The Worst Summer Movie Blockbusters of All Time
The point of a summer blockbuster is to make as much money as humanly possible. Unfortunately, that doesn't always result in the most artistically sound projects. These summer blockbusters prove just how bad things can get when studios seek the almighty dollar.
'Jaws: The Revenge' (1987)
The original "Jaws" invented the summer blockbuster. We're surprised the third and final sequel didn't kill it. It definitely killed the franchise, though, thanks to a stale premise and some amazingly bad shark effects.
'Masters of the Universe' (1987)
If there was a time to bring He-Man into live-action, it wasn't 1987, when interest in the toy line had already plummeted. It didn't help that "Masters of the Universe" seemed more interested in aping the Star Wars franchise than its own source material. Frank Langella was clearly the only actor putting in any effort on this one.
'Super Mario Bros.' (1993)
Like "Masters of the Universe," "Super Mario Bros." has so little in common with the source material that it doesn't even deserve its name. It proved something that studios can't seem to figure out even 25 years later -- video games don't make for good movies.
If you're wondering why Kevin Costner suddenly stopped being one of the biggest movie stars in the world, this movie is to blame. An expensive flop of historic proportions, "Waterworld" proves that all the money in Hollywood is pointless if you don't have a good story as a backbone.
'Batman & Robin' (1997)
Few franchises crashed and burned as hard as Batman did in the '90s. How we went from the likes of "Batman" and "Batman Returns" to "Batman & Robin" we'll never understand. This is what happens when selling Happy Meal toys is more important than making an actual movie.
'Speed 2: Cruise Control' (1997)
When your blockbuster hinges on two leads and one of them doesn't want to return for the sequel, maybe that's a sign you need to reevaluate said sequel. Sadly, Fox failed to do this with its Keanu Reeves-less "Speed 2." Whether the original actually warranted a sequel is debatable, but this movie ensured that we'll never see a "Speed 3."
Roland Emmerich's follow-up to his massively successful "Independence Day" was this over-hyped, under-performing misfire that thought it was a good idea to cast Matthew Broderick as the hero. One of those movies where the trailers were better than the actual film they were selling, but at least we got that cool (read: not cool) soundtrack complete with tracks from P. Diddy and The Wallflowers!
'Wild Wild West' (1999)
Will Smith was still riding high on the success of "Men in Black" in 1999, and moviegoers assumed they were in for another hilarious, high-concept buddy comedy. What they got was a dismal mess. All spectacle and no story is never the way to craft a good summer blockbuster.
'Battlefield Earth' (2000)
We're guessing no one involved in this disastrous adaptation of the legendary science fiction novel was trying to create one of the worst movies of all time. But that's what we got. Whatever good will John Travolta had managed to restore through films like "Pulp Fiction" swiftly went out the window.
'The Adventures of Pluto Nash' (2002)
One thing that's become abundantly clear in the past few decades is that Eddie Murphy is very bad at picking and choosing his roles. Case in point -- he played not one but two characters in this notorious box office flop. Just thinking about this one is enough to make us pine for the days of "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Coming to America."
'Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones' (2002)
The Star Wars prequels were generally disappointing, but the franchise hit its low point with the release of "Attack of the Clones." Plagued by lousy acting, a terribly wooden romance and awkward CG landscapes, this film had us wondering whether we really wanted to learn about Anakin Skywalker's early life in the first place.
'Bad Boys II' (2003)
This vile, mean-spirited, bloated sequel -- Michael Bay's first -- is, well, literally one of the worst things to ever happen to filmmaking and to the act of seeing. It's a bloody, cruel, offensive excuse to shoot, swear, and blow things up disguised as summer entertainment.
'The Chronicles of Riddick' (2004)
This happened. Remember when they tried to make Riddick a thing? Worth of chronicles, plural?! Vin Diesel should be grateful to have the "Fast & Furious" franchise to save him from the failed attempt at this one.
"Catwoman" is a bad comic book movie by any definition. It's poorly executed and barely resembles the source material. But what makes this one even more infuriating is that we had been waiting 12 years for a Catwoman spinoff, only to be rewarded with... this.
'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' (2004)
"The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is a concept that worked great in comic book form, but utterly died in the transition to film. Frankly, a mash-up of literary heroes like this requires a lot more wit and intelligence than the movie was able to muster. It's so bad, in fact, that it drove star Sean Connery out of Hollywood altogether.
'X-Men: The Last Stand' (2006)
Coming off "X2," one of the best X-Men movies ever, is one of the worst -- a messy hack job from Brett Ratner, who came onboard the production after original director Matthew Vaughn (of "X-Men: First Class" fame) left the project and the studio with a release date to honor. The rushed production, and less-than-great script, lead to this mangling of the Dark Phoenix storyline that Fox hopes to fix with 2019's "Dark Phoenix" X-Men movie.
'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' (2009)
It's amazing we ended up with such a great movie like "Logan," given where our favorite X-men started. This franchise kick-off introduces audiences to a live-action Deadpool it would take seven years to recover from. Bad CG and even worse plotting, on top of Wolverine feeling like a guest star in his own movie (thanks to all the distracting mutant cameos), yields one of Hollywood's worst efforts ever.
'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' (2009)
Honestly, you could throw any of the five Michael Bay-directed Transformers movies on this list. Each one is a mish-mash of barely decipherable robot fight scenes, obnoxious human characters and massive explosions. But "Revenge of the Fallen" carves out a special place for itself thanks to terrible decisions like the addition of sidekicks Skids and Mudflap and the infamous robo-testicle shot.
'The Last Airbender' (2010)
Every M. Night Shyamalan movie has a major plot twist. This movie's twist was that Shyamalan somehow managed to drop the ball and miss everything that makes "Avatar: The Last Airbender" great. What should have been the start of an epic franchise instead became something fans would just as soon forget ever happened.
'Sex and the City 2' (2010)
Rarely has a movie made us question its very existence more than "Sex and the City 2." The previous film wrapped up the saga of Carrie and friends with a neat little bow, leaving no meaningful ground left to cover. The solution was to film the series' quartet strutting about the Middle East making terrible, tone-deaf jokes and generally stomping on the grave of a once-venerated TV series.
'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' (2014)
This franchise was forced into being only to be just as quickly dismissed by both its studio and fans. The first film in this reboot is also terrible, but this costly sequel out-awfuls it significantly. Jamie Foxx's Electro has a villain origin story virtually identical to Riddler's from "Batman Forever," which is never a good sign. And the secret history of Peter Parker's parents is 1) unnecessary and 2) wasteful and 3) convoluted. By the time Peter discovers the truth about his dad, via papa's secret underground subway lair, one is left thinking Peter is better off without him. Because what good father would spend so much money to make a hidden lair atop an elaborate scissor lift instead of, I dunno, leaving that money to his son? The only good thing to come out of this movie? Sony getting their head out of their a** and giving Spidey over to Marvel.
'Fantastic Four' (2015)
If Hollywood is capable of making a goof Fantastic Four movie, we have yet to see proof. Somehow, this 2015 reboot managed to be even more terrible than its predecessors. The film's infamous production problems are apparent in nearly every frame.
'Jurassic World' (2015)
Sure, it may have raked in the cash, but "Jurassic World" did little to live up to the high standard of the original film. We generally prefer it when a dinosaur movie has us rooting for the human characters and not against them.
'Independence Day: Resurgence' (2006)
It may be dumb, but the original "Independence Day" is popcorn blockbuster entertainment at its finest. So why did the sequel fall so short of the mark? Mostly by trying to go bigger and louder than the original and sacrificing all of the heart in the process. Will Smith was wise to steer clear of this one.
'Suicide Squad' (2016)
DC fans were looking for "Suicide Squad" to redeem the struggling DC Extended Universe. The trailers certainly made it look like this spinoff would bring the fun and levity that was missing in films like "Batman v Superman." But instead, it delivered a dreary, poorly constructed mess that proved the bad guys in the DCEU are no more compelling than the good guys.
'X-Men: Apocalypse' (2016)
The X-Men franchise has seen some ups and downs over the years, but none of that prepared us for the disappointment that is "X-Men: Apocalypse." Al the momentum generated by "X-Men: First Class" and "X-Men: Days of Future Past" came to a screeching halt. This sequel faield to establish its younger X-Men as worthy replacements for the originals, and at this point we're not confident "Dark Phoenix" can redeem the franchise. We'll wait for Disney to put the X-Men back on track instead.
'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' (2018)
This sequel takes all the stupid from the first film and builds upon it in very frustrating ways. You can make a "check-your-brain-at-the-door" sequel, but does it have to be completely mindless? The only saving grace? That opening scene involving a storm, a dinosaur hiding behind a submersible, and a T-Rex.