Home Entertainment Top List Thursdays – Seven terrible films that still made a ton 'o cash

Top List Thursdays – Seven terrible films that still made a ton 'o cash

3 min read

Bad films don’t make money, amirite? WRONG! All too often, films which are clearly terrible, somehow manage to make a fat stack of cash, bucking trends and leaving other, better cinema experiences to eat dog food for supper that night.

Here’s a look at seven abysmal critical failures, which rode off in a purple Cadillac with gold rims once their stint at the box office was finished.

Vampires Suck

I mentioned this earlier, as I ranted and raved about my hate for directors Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, but it’s absolutely true. Their 2010 attempt at creating anti-comedy, Vampires Suck, managed to earn almost four times the budget that was spent on it.

And somehow, films like Dredd and The Raid are considered box office failures.

Box Office Gross: $80.7 Million

The Happening

On the surface, The Happening sounds like an ideal horror film, from M Night Shamwow. An unseen menace, grisly deaths, psychotic people and a desperate fight for survival.

And then you realise that Marky Mark and his crew are essentially running away from the wind, rendering the whole film devoid of any real tension, and instead creating something humouros but for all the wrong reasons.

Box Office Gross: $163 Million

Jack and Jill

Remember when Adam Sandler used to be funny? When his loud-mouthed antics and TV game show host sucker-punching shenanigans used to draw a chuckle? Jack and Jill is the complete opposite of those, as Sandler dressed up in drag and horrified audiences, people who began to wonder why their ticket stub had a “comedy” label on it, and not a “horror” label instead.

Box Office Gross: $149 Million


Is the world tired of Eddie Murphy in a fatsuit yet? Apparently not, as he directed his rage towards being unable to perform R18 comedy into one film that was almost as painful as root canal surgery.

Box Office Gross: $159.3 Million

Batman and Robin

What killed de dinosorez? Time to “chill” out! De Ice-man cometh! Ok, I need to stop before Kervyn stabs me again. Batman films usually make quite a bit of cash, but how the massive, campy experience that was Batman and Robin managed to make some dough, is beyond even me.

And I sleep in Batman underoos as it is.

Box Office Gross: $238 Million

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

The only way that people could have actually been convinced to go see a 90 minute fat joke of Kevin James patrolling a shopping centre, would have been for the cinemas showing the film to offer sexual favours with each and every ticket bought. And yet somehow, that likeable everyman persona of James shone through yet again, making some serious green for him yet again.

Box Office Gross: $183 Million

The Last Airbender

I’ve saved the worst for last. When people think about the M Night Shamamlhama fantasy epic that is The Last Airbender, those thoughts come with intense pain and agony.

How M Night Shamamadingdong managed to screw up one beloved cartoon show so badly, is beyond us. But hey, at least that post 3D conversion that darkened the screen and turned everything into a blurry mess of bad special effects was good for something, as the film managed to money-bend quite a bit of green into its pockets.

Box Office Gross: $320 Million

Last Updated: October 25, 2012


  1. That’s 2 of the 7 for M Night Shimshamla…


  2. Macethy

    October 25, 2012 at 15:02

    Having never watched the cartoons, I thought The Last Airbender was pretty cool. Why wasn’t Sucker Punch on the list?


    • Darryn_Bonthuys

      October 25, 2012 at 15:18

      Sucker Punch made $89 million at the box office, from an $82 million budget. Not exactly a success story here.


      • DarthZA

        October 26, 2012 at 17:45

        Also sucker punch is flipping awesome! Saw it multiple times in the cinema. Loved it.


    • Grant Hancock

      October 25, 2012 at 15:32

      Didn’t mind Sucker Punch… cool visual style and pretty things modelling a variety of skimpy halloween costumes made up for the poor script haha


  3. Grant Hancock

    October 25, 2012 at 15:30

    Didn’t find ‘The Happening’ so bad… not excellent…but not baaaad …then again… never realised I was supposed to be watching a horror ?! :/


    • Kervyn Cloete

      October 25, 2012 at 17:19

      The bad guys are the trees.

      The trees.


      • Grant Hancock

        October 26, 2012 at 08:14

        Okay… googled it to refresh my memory….I understand why I have no ill feelings towards the movie.. Zooey Deschanel !! … I think I’m genetically incapable of feeling anything negative when I see her (same goes for Olivia Wilde..and Natalie Portman…except when Ashton Kutcher is on screen with her…then I’m filled with RAGE !!)


        • Kervyn Cloete

          October 26, 2012 at 09:44

          That is actually a perfectly logical reason for your lapse in judgement.


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