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Top 10 Movies that were Boycotted

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Zack Sims These movies recieved so much backlash for one reason or another that groups actually banded together in order to protest going to see them! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Movies that Were Boycotted! But what will take the top spot on our list? Fifty Shades of Grey, A Dogs Purpose, or Star Wars: Episode 7 - The Force Awakens? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to Sean Collins for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+Ten+Movies+That+Were+Boycotted

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Whether for smart or stupid reasons, some people didn’t want you to see these films. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies That Were Boycotted.

For this list, we’re taking a look at movies that some people felt so strongly about for whatever reason, that they urged audiences to stay away.

#10: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)

When the trailers were first released, everyone was ecstatic at the prospect of another entry in the “Mad Max” franchise. Well, everyone but a “men’s rights” blog which called for a boycott, claiming the film was feminist propaganda “posing as a guy flick.” The blog took issue with Charlize Theron’s character, claiming she was too prominent and that Max seemed like a side character. The activists also feared that male viewers would be “duped” into seeing the movie due to the explosions and action. They also cited the “Mad Max” films as being “American culture,” despite every work in the franchise being filmed in Australia, in addition to being both written and directed by an Australian.

#9: “Harry Potter” franchise (2001-11)

This is, by far, the longest boycott on this list. When the first “Harry Potter” book was released, it was a surprising success and was eventually published around the world, spawning multiple sequels. However, some religious groups took extreme issue with the book’s apparent occult and satanic themes, claiming the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends would cause their children to turn to dark magic. This led to boycotts and bans of the books and anything else relating to the Wizarding World. Predictably, this boycott also expanded to include the decade-long film franchise.

#8: “Casino Royale” (2006)

Not a fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond? Then allow us to introduce you to some people who took that dislike to the extreme. After the casting was announced in the mid-2000s, a group of self-proclaimed “true Bond fans” were furious that Craig was chosen to portray the character for a few reasons, but the most notable one was his blond hair. The boycott of “Casino Royale” was launched largely by a website called “” It claimed Craig shouldn’t be Bond for reasons ranging from his hair color and “rough face” to his previous acting roles. Despite this, many have praised Craig’s version of 007, including former Bond actors.

#7: “The Passion of the Christ” (2004)

The main reason for this boycott seemed to come down to misrepresentation. Many members of the Jewish community supported the boycott, claiming the film was anti-Semitic and depicted Jewish people as evil. Others took issue with the film’s accuracy, claiming the film didn’t portray the setting or story correctly. Still others claimed the choice to cast a Caucasian man as Jesus was whitewashing, since Jesus is historically of Middle Eastern descent. In response to all these controversies, director Mel Gibson claimed that the film was faithful to the story, but acknowledged that he did creatively interpret parts of it.

#6: “The Hateful Eight” (2015)

You’d think a Tarantino boycott would be because of violence and not choice language. But before the release of Quentin Tarantino’s film, “The Hateful Eight,” multiple boycotts were proposed, some of which were created or backed by U.S. police unions and organizations, due to comments he made at a Black Lives Matter protest. The demonstration was a response to multiple incidents of police killing unarmed African-Americans. Tarantino was at the protest and publicly denounced the officers as “murderers,” causing some to accuse Tarantino of promoting anti-police sentiments. As a result, several law enforcement organizations called for, or publicly supported, the boycott.

#5: “Ghostbusters” (2016)

When a reboot of the original “Ghostbusters” was announced back in 2014, boycotts were immediately called. Some took issue with the fact that it was a reboot, while others specifically disliked that it was a “Ghostbusters” reboot, believing this new film would taint the original. However in 2015 more extreme groups began calling for viewers to skip this flick, but for an entirely different reason: the female-led cast. Some anti-women and anti-feminist groups saw the film’s all female cast as the result of a “feminist agenda,” calling for a boycott of the feature simply because it starred some funny ladies.

#4: Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Boycotts don’t always come from consumers; they can come from huge companies too. The fuss started when the distribution rights to “Beasts of No Nation” were purchased by Netflix, who planned on releasing the film the same day as its theatrical release. This didn’t sit well with theater companies, who were upset that Netflix didn’t honor the 90-day break between a movie’s theatrical release and its home entertainment release. In response, AMC, Regal, Cinemark, and Carmike refused to screen the film in their theaters, limiting its release to a few smaller chains and independent theaters. The film was released as planned and ended up being screened in just 31 theaters across the U.S.

#3: “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015)
While most were excited for a new entry in the “Star Wars” saga, with the last major film being released over a decade before, some—mainly white supremacists and anti-women groups—were not. After the release of the first teaser trailer, a small portion of Twitter users started the hashtags #BoycottStarWars and #BoycottStarWarsVII, accusing the film of pushing an “anti-white” and “feminist” agenda due to the casting of the lead actors. The hashtag did gain traction, but only thanks to the amount of users mocking it. Despite the overwhelmingly negative response to the boycott, these same groups were at it again a year later, this time asking people to #DumpStarWars “Rogue One.”

#2: “Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015)

Ironically, it seems like this film couldn’t please anyone. The reasons people had for boycotting this feature varied drastically, but three main groups can be given credit for leading the charge against “Fifty Shades.” Firstly, there were the anti-porn and anti-BDSM people, who mistakenly believed it to be the same as physical abuse. The second group was fine with BDSM, but took issue with the plot, claiming the relationship between the two main characters was abusive. Finally, the third group was comprised of people who participate in BDSM, but who saw this film as a huge misrepresentation of not only BDSM, but also those who enjoy it.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- “Exodus: Gods and Kings” (2014)
Boycotted for Casting Caucasian Actors as Egyptians

- “The Last Airbender” (2010)
Boycotted for Casting Caucasian Actors as Asians or Native Americans

- “Pan” (2015)
Boycotted for Casting a Caucasian Woman as Tiger Lily

#1: “A Dog’s Purpose” (2017)

Right before the release of “A Dog’s Purpose,” “TMZ” published a video supposedly depicting the abuse of one of the dog actors on set. In the video, a dog is shown being dragging into running water in a tank for a scene, seemingly struggling and terrified. The video then jumps ahead to show the same dog, submerged in the water and a voice saying, “CUT!” This prompted backlash, including a boycott called by PETA. However after an investigation by the American Humane Association, which ensures no animals are hurt on set, the video was discovered to be falsified, with the footage having been edited to be intentionally misleading.

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