Critics and average moviegoers don't always agree on quality. But sometimes the gulf between the two is huge. The most recent example? "Venom." Critics largely panned it, but audiences drove it to an October opening weekend record at the box office. Here are some other movies that were panned by critics yet still went on to rake in all the money.
Critics generally liked Jennifer Beals in this musically charged romantic drama, but they found very little else about "Flashdance" worth praising. Not that that seemed to matter to moviegoers. It wound up becoming one of the highest-grossing films of 1983 and a defining piece of '80s pop culture.
'Problem Child' (1990)
Apparently in 1990 audiences were starved for comedies about precocious, prank-loving children. "Problem Child" may not have grossed "Home Alone" levels of money, but it grossed several times its budget despite being almost universally panned by critics. Also like "Home Alone," it spawned several unnecessary sequels.
'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective' (1994)
1994 may have been Jim Carrey's big breakout year, but you wouldn't necessarily know that solely from reading the reviews. "Ace Ventura" in particular was dismissed as a juvenile, hyperactive comedy. At this point, we'd say Carrey had the last laugh.
'I Know What You Did Last Summer' (1997)
"I Know What You Did Last Summer" was among a number of late-'90s slasher movies to spring up in the wake of "Scream." For the most part, critics dismissed it as a shameless knock-off. Whether audiences disagreed or just didn't care, they turned out in droves.
'The Waterboy' (1998)
Adam Sandler's movies have always been ground zero in the culture clash between film critics and casual moviegoers. "The Waterboy" embodies that clash as well as any other. Reviews criticized this sports movie for its juvenile sense of humor, but that didn't stop it from becoming one of the biggest hits in Sandler's career at the time.
'Big Daddy' (1999)
The critic/audience divide was on full display in "Big Daddy." Critics complained about the film's awkward attempts to fuse goofball humor with sentimental family drama. Audiences loved it enough that it wound up remaining the highest-grossing Adam Sandler film until finally being dethroned by 2015's "Hotel Transylvania 2."
'She's All That' (1999)
The fact that this rom-com is basically a teen-oriented remake of 1964's "My Fair Lady" can't have helped its critical prospects. But that combination clearly struck a chord with its intended audiences. "She's All That" opened at #1 and wound up becoming a very profitable addition to the Miramax catalog.
'Bad Boys II' (2003)
Critics rarely respond well to Michael Bay movies, but they seemed to hold a special dislike for this belated sequel. "Bad Boys II" was criticized for being too long, too violent and too dumb, with Richard Roeper even declaring it the worst film of 2003. None of that stopped it from raking in several hundred million dollars worldwide.
"Saw" ushered in a new wave of "torture porn" horror movies, so it should come as no surprise that critics didn't respond well to its gory antics. But by the time the dust settled, "Saw" had grossed roughly 100 times its budget, paving the way for a massive franchise and a wildly successful career for director James Wan.
'Step Up' (2006)
"Step Up" hit theaters years before critics started taking Channing Tatum seriously as an actor. This romantic dance movie (ro-dance?) was criticized for being formulaic and not featuring enough actual dancing. But that didn't stop "Step Up" from raking in big bucks and spawning several sequels and a TV series.
'Sex in the City' (2008)
While "Sex and the City" earned plenty of accolades during its HBO screen, critics weren't too fond of its big-screen continuation. They were even less fond of the 2010 sequel. But it both cases, the money kept flowing in regardless.
'Grown Ups' (2010)
"Grown Ups" basically plays like an opportunity for Adam Sandler to hang out with all his friends and former SNL castmates while making some good money. Audiences were clearly along for that ride, even if critics most definitely weren't. The 2013 sequel was met with an even more polarizing response.
'The Devil Inside' (2012)
You can't blame studios for embracing the found footage horror sub-genre. These movies are cheap, easy to produce and tend to rake in a lot of money during the Halloween movie season. That was very much the case here, with "The Devil Inside" raking in a tidy profit despite being almost universally panned by critics.
'50 Shades of Grey' (2015)
Film critics were no kinder to this adaptation than book critics were to the original novel, complaining about the dialogue, the performances and the plot. That didn't stop it from becoming one of the highest-grossing R-rated movies ever. That trend would continue throughout the trilogy.
'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' (2015)
Paul Blart is very much the hero moviegoers need, even if he isn't the one critics deserve. Or something like that. This comedy sequel raked in a tidy profit for Sony, even as critics savaged it for its shallow, repetitive humor.
'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' (2016)
The "Dark Knight" movies proved that critics are perfectly willing to treat superhero movies as legitimate works of art. "Batman v Superman" didn't strike the same chord, to put it mildly. But as you'd expect from the first live-action movie to pit Batman and Superman against one another, it brought in plenty of money.
'Suicide Squad' (2016)
"Suicide Squad" was the second DCEU film to hit theaters in 2016, and if anything, critics seemed to dislike it even more than "Batman v Superman." But thanks in no small part to a very effective marketing campaign, moviegoers turned out in droves for this R-rated superhero adventure. We have to wonder how much more it would have made if the movie had actually been any good.
The 'Transformers' Sequels
Critics seemed to begrudgingly tolerate the first of Michael Bay's "Transformers" movies, but they clearly lost all patience once the sequels started rolling in. The series has been constantly criticized for its convoluted storytelling and barely comprehensible action scenes. But that hasn't stopped these movies from lining Paramount's coffers. The hope is that the upcoming "Bumblebee" can finally strike a balance between critical and commercial success.