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The Worst Movies of 2017

Welcome to the Worst. 

There’s a lot to celebrate in 2017 that was awful. One of them, however, wasn’t movies (or tv, or video games). So I hesitate to put out a list of the worst of 2017 without a little bit of context.

First, no easy slams. Sure, there were your Monster Trucks and Geostormsbut those films were always kind of destined to be cringy and terrible.

Second, I’m not going to fall for the trap of mistaking something that wasn’t made for me with something being objectively terrible. I actually kind of liked The My Little Pony movie (its strong anti-Trump themes were incredibly refreshing), and while by the end of 50 Shades Darker I really just wanted Christian Grey to have died in that helicopter crash, I recognize there are people who love this story and these characters. And I’m not going to crap all over them just because something isn’t to my taste. And in the year of The Disaster Artistwe can hopefully celebrate the weirdos who put out strange independent films because of their passion.

Third, besides, there are much worse things. And so I’ve tried to concentrate on them– collecting 10 “films” that should’ve “worked” for me. Several of these are big budget movies or done by experienced filmmakers who should know better. Others are by directors capable of much better. In fact, if there’s one common theme for these, it’s the “Spider-Man Rule” of movies– “with great filmmaking power comes great filmmaking responsibility.” So I’m going to hold these people to higher standards, especially if their efforts were backed by hundreds of millions of dollars of budget.

Let’s be clear that what gets produced in Hollywood is a zero-sum game: the money put behind any of these films is money that didn’t go to un-produced films.  And while I’m glad the streaming outlets are putting resources behind great films, let’s also recognize that giving money to Woody Allen or David Ayer (#9 and 10 on this list) is money that didn’t go someplace else to someone more deserving. I can at least give props to someone like David Lowery who put the money he made from Pete’s Dragon into making his passion project (#8 on this list). I only wish it had turned out better for him.

So, then, here you are: the worst of 2017:

10. Bright – Yes, I’m including streaming movies on here (they’re in my best-of list, too, so it’s only fair), especially since this was a BFD that Netflix was making this blockbuster-type movie. I just don’t know what went wrong here, but this is almost incomprehensible. I like the idea of mixing high fantasy and gritty urban, but this was not the way to do it. The attempts at social commentary fall so flat they’re almost laughable. Will Smith, how do you keep ending up releasing movies in December that end up in my worst of lists? You’re on notice for 2018.

wonder wheel9. Wonder Wheel – It’s like Woody Allen is inviting us to say, “Hey, maybe it’s time we talked about how this filmmaker treats his female characters.” Not a good time for this conversation for you, Mr. Allen. And Jim Belushi and Justin Timberlake. I’m just left flabbergasted. And if this ended up on your best of list, I’m even more flabbergasted. Just go read this.

8. A Ghost Story – A piece of pretentious nonsense that decides to put its “message” in the mouth of its most abrasive character, a know-it-all drunk hipster, and beat you over the head with it in a ridiculous monologue. Also, that didn’t need to be Casey Affleck under that sheet. It could’ve been literally anyone. And while I didn’t know about the allegations about his treatment of women before I reviewed Manchester By the Sea, I did know about them here. And it’s baffling to me this ends up on anyone’s best of list. Oh, except that scene where Rooney Mara grief-eats a whole pie was legit.

7. The Book of Henry – What the hell was this?!?! This is apparently the movie that got Colin Trevorrow fired from making the next Star Wars, and after seeing it, I don’t blame anyone for making that call. And inexplicable turn takes this from tearjerker over death of savant child to. . . dead child walking his grieving mother through how to kill their abusive next door neighbor and get away with it. Wow. Just wow.

6. Transformers: The Last Knight – We don’t expect much from Michael Bay and his Transformers movies, and this reaffirmed that. We had Grimlock, King of the Dinobots, review the movie for us, and his summary was, “Grimlock small dinobot brain, but even Grimlock know that super dumb.”

Snowman-Poster5. The Snowman – Why, Mister Police? We Gave You All The Clues. When the audience laughs at what are supposed to be tense moments, you know you have a problem. This was supposed to be Zodiac meets Let the Right One In and instead is more Manos, the Hands of Fate.

4. The Emoji Movie – Still unclear why this movie got made, except that somehow it managed to beat the far superior Atomic Blonde (in my top 10) at the box office its first week in release. America, this is why we can’t have nice things. My daughter (the target demo for the movie) texted her friends she’s never cringed so much in a movie. Smart kid.

3. Downsizing – Small review: this movie was b.s. You can read the rest here.

2. Split – This set the bar for bad movies all year long. It was so bad, it actively ruined several other movies for me, specifically in its attempts to tie itself to Shyamalan’s Unbreakable. I don’t expect much from him, but I don’t expect it to be this bad.

1. mother! – throughout this list I’ve gone after a lot of hacks: Bay, Shyamalan, Trevorrow, Ayer. But Darren Aronofsky should know better. This was impeccably shot and put together by a filmmaker who knows what he’s doing. But what he’s doing here is 100% bad.

And there it is. A load of terrible movies.

Agree? Disagree? Did I miss something egregious? Let us know what you think, and may 2018 give us better than these ten sorry flicks.

LEGO Batman Beats Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick to Win the Weekend Box Office

the-lego-batman-movieThe LEGO Batman Movie topped the box office earning an estimated $55.6 million for its first weekend. The film opened similarly to The LEGO Movie which earned $69 million its opening weekend. Overseas The LEGO Batman Movie earned an estimated $37 million to bring its worldwide total to $92.6 million. With little competition for a while and good word of mouth, the film should do quite well based on its “A-” CinemaScore and 91% approval on RottenTomatoes.

In second place was another new film, Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey. The film earned an estimated $46.8 million. That’s an astounding $40 million less than the first film which earned $85.2 million and went on to earn $571 million worldwide. The film did earn $100.1 million from 57 markets for a total of $146.9 million. The original film dropped 74% in its second weekend, so it should be interesting to see how this does. With Valentine’s Day this week, who knows how that’ll factor into things, but it should help.

John Wick: Chapter Two was in third place and also another debut. The film earned an estimated $30 million domestically and $10.6 million from 41 foreign markets. The film received an “A-” CinemaScore and 90% on RottenTomatoes. The original film opened with $14 million domestically and went on to earn $43 million domestically and $43 million in foreign markets.

Split finally drops from first place moving to fourth. The film earned an additional $9.3 million domestically and earned $112.3 million from the domestic box office and $57.1 million from foreign markets for a total of $169.4 million. With a budget of just $9 million, that’s a fantastic return of 18.8 so far (and counting).

Rounding out the top five, Hidden Figures added an estimated $8 million to its total. It currently stands at $131.5 million domestically. It has passed La La Land for domestic earnings, but that film leads for worldwide total.

In more comic film related news, Doctor Strange added $187,000 to its total to bring its domestic total to $232.2 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $673.6 million. We’ll have more of a breakdown as far as 2016’s comic movies in an hour.

Split Threepeats While Rings is a Close Second

splitSplit did it again winning the box office this Super Bowl weekend. The film added an estimated $14.6 million to bring its domestic total to $98.7 million. That’s impressive as the film had a budget of just $9 million. Worldwide the film has earned $142.7 million.

In second place was new film Rings, the latest entry in the horror franchise. The film earned an estimated $13 million.

A Dog’s Purpose dropped the third place in its second weekend. The film earned an estimated $10.8 million. The controversial film has earned $32.9 million off of a $22 million budget.

In fourth place is Hidden Figures adding $10.1 million to its domestic total. The film was followed in fifth by another awards darling La La Land which added $7.45 million to its domestic total.

In comic film news Doctor Strange added $228,000 to its domestic total to bring the film to $231.9 million domestically and $669.9 million worldwide. We’ll have a deeper dive into 2016’s comic adaptations in an hour.

Next weekend sees the debut of The LEGO Batman Movie which is sure to knock Split off its perch.

Split Repeats in First While A Dog’s Purpose Finds One

splitSplit repeated for a second weekend at the box office with an impressive $26.3 million. The M. Night Shyamalan film has been riding good worth of mouth and buzz that this is his best film since The Sixth Sense with a return to form. The weekend saw only a 34% drop from the previous weekend.

In second place was the controversial film A Dog’s Purpose. It debuted with $18.4 million off of a $22 million budget. The film made news when video surfaced of dog’s being mistreated during the filming. The film’s success was primarily due to younger kids, 53% of the audience were 13 and older and 47% of the audience were families with children under the age of 13. The film’s success mostly might have been due to lack of new competition for the segment.

In third place was Hidden Figures which earned an estimated $14 million and crossed the $100 million domestic mark. The film sits at $104 million.

In fourth was new film Resident Evil: The Final Chapter which earned an estimated $13.9 million. That’s the lowest debut for any film of the franchise, the previous being the debut film which earned $17.7 million.

Rounding out the top five was La La Land which also crossed the $100 million domestic mark adding $12.1 million to its total. The film has earned $106.5 million domestically.

I more comic related news, Doctor Strange earned $102,200 domestically. The film stands at $231.6 million domestically and $664.6 million worldwide. We’ll be back in an hour for further examination fo the comic film adaptations released in 2016.

Shyamalan’s Split Tops the Weekend Box Office While XXX Comes in Second

splitM. Night Shyamalan‘s Split had an impressive debut at the box office earning an estimated $40.19 million in its opening weekend. That’s the fourth largest January opening. The film received a “B+” CinemaScore and had a 52% female audience and 52% under the age of 25.

Also new at the box office, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage earned an estimated $20 million domestically and $50.5 million internationally for a debut that was in line with expectations. The film has a budget of just $85 million and received an “A-” CinemaScore. It should do just fine in the long run.

Hidden Figures dropped to third place adding $16.25 million to its total. The film has earned $84.2 million so far in its run which should continue to do well with awards season plugging along.

Sing was in fourth place adding $9 million to its total to bring the domestic earnings to $249.4 million. Rounding out the top five was La La Land with $8.35 million to bring its domestic total to $89.7 million.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story added $7 million to its total to bring its overall earnings to over $1 billion.

In comic film news, Doctor Strange added $145,000 to its domestic total to bring that to $231.5 million. We’ll be back in an hour for more insight into how 2016’s comic films performed.

The ‘Divergent’ final instalments have new names

FIN01_Allegiant_Tsr_Online-mtv-1441889472 FIN01_Ascendant_Tsr_Online-mtv-1441889469

We are just few months away from the second to last film in the Divergent series and now the studio has decided to axe the good old Part 1 and Part 2 in the titles.

After an okay run at the box office, Insurgent’s sequels will be called The Divergent Series: Allegiant and the fourth and final one — Ascendant. As expected, both films will follow Veronica Roth’s bestseller novel Allegiant. What’s more, the films have new taglines:

The Divergent Series: Allegiant — Break the boundaries of your world

The Divergent Series: Ascendant — The end is never what you expect

Out of nowhere, MTV News was the website which broke the news about the young adult series. Strategically, dropping the Part 1 and Part 2 from the title is a great move. If what the creators of the adaptations do their job right, which is debatable after Insurgent, we might get to see a better version the book with the expanded world.

The Divergent Series: Allegiant hits theaters on March 18, 2016.

What do you think about this title change? Was it a good idea? Are you excited about Allegiant?

Almost American