While many box office hits receive generally favorable reviews, anywhere from 80 to 100%, some movies are box office hits no matter what the critics say. If something has enough franchise clout, it might still become a box office success. If a Rotten Tomatoes (which gathers all the critic’s reviews and combines them all to a consensus and percentage) score is below 60%, then it is considered “rotten.” Here are the top 5 highest grossing (by all time or worldwide gross) critically mangled movies.
“Minions” was released in 2015, and is the spinoff of the Despicable Me movies. In the Despicable Movies, aspiring villain Gru had miniature yellow helpers called “minions,” who mumble gibberish and get into cute trouble. In Minions, the origin story of the minions are told, where they always desire to serve despicable masters. Kevin, Stewart, and Bob, along with the other minions, start to serve the completely evil Scarlett Overkill. The movie received 56 percent at Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus read: “The Minion’ brightly colored brand of gibberish-fueled insanity stretches to feature length but in their self-titled Despicable Me spinoff, with uneven but often hilarious results.” However, it grossed $1,159,398,397, #11 at the all-time box office.
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is the third in the series of Transformers movies, released in 2011. Transformers, alien machines that can transform to things like trucks and cars, form two factions, the good Autobots and bad Decepticons. In the third Transformers movie, the machines try to race to the moon to find a Cybertronian spacecraft capable of ending the war between the two factions. The movie only received a 35% percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus read: “Its special effects and 3-D shots are undeniably impressive, but they aren’t enough to fill up its loud, bloated running time or mask its thin, indifferent script.” However, it grossed $1,123,794,079, #13 at the all-time box office.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the fourth in the series of Transformers movies, released in 2014. In this movie, a CIA black ops division along with a bounty hunter hunt down the Autobots; who turn to a new cast of characters, different from the previous three movies, for help. The movie received an incredibly low 18% on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus read: “With the fourth installment in Michael Bay’s blockbuster Transformers franchise, nothing is disguise: Fans of loud effect-driven action will find satisfaction, and all others need not apply.” However, it grossed $1,104,054,072, #16 at the all-time box office.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” is the second movie in the series of Pirates of the Caribbean movies, released in 2006. In this movie, Pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, along with his friends Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann and his band of pirates, try to find the Dead Man’s Chest, belonging to Davy Jones, while Will Turner is on a mission to acquire Sparrow’s compass. The movie received a 54% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus read: “Gone is Depp’s unpredictability and much of the humor and originality of the movie.” However, it grossed $1,066,179,725, #19 at the all-time box office.
“Pirates of Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is the fourth movie in the series of Pirates of the Caribbean movies, released in 2011. In this movie, Jack Sparrow teams up with Angelica to find the Fountain of Youth, but standing in his way is the Pirate Blackbeard. The movie received a 32% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus read: “It’s shorter and leaner than the previous sequel, but this "Pirates" runs aground on a disjointed plot and non-stop barrage of noisy action sequences.” However, it grossed $1,045,713,802, #20 at the all-time box office.
All of these movies are sequels or spin-offs, building off of previous franchise installments’ successes. It also proves that sometimes, safe, loud action movies (or, in the case of Minions, comedy animated movies) do bring in box office results, regardless of critical opinion. I could recommend you check out these movies, but you’ve probably already seen them in theaters already.