The 20 Most Awful Blockbusters Of 2016

Summer is steadily coming to an end, which means that many of the year’s biggest blockbusters are now behind us. So, what better time to focus on the bitter disappointments of the big screen in 2016? Indeed, it hasn’t been the most spectacular year for the Hollywood blockbuster. These summer Razzie award contenders show us that big box office earnings don’t necessarily translate into good movies. From brain-dead disaster flicks to trailers featuring Queen’s “Bohemian Rhaposdy” (yet again), here’s our rundown of the worst blockbusters of 2016 so far…

20. The Boy

Dolls are creepy. And so are English manors and deranged old people who think a doll is their child. The Boy is full of all the classic horror tropes, and it managed to rake in $68 million worldwide, so it’ll at least be a decent watch, right? Wrong. Despite a fine build-up, the endless jump scares wear thin as this horror movie never commits to being full-on scary or full-on silly, leaving it in no man’s land – or should we say no boy’s land?

19. The Boss

Melissa McCarthy; Kathy Bates; Peter “Tyrion from Game of Thrones” Dinklage? The cast of The Boss sounds like a dream team. And the box office numbers ain’t bad either: $78 million. Still, while McCarthy does her best to hold it together in this comedy about a businesswoman who tries to retool her life after leaving prison – even she falls short in this stinker. The useless gags and insipid script clearly made an impression on viewers, earning it an embarrassing 22 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

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18. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

The original My Big Fat Greek Wedding was a well-received romcom of the early Noughties, so undoubtedly some fans were holding their breath for the sequel – for 14 years to be exact. Big and fat also described the box office figures for number two which again stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett: $92 million. Alas, it’s more of the same – as a Greek family in all its eccentricity attempts to organize the titular wedding – but this time lacking the charm and laughs of its predecessor. Likewise, the New York Times dubbed it “something tired, something new.”

17. Dirty Grandpa

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Screen giant Robert De Niro looks like he’s already gone into retirement in Dirty Grandpa – a flat comedy about a heartthrob (Zac Efron) who is forced to take his obnoxious grandpa on spring break. Pulling in $100 million at the box office, this seems like a winning ticket… or is it? Efron takes his shirt off as usual and De Niro the wingman looks lost among the frat ragers and bikinis, as you mournfully dream of the other things you could’ve spent your 10 bucks on.

16. The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave follows the story of a teen (Chloë Grace Moretz) attempting to stay alive in a world that’s been annihilated by an insurgence of aliens. And we all know E.T. invasion spells box office gold: $111 million, in this case. Nevertheless, the sci-fi movie clearly marketed at teenagers instead feels like it’s been written by one! With a generic storyline and shoddy special effects, the 16 percent “Rotten” flick riffs on pieces of superior sci-fi films of the past but never knows what to do with them.

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15. Ride Along 2

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The 2014 Ice Cube and Kevin Hart movie Ride Along wasn’t that good, but it was successful, so in the spirit of following the money, Hollywood has given us a sequel. And follow the money it did – on the path to $124 million in box office gains. The star duo returns, but their undeniable comedic talents are wasted in this garden-variety cop comedy in which no amount of explosions can mask a glaring lack of originality. Rolling Stone said of it, “Hart and Cube are too good to settle for hawking leftovers. They deserve better. So do we.”

14. Gods of Egypt

You can just hear the Hollywood bigwigs fabricating the premise for action movie Gods of Egypt: “Pit 300’s Gerard Butler against Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in an alarmingly gold-tinted bastardization of ancient Egyptian mythology, and they will come.” And they were right: this un-hot mess of special effects and a hammy plotline cha-chinged $134 million at the box office. But Empire may have summed it up best, saying, “Summer 2016 has had a high number of shonky blockbusters, but Gods Of Egypt is the worst of them.”

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13. The Huntsman: Winter’s War

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The story in this unnecessary sequel/prequel to 2012’s Snow White and The Huntsman is so barren that it entails resuscitating the first movie’s bad girl (Charlize Theron) to cause diabolical mayhem for the titular Huntsman. The costumes, sets and actors all look pretty, but don’t be fooled: even though it drew $165 million at the box office, there’s no magic beneath the surface. And this was clearly apparent to viewers who gave it 48 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics rating it rock bottom at 17 percent.

12. Me Before You

Me Before You is the Jojo Moyes novel-based tale of a ditzy woman who falls in love with the paralyzed man she’s caring for – Oscar catnip! Unfortunately, despite an impressive box office figure of $183 million, the movie’s failed delivery makes it feel as compelling as a melted, gooey jellybean. Nothing wrong with a good tear-jerker, but it’s hard to buy into this film’s synthetic sentimentality. In fact, Variety even described the romantic film as “so lacking in eroticism that its PG-13 rating seems unduly harsh.”

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11. London Has Fallen

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London Has Fallen is another movie spawned by a precursor (Olympus Has Fallen) whose commercial success overruled its critical reception. Even as it boasts President Aaron Eckhart, Vice President Morgan Freeman and a box office take of $194 million, the un-thrilling thriller – in which a Secret Service and MI6 agent pair must foil a plot to kill Western heads of state and destroy every landmark in London – fails. Yep, it’s as blunt as that. “Atrocious” and “racist” were some of the words bandied about by critics.

10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

This hatchet-job of the much-loved comic and animated TV show Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, about a bunch of butt-kicking anthropomorphic turtles still runs all your childhood memories into the sewer. Its $239 million box office take deceives, as it’s all limp fight sequences, terrible one-liners, and – as per Michael Bay tradition – features a scantily-clad Megan Fox in this movie. As the San Francisco Chronicle put it, “Your 11-year-old is going to love this film. Then he’ll grow up and wonder what he was thinking.”

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9. Alice Through the Looking Glass

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Once-kooky, now-tired director Tim Burton continues his steady decline with the sequel to his so-so 2010 take on Alice in Wonderland. With all its weird and wonderful characters, this mega-movie (which earned $277 million) is still nice to behold, but the dearth of enthusiasm from the cast and lack of loyalty to the story kill it. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone poetically said of it, “Everything is too much, making the movie look like Willy Wonka threw up all over his chocolate factory.”

8. Ice Age: Collision Course

The Ice Age movies never arguably counted among the best computer-animated films, but the franchise was popular. In Ice Age: Collision Course, the Ice Age world is under threat, and it’s up to Sid and friends to save it. Apparently, theater-goers liked that premise enough to buy tickets in droves (ensuring that it earned $307 million). But this story-less and unfunny (for anyone over the age of four) movie makes you secretly hope that it will all end in their long-overdue extinction.

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7. Now You See Me 2

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With an excellent cast including Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo, Now You See Me 2 is the sequel to the 2013 heist-via-magic movie which grossed $351.7 million. And “part deux” didn’t do badly either at $314 million. But content-wise, its over-wordy script, visibly CGI card tricks and pointlessly twisty plot give the impression of a film that’s trying to be clever but failing badly. The New Yorker scoffed that it “lacks even the deftness of the average party entertainer.”

6. The Legend of Tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan – an attempt at a darker take on the wildman character – was inevitably going to be compared to the live-action Jungle Book remake, but it falls far short (except at the box office, where it made $347 million). The dreary plot sees the chest-beating one returning to the jungle to thwart sinister Belgian Christoph Waltz. And it’s telling that its highlight is the small comical role of always-likable Samuel L. Jackson. No bananas for this ape man — just a few Rotten Tomatoes: 36 percent.

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5. Independence Day: Resurgence

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A reboot of one of the most popular alien invasion movies of the 1990s was bound to happen in today’s age of never-ending reboots. Sadly, Independence Day: Resurgence feels like little more than a cash-in, and for all its apocalyptic special effects, the Liam Hemsworth headliner fails to make us care about its end-of-world scenario. It may have raked in a cool $383 million in ticket sales, but it’s little more than an imploding, mindless disaster of a movie.

4. Warcraft

Warcraft could have been the movie that finally proved that video game based flicks could be good. Expectations were as big as the budget, and certainly on paper the movie’s numbers looked great: $433 million. But the resultant fantasy faff about orcs colliding with humans (alongside some nice orcs) is not the fan service anyone was hoping for. Accordingly, The Atlantic lampooned the film, saying, “It just descends into another weak action hodgepodge.”

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3. Suicide Squad

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With fun, carefree trailers accompanied by the upbeat sounds of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Suicide Squad looked like a refreshing change from the usually downbeat DC Comics movies. Starring Will Smith and Jared Leto, it follows a crack-squad of baddies as they unite to take on an even more villainous threat. But a flat script and scattered story make this one of the biggest, highest earning ($476 million) disappointments of 2016. Alas, “too many crooks spoil the plot,” said one snappy Guardian reviewer.

2. X-Men: Apocalypse

The hugely anticipated X-Men: Apocalypse sees Professor X, Raven and company take on the god-like threat of the mega-villain Apocalypse. The cast of box office bait was promising enough: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. But sadly, even though it earned $540 million, it made for a poor finale to a trilogy, with a dull villain and bland stable of new X-Men. Marvel’s finally dropped the ball, but then again, its arch-nemesis DC hasn’t exactly been doing much better…

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1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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“Versus” movies always reek of cash-in, but that didn’t stop DC diehards flocking to this dud – to the tune of an $868 million box office bonanza. There is a vague story around the money-spinning title, involving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and some other DC figures, but it all just feels like filler as we await the big encounter. Ultimately, it’s confusing – and as murky and shallow as a puddle in a Gotham gutter. In other words, 27 percent “Rotten.”

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