According to Box Office Mojo, as of writing, there have been 702 movies released theatrically in the United States. Since 2001, that’s almost a 50% increase in the number of movies since 2001 (up from 482). Many of these were probably on 2 screens in New York and Los Angeles for like 5 days, if that; only 222 movies had a box office over $1m. Though one could argue “if nobody saw it, how could it be important,” many notable films that made less than that, including Best Animated Picture nominee Boy and the World, Terrance Malick’s Knight of Cups, and new films from cult auteurs Michel Gondry (Microbe and Gasoline) and Ti West (In A Valley Of Violence). Bafflingly, their list excludes streaming and television exclusives that never made it to theaters like so much straight-to-video filler, providing even more videos per channel.
With such a glut of cinematic choices, Worst Lists have almost become passé. For one, people can successfully skip movies that wouldn’t be to their tastes; even film critics can skillfully avoid some of the truly dreadful flops. For two, given the amount of mediocre movie dodging we have to do, not everybody sees the same bad movies. Reaching a consensus on what movies are the worst of the year is near impossible.
Instead of making a worst film list (or, maybe in addition to), I’m going to do something that most people frown upon, I’m listing the most popular movies you couldn’t drag me to if my life depended on it. I’ve read the reviews for some of them, and listened to you all talk about some of the movies in the comments. Some people were pretty happy about a couple of these. Others with severely disappointed with others. But, with 702 movies a year, I’m pretty satisfied with what I decided to skip.
10. X-Men: Apocalypse
Current Box Office Ranking: 13
This list is unsurprisingly heavy in franchises and sequels. I supposed what surprised me most is that I only saw 3 of the most popular movies according to the top 10 at the box office; only one of those three was a non-franchise entry (The Secret Life of Pets). The thing is, I don’t even remember X-Men: Apocalypse coming out. That’s how much I don’t care. I walked out of Days of Future Past midway through the movie (I saw the live-action re-enactment of the Futurama time delay scene). I’ve only seen X-Men 2 and 3. I just can’t bring myself to actually care about the series.
9. Star Trek Beyond
Current Box Office Ranking: 12
The best Star Trek movie ever made was Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, a seemingly extended episode of the original series complete with campfire songs, fan dances, and meeting God. Well, maybe not God. When J.J. Abrams made Star Trek Babies, I skipped it because I don’t like J.J. Abrams’ storytelling methods. When he made Star Trek Babies 2: The Wrath of WAAAAAAHN, I shrugged. After skipping the first two in the series, why would I see Star Trek Beyond?
8. Jason Bourne
Current Box Office Ranking: 11
I ‘member the first Bourne movie in a half-assed hazy kind of happy memory of a post-9/11 action movie. That was 14 years ago. Apparently, the series is still going and is kind of popular.
7. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Current Box Office Ranking: 10
I never finished the Harry Potter books because #4 was a bloated structural mess of a novel, overselling the amount of time I want to read about a fictional sportsball game. I don’t even watch much sportsball in real life, why would I want to read hundreds of pages about some fictional tournament that seems to have little to do with the actual plot? I also never finished the Harry Potter movies because I couldn’t make heads or tails of the plot in #5. Things happened, and I think somebody explained how some fireplace scene with Helena Bonham Carter fit into it, but I still don’t get it.
Anyways, here’s a belated something-quel about some half-remembered book in the Harry Potter universe.
6. Suicide Squad
Current Box Office Ranking: 8
Oh hey there gritty dark Hot Topic inspired comic book origin story. Your origin story doesn’t make sense, and I don’t need to see you.
5. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Current Box Office Ranking: 7
Seriously, the only way you’re going to drag me to another Zack Snyder film is if he directs an all-nude sequel to Magic Mike (yes, I’m that shallow).
Current Box Office Ranking: 5
Oh look, another comic book origin story. This one is actually X-Men #88923897, but its a new character for the franchise. Guys, listen. I’m tired of origin stories. Marvel dishes out one like every other month, it seems. Yet, of all the movies on this list, Deadpool seems to engender the most praise and the most disappointment. The most praise for being a snarky Scream-inspired self-referential take on comic book movies, and the most disappointment for still managing to be formulaic as all hell. It’s an origin story! Of course it’s formula!!!
3. The Jungle Book
Current Box Office Ranking: 4
Finally, an original movie not based on an existing franchise or fitting into some expanded universe. Sure, it’s a live-action re-adaptation of a beloved children’s classic, but it’s still refreshing to have a stand-alone movie based on something original. …Wait, what? They announced plans for The Jungle Book 2 a week after the movie opened, and the movie was specifically designed to be the start of a new franchise? #&$^*(#)&(&*^^(
2. Captain America: Civil War
Current Box Office Ranking: 2
What is this? Marvel Cinematic Universe Entry #37643? How is it that we haven’t finished Phase 3 yet? I’m really so over the superhero genre, because of such market saturation. It’s not just that there’s like 30 of them coming out in a year, but that they’re always accompanied by months of advertisements, specials on television, side bar advertisements, articles that are really just ads, movie theater stand up displays, and even marketing masquerading as controversy. Is somebody too Asian, too Black, where are all the female directors, why aren’t you watching our movies?!
This year, I saw one comic book movie: Doctor Strange. While the visuals were cool, the story and acting were lacking any rhyme or reason or self-justification. Ho hum, here’s another person for the Avengers lineup. During the screening, my friend leaned over and asked if this was in the Avengers universe and I had to map out the gigantic plan which is an undertaking I shouldn’t have to do given how much I don’t give a shit about the
MacGuffins … Gall Stones … Infinity Stones. I don’t really need to see any more of these, thank you.
1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Current Box Office Ranking: Unknown
End of Year Gross: Unknown
J.J. Abrams killed the franchise for me. I thought that Episode VII was an underdeveloped and underwritten entry in the Star Wars universe that is entirely too dependent on fan service and nostalgia to justify its entry in the series. That was last year. Now, less than a year later, we’re getting a Star Wars spin off “event” movie? One that even the fans of The Force Awakens seem to begrudgingly like with a lot of caveats? No thank you. I’m perfectly happy to sit this movie out, as well as any future entries in the Star Wars universe.