Critically-Panned Flicks That Raked In Big Dough

Weekend at Bernie's20th Century Fox

Film critics hated these movies – and theatergoers ignored them for these films and forked over their hard-earned money. Here’s 10 critically-panned movies that were successful in the theater:

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

This movie was SAVAGED by critics (20% Rotten Tomatoes) and made over $400 million. Fans paid to go see it despite herky-jerky camera work that left you unsure of what was actually going on during a fight scene. Of course, Michael Bay got to indulge his itch to blow stuff up. Go Figure.

Mortal Kombat (1995)

Theatergoers delivered a fatality to critics (33% Rotten Tomatoes) and swarmed to this movie to the tune of over $100 million. To my recollection, it’s one of the few, if maybe even the only movie to be based on an arcade game that didn’t get laughed out of the theaters immediately. Dig Dug is still awaiting its chance. 

Garfield: The Movie (2004)

Even a 15% Rotten Tomatoes rating didn’t prevent a sequel. The sad thing was that Garfield stopped be relevant or funny in the comics at least 15 years before this movie was made. What annoyed me even more was that they used a CGI Garfield, but a real-life dog to play Odie. Yeah… that would have been a computer animator’s DREAM to make a dog like Odie.. with all tongue. If they could do that with Scooby-Doo, why not here?

The Golden Child (1986)

Even though it stunk (26%), it nearly made $100 million on Eddie Murphy’s name alone. It was after Beverly Hills Cop made him an international superstar and he hadn’t started making dumb career decisions like Norbert  and Pluto Nash until much, much later. 

Batman & Robin (1997)

Critically-panned (12%), it made over $100 million and George Clooney refunding people’s money isn’t a deduction. This was such a star-studded movie, I was surprised it was as bad as it was. Not even Arnold Schwarzenegger could save this travesty. 

Godzilla (1998)

What saved it was a strong overseas showing to earn nearly $400 million total – which probably broke even with the marketing campaign. I remember the hype for this film – ads in every subways station with catchy slogans about size mattering. Cool trailers that wound up showing the only good parts of the movie. It could have been so, so much better. Fortunately, Sarah Jessica Parker’s hit on Sex and the City prevented Matthew Broderick from living a life of poverty after that. 

Half-Baked (1998)

Hey man.. who would have thought a stoner comedy (29%) could make twice its budget? Pass the chips. Of course, it had one of the best all-time “I quit” scenes: “F**k You. F**k You. F**k You. You’re cool. F**k You. I’m out!” This was what got Dave Chappelle on the radar so he could have his awesome comedy show. 

Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)

Not even a 48% rating could keep them from making TWO movies about hanging out with a dead guy. Andrew McCarthy also appreciated it keeping his career alive for longer than it should have. Jonathan Silverman is actually still acting, though his most recent show, Monday Mornings, was cancelled by TNT. 

Patch Adams (1998)

Despite Robin Williams with a clown nose that people wanted to punch, it raked over $100 million in the U.S. I saw it in the theater and I almost had to get a glucose check afterwards, it was that sappy. Williams didn’t care – he got to laugh all the way to the bank. 

Grown Ups (2010)

Grown men acting like buffoons got it past a 10% rating to the tune of over $150 million and a sequel this past summer. It doesn’t help that I find two of the leads in the movie, Adam Sandler and Kevin James, to be two of the most annoying comic actors on the planet. Chris Rock is still cool and I think Rob Schneider and David Spade were just thrilled to have work.

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