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Top 10 Expensive Movies That Suck

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut

$100 million doesn’t mean what it used to. For this list, we’re looking at films that disappointed despite possessing a massive budget, a decent cast, or a renowned director. Just to be clear, some of these have good moments, but we expected so much more! Our list includes “The Last Airbender” (2010), “FANT4STIC” (2015), “Catwoman” (2004), “The Lone Ranger” (2013), “Mars Needs Moms” (2011), and more! Join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Big Budget Movies That Have Surprisingly Poor Quality.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Big+Budget+Movies+That+Have+Surprisingly+Poor+Quality. Special thanks to our user Emmanuel Dunk for suggesting this idea!


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Script written by Mark Sammut

Top 10 Big Budget Movies That Have Surprisingly Poor Quality

$100 million doesn’t mean what it used to. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Big Budget Movies That Have Surprisingly Poor Quality.

For this list, we’re looking at films that disappointed despite possessing a massive budget, a decent cast, or a renowned director. Just to be clear, some of these have good moments, but we expected so much more!

#10: “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” (2002)

In theory, a big budget sci-fi comedy starring Eddie Murphy as a retired smuggler turned nightclub owner should be, at worst, a fun, if forgettable, romp. Unfortunately, "The Adventures of Pluto Nash" does not live up to its title, as the lunar setting amounts to nothing more than a tired 1980s gangster aesthetic and a dull plot. For a comedy starring Axel Foley, Basil Fawlty, and Frank Barone, "The Adventures of Pluto Nash" arguably lacks any wit, creativity, or genuine laugh-out-loud moments. With a budget of $100 million, "Pluto Nash" fell short by about $90 million.

#9: “The Lone Ranger” (2013)

This one’s closer to "Wild Wild West" than "Blazing Saddles." Reuniting the director and star of the original three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, Disney must have thought that "The Lone Ranger" would be a sure-fit hit; at least, that is the only way to justify the estimated $215 million budget. A family-friendly film that is too goofy for adults and too macabre for children, "The Lone Ranger" flopped with critics and at the box office. Clocking in at nearly two and a half hours, this misguided reboot suggested that Johnny Depp's shtick was starting to wear thin.

#8: “Speed 2: Cruise Control” (1997)

Seriously, who thought that a cruise liner would be the perfect setting for a high-octane chase film? While Keanu Reeves wisely evacuated this sinking ship, Sandra Bullock and "Speed”’s director returned for this expensive sequel that doubled down on the explosions, but lacked any of the original's excitement or intensity. From the one-dimensional characters to the clumsy acting, critics lambasted nearly every element of "Speed 2: Cruise Control" and audiences were not much kinder. To be honest, we’d rather watch “Father Ted”’s version of “Speed 3.”

#7: “Mars Needs Moms” (2011)

Disney and box-office disaster are rarely uttered in the same sentence, so "Mars Needs Moms" is truly one-of-a-kind. Directed by Simon Wells and produced by Robert Zemeckis – who previously worked together for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit” - the film boasted exceptional 3D animation, but fell flat due to a bland and emotionless storyline about a boy and his Martian-kidnapped mother. Despite the game cast, "Mars Needs Moms" required a miracle to make back its overblown $150 million budget and failed to even come close to turning a profit.

#6: “FANT4STIC” (2015)

After four lackluster attempts, maybe it’s time to admit that this iconic superhero family may just not be destined for the big screen. Opting to step away from Tim Story's cartoonish universe, Fox hired Josh Trank of “Chronicle” to direct a gritty "Fantastic Four" reboot, but rumors of production problems and reshoots quickly killed any of the film's hype. The final product did little to dispel this fear, with critics tearing Fox's release to shreds and Trank disowning the cinematic version. Grossing only $168 million on a budget of about $155 million, "Fantastic Four" marks a low-point in the careers of everyone involved.

#5: “Catwoman” (2004)

The only positive thing to come out of this superhero train wreck was Halle Berry's speech at 2005's Razzies. Originally planned as a spin-off to Tim Burton's "Batman Returns," the script languished in development hell for years before Halle Berry donned the leather costume. In a plot hinging on an evil cosmetics company and mystical cats who grant magical abilities, "Catwoman" seems to be too distracted by the lead actress' hypersexuality to give a damn about anything else. Listed among Roger Ebert's most hated films, this Warner Bros. product is not even good enough for a laugh.

#4: “The Last Airbender” (2010)

Even in a filmography that contains"After Earth," "The Last Airbender" is what most would consider M. Night Shyamalan at his absolute worst. This live-action film took a beloved Nickelodeon franchise and crapped all over it. Failing to even get the protagonist's name right, this $150 million mess garnered near-universal disdain from critics, who were a lot kinder than fans of the cartoon. In an attempt to justify the negative reception, Shyamalan insisted the film was designed for nine-year-olds and blamed adults for wanting something similar to "Transformers." Even if that was the intention, "The Last Airbender" feels like it was written by a nine-year-old.

#3: “Green Lantern” (2011)

So far, DC has been the king of underwhelming blockbusters with inflated budgets and dubious narrative choices. Prior to Ryan Reynolds’ run as the Merc with a Mouth, the Canadian actor's career suffered an unexpected blow with "Green Lantern," a commercial and critical flop that prompted Warner Bros. to cancel any plans for a franchise. Suffering from a meandering screenplay, tone problems, and an instantly forgettable villain, "Green Lantern" works as a pilot for a mediocre TV series, but left a lot to be desired as a big budget action film. In hindsight, DC's movie is best viewed as the set-up for a "Deadpool" punchline.

#2: “Battlefield Earth” (2000)

A devoted Scientologist, John Travolta fought tooth and nail to adapt this 1982 novel written by the movement's founder. Rather than spread the good word, "Battlefield Earth" solidified Scientology as a joke that never fails to bring the laughs. Featuring some of Travolta's worst - or, depending on how you look at it, best - acting and, arguably, the dumbest wigs in cinematic history, "Battlefield Earth" swept that year's Golden Raspberry awards and, eventually, won "Worst Picture of the Decade." Frankly, we cannot think of a film more deserving of such an honor.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions.

“League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (2003)

“Monster Trucks” (2016)

“Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever” (2002)

"Jupiter Ascending"

"The Golden Compass"

#1: “Suicide Squad” (2016)

While not necessarily the worst film on this list, David Ayer's chaotic superhero blockbuster is the most disheartening. Bolstered by a thrilling cast that includes Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Viola Davis, "Suicide Squad" suffers from an identity crisis due to DC trying to mimic Marvel after the poorly received "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." Overburdened with too many paper-thin characters and an unfocused storyline that flip-flops between gritty and silly, "Suicide Squad" possessed all the right pieces, but failed to fit them together.


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