Suicide Squad beat even the most modest expectations when it opened to $267 million worldwide on its opening weekend. Combined with a ‘rotten’ 26% rating on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes - which is worse than its predecessor Batman v Superman’s 27% - Suicide Squad is another in a growing number of movies that can be described as ‘critic-proof’.
Director David Ayer’s anti-hero movie starring classic DC Universe villains who team up to fight a mystical foe had been steadily building great buzz for over a year thanks to a flurry of brilliant trailers and inspired marketing. But only a few days before its release, the horrible reviews started to surface, some even calling it worse than the famously divisive BvS.
But clearly, the negative reception had little or no impact on the movie’s box office appeal. Combined with its $135 million opening in the US, the film made $132 million in other territories for a $267 gross on a $175 million budget. All things said, things are looking quite good for Warner Bros.
But Squad isn’t the only film that hasn’t let terrible reviews get in its way of big box office numbers. ‘Critic-proof’ films are fast becoming a thing. Here are a few others we found:
The Transformers series (2007-)
None of the films in Michael Bay’s series has a ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In fact, the reception has been steadily getting worse, with the fourth movie, Age of Extinction grossing $1.1 billion worldwide. The film, however, scored a series-low 18% rating on RT.
Here are the critics’ consensus for the Transformers movies:
The Twilight Saga (2008-2012)
Just like the Transformers series, the Twilight Saga is infamous for its consistently subpar installments, perhaps unfairly so because not all of the films are as terrible as their RT ratings. The series peaked with Breaking Dawn: Part 2.
The Da Vinci Code (2007)
Ron Howard’s adaptation of Dan Brown’s cultural phenomenon of a novel came at a time when both Brown and star Tom Hanks’ popularity were at a peak. The film opened the Cannes Film Festival to a now-infamous 15-minute round of booing and rests at a very low 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. It made $758 million worldwide, however, and the third installment, Inferno, is due out later this year.
Ice Age (2002-)
The Ice Age series is a classic example of the law of diminishing returns. Aside from the first film, 2002’s Ice Age, each successive one has been reviewed negatively on RT. It is, after the Shrek series, the second-highest grossing animated series of all time.
Let’s finish by adding the caveat that while Rotten Tomatoes scores aren’t the best way to gauge a movie’s reception (it’s an aggregator, not a reviewer), it’s still fascinating to see how irrelevant these scores can sometimes be.