10 Films That Were Savaged By Critics, But Made A Fortune

Ben Falk

A movie not being shown to reviewers means two things – it’s either really bad, or it’s critic-proof like 'Mrs. Brown's Boys: D'Movie' which made a packet in 2014 despite not being screened for any critics ahead of release.

But bad reviews don’t always mean you’ve got a flop on your hands. Here are 10 films that felt the wrath of the people paid to see movies, while still raking in the money from audiences handing over their hard-earned pounds.

Read more: 'Mrs Brown's Boys' Creator Disses TV Critics

(N.B. We’ve used film review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes to measure critical reaction and are counting the worldwide gross).

‘The Last Airbender’ (2010)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 6%

Gross: £186m

M Night Shyamalan’s youth-orientated actioner did big business in Asian markets where the original cartoon was particularly popular.

‘Sex And The City 2’ (2010)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 15%

Gross: £179m

Almost everyone agreed that the girls going to the Middle East bordered on offensive. But there were more than enough hen dos happy to fork over their money.

‘The Matrix Revolutions’ (2003)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 36%

Gross: £251m

The reaction to the second movie in the trilogy was muted. And this third one wasn’t much better. But if you’ve invested in Neo and the gang, you’ve got to see it through.

‘Batman & Robin’ (1997)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 11%

Gross: £140m

George Clooney has always said he almost destroyed the Batman franchise. But marketing departments and the lure of a superhero blockbuster rarely keeps audiences away.

Read more: The Curse Of Power Rangers

‘The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor’ (2008)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 13%

Gross: £236m

The ‘Mummy’ film everyone forgot had been made. Nevertheless, Brendan Fraser was able to buy another condo with the profits.

‘Grown Ups 2’ (2013)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 7%

Gross: £145m

Adam Sandler is similar to ‘Mrs Brown’s’ Brendan O’Carroll in being slagged off by the media but still making lots of dough. This self-indulgent sequel was no exception.

‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon’ (2009)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 27%

Gross: £417m

It’s ‘Twilight’ – who cares what a bunch of middle-aged (i.e. over 16) writers think?

Read more: Movies With Grammatical Errors In Their Titles

‘Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ (2011)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 33%

Gross: £611m

The ever-expanding franchise is the hit that keeps on giving. Even if no-one can remember what the plot was.

‘The Smurfs 2’ (2013)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 14%

Gross: £203m

Never underestimate the chance for a parent to have a sit-down in the dark for 90 minutes.

‘Diary Of A Mad Black Woman’ (2005)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 16%

Gross: £30m

Tyler Perry could be called the US Brendan O’Carroll. Just like his Irish counterpart, his work has never been much liked by critics, but still pulls in a massive audience, particularly in the American South. This, the first big-screen outing for gobby granny Madea, was a surprise smash.

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Photos: Rex/Moviestore/Everett Collection