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10 badly-reviewed movies that made a fortune at the box office

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Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is released today, nearly 6 years after the original.

As you might recall, the first Paul Blart wasn’t particularly well-received; it currently has 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. So why is a sequel being released? Simple: money! Despite its poor reviews, Paul Blart made around £124 million at the box office.

It’s far from the first film to make a killing at the box office after terrible reviews, though. Here are the top 10 terrible movies that made an absolute fortune.

(For the sake of this post, we’ve only included films that scored under 25% on Rotten Tomatoes! Share any more terrible films that took loads of money in the comments.)


10. Scary Movie 5

Rotten Tomatoes score: 4%

Box office: $78.3 million (around $53 million)

While £53 million is modest in the context of this post, Scary Movie 5 could make a legitimate claim for the worst ever box office success; 4% is the kind of score generally reserved for straight-to-DVD bombs.


9. Pearl Harbor

Rotten Tomatoes: 25%

Box office: $198.5 million

Michael Bay is the king of making money despite terrible reviews, as he proved early in his career with this World War 2 stinker.


8. End of Days

Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%

Box office: $211.9 million (around £143 million)

Bet you knew Arnie would appear in this post, didn’t you? In End of Days, Arnie fights the Devil in order to stop him destroying the world at the turn of the millenium. Naturally, the public lapped it up despite biblically bad reviews.


7. Batman and Robin

Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%

Box office: $238.2 million (around £161.1 million)

Oh look, here he is again! Arnie’s puntastic turn as Mr. Freeze helped Batman and Robin make a fortune in cinemas, despite being so terrible that it almost killed the Batman franchise for good.


6. The Hangover Part III

Rotten Tomatoes score: 19%

Box office: $362 million (around £245 million)

Believe it or not, The Hangover Part III isn’t even the highest grossing film in The Hangover series. Part II made much more money, but manages to escape this list with a score of 34% on Rotten Tomatoes.


5. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Rotten Tomatoes score: 21%

Box office: $433.1 million (around £293 million)

Yep, you read that right; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel made nearly half a billion dollars at the box office!


4. Fifty Shades of Grey

Rotten Tomatoes score: 25%

Box office: $566.4 million (around £379 million) – and counting

The most recent release on this list, Fifty Shades of Grey is still pulling in the dollars despite a critical spanking (pun fully intended).


3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Rotten Tomatoes: 24%

Box office: $712.1 million (around £481 million)

The Twilight Saga made over $3 billion at the box office, despite an average critic score of 39.6%. Breaking Dawn Part 1 is the only film in the series to fall below the magic 25% mark, yet still made an absolute fortune.


2. The Da Vinci Code

Rotten Tomatoes: 25%

Box office: $758.2 Million (around £512 million)

10 years ago, The Da Vinci Code was inescapable – a bit like Fifty Shades of Grey. And like Fifty Shades of Grey, it had a poorly-reviewed film adaptation that earned millions and millions of dollars.


1. Transformers: Age of Extinction

Rotten Tomatoes score: 18%

Box office: $1.091 billion (around £737.5 million)

Over $1 billion! Unlike most of the other films on this list, Transformers has a massive Chinese following, which undoubtedly helps that box office figure, but still: Age of Extinction earned more than the entire GDP of Holland!


If you own any of the movies in this post and want to make some of your money back, sell your DVDs with musicMagpie! Just click below to get started.

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Main image credit: Leo Hidalgo on Flickr, via Creative Commons