking scares, suspense or originality.
The prosperous town of Antonio Bay, Ore., is born in blood, as the town's founders get their money by murdering... [More]
Adjusted Score: 6680%
Critics Consensus: Speed 2 falls far short of its predecessor, thanks to laughable dialogue, thin characterization, unsurprisingly familiar plot devices, and action sequences that fail to generate any excitement.
Annie (Sandra Bullock) is looking forward to a Caribbean cruise with her cop boyfriend, Alex (Jason Patric), who purchased the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 6657%
Critics Consensus: The Covenant plays out like a teen soap opera, full of pretty faces, wooden acting, laughable dialogue, and little suspense.
In the 17th century, five families with supernatural powers make a pact of silence. Eventually one power-hungry family is banished.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 8349%
Critics Consensus: Flatliners falls flat as a horror movie and fails to improve upon its source material, rendering this reboot dead on arrival.
Five medical students embark on a daring and dangerous experiment to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond... [More]
Adjusted Score: 7029%
Critics Consensus: Happily N'Ever After has none of the moxy, edge, or postmodern wit of the other fairy-tales-gone-haywire CG movie it so blatantly rips off.
Fairy Tale Land becomes a realm of happy endings gone wrong when Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Frieda (Sigourney Weaver), joins forces... [More]
Adjusted Score: 6178%
Critics Consensus: Code Name: The Cleaner is a limp action/comedy flick that alternates between lame, worn-out jokes and cheesy martial arts.
When Jake (Cedric the Entertainer) awakes one morning in a strange hotel room, he finds himself in a bit of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 7132%
Critics Consensus: A star-studded turkey, Movie 43 is loaded with gleefully offensive and often scatological gags, but it's largely bereft of laughs.
Twelve directors, including Peter Farrelly, Griffin Dunne and Brett Ratner, contributed to this collection of outrageous spoofs and stories. A... [More]
Adjusted Score: 7603%
Critics Consensus: The Adventures of Pluto Nash is neither adventurous nor funny, and Eddie Murphy is on autopilot in this notorious box office bomb.
"Pluto Nash" is an action comedy set on the moon in the year 2087, starring Eddie Murphy as the title... [More]
Adjusted Score: 7075%
Critics Consensus: Witlessly broad and utterly devoid of laughs, Vampires Suck represents a slight step forward for the Friedberg-Seltzer team.
Becca, an angst-ridden teenager, is torn between two supernatural suitors: vampire Edward and werewolf Jacob. However, she must find a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 7442%
Critics Consensus: Witless, unfocused, and arguably misogynistic, Playing for Keeps is a dispiriting, lowest-common-denominator Hollywood rom-com.
Long past his soccer-playing heyday, George Dryer (Gerard Butler) is struggling financially and failing in his attempt to reconcile with... [More]
Adjusted Score: 7478%
Critics Consensus: A romantic comedy that's neither funny nor particularly romantic, Serving Sara is a forgettable time waster.
When Sara (Elizabeth Hurley) is served divorce papers while she is in New York, she is stunned. Not about to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 8495%
Critics Consensus: A strained, laugh-free sequel, The Whole Ten Yards recycles its predecessor's cast and plot but not its wit or reason for being.
After faking his death, former killer-for-hire Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis) retires to Mexico with his new wife, Jill... [More]
Adjusted Score: 8325%
Critics Consensus: A murky thriller with few chills, Godsend features ludicrous dialogue, by-the-numbers plotting, and an excess of cheap shocks.
After Paul Duncan (Greg Kinnear) and his wife, Jessie (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), lose their young son, Adam (Cameron Bright), in an... [More]
Adjusted Score: 9857%
Critics Consensus: Overly reliant on caricatures and lacking any human insight, Because I Said So is an unfunny, cliche-ridden mess.
Daphne Wilder (Diane Keaton) is the proud mother of three women: Milly (Mandy Moore), Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4115%
Critics Consensus: About as funny as a keelhauling, McHale's Navy will leave most viewers feeling they've been the victim of a particularly dishonorable discharge.
Shopkeeper McHale (Tom Arnold) is called back to captain the PT-73 and save a Caribbean island from annihilation.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4411%
Critics Consensus: Aside from an opportunity to watch a mustachioed Nicolas Cage acting from under a wig and behind a prosthetic nose, Arsenal has depressingly little to offer.
The Lindel brothers, Mikey and JP, only had each other to rely on growing up. As adults, JP finds success... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3342%
Critics Consensus: As pretentious as it is hopelessly clichéd, this Twelve is closer to zero.
A high-school dropout (Chace Crawford) sells drugs to his wealthy former classmates.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3424%
Critics Consensus: Overly formulaic and tonally inconsistent, Getting Even with Dad tries for a sentimental conclusion it doesn't earn and winds up a slapsticky cash grab aimed at fans of Home Alone.
Con man Ray Gleason (Ted Danson) is going after one last heist -- a stash of rare coins -- when... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3497%
Critics Consensus: Passion Play has a terrific cast, but don't be fooled - the only real question at the heart of this misbegotten mystery is what its stars were thinking.
A washed-up musician (Mickey Rourke) tries to protect an enigmatic winged woman (Megan Fox) from a merciless gangster (Bill Murray)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3390%
Critics Consensus: The Darkness clumsily relies on an assortment of genre tropes, leaving only the decidedly non-frightening ghost of superior horror films in its wake.
Peter Taylor (Kevin Bacon), his wife Bronny and their two children return to Los Angeles after a fun-filled vacation to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 2648%
Critics Consensus: Employing multiple cinematic clichés and milking stale performances, Deal proves inadequate for even the lowly regarded poker movie genre.
Tommy Vinson (Burt Reynolds), a former cardsharp, gave up poker years ago when his wife threatened to leave him. Tommy... [More]
Adjusted Score: 2637%
Critics Consensus: A severely misguided and inept comedy incapable of even telling its single joke properly.
Innocent Midwesterner Bucky Larson (Nick Swardson) works in a dead-end job as a grocery bagger and has never even kissed... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4572%
Critics Consensus: Down to You is ruined by a bland, by-the-numbers plot and an awful script.
College coeds in New York City, Al (Freddie Prinze Jr.), the son of a celebrity chef (Henry Winkler), and Imogen... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4564%
Critics Consensus: A grungy, disjointed, mostly brainless mess of a film, House of the Dead is nonetheless loaded with unintentional laughs.
Simon (Tyron Leitso) and Greg (Will Sanderson) meet a group of friends and set out to attend a rave on... [More]
Adjusted Score: 5028%
Critics Consensus: The Apparition fails to offer anything original, isn't particularly scary, and offers so little in the way of dramatic momentum that it's more likely to put you to sleep than thrill you.
Plagued by frightening occurrences in their home, Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) learn that a university's parapsychology experiment... [More]
Adjusted Score: 5158%
Critics Consensus: The Mod Squad aims for stylish cool and thrilling adventure, but collapses in an incoherent jumble of dated source material and unintentional hilarity.
Julie (Claire Danes) is on her way to jail for assault. Arsonist Linc (Omar Epps) is looking at serious prison... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3933%
Critics Consensus: Melodramatic and weighed down with silly dialogue, Deuces Wild is a forgettable, overheated thriller that leaves no cliche unturned.
Leon (Stephen Dorff) and Bobby (Brad Renfro) are brothers who, with their friends, are determined to maintain the way of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 5903%
Critics Consensus: Devoid of chills, thrills, or even cheap titillation, The Roommate isn't even bad enough to be good.
When Sara (Minka Kelly), a young design student from Iowa, arrives for college in Los Angeles, she is eager to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 5487%
Critics Consensus: Seagal is now too bulky to make a convincing action hero, and Half Past Dead is too silly and incoherent to deliver any visceral kicks.
Criminal mastermind Donny/49er One (Morris Chestnut) has set in motion a plan to infiltrate a high-tech prison in order to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 5003%
Critics Consensus: As frustrating as a 404 error, Fear Dot Com is a stylish, incoherent, and often nasty mess with few scares.
When four bodies are discovered among the industrial decay and urban grime of New York City, brash young detective Mike... [More]
Adjusted Score: 5802%
Critics Consensus: Bless the Child squanders its talented cast on a plot that's more likely to inspire unintentional laughs than shivers.
When Maggie's sister Jenna saddles her with an autistic newborn named Cody she touches Maggie's heart and becomes the daughter... [More]
Adjusted Score: 6263%
Critics Consensus: Although it features an inexplicably committed performance from Al Pacino, Jack and Jill is impossible to recommend on any level whatsoever.
Thanksgiving is usually a happy time, but ad executive Jack (Adam Sandler) dreads the holiday because his twin sister, Jill... [More]
Adjusted Score: 6672%
Critics Consensus: Removing the social critique of the original, this updated version of Rollerball is violent, confusing, and choppy. Klein makes for a bland hero.
Jonathan (Chris Klein) is the most popular player in the fastest and most extreme sport of all time: rollerball. Along... [More]
Adjusted Score: 7558%
Critics Consensus: Ugly, campy, and poorly acted, Battlefield Earth is a stunningly misguided, aggressively bad sci-fi folly.
In the year 3000, there are no countries, no cities... Earth is a wasteland. And man is an endangered species.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 8724%
Critics Consensus: Monotonously fast-paced to the point of exhaustion, Getaway offers a reminder of the dangers in attempting to speed past coherent editing, character development, sensible dialogue, and an interesting plot.
Though he used to race cars for a living, Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) is now pitted against the clock in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 2928%
Critics Consensus: The Haunting of Molly Hartley is a rather lifeless horror endeavor, with a pedestrian plot and few scares.
After surviving a brutal attack by her insane mother, teenage Molly (Haley Bennett) is eager to get a fresh start... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3867%
Critics Consensus: A wholly misguided tribute to its subject's searing talent and enduring impact, Nina is the cinematic equivalent of a covers project featuring all the wrong artists.
Manager Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo) helps singer and pianist Nina Simone (Zoe Saldana) rediscover her love for music.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3139%
Critics Consensus: Kickin' It Old Skool is one big unfunny pop culture reference that doesn't feature many laughs.
At a talent show in 1986, young Justin Schumacher suffers a head injury and slips into a coma. Twenty years... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3256%
Critics Consensus: Flat direction and actors who look embarrassed to be onscreen make Baby Geniuses worse than the premise suggests.
Evil partners (Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd) experiment on an infant and send his twin to a reputable research nursery.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3259%
Critics Consensus: Strange Wilderness is a laugh-free comedy that's both aimless and overly crass.
Peter Gaulke takes over, when his father, a respected wildlife TV host dies, but receives far less success. When the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3305%
Critics Consensus: A tired, unfunny, offensive waste of time, Meet the Spartans scrapes the bottom of the cinematic barrel.
When Xerxes (Ken Davitian), the evil god king of Persia, sends his massive army to Sparta, King Leonidas (Sean Maguire)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 5736%
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.
Every generation, a portal opens up between the Outerworld and Earth. Emperor Shao-Kahn (Brian Thompson), ruler of the mythical Outerworld,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3368%
Critics Consensus: Filled with crass dialogue, unlikable characters, and overdone slapstick gags, King's Ransom is an utterly inept would-be comedy.
When the rich and arrogant Malcolm King (Anthony Anderson) informs his wife, Renee (Kellita Smith), that he plans to divorce... [More]
Adjusted Score: 2342%
Critics Consensus: As far as westerns go, Texas Rangers is strictly mediocre stuff.
Texas, 1875. In a land without justice, where chaos reigns, one legendary man, Leander McNelly (Dylan McDermott), is chosen to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 2687%
Critics Consensus: Dull and unfunny, One For the Money wastes Katherine Heigl's talents on a stunningly generic comic thriller.
New Jersey native Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) has plenty of attitude, even if she is broke after six months of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 2570%
Critics Consensus: A dull, soapy potboiler that lacks the energy to qualify as a guilty pleasure, The In Crowd is undone by slow pacing, poor acting, and a stunning lack of originality.
Adrien Williams has spent time at a psychiatric hospital, learning to come to terms with a troubled past and is... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3172%
Critics Consensus: This heartfelt but incompetent, cliche-ridden sports picture is the cinematic equivalent of an airball.
The lives of a gifted athlete (Wesley Jonathan) and his best friend (Anthony Mackie) change when they take a fateful... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3283%
Critics Consensus: A crude comedy with nothing new or insightful to say about the subjects it satirizes.
Four adult orphans (Kal Penn, Adam Campbell, Faune Chambers, Jayma Mays) have an incredible adventure in a spoof of blockbuster... [More]
Adjusted Score: 2360%
Critics Consensus: Yea verily, like unto a plague of locusts, Left Behind hath begat a further scourge of devastation upon Nicolas Cage's once-proud filmography.
The entire planet is thrown into mayhem when millions of people disappear without a trace -- all that remains are... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3481%
Critics Consensus: Returning to their seemingly bottomless well of flatulence humor, racial stereotypes, and stale pop culture gags, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have produced what is arguably their worst Movie yet.
During a fateful night, a group of impossibly attractive 20-somethings (Matt Lanter, Vanessa Minnillo, Kim Kardashian) must dodge a series... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4028%
Critics Consensus: A mirthless, fairly desperate family film, Daddy Day Camp relies too heavily on bodily functions for comedic effect, resulting in plenty of cheap gags but no laughs.
Spurred on by their wives' insistence that their children attend summer camp, daycare entrepreneurs Charlie Hinton (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4118%
Critics Consensus: An ill-concieved attempt to utilize Dana Carvey's talent for mimicry, The Master of Disguise is an irritating, witless farce weighted down by sophomoric gags.
Pistachio Disguisey (Dana Carvey), a genial waiter at his father Frabbrizio's (James Brolin) Italian restaurant, possesses an uncanny knack for... [More]
Adjusted Score: 5946%
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.
When the investigations of supernatural detective Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) lead him to uncover a long-lost tribe called the Abskani,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 6141%
Critics Consensus: An implausible, overheated potboiler that squanders a stellar cast, Twisted is a clichéd, risible whodunit.
Recently promoted and transferred to the homicide division, Inspector Jessica Shepard (Ashley Judd) feels pressure to prove herself -- and... [More]
Critics Consensus: Shallow and brackish, Dark Tide fails to rise.
A traumatized shark expert (Halle Berry) must battle her own fears to lead a thrill-seeking businessman on a dive into... [More]
Critics Consensus: With plot points Stolen from countless superior films, this would-be thriller squanders a solid cast on overly serious and suspense-free storytelling.
A detective (Jon Hamm) becomes obsessed with solving a child's 50-year-old murder, uncovering striking similarities between the case and his... [More]
Critics Consensus: Though earnestly directed, Constellation lacks dramatic fireworks and eventually falls into TV-movie sentimentality.
The continuing legacy of a long-ago, interracial love affair forms the backdrop for a tale of an extended Southern family's... [More]
Adjusted Score: 943%
Critics Consensus: Don't watch this alleged comedy looking for more than pained performances in support of ill-advised ageist jokes, because that's all Folks! has to offer.
When Jon (Tom Selleck), a well-heeled professional, visits his mother, Mildred (Anne Jackson), in the hospital, he's unaware of how... [More]
Critics Consensus: Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol sends a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.
Feeling that his squad is not up to snuff, a police commander comes up with an unorthodox plan to hire... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3%
Critics Consensus: Simon Sez no matter how starved you are for something to watch, there has to be a better option than this dreadfully misguided action thriller.
Interpol agent Simon (Dennis Rodman) is gathering information about the weapons trade on the French Riviera and trying to pinpoint... [More]
Adjusted Score: 502%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
To get back in the good graces of her murderous boss (Bruce Willis), a seductive thief (Claire Forlani) recruits an... [More]
Adjusted Score: 502%
Critics Consensus: Bereft of characterization or even satisfying rock 'em sock 'em, Max Steel feels like futzing with an action figure without any childhood imagination.
Teenager Max McGrath (Ben Winchell) discovers that his body can generate the most powerful energy in the universe. Steel (Josh... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4711%
Critics Consensus: A trifecta of failure for writer-director-star Keenen Ivory Wayans, A Low Down Dirty Shame lives repeatedly and resolutely down to its title.
After hitting a wall in his case against drug kingpin Ernesto Mendoza (Andrew Divoff), private eye Andre Shame (Keenen Ivory... [More]
Critics Consensus: Never aiming higher than threadbare jokes and offensive attempts at politically incorrect humor, Transylmania is a vampire comedy that truly sucks.
College students arrive at a Romanian castle for a semester abroad, unaware that the place is infested with vampires.... [More]
Critics Consensus: This overly wacky farce strains for sophistication but lacks polish and a coherent narrative.
A gay man (Stanislas Merhar) tells a woman (Jane Birkin) impersonating a psychiatrist that he witnessed a murder.... [More]
Critics Consensus: Respected director Chen Kaige's first English-language film is a spectacularly misguided erotic thriller, with ludicrous plot twists and cringe-worthy dialogue.
A woman (Heather Graham) grows suspicious of her controlling husband (Joseph Fiennes) after she discovers secrets about the women in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 571%
Critics Consensus: Bolero combines a ludicrous storyline and wildly mismatched cast in its desperate attempts to titillate, but only succeeds in arousing boredom.
A 1920s English heiress (Bo Derek) seeks ecstasy with a sheik in Morocco and a bullfighter (Andrea Occhipinti) in Spain.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 76%
Critics Consensus: A lazy collection of obsession thriller clichés, Homecoming will leave viewers wishing they'd opted for a lopsided football game and some awkward dancing instead.
A jealous woman (Mischa Barton) plots revenge after her former beau (Matt Long) returns to their hometown with a pretty... [More]
Adjusted Score: 119%
Critics Consensus: There should have been only one.
In this sci-fi/fantasy sequel, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) has become an elderly man after losing his immortality. Living in a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 843%
Critics Consensus: The Disappointments Room lives down to its title with a thrill-free thriller that presumably left its stars filled with regret - and threatens to do the same for audiences.
Dana (Kate Beckinsale), her husband David and their 5-year-old son Lucas start a new life after moving from the hustle... [More]
Adjusted Score: 51%
Critics Consensus: Look Who's Talking Now: Look away.
James (John Travolta) and Mollie Ubriacco (Kirstie Alley) are expanding the family again, this time with Rocks the mutt (Danny... [More]
Adjusted Score: 69%
Critics Consensus: This sequel to Saturday Night Fever is shockingly embarrassing and unnecessary, trading the original's dramatic depth for a series of uninspired dance sequences.
Six years after his glittering triumph in the disco dance contest of "Saturday Night Fever," an older and wiser Tony... [More]
Adjusted Score: 343%
Critics Consensus: Redline has plenty of bad acting, laughable dialogue, and luxury cars.
Natasha (Nadia Bjorlin) is an aspiring singer and an ace driver. She gets a gig illegally racing flashy sports cars... [More]
Adjusted Score: 4044%
Critics Consensus: Rather than exciting audiences with a thrilling race against time, Shadow Conspiracy suggests there may be a secret cabal duping talented actors into selecting woefully deficient scripts.
Presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) runs into an old professor who tells him of a secret plot to assassinate... [More]
Adjusted Score: 980%
Critics Consensus: No need for a quarantine -- enthusiasm for this inert remake is not contagious.
Fresh out of college, five friends (Nadine Crocker, Matthew Daddario, Samuel Davis) face the horrors of a flesh-eating virus while... [More]
Adjusted Score: 243%
Critics Consensus: 3 Strikes lacks direction and its low-brow humor isn't even that funny.
Rob Douglas (Brian Hooks) is just released from jail. The state adopts a "3 strikes" rule for felons that involves... [More]
Adjusted Score: 188%
Critics Consensus: Wagons East! is a witless, toothless satire of Westerns that falls far below the standard set by Blazing Saddles, and is notable only for being John Candy's final screen performance.
When a group of dissatisfied settlers decides they've had enough of the Wild West, they hire James Harlow (John Candy),... [More]
Adjusted Score: 442%
Critics Consensus: Mean-spirited and hopelessly short on comic invention, Problem Child is a particularly unpleasant comedy, one that's loaded with manic scenery chewing and juvenile pranks.
Ben (John Ritter) is a good-hearted guy who's always wanted a son of his own, but so far he and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 229%
Critics Consensus: Despite its lush tropical scenery and attractive leads, Return to the Blue Lagoon is as ridiculous as its predecessor, and lacks the prurience and unintentional laughs that might make it a guilty pleasure.
When widow Sarah Hargrave (Lisa Pelikan) washes ashore on a tropical island with her daughter and adopted son, she learns... [More]
Adjusted Score: 433%
Critics Consensus: Misguided, misconceived, and misbegotten on every level, The Nutcracker in 3D is a stunning exercise in astonishing cinematic wrong-headedness.
Adjusted Score: 1317%
Critics Consensus: London Fields bungles its beloved source material and an intriguingly eclectic cast, leaving audiences with a would-be neo-noir of interest only to the morbidly curious.
Clairvoyant femme fatale Nicola Six has been living with a dark premonition of her impending death by murder. She begins... [More]
Adjusted Score: 1341%
Critics Consensus: Stratton's action-thriller ambitions are roundly thwarted by a derivative story, misguided casting, and a low-budget feel underscored by unimpressive set pieces.
After the death of his American counterpart, an MI6 agent and his team must race against time to stop a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 1893%
Critics Consensus: Every bit as lazily offensive as its cast and concept would suggest, The Ridiculous Six is standard couch fare for Adam Sandler fanatics and must-avoid viewing for film enthusiasts of every other persuasion.
White Knife, an orphan raised by Native Americans, discovers that five outlaws are actually his half-brothers. Together, they set out... [More]
Adjusted Score: 1404%
Critics Consensus: Dark Crimes is a rote, unpleasant thriller that fails to parlay its compelling true story and a committed Jim Carrey performance into even modest chills.
A hard-boiled detective becomes suspicious of an author when the incidents described in his hit novel resemble the inner-workings of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 2576%
Critics Consensus: Illogical, tension-free, and filled with cut-rate special effects, Jaws: The Revenge is a sorry chapter in a once-proud franchise.
The family of widow Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary) has long been plagued by shark attacks, and this unfortunate association continues... [More]
Adjusted Score: 2265%
Critics Consensus: This Crime is punishment.
Two men and a woman plan the heist of the century before a government-broadcast signal wipes out crime forever.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 849%
Critics Consensus: It aspires to Farrelly-level offensiveness, but the PG-13 rating and a dearth of decent gags renders Gold Diggers tame, toothless, and dull.
Calvin (Will Friedle) and Leonard (Chris Owen), two broke losers, are arrested for trying to rob rich old sisters Doris... [More]
Adjusted Score: 1108%
Critics Consensus: A startling lack of taste pervades Superbabies, a sequel offering further proof that bad jokes still aren't funny when coming from the mouths of babes.
Toddlers use their special abilities to stop a media mogul (Jon Voight) from altering the minds of children.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 1180%
Critics Consensus: Roberto Benigni misfires wildly with this adaptation of Pinocchio, and the result is an unfunny, poorly-made, creepy vanity project.
A woodcarver creates a puppet (Roberto Benigni) that longs to become a real boy.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 2834%
Critics Consensus: Fuhgeddaboudit.
Raised on the streets of New York, young John Gotti found his way into the Gambino crime family, eventually having... [More]
Adjusted Score: 1881%
Critics Consensus: Dated jokes (A Thousand Words was shot in 2008) and removing Eddie Murphy's voice -- his greatest comedic asset -- dooms this painful mess from the start.
Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy) is a selfish literary agent whose fast-talking ways allow him to close any deal. His next... [More]
Adjusted Score: 2758%
Critics Consensus: One of the weakest entries in the J-horror remake sweepstakes, One Missed Call is undone by bland performances and shopworn shocks.
When Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossamon) witnesses the deaths of two friends, she knows there is more at work than just... [More]
Adjusted Score: 3672%
Critics Consensus: A startlingly inept film, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever offers overblown, wall-to-wall action without a hint of wit, coherence, style, or originality.
Haunted by the mysterious death of his wife, Jeremiah Ecks (Antonio Banderas) has become a recluse, but the former FBI... [More]
50 Worst Summer Movies of All Time
Cinema history is filled with movies that got burned under the hot summer sun, and every year, we get our share of critically panned big-budget duds (this year’s slate includes such low achievers asFantastic Four and Hot Pursuit). However, it takes a rare kind of awful to merit inclusion into RT’s Worst Summer Movies list, a compendium of cinematic horrors that were granted a wide theatrical release between the months of May and September in the years since the release of Jaws in 1975 kickstarted the blockbuster era. Without further ado, we present our countdown of the 50 worst-reviewed summer movies!
Another wide assortment of summer offerings will hit the multiplexes across North America this weekend. The action-comedy sequel Rush Hour 3 leads the way as the main course and will be joined by side dishes like the fantasy adventure Stardust, the family comedy Daddy Day Camp, and the horror flick Skinwalkers. The third mega-opening in a row should keep overall ticket sales abnormally high for this time of year.
Six years and one week after the last installment opened, Rush Hour 3 hits theaters from coast to coast hoping to recapture the magic that made its two predecessors shatter industry expectations. Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, and director Brett Ratner have all reteamed (with some handsome raises) for a story about the world’s biggest organized crime syndicate whose secrets are hidden in Paris. The first Rush Hour smashed the September opening weekend box office record with a $33M launch in 1998. Rush Hour 2 set a new August opening record in 2001 with its $67.4M debut which it held until last weekend’s The Bourne Ultimatum arrived. Together, Carter and Lee have arrested $367M domestically and $575M worldwide with their pair of cross-cultural buddy cop hits.
But a lot of time has passed since the last Rush Hour film and some fans may have lost interest in a formula that can easily get tired the third time around. The new pic should play mostly to existing fans and will not create too many new ones. Still, Rush Hour 3 does offer the most ethnic starpower of any film this summer so business from multicultural moviegoers should be very strong. Jason Bourne’s second weekend will provide ample competition for the action crowd, then again Rush Hour 2 had to deal with the second weekend of Planet of the Apes which opened the week before with a similarly potent $68.5M which at the time was the second biggest opening in history. So Chan and Tucker can handle the pressure. Expect those who like this dish to come back for a third helping for what should be the final big bow of the summer season. Crashing into more than 3,100 theaters, Rush Hour 3 could speed to about $61M this weekend.
Chan and Tucker in familiar territory.
The stars come out for Stardust
, a new fantasy adventure boasting a cast that includes Michelle Pfeiffer
, Claire Danes
, Robert De Niro
, and Sienna Miller
. The PG-13 pic should skew more to a female audience since males have more high-profile choices if they’re looking for action this weekend. Paramount has put a moderate amount of marketing support behind the film – an adequate amount for an August release. But with The Bourne Ultimatum
and Rush Hour 3
absorbing roughly $90M in combined business from a broad audience, things will be tough for Stardust
and for any other film for that matter. Debuting in about 2,300 locations, an opening weekend of around $11M could result.
Stardust hopes to produce another form of green.
The summer’s oddest couple entered theaters on Wednesday in Daddy Day Camp
, a new family comedy starring Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr.
which is directed by The Wonder Years
star Fred Savage
. The PG-rated film is a followup to 2003’s Eddie Murphy
hit Daddy Day Care
which bowed to $27.6M on its way to a solid $104.3M for Sony. In a world where direct-to-DVD sequels get financed for just about any kids property, Camp
seems like just that, only one which got lucky enough to get a theatrical release. Cuba is no Eddie when it comes to selling tickets. Sure, Snow Dogs
grossed $81.2M in 2002, but Disney’s brand name and marketing machine were responsible for much of that success. Luckily for Sony there are not too many options for families right now so there is an opportunity, though a small one. Daddy Day Camp
hit 2,184 theaters on Wednesday and could collect about $8M for the weekend and around $11M over five days.
Perhaps Cuba is beginning to understand why Eddie didn’t return.
Following in the footsteps of I Know Who Killed Me
, and Bug
, the new horror flick Skinwalkers
steps into the ring gunning for the title of worst fright flop of the summer. From Lionsgate and After Dark Films, the PG-13 pic has little marketing or distribution support and is only making a brief appearance at the marquees on its way to video store shelves. Debuting in just 650 theaters, an opening weekend of $1.5M seems likely.
The Bourne Ultimatum
made a big splash in its debut last weekend recording the largest August bow in history. However, it has been eroding during the week posting a solid $9.1M on Monday before dropping down to $7.5M on Tuesday. The large upfront turnout should lead to a sharp decline and Rush Hour 3
‘s arrival will take away action fans too. Look for a 55% drop for the Matt Damon
saga which would give Universal about $31M for the frame and a ten-day tally of $129M.
Fox’s hit toon The Simpsons Movie, already the third highest grossing animated film of the year after the ogre threequel and the rodent comedy, should stabilize this weekend after its hefty sophomore slump of two-thirds. A 50% decline would give Homer and pals around $12.5M for the weekend and a 17-day total of $153M.
LAST YEAR: Will Ferrell stayed put at number one with the hit comedy Talladega Nights despite a 53% drop to $22.1M in its second lap for Sony. Buena Vista raced past expectations with its teen sensation Step Up which bowed in the number two spot with a stellar $20.7M on its way to $65.3M. Paramount’s 9/11 drama World Trade Center debuted in third with $18.7M over three days and $26.5M over five days. The Oliver Stone pic went on to gross a solid $70.3M. The studio’s animated film Barnyard slipped only 39% in its sophomore session to $9.7M taking fourth place. Opening to mild results in fifth was the thriller Pulse with $8.2M on its way to $20.3M for The Weinstein Co. Sony crashed and burned in ninth with the kidpic Zoom which bowed to just $4.5M leading to a weak $11.6M final.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
This week at the movies brings us the profound discoveries of a great Kazak journalist ("Borat," starring Sacha Baron Cohen), a battle between Santa and Jack Frost ("The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause," starring Tim Allen), and a tale of rats in the sewer ("Flushed Away," featuring the voice work of Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman). What do the critics have to say?
Jagshemash! Here in U.S and A., what do critic say about "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan?" They like! In fact, the scribes are almost universally pleased with the film, and some are going as far as calling it one of the funniest comedies ever. Part satire, part shockumentary, "Borat" follows the gleefully sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic title character (Cohen) on a cross-country trek to learn more about our strange nation; along the way he dredges up the seamy underbelly of American prejudice and ignorance. At 95 percent on the Tomatometer, "Borat" is not only Certified Fresh, it’s the best reviewed wide release of the year, topping such acclaimed movies as "Dave Chappelle’s Block Party," "The Departed," and "United 93." That’s a good thing, since Borat himself has said if the movie doesn’t do well, he will be execute.
Borat loves the U.S. and A.
It doesn’t sound like the most auspicious subject for a film: mice and rats are flushed down a toilet, where they find a bustling municipality in the sewer. However, in the hands of Aardman Productions, the endlessly imaginative company responsible for "Chicken Run" and "Wallace and Gromit," anything is possible. And so it is with "Flushed Away," which tells the upstairs-downstairs tale of a coddled mouse who finds action and adventure after a trip through the plumbing. Critics say that while "Flushed Away" may not achieve the dizzying heights of "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" (which scored 95 percent on the Tomatometer), it’s an eccentric, inventive family film with plenty of laughs. At 76 percent on the Tomatometer, "Flushed Away" is critically sanitized for your viewing pleasure.
Dive in! It’s fresh!
"The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause," was barely screened for critics, much like star Tim Allen‘s last flick, "Zoom." The big difference is that "Clause" at least has a couple good reviews, whereas "Zoom" had none. The story of Santa’s duel with Jack Frost for control over Christmas, "Clause" hasn’t exactly enchanted the critics who have seen it; they say the movie is labored and mostly mirthless. It’s currently at 29 percent on the Tomatometer.
Yes, Virginia, there is a "Santa Clause 3."
Also opening this week in limited release: "Commune," a documentary about the Black Bear Ranch in California, is at 100 percent; "Romantico," a heartbreaking documentary about a musician working illegally in the U.S., is at 100 percent; Pedro Almodovar‘s "Volver," starring Penelope Cruz in a complex tale of womanhood, is Certified Fresh at 90 percent; "Wondrous Oblivion," the story of a boy and his neighbor who bond over the game of cricket, is at 60 percent; "Death & Texas," a death penalty satire, is at 60 percent; the twisty thriller "Unknown," starring Greg Kinnear, is at 29 percent; "Shottas," a based-on-true-events Jamaican crime flick, is at 20 percent; and "Zerophilia," a gender-bending rom-com, is at 18 percent.
Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz take a spectral walk down memory lane with "Volver." Check out our retrospective of the Spanish director’s work here.
Finally, we’d like to bestow props upon the whimsically monikered killthemall4444, who correctly predicted that the equally whimsical "Saw III" would wind up with a Tomatometer of 28 percent. Congrats, ktm4444.
Best Reviewed Wide Releases of 2006:
95% — Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
93% — Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
93% — The Departed
90% — United 93
88% — Inside Man
84%– Akeelah and the Bee
83% — Slither
83% — The Descent
80% — A Prairie Home Companion
79% — Catch a Fire
Recent Tim Allen Movies:
0% — Zoom (2006)
28% — The Shaggy Dog (2006)
4% — Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
55% — The Santa Clause 2 (2002)
22% — Who Is Cletis Tout? (2002)
Recent Sacha Baron Cohen Movies:
72% — Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
55% — Madagascar (2005)
55% — Ali G Indahouse: The Movie (2002)
A pair of new family films aimed at kids will duke it out for the top spot this weekend while a bumbling reporter from the former Soviet Union will cause a commotion for a more adult crowd.
Disney unleashes "The Santa Clause 3," Paramount counters with its own kidpic "Flushed Away," and Fox lets loose its outrageous comedy "Borat." Together, the three new releases should provide some zing to the North American box office.
Kris Kringle takes on Jack Frost in Disney’s latest family pic "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause" which the studio hopes will win the weekend’s battle of the kidpics. With a tame G rating, the Tim Allen film finds the former "Home Improvement" star trying to get back to his winning ways at the box office with a new chapter of his most successful franchise. Martin Short joins the cast as Frost. Allen crapped out at the multiplexes this past summer when his kidpic "Zoom" crashed and burned with only $4.5M on opening weekend. He needs to prove that he can still sell tickets.
The studio has had great luck with its "Santa Clause" franchise and its launching pad of early November. The first film in 1994 bowed to $19.3M on its way to $144.8M while the 2002 sequel opened to $29M heading to a $139.2M final. The gimmick just isn’t as interesting anymore. However, this time of year is typically active for the family audience and there could be room for both new pics to find their audiences. Still many of the same people will be torn between the two and will not have time to see both. Disney and Paramount would have been wise to open their films at least a week apart instead of on top of each other. Opening in more than 3,000 theaters, "The Santa Clause 3" could debut with about $22M.
Tim Allen is back for a third "Santa Clause."
Parents looking for another kind of battle this weekend can pick the claymation film "Flushed Away" which presents a pampered pet mouse against a slimey sewer rat having fun in each other’s world. The PG-rated film is produced by DreamWorks and released by its new parent Paramount. Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, and Kate Winslet provide their voices. "Flushed Away’s" biggest challenge, of course, will be from stiff competition from the opening of an established franchise film like "Clause 3." Reviews have been quite good so the studio is hoping that many adults will find "Flushed" to be the more original and entertaining choice and choose it instead. DreamWorks scored a $16M bow last fall for the critical darling "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" and could approach the same territory here. The marketing push for the new film has been stronger, but the competition will cancel out that added benefit. Opening in roughly 3,250 locations, "Flushed Away" might debut to about $16M.
Hugh Jackman provides the voice of Roddy in "Flushed Away."
Sacha Baron Cohen hits theaters on Friday in one of the season’s most-talked-about films, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." Box office expectations are all over the map for Fox’s R-rated comedy and it’s anyone’s guess how it will play out as there is no real film in history it can be compared to. The studio has executed a brilliant marketing campaign over the past several months with teaser posters of the fake journalist sparking curiousity with those not familiar with the character from Britain’s "Da Ali G Show" which has also found a home in the U.S on HBO. The Toronto International Film Festival screening brought the buzz to a whole new level with its outrageous red carpet premiere, projector snafus, and overwhelmingly warm response. Publicity stunts this fall with Kazakh government officials also helped "Borat" leap from the entertainment page to the front page reaching an audience that would otherwise be tough to reach. Reviews have been glowing with many critics calling it the funniest film in years.
The studio is releasing "Borat" in moderate national release with 837 theaters hoping to keep the product limited in the beginning. Sell outs combined with the expected positive word-of-mouth should fuel even more excitement justifying an expansion next week. The "Ali G" crowd will be out in full force so strong business should result from young men. That means that the second weekend of "Saw III" will provide some tough competition. Reports indicate that awareness is not too high in the middle of the country, but that should not be the case with the college crowd. Young adults want bold envelope-pushing films to see like the "Jackass" pics and "Borat" will play to much of that crowd. But is this only a blue-state film? Some thought that would be the case for 2004’s "Fahrenheit 9/11" before it opened to a surprising first place finish with $23.9M from only 868 theaters.
A scene of cultural learnings in "Borat."
"Borat’s" humor has the potential to go beyond the immature set and play to CNN-watching adults. Many will be offended and will never be converted. But a very strong average is assured this weekend and long-term success is likely too since there will be no other movie out there that comes close to resembling this picture. For the opening weekend, "Borat" might gross around $11M for an average north of $10,000.
"Saw III" should be the only holdover likely to still put a dent into the box office. Second weekend declines for the previous installments in the franchise were 39% for the first pic and 47% for last year’s "Saw II." Even with no competition for the horror crowd, a hefty drop should occur. Look for the third torture flick to get sliced in half which would give it around $17M for the frame and $61M in ten days.
LAST YEAR: Disney led the frame with its non-Pixar digital toon "Chicken Little" which debuted to a cool $40M. The animated film went on to gross $135.4M. Opening with strength in the runnerup spot was Universal’s war drama "Jarhead" with $27.7M on its way to $62.7M. "Saw II" dropped to third with $16.9M in its second weekend. Fourth place went to "The Legend of Zorro" with $10M while Meryl Streep‘s "Prime" rounded out the top five with $5.1M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
This week at the movies, we’ve got hoopsters with big dreams ("Crossover," starring Anthony Mackie), scary goings-on on remote islands ("The Wicker Man," starring Nicolas Cage), fast, fast vehicles ("Crank," starring Jason Statham and Amy Smart), and magic ("The Illusionist," starring Edward Norton and Jessica Biel). What do the critics say?
If you want realism, go rent "The Bicycle Thief." Critics say "Crank" is a ludicrously over-the-top action flick with nary a moment of probability. And that’s a good thing. The story involves a hit man (Statham) who must stay awake to complete his mission and get out of the business. The critics say the film makes precious little sense and eschews both the laws of physics and political correctness. They also note that it is a lot of fun, with terrific action sequences and a knowing sense of humor. Why this movie wasn’t shown to critics beforehand is beyond us, since at 75 percent on the Tomatometer it’s the best reviewed unscreened film of the year, beating out "Snakes on a Plane" (69 percent).
It appears Jason Statham’s alarm isn’t working again.
"The Wicker Man" wasn’t screened for critics either, and this time, it looks like there was a good reason for that. Critics say Neil LaBute‘s remake of the 1973 cult classic subtracts most of the subtext of the original and replaces it with tons of unintentional laughs. Cage stars as a cop who gets ensnared in sinister rituals on a remote island while searching for his girlfriend’s missing child. Scribes say the film was misconceived from the get-go and contains a startling amount of sexism. At 11 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Wicker Man" is getting burned. It’s also well below the original (89 percent).
Movie critics tried a bunch of disguises in an attempt to sneak into screanings of "The Wicker Man."
One of the reasons streetball is so much fun to watch is its sheer unpredictability. The critics say the opposite is the case with the hoops drama "Crossover." The film tells the story of Noah (Mackie), a talented kid who hopes to get to med school with an assist from his hoops scholarship, but must deal with the full court press of some of his relationships. The critics are treating "Crossover" the way Dikembe Mutombo would handle a shot in his direction. They say the film is too by-the-numbers to be dramatic. At zero percent on the Tomatometer, "Crossover" is tied with "Zoom" (each of which have 46 rotten reviews) for the title of worst reviewed film of the year.
"Run, Anthony Mackie! Run for your life! Get help!"
"The Illusionist" goes wide this week, and the critics are largely under the spell of this Sundance-approved period mystery. The film tells the tale of Eisenheim (Norton), a magician who runs afoul with the authorities for his feats of illusion and his romance with the prince’s fiancée (Biel). The scribes are praising "The Illusionist" for its remarkable set design, sweeping romance, and its twisty plot. It currently stands at 75 percent on the Tomatometer, good enough for Certified Fresh status.
In "The Illusionist," Ed Norton plays a man outstanding in his field — or is it out walking? (Thank you. I’ll be here all week.)
"Mutual Appreciation": As Sonic Youth might say, confusion is next and next after that is the truth.
Recent Neil LaBute Movies:
65% — The Shape of Things (2003)
64% — Possession (2002)
83% — Nurse Betty (2000)
76% — Your Friends and Neighbors (1999)
89% — In the Company of Men (1997)
Recent Jason Statham Movies:
15% — London (2006)
27% — Revolver (2006)
50% — The Transporter 2 (2005)
73% — The Italian Job (2003)
53% — The Transporter (2002)
Recent Basketball Movies:
90% — The Heart of the Game (2006)
58% — Glory Road (2006)
69% — Through the Fire (2005)
14% — Rebound (2005)
64% — Coach Carter (2005)
"Zoom" is soaring, flying high into the rarified territory where only seven films before it have ventured. The film, which stars Tim Allen and Courteney Cox, is joining an exclusive club — films with more than 20 reviews that have garnered not a single "Fresh" rating from critics. In other words, we’re talking nada, zilch, zero.
Allen is no stranger to the extremes of the Tomatometer; both "Toy Story" movies are at 100 percent, but he also starred in "Christmas with the Kranks," which scored a robust four percent. Likewise, "Zoom" director Peter Hewitt has touched greatness before this misstep (his filmography includes the most righteous "Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey").
That’s right, gang — your chances of escaping from the bottom of the Tomatometer look pretty bleak.
The reviews of "Zoom," which was not screened for critics in advance of its release, run the gamut from the negative (Christy Lemire of the Associated Press says, "It has plenty of energy and visual effects but not a single original idea in its spandex-clad head") to the out-and-out disparaging ("One of the most dismal excuses for family entertainment ever perpetrated by a major studio," raves Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide). And for those of you who tend to ignore those snooty critics, let it be known that "Zoom" also tanked at the box office, raking in only $4.4 million, money that would certainly do Amnesty International a world of good.
"With my latest invention, I’ll magically transform the reviews for ‘Zoom’ into the reviews for ‘X-Men.’"
For those masochists out there who are too busy to watch "The Decalogue," here’s the rest of the zero-percenters for your viewing (dis)pleasure:
Despite a pair of newcomers close behind in its rearview mirror, Will Ferrell‘s hit comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby finished in first place for the second consecutive weekend to retain its North American box office trophy.
The frame’s biggest shocker came in second place with the stellar debut of the teen dance drama Step Up which flew past expectations to edge out Oliver Stone‘s high-profile 9/11 film World Trade Center which opened with solid results in third place. The new horror film Pulse launched in fifth place with mediocre results while Tim Allen‘s family film Zoom imploded with a disastrous bow in seventh place.
Talladega Nights held onto the number one spot with an estimated $23M in its second weekend of release dropping an understandable 51%. The $73M Sony hit raced to a total of $91.2M after ten days of release and could find its way to the $140M mark.
Getting high marks in the runnerup spot was Buena Vista’s Step Up which surprised the industry with a sizzling $21.1M opening weekend, according to estimates, from 2,467 theaters. The PG-13 pic about a trained ballerina who joins forces with a tough street dancer averaged a sturdy $8,539 per location and was powered primarily by teenage girls and young women. The surprise muscle of Step Up played out much like the bow of another late-summer film targeting teen girls – 2000’s Bring It On. That pic debuted at number one with $17.4M, spent two weeks at the top, and found its way to $68.4M followed by a pair of non-theatrical sequels keeping the franchise alive to this day.
Oliver Stone’s 9/11 drama World Trade Center finished in third place grossing an estimated $19M over the weekend and $26.8M since debuting on Wednesday. Averaging a solid $6,431 from 2,957 theaters over the Friday-to-Sunday portion, the Paramount release stars Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena as cops buried underneath the rubble of the collapsed Twin Towers. Reviews were mostly positive for the $65M film and word-of-mouth so far seems positive. Studio research showed that 91% of those polled called the disaster drama "excellent" or "very good".
While young moviegoers were lining up for Step Up, World Trade Center skewed mostly to a mature adult audience with 65% of the crowd being over the age of 25. Females made up 55% of the audience. With good reviews, positive buzz, and almost no interesting films for adults opening in the coming weeks, World Trade Center could hold up well in the weeks ahead.
Paramount’s animated comedy Barnyard dropped only 36% in its second weekend to an estimated $10.1M for fourth place. With $34.1M in the bank after ten days, the toon could find its way to about $60M. The PG-rated film’s budget was under $50M.
The suspense thriller Pulse debuted in fifth with an estimated $8.5M from a launch in 2,323 sites. Averaging a mild $3,640 per location for The Weinstein Co., the PG-13 film made only a small dent in the overall box office.
Disney took in an estimated $7.2M with its summer tentpole Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest lifting its incredible total to a towering $392.4M. The Johnny Depp smash fell just 35% and now sits at number seven on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters just behind Spider-Man which hauled in $403.7M in 2002. Overseas, there’s still no stopping Pirates which vaulted its international total to $463M pushing the global gross to a stunning $855M.
Sony’s Tim Allen family pic Zoom crashed and burned in its debut grossing a measly $4.6M in its opening weekend. Playing in 2,501 theaters, the PG-rated film about an old super hero recruited to train a bunch of kids averaged an embarrassing $1,839 per venue.
The horror flick The Descent dropped 48% in its second weekend to an estimated $4.6M and pushed its ten-day tally to a decent $17.5M. The Lionsgate release should dig up $25-27M by the end of its run. Universal’s action remake Miami Vice suffered another steep drop falling 56% to an estimated $4.5M for a $55.1M total. The animated pic Monster House rounded out the top ten with an estimated $3.3M, off 46%, giving Sony $63.7M to date.
Four more films were tossed right out of the top ten this weekend. Fox’s high school comedy John Tucker Must Die fell 52% to an estimated $3M in its third frame. With a solid $35.7M, the low-budget teen hit should finish with around $40M. Fellow comedy You, Me and Dupree grossed an estimated $1.9M, down 48%, and has collected $70.8M to date. Universal’s $54M pic is set to reach an impressive $74M.
Not-so-impressive results came from The Ant Bully with an estimated $1.8M and The Night Listener with an estimated $1.4M. Tumbling 55%, the Warner Bros. toon has taken in just $22.4M and will stumble to about $25M. Miramax’s Robin Williams thriller has grossed a puny $6.3M for Miramax and could end up with only $8M.
With Hollywood’s summer season of blockbusters coming to an end, plenty of activity was brewing over the weekend with limited release titles. ThinkFilm opened its critically-acclaimed indie Half Nelson in just two New York theaters but grossed a stellar $55,000, according to estimates. The R-rated drama about an inner city teacher with an addiction to crack averaged a potent $27,475 and expands to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. on August 25.
Sony Classics premiered the Brazilian drama The House of Sand in five locations in New York and Los Angeles and grossed an estimated $33,000 for a moderate $6,600 average. The distributor’s teen pregnancy drama Quinceanera widened from eight to 27 theaters in its second weekend and grossed an estimated $138,000 giving the Sundance award winner a mild $5,111 average. Total to date stands at $278,000.
Indie darling Little Miss Sunshine witnessed another powerful expansion widening from 58 to 153 locations for a weekend estimate of $2.6M and a sizzling average of $16,993. Fox Searchlight reported that audiences in the new cities are responding to the stellar word-of-mouth while theaters in existing markets are holding up remarkably well. The weekend decline among holdover theaters was only 17%. With $5.6M in the bank, look for Little Miss Sunshine to pop into the top ten next weekend when it expands into 600 playdates nationwide and remain there with a wider push into 1,500 locations the following frame. So far, the dysfunctional family comedy has performed even better than the distributor’s spring indie hit Thank You for Smoking as well as its 2004 hit Garden State which was released at this same time and in similar fashion. Those films went on to gross $24.7M and $26.8M, respectively.
Paramount Vantage’s global warming film An Inconvenient Truth became the third biggest documentary of all time over the weekend. Al Gore‘s success story took in an estimated $367,000 in its 12th weekend and lifted its cume to $21.9M surpassing the $21.6M of 2002’s Oscar-winning doc Bowling for Columbine.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $105.9M which was up 6% from last year when Four Brothers debuted at number one with $21.2M; but down 12% from 2004 when Alien vs. Predator opened in the top spot with a robust $38.3M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Another frame packed with four new national releases is led by Oliver Stone‘s 9/11 drama "World Trade Center" from Paramount. A trio of lower profile pics round out the weekend – Sony’s family adventure "Zoom," Buena Vista’s teen drama "Step Up," and The Weinstein Company’s horror flick "Pulse." Despite all the new entries, Will Ferrell will try to win the box office title for the second consecutive time with his comedy "Talladega Nights" which has been racing well ahead of its competition since opening last weekend.
Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Maria Bello star in the high-profile story of courage "World Trade Center" which Paramount debuted on Wednesday. The PG-13 film tells the real life story of John McLoughlin and William Jimeno, two Port Authority cops who were trapped in the rubble of the Twin Towers on September 11. Rather than focus on any villains, "WTC" only tells the story of ordinary men put into extraordinary circumstances and how their families coped. Mature adults will make up the primary audience. Teen appeal seems limited. Since the box office is currently lacking choices for older adults, the Oliver Stone film will not face much direct competition. Men and women will be equally drawn to this emotionally-charged story of heroism.
There will be many moviegoers that will find it to be too soon for a film about a tragedy just approaching its fifth anniversary. However, curiousity will bring out others looking for an uplifting story about that fateful Tuesday morning. "WTC" should appeal to many of the same people who turned out for 2004’s "Ladder 49." That film featured Cage’s "Face/Off" nemesis John Travolta as a noble firefighter and just told a tale about American heroes doing the right thing for each other, and not really dwelling on any enemy. "Ladder" bowed to $22.1M over three days.
Center will also be compared to April’s United 93 which was the first Hollywood film to tackle 9/11. With a subdued release in under 1,800 locations, that pic opened well with $11.5M and a solid $6,395 average. "WTC" has more theaters, more starpower in front of and behind the camera, and is not as grim. Reviews have mostly been good which will help. Long-term prospects are encouraging since the rest of August has nothing major for mature adults. Now playing in 2,803 theaters, "World Trade Center" might open with about $18M over the weekend and around $24M over five days.
Tim Allen plays an ex-super hero who is called upon to train a group of slacker kids in Sony’s new family film "Zoom." The PG-rated pic will have plenty of competition as it marks the fourth consecutive week that studios have rolled out movies aimed at young ones. Only this time, it isn’t a toon. Allen has always been a consistent draw in this genre, most notably in his "Santa Clause" movies which sees its third installment this coming holiday season. Earlier this year, he starred in the Disney remake "The Shaggy Dog" which bowed to $16.3M in March. "Zoom," which co-stars Courteney Cox and Chevy Chase, will not reach that level as it is not generating as much excitement. Plus the volume on the marketing push has been typical of a mid-August opener. Flying into 2,501 theaters, "Zoom" might debut with around $9M.
Hollywood seems to have written a new rule stating that 9/11 films must be counter-programmed with teen-girl pics that explore popular extracurricular activities. "United 93" opened against the gymnastics comedy "Stick It," and now "WTC" will face Buena Vista’s "Step Up" which finds a ballerina and a tough street dancer locking hips. The PG-13 film will play primarily to young females and the studio is hoping to score another low-cost hit like Disney’s April comedy which debuted to a better-than-expected $10.8M. "Step Up" lacks marquee stars, but does offer some faces that add value when it comes to the Clearasil crowd. The bad boy meets good girl formula is once again tested and little crossover to older patrons is likely. Competition for teens and young adults is ample so a breakout bow may not surface, but a respectable showing is likely. Dancing into 2,100 theaters, "Step Up" could debut to around $8M.
Supernatural beasties attack us innocent humans through cell phones and email in the new horror flick "Pulse." The PG-13 film is aimed at teens that have seen every other film and want some quick thrills before heading back to school. With no major stars, and a concept that is far from intriguing, the Weinstein Co. release should be in for some modest dollars over the weekend. "The Descent" will be "Pulse’s" major foe, but like most fright flicks, the chicks-in-a-cave movie should tumble down further on the charts in its second weekend. "Step Up" and "Talladega Nights" will also be distracting teens. Opening in 2,326 theaters, "Pulse" might scare up about $8M this weekend.
In foreign film releases, Yash Raj Films opens the all-star Bollywood film "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" (Never Say Goodbye) in top markets across North America. Shot in New York, the Hindi-language film explores the breakdown of marital bonds. Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro ("Central Station") headlines "The House of Sand" which Sony Classics platforms in New York and Los Angeles this Friday. The story of three generations of women in the barren lands of northern Brazil played at the Tribeca Film Festival and will roll out into more cities throughout the rest of summer.
Last weekend’s box office champ "Talladega Nights" hopes to retain its crown in its second lap. The Will Ferrell hit is sure to see a large decline, but competition for teens and young adults is not too fierce. A 50% drop would leave Sony with about $23M for the session and a solid ten-day cume of $92M. Paramount’s "Barnyard" may fall by 40% and rake in around $9.5M pushing its total to $33M after ten days. The Johnny Depp megasmash "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" could drop by another 40% to $6.5M lifting its jaw-dropping total to $392M.
LAST YEAR: Director John Singleton scored a top spot debut with his revenge thriller "Four Brothers" which debuted with $21.2M. Paramount found its way to $74.5M with the Mark Wahlberg drama. Opening in second was the Kate Hudson suspense thriller "The Skeleton Key" with $16.1M on its way to $47.8M for Universal. Falling from first to third was the comedy "The Dukes of Hazzard" with $13M dropping a steep 58% from its bow. Rival comedy "Wedding Crashers" held up much better easing 26% in its fifth frame to $11.8M. Opening in fifth place with $9.6M was Sony’s comedy sequel "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" which ended its run with just $22.3M. The weekend’s other new release, the military drama "The Great Raid," opened modestly in tenth with only $3.4M on its way to $10.2M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
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
A pair of upcoming movies have new trailers on the net. One’s a family comedy about superheroic kids, and the other’s about an aging Coast Guard trainer who has to deal with Ashton Kutcher. Neither look all that good.
First up is "Zoom," which is based on the comic book by Jason Lethcoe. It’s about a team of superheroic youths who are enlisted (by Tim Allen, Chevy Chase, and Rip Torn) to save the world. Trailer right here. Release date August 11th.
Next up is Andrew Davis‘ "The Guardian," which stars Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher. (Picture "Annapolis" mixed with "The Perfect Storm.") This one opens on September 22nd. Here’s the trailer.