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Hi there Gasmi, last week we took the august members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences behind the metaphorical woodshed for poor statue distribution skills, translation, handing out Oscars to absolutely the wrong people and/or films. It was a lot of fun, and for the most part the scorn that was heaped was completely deserved. That being said, we did leave out another group of people who have shown all of the restraint of a drunken sailor in a bordello when it comes to rewarding shitty movies, and those people are you and me, the movie going public.
The simple fact of the matter is your average Hollywood insider only gets the chance to do something really dumb once a year, but we, Mr and Ms Ticketbuyer can and do go out almost every week and reward celluloid feces in the one way that will ensure that there is even more crap loaded in the movie pipeline; we buy tickets to bad movies.
Oh, and I am definitely including myself as part of the problem when it comes to bad movies making money. In the late 80′s and early 90′s I gleefully did as much as I could to ensure Jean Claude Van Dame would be able to support his monstrous coke habit by bellying up to the ticket booth for whatever 90 minute excuse for him to do the splits and hit people a hack screenwriter had come up with that month. I only recently stopped planning my schedule so I could see Milla Jovovich movies during their theatrical releases, so I could get that big screen effect for her acting. In other words, I’m a mess.
And by the way, lets clear this up right now; your taste in movies is for shit too. Maybe you’re not seeing every bad movie out there, but you have a weakness for some form of crap: bad action movies, bad rom-coms, pretentious dramas, it doesn’t matter. You have a blind spot in your good taste and you have/are/and will throw money at it whenever you are given the opportunity.
Look I could go more into depth to make my point, but that would take actual work and thought, and you really aren’t expecting that from a man whose most enjoyable experience in a movie theater involved a triple feature of Invasion USA, Rambo, First Blood Part II, and Death Wish 3, are you?
Good, and speaking of laziness let me lay out the conditions for getting a dishonorable mention in this post. All of my selections were pulled out of my butt, err, are the result of intense 15 minute research session using a source that only rhymes with Wikipedia, because it is Wikipedia. All movies selected were in the top 10 grossing movies of their respective year. To keep this post under 25,000 words, I’m only picking one movie a year, tops. Movies will be picked solely by the author’s whim.
I’m not listing any direct sequels or children’s/young adult movies. If the first move was good, you’re going to check out the next one, even if seems like it was directed by Haywood JaBlome. With the exception of most Pixar movies, you could make a compelling case that all children’s movies suck, but they also perform a very important service to parents; they get their children to shut their candy-holes for almost the entire length of the movie. I’m not a parent, but I know you can’t put a price on almost silence. Also, these rules are subject to change whenever it gives me the chance to make a point and/or get a cheap laugh. Okay, enough logical thought, on to the shaming
1974: Earthquake $79,666,653.00
I picked 1974 as the beginning of our survey, because if you ever saw the documentary A Decade Under the Influence, a movie about film making in the late 1960′s and early 70′s, all of the people being interviewed blame movies like Jaws and Star Wars for ushering in the blockbuster era, where Hollywood was only interested in making movies that tons of money and not smart interesting films. The list of highest grossing films for 1974, kind puts that argument down like when they took Old Yeller behind the barn. Three of the top 10 highest grossing movies of 1974 were Towering Inferno, Earthquake, and Airport 75.
All three movies, are big, bloated, and stinky bad. The formula for these movies, was start with a disaster, hire a ton of stars for what are essentially cameo roles, and then use 1974′s crap special effects to paper over the gaping holes in the plot.
We’re going with Earthquake, because Towering Inferno at least had Paul Newman and Steve McQueen in it, and they used the plot from Airport 75 for Airplane!. The best thing Earthquake had going for it was Charlton Heston. And I don’t know about you, but if I see Charlton Heston in an old movie on my TV and he isn’t carrying large stone tablets or running from DAMNED DIRTY APES! then I change the channel. For the record, there isn’t a single large stone tablet in this movie.
What the? He doesn’t even have a beard in this one!
1976: In Search of Noah’s Ark, $55,7000.00
A movie that is proof positive that Americans loath documentaries unless the science and research comes courtesy of the Flat Earth Society. If I had started this list in 1970 we would have also been talking about Chariots of the Gods, and The Legend of Boggy Creek (think of it as Big Foot Goes to Arkansas). These movies are all based on the premise of taking a blurry picture and saying “but couldn’t this be…?” Um no it’s not, but In Search of Noah’s Ark has taken in over 50 million smackers since it was released, just reinforcing every negative stereotype the French have about us.
1982, Porky’s $109,492,484.00 (And four bucks of that was mine)
God this movie is vile. It’s a high school sex comedy where everyone in it looks as old as the Situation in high def, and the humor is geared towards people who find just saying the word “boner” to be HI-Lar-ious. The worst part of this movie? In 1982 I thought this was as good as movie comedy could ever get. Every time I think about this movie I want to find a time machine and go back to 1982 with a pressure washer so I can hose myself down with bleach. Ugh.
1987, Three Men and a Baby $167,780,960.00
Starring Magnum PI, Ted Danson, Ted Danson’s rug, oh and Steve Guttenberg because…god that is a stumper, huh? Who cares, because the baby shits like a goose eating cheap takeout. You’ve got to love it
1989: Look Who’s Talking $297,000,000.00
John Travolta, Kristey Alley, and Bruce Willis as the voice of the baby! Do you know those annoying E-Trade commericals with the talking baby peddling financial services? This movie is why they exist. For my money 1989 needs a good cock punching.
1991: Hook $300,854,823.00
Robin Williams hamming it up! In tights!! Oh and it has Gwyneth Partlow in one of her first times on the big screen. Did you know she went through an exhaustive round of auditions to get the role of Wendy as a young girl in this movie? I’m just intercorsing with you, Steven Speilberg was a long time friend of her family and knew her since she was a small child. You don’t get entitled enough to put out something like GOOP without lots and lots of nepotism.
1994, The Flintstones $341,631,208.00
Every year around this time of the year everyone gangs up on the Academy for dumping three Oscars on Forrest Gump. Well you know what the Academy didn’t do in 1994 is pump 300 million dollars into Universal Pictures bottom line for the year for remaking a freaking cartoon with live actors. I think this makes the Academy sleep a little easier at night. Well that, and those giant beds of money that they all sleep on.
Wow, Liz Taylor, Rosie, and Rick Moranis are all basically the same size. You learn some new every day. It’s just that some of those things are completely worthless
1996: Twister $494,471,524.00
Bill Paxton spends two plus hours of the movie driving into tornadoes and keeps wondering why he keeps almost dying. There is also a CGI flying cow in a tornado scene. Yeah, that’s half a billion dollars worth of entertainment right there.
1998: Godzilla $379,014,294.00
Okay, we remade a classic Japanese monster movie, but set in New York instead of Tokyo, and then we let Diddy rip off Led Zeppelin for a song in the movie. Nobody who I knew who saw this movie liked it, but everyone I knew at the time went and saw it. For the record I am not a member of MENSA.
2001: Pearl Harbor $449,220,945.00
Sure we have to suffer through Ben Affleck and Josh Harnett’s dueling tortured Southern accents, but at least we get that sweet scene where the Japanese blow the holy hell out of all those ships…oh, that wasn’t a good thing was it? Well I’m sure Michael Bay won’t abuse our good taste ever again, right?
2007: Transformers $709,709,780.00
A movie based on a cartoon that only ever made to peddle action figures. If the Transformers hadn’t have already existed I’m sure Michael Bay would have willed them into being. This is the movie series he was born to direct. This movie is also the reason Hollywood decided you needed a Battleship movie. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, much like syphilis.
2010: Alice in Wonderland $1,024,299,904.00
I know I said no kid movies, but after this movie came out a Disney exec went on record and not only admitted this movie was bad, but boasted that as long as movies are in 3-D with cool effects it doesn’t matter how bad the story is, they’re going to make money on it. I’d love to have some clever quip here to let this joker know he was wrong, but seeing as this movie is pretty stinky, and it still made a billion dollars, the gold plated anuses his grandchildren will be able to buy with their share of the bonus this ass clown got in 2010 are going trump my quips. For the record, I hate trumped quips.
I hate to admit it, but this scene really does look good
Well, there you have it, a quick and by no means thorough list of when John and Jane Q Public have run amok at the multiplex. I’m sure I missed plenty of movies that bit the big one, but still brought home not only the bacon, but just about the rest of the pig as well. What about you guys? Any big hits you plunked down cash for that are a little embarrassing after the fact?