As of now, 30 films have grossed over a billion dollars at the box office. If we adjust for inflation the number goes up to 38. But for this list, we have only considered the movies which actually reached the 10 figure mark at the global box office. However, a point to be noted is that often great movies fail at the box office and miserable ones rake in the moolah. This list contains movies which made it to a BILLION dollar mark but were actually quite poor:
IRON MAN 3
The Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr. was a huge success for Marvel Cinematic Universe and since then the craze for Tony Stark and RDJ has reached the seventh sky. He has made a total seven appearances in MCU movies that include Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) as well as a cameo in Incredible Hulk (2008). Marvel studios deliberate chose to start its cinematic universe with the Iron Man movie as they wanted the over-arching plot to revolve around Tony Stark/Iron Man. Their gamble has paid off and Iron Man has indeed become the sole anchor of the entire universe with other superheroes poured in as supporting characters. He is the most admirable and a recognizable face in the MCU
Iron Man is a spoilt billionaire son turned superhero who joined “The Avengers” because it’s cool to save the world. He is the most popular Marvel superhero and in a way, the sole anchor of the entire MCU with other superheroes poured in as supporting characters. He is an over-confident, impulsive guy with the high-IQ. In Extremis comic-book series, we saw Iron Man can sustain almost any injury, access brain’s repair center for the rapid healing process. He could even regrow organs.
In Avengers, we saw how Iron Man saved the day by carrying missile on his shoulders away from Earth’s orbit. In Iron Man- 3, we saw how Tony Stark can literally be at two places at once. Thanks to Mark 42, he was simultaneously tracking both Pepper and President. He could also travel space to access advanced alien technologies and return in time. He embraces his superhero identity with pride. He can learn and improvise on the go. Lastly, he is an MIT graduate who can hack anything on Earth. He always try to project himself as someone “larger than life” but as Cap said he is actually nothing without a big man suit.
In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark said “My armor was never a distraction or a hobby, it was a cocoon, and now I’m a changed man. You can take away my house, all my tricks, and toys, but one thing you can’t take away – I am Iron Man”.
It is no secret that Robert Downey Jr. carried the weight of entire Marvel Cinematic Universe on his shoulders. Iron Man (2008) still remains one of the best superhero movies ever. However, by the time we reached the third installment in the series, the plot was lost. Even though the film performed spectacularly at the box office, it wasn’t received by critics and many fans.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
The Avengers was a rip-roaring success which raised the expectations bar for the second movie. Although Age of Ultron did well at the box-office, it wasn’t a smashing hit.
The sequel to the best superhero film ever, Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron was well below the expectations of fans. Naturally, it was panned by critics worldwide. In spite of the negative reception, the film did really well at the box office. The big villain was an evil AI created by Tony Stark who is hell-bent on the destruction of humanity as it believes that is the only way to save it. The voice-over of Ultron is done by James Spader.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Disney re-created this live-action drama and the cast boasted of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Evans in the lead roles. The film surpassed all expectations and made a billion dollars at the box office. However, the critics gave a negative review to the pacing of the film and on it being too similar to the 1991 original Beauty and the Beast.
The prequel to the highly successful Despicable Me franchise, Minions grossed over 1.5 billion dollars at the box office. It did give us some memorable characters, but the film wasn’t received so well by the critics and managed approval ratings of only 56% on Rotten Tomatoes.
STAR WARS: EPISODE I – THE PHANTOM MENACE
The prequel series to the legendary Star Wars started off with Star Wars: Episode 1 with actors like Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman and Samuel Jackson at the helm. However, the prequel series wasn’t as good as the original series and was panned by the critics and fans all over the world. Due to its high popularity, the film did manage to make a billion at the box office.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Usually, it is a winning combo. Critical Appraisal guaranteed. However, this didn’t happen with Alice in Wonderland. The film did manage to make more than a billion due to the popularity of this fantasy fiction, but on the whole, the film was really slow and managed an approval rating of 51% on Rotten Tomatoes, well below the standards of Burton and Depp.
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
The third part in the Transformers series was too much for the fans to take. Leaving alone the first original part, Transformers (2007), all the sequels have been too loud and without any real story. Dark of the Moon was another one of those. Michael Bay had announced that Dark of the Moon will be the final sequel in Transformers series, but he didn’t live up to his word. The biggest lesson of this movie was: If you are supposed to make a Transformers movie, then at least prioritize the transformers instead of just keeping the main focus on the humans. And the most hateful fact about it is that the humans have not only made transformers the side characters in the movies but they are more cartoonish and unsympathetic than the Transformers.
The Transformers movies sure have big box office results, but the movies are not very well acclaimed by the critics as well as most of the fans. There are big issues that have plagued Transformers franchise – The lead heroines have often been used as sexually driven characters rather than having an impactful personality similar to their male counterparts. Further, these movies excessively try to portray is the patriotism for America. You would literally fall asleep counting the number of times the American flag appears in the movies. Also, every movie has a role for the military in the movie even if their presence is negligible. The movie is filled with excessive appearances of products with certain brands in the movie from drinking products to food corners and much more.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
We all have to agree with this. Pirates of the Caribbean was good till the third part, At World’s End. When On Stranger Tides was released, there was a huge excitement among fans as everyone loved to watch Captain Jack Sparrow. But, On Stranger Tides turned out to be a dud and was received negatively by fans and critics both. The graph for Pirates went down and down from there, with the fifth part performing well below the expectations.
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
Peter Jackson gave us Lord of the Rings. Then he decided to go forward with a prequel series based on JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The film wasn’t bad, to be honest, but it was well below everyone’s expectations. It could be because of the standards Jackson had set for himself with the Lord of the Rings movies.
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
Another Transformers movie on the list. Michael Bay should have lived to his word and ended the series at the third part. His decision to go forward with the fourth made the producers a billion, but again the movie lacked quality in terms of plot, acting, story, and screenplay. The usual with every Transformers movie. Also, it was almost 3 hours long.
Having dirty jokes in a movie could work if it is a comedy movie, but when it is a movie about alien superhero kinda beings (machines) there is no point in adding cheap jokes to the movie. The movies were full of pee jokes, dogs humping one another and much more. One could not differentiate a movie being made by Michael Bay if it does not contain dozens of explosions in it. But the action in the whole movie has been hinged with slow motion and shaky cameras and the way the transformers are made, it is difficult to make out what is really going on when they are fighting and the fights could cause a lot of confusion and even motion sickness to the viewers. movies are filled with characters that can turn out to be rather irritating than entertaining. Wuf!
This was our list. Do let us know your thoughts on this list in the comments section. We welcome any new suggestions from fans like you.
Aditya Goel is the CEO and Publisher of QuirkyByte. He has 14 different Specializations varying from Mathematics to Computer Programming and has written for various blogs and worked as a freelance writer, programmer and developer on Elance and Freelancer. Very passionate about Technology, Movies, International TV shows especially White Collar and Cricket as a sport.