This past summer has been one of the worst for Hollywood's box-office blockbusters in years. In fact, the entirety of 2017 has been rather lackluster. Coming into the year, we all had such high expectations for the movies that were being released this year. New installments of our favorite franchises, revivals of franchises from our childhood, and a few original movie ideas that were supposed to change Hollywood. Maybe my disappointment stems from how overhyped these movies were. Nonetheless, 2017 has been a mess.
The movies that have performed well at the box office are ones that everyone thought would suck. A remake of Stephen King's It, an R-rated Wolverine movie, and a psychological thriller made by a comedian -- for one reason or another, these movies managed to earn praise from both critics and fans. These movies were far from disappointing because the hype for them was virtually nonexistent, or the movies managed to live up to the hype.
The movies on this list aren't necessarily bad; they just aren't as good as we all thought that they would be. They were overhyped by fans, overrated by critics, and praised by all of your friends. I know I'm not alone in thinking that these are the most overrated movies of 2017 (so far).
20 The Lego Batman Movie — $312,000,000
The Lego Movie was unexpectedly one of the best movies of 2014. We all thought that it was going to be a cash grab used to sell products by Lego. And while it was, the movie also catered to adults who grew up playing with Lego. The movie brought in a humor that appealed to audiences of all ages with the correct use of nostalgia and a cast of today's top actors. Lego Batman was one of the best characters in the movie, but there's no way that he deserved his own spin-off movie.
Too much of a good thing is never good, and that's what happened in The Lego Batman Movie. When Batman appeared in The Lego Movie, it was funny to see an angsty take on one of the most iconic superheroes of all time. But when he was given his own movie, that joke got old fast. And man, Will Arnett's Batman voice got annoying after the first half hour.
19 Fifty Shades Darker — $378,000,000
Nobody was expecting fantastic things from the Fifty Shades movies. The franchise originally started as a Twilight fan fiction, which should speak to the quality of the author's writing. The only thing that Fifty Shades of Grey did was make the Twilight books look better than they actually are. Despite everyone knowing how terrible the Fifty Shades of Grey movie was, Fifty Shades Darker performed exceptionally well at the box office.
I like to believe that most people went to see the movie to either subtly encourage their partners to try BDSM or because they were curious about the content of the movies. For those that haven't seen it, Fifty Shades Darker is filled with bad acting fueled by terrible writing. Nonetheless, fans of the franchise will tell you that the movie isn't as bad as you think. In reality, it's just as bad as you imagine. How are these movies making money?
18 Dunkirk — $516,000,000
Dunkirk is one of the most critically acclaimed movies to come out in 2017. In case you haven't seen it, the movie focuses on a disaster of an evacuation in World War II. The movie follows three different overlapping stories over the span of a week, a day, and an hour. Directed by Chris Nolan, Dunkirk will more than likely be nominated for a handful of Oscars. It's one of the artsiest movies released this year. The film builds suspense spectacularly. But when the credits rolled, I felt mentally exhausted and a little underwhelmed.
Everyone had hyped up Dunkirk, and as a massive Christopher Nolan fan, I couldn't help but be excited about the movie. The film was an absolute masterpiece in terms of visuals and sound, but at the end of the day, I couldn't help but not like the movie. You could barely hear the actors underneath the sound effects and through their thick accents. It was suspenseful throughout, which made me feel exhausted by the time it was time to leave the theater. It's one of those movies that are only somewhat enjoyable in an IMAX theater. Similar to James Cameron's Avatar, Dunkirk won't translate well to the small screen and is one that I will never watch again.
17 xXx: Return of Xander Cage — $346,100,000
There are two things that shock me about xXx: Return of Xander Cage. To start, Paramount Pictures has already tried to cash in on the xXx franchise. Three years after the original, Paramount Pictures released xXx: State of the Union. Starring an inexperienced Ice Cube, xXx was a box-office flop that lost the studio millions. In the same year, filmmakers released a short film about how Xander Cage died. The short film, titled The Final Chapter: The Death of Xander Cage, was a pathetic attempt to explain why Vin Diesel wasn't the star of xXx: State of the Union. Diesel didn't even appear in the short film. The director used Diesel's stunt double and used filmmaking techniques to avoid showing his face.
Was anyone looking for another xXx movie? In addition to the fact that the series ended on a low note — and the fact that Xander Cage literally died in the series — Diesel isn't a strong enough star to keep a franchise afloat on his own. He's too old, plays pretty unlikable characters, and comes off as a little arrogant in interviews. Hollywood should've left this mediocre franchise alone, but I guess they were thinking they could cash-in on Vin Diesel's recent success in the Fast & Furious franchise.
16 Alien: Covenant — $238,800,00
Alien: Covenant was supposed to be the film that Prometheus failed to be. While I actually enjoyed Prometheus when I first saw it, Alien: Covenant was a chore to watch. Covenant was a sequel to Prometheus, but if you told me that it was just another attempt at Prometheus, I would believe you.
The problem with Prometheus -- and now Alien: Covenant -- is that the characters aren't believable. For a group of space-traveling scientists, the characters make a number of mistakes that just aren't believable. With so many attempts to relaunch the Alien franchise, Ridley Scott has failed time and time again trying to recreate what was so great about the original movie.
Alien: Covenant is the most predictable movie in the Alien franchise, but it's also one of the most visually appealing. Hardcore fans of the franchise were satisfied with the latest installation, and anyone who hasn't seen an Alien film will be entertained. But for a casual fan like myself, I thought the entire experience was mediocre at best.
15 Beauty and the Beast — $1,263,000,000
In a world where remakes and sequels are being pushed by movie studios to turn a quick buck, I don't know what I was expecting with Beauty and the Beast. For a movie that pulled in over a billion dollars at the box office, I was expecting something groundbreaking. Instead, what I got was a first version of the original cartoon by Disney.
I understand that the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast was going to be similar to the 1991 cartoon, but I really thought Disney was going to give us something not seen in the original. The only things that Emma Watson's Beauty and the Beast did better than the cartoon are the incorporation of special effects and the costumes worn by the characters. Other than that, why is Disney giving us a worse version of a movie they already gave us? I'm sure that Beauty and the Beast is the start of something great, but this movie missed the mark. Nostalgia and mediocre storytelling brought in $1.2B at the box office.
14 The Dark Tower — $110,800,000
The Dark Tower was supposed to launch the Stephen King universe because just about every movie studio thinks that they need to take a swing at creating a cinematic universe. Starring Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba, fans of the book were excited when the project was announced. Sadly, after years of delays, rewrites, and a change in production staff, Dark Tower was stuck in development hell. It's always a massive red flag when a project gets stuck like Dark Tower was.
Sadly, the acting talent attached to The Dark Tower was wasted. That's really all that needs to be said about The Dark Tower. It was supposed to be the birth of a universe that Stephen King deserves to finally see on the big screen, but sadly, it probably won't ever happen. The Dark Tower is too complicated a concept for anyone who hasn't read the book, and fans of the book series were disappointed with how different the movie was from the book. The Dark Tower is an overrated mess.
13 Annabelle: Creation — $295,200,000
Hollywood loves to create new horror-movie franchises because they're some of the most financially successful films of all time. For example, Paranormal Activity was made on a budget of $15,000 and brought in over $193,000,000 at the box office. Though The Conjuring was made on a higher budget, Warner Bros. Pictures has been trying to turn the franchise into the next big thing. Sadly, the series started off terrifying and became terribly dull with its latest installment.
Annabelle: Creation, although scarier than Annabelle, is a walk in the park compared to a number of horror flicks that came out this year. Instead of throwing your money at this overhyped snoozefest of a horror movie, invest in some of the best horror movies to come out in recent years. Particularly, you should watch It, It Follows, Get Out, or Cabin in the Woods. When compared to these films, Annabelle: Creation falls flat.
12 Baywatch — $177,900,000
When Baywatch was first released, critics were trashing the movie left, right, and center. Instead of ignoring these critics like any professional in the film industry would, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson took it upon himself to call out the critics publicly, saying that they were wrong about the film. I didn't know that Baywatch was being slammed by critics until The Rock talked about it — a textbook example of the Barbra Streisand Effect. The critics were right about Baywatch, but that didn't stop fans of The Rock and Zac Efron from piling into the movie theater.
At best, Baywatch is a loose remake of a TV show from the 1990s that doesn't resemble the original at all. While Baywatch was innocently sexy, The Rock's Baywatch throws its sexuality in your face. Much like many of Efron's movies, Baywatch was designed with frat boys in mind. I'm not sure how Efron still has a career, considering he's a worse version of Channing Tatum. The jokes fell flat, the story is unbelievable, and the most exciting thing to happen in the movie is seeing Pamela Anderson slip into her red swimsuit once more, albeit briefly.
A movie critic from the Chicago Sun-Times said it best: "If you make films about junk TV, you're going to wind up making a junk movie."
11 Kong: Skull Island — $566,700,000
I love the story of King Kong. For whatever reason, the idea of a giant gorilla living on an island, secluded from the world, always appealed to me. Kong: Skull Island was supposed to be the second movie in the Godzilla new cinematic universe. It seems that Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts learned from the mistakes made in the recent Godzilla movie. Fans were critical of Godzilla because the giant beast had little to no screen time. But Jordan Vogt-Roberts went in the opposite direction and gave Kong too much screen time.
Within the first few minutes of the film, Kong is almost entirely revealed. This ruined what monster movies like Cloverfield thrived on: leaving the viewer wondering what exactly they're looking at. Furthermore, the fight scenes in Kong: Skull Island were repetitive. The final boss fight is built up throughout the whole movie, and while I should've seen it coming, I was incredibly disappointed that Kong's final battle was going to be him fighting a slightly larger version of the other monsters he had been fighting for the past hour and a half. Also, Samuel L Jackson's performance was completely overrated. There were inklings of a coherent story involving his character, but they came up short.
10 Despicable Me 3 — $1,020,000,000
For some, the Despicable Me franchise created the most annoying movie characters of all time: the Minions. Personally, I don't mind them too much, and I actually found the first two Despicable Me movies pretty entertaining. But Despicable Me 3 is an absolute train wreck of a movie and is a sign that the franchise is going to be ruined in the same way that Shrek was ruined: too many movies that miss what made the original great.
Despicable Me 3 doesn't bring anything new to the franchise other than a big fat paycheck. The plot revolves around Gru trying to teach his long-lost brother Dru how to be a super-villain. What an original plot, right? Steve Carell needs to step away from the franchise so that Universal Pictures can focus on the real moneymakers of the franchise: the Minions. He isn't a selling point of the franchise and doesn't need to be involved anymore. Go the route of Alvin and the Chipmunks, and just try to appeal to as many kids as possible without having the plot revolve around a now irrelevant character.
9 The Hitman's Bodyguard — $161,200,000
I was really hoping that The Hitman's Bodyguard was going to succeed. I thought the idea was clever, and with two big names starring in the movie, we were all expecting great things. Sadly, what we were given was a lackluster action movie that was carried by star power alone. I went to see it after someone had told me that it was absolutely hilarious, and man, was I ever disappointed.
Though the banter between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson is excellent, they can barely carry the movie. For a movie about a guy who protects assassins, you would think that the writers would've been able to piece together an original story. Sadly, instead of getting a fusion of John Wick and 21 Jump Street, we're given Cop Out. Sure, it's fun to watch on Netflix if you're drunk on a Tuesday night — but don't pay to see this movie. The cliches in the movie are overwhelming and drown out just about every redeeming quality that this movie has. Nonetheless, fans of Reynolds will keep telling you how great The Hitman's Bodyguard is.
8 John Wick: Chapter 2 — $171,500,000
Many people have grown tired of the recent trend in action movies. There are so many changes in camera angles during the fight scenes that the fighting looks like a jumbled mess of bodies flailing. You can't really tell what's going on, and that's the point. It's harder to tell that the actors aren't actually hitting each other. On the other hand, John Wick took a page out of older action movies (particularity Asian action movies) and showed the action in one continuous take. People were praising the first John Wick movie for its somewhat original bloodbath combat. Everyone wanted to learn more about the world that John Wick lived in, and the movie studio happily obliged.
John Wick: Chapter 2 was more or less the same as the first film but staler. The once-fresh action sequences seemed a little dull compared to the original. When you've set the bar so incredibly high, there's only so much you can do to try to one-up the original. The second film was way overrated because it's essentially just a filler movie in what will become the John Wick trilogy. A similar thing happened with the Indonesian movie The Raid. The first one was fantastic, and even though the second one was pretty much the exact same thing — it kind of sucked.
7 Girls Trip — $133,100,000
It might just be me, but I'm tired of movies where a group of longtime friends engages in an alcohol-fueled adventure. To me, all of these movies are merging into a blurry mess. The Hangover, Bridesmaids, Last Vegas, and now, Girls Trip -- all of them are rehashing the same story over and over again. It's time that comedy movies tried to do something fresh.
I first heard about Girls Trip when it was getting praise from just about every critic on the planet. The movie was an overnight success at the box office, and critics were calling it the next Bridesmaids. And that's the problem, really. Girls Trip and Bridesmaids are pretty much the exact same movie, but Girls Trip is just a little bit funnier. The success of this movie says more about comedies in 2017 than anything else. It's time for something new. Make me laugh at something I haven't seen before. Don't just build on the jokes already laid out in another movie.
6 Transformers: The Last Knight — $605,400,000
My inner teenage boy will always love the Transformers movies — and Michael Bay, in general — just because of how ridiculous the movies are. The movies don't follow the source material, exploit women, and appeal to the lowest common denominator. That said, I've seen them all, and I never expect great things. Going into this movie, I knew it was going to be giant robots fighting onscreen for two hours, but I didn't think that it was going to be as boring as it was.
Like any Transformers movie, The Last Knight was filled with product placement on top of product placement. What surprised me, however, is that many of the advertisements in the movie were for companies in Asia. Apparently, the Transformers franchise is massive in Asia, which is where the majority of the box-office gross comes from. All I can say is, get it together, Asia. You deserve so much better than Transformers.
5 The Mummy — $407,800,000
The Mummy was supposed to be the start of Universal's monster universe, formally called "the Dark Universe." What Universal doesn't want you to know is that they tried to start the Dark Universe three years ago, with a movie called "Dracula Untold" that not many people bothered to see. That should've been the sign for Universal that they were taking the wrong approach to the Dark Universe, but they figured that signing Tom Cruise onto the cast of The Mummy was enough.
I can admit that I'm a little biased because I love the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, but Universal should've thought of a better name. Everyone thought that this was a remake of Fraser's masterpiece and avoided it despite Universal pumping money into marketing the movie. It was primarily the marketing that led people, like myself, to believe that The Mummy was going to be a better movie than it ended up being. It's alright, I guess. For a movie that's supposed to be the start of a universe that focuses on reviving Universal's old monsters, The Mummy was massively overrated. It's too generic and pales in comparison to the 1999 movie, The Mummy.
Hopefully, the next movies in the Dark Universe are way better than The Mummy.
4 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales — $794,200,000
Growing up, I was a huge fan of Pirates of the Caribbean, and I was overwhelmed with excitement when I heard Disney was taking another swing at the franchise. I try to pretend that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides doesn't exist, but it pulled in over $1B at the box office. But that was six years ago, when everyone still loved the elusive Captain Jack Sparrow.
When Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was first announced, it was everyone's understanding that Orlando Bloom's and Keira Knightley's characters were going to be a major focus. In reality, the two characters were relegated to side characters with minimal lines to draw in fans of the original Pirates trilogy. There's an after-credits scene that hints at a possible sequel starring Bloom and Knightley, but I'm praying that it doesn't happen. After seeing this mess of a story churned out by Disney, I think it's time that they make the franchise walk the plank. They need to leave it on a deserted island and never touch it unless they have an idea that captures the magic of the first film. For a film that made nearly $800 million at the box office, Dead Men Tell No Tales sure does suck.
3 Mother! — $27,300,000
Mother! is an arthouse horror film that's absolutely adored by critics. My main problem with listening to movie critics is that they love a lot of movies that I don't. They look at movies through an artistic lens, whereas I tend to judge movies based on how entertained I am. If I feel like time is dragging on while I'm watching a movie, I'll probably say it sucks.
I'm not in the minority when saying that Mother! is a terrible movie. Don't listen to the praise that critics are giving it because they don't know what they're talking about. This movie is way too artistic for a mainstream audience and should've only been released in a small number of theaters and made on a significantly lower budget. People either love this movie or hate it with every fiber in their body. Mother! received a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival but also received boos from a portion of the crowd over what they had just seen. A movie this divisive isn't worth gambling your money on. It's overhyped. Don't see it.
2 All Eyez On Me — $54,900,000
After the success of Straight Outta Compton, hip-hop fans were excited for the potential of a long list of movies that focused on the lives of rappers. Fans wanted biographies about Biggie, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Nas, and even Tupac Shakur. Hollywood decided that they would be best off making a movie about Tupac, starring a guy that has no acting experience but was cast because his friend told him that he looks like Tupac. True story.
Tupac Shakur lived an extraordinary life, and All Eyez On Me could've given an inside look into one of the most influential rappers of all time. Sadly, just about everything seen in this movie can be read about on a summarized Wikipedia page. All Eyez On Me would've worked well if it were released alongside Notorious in 2009 when everyone was asking for it. It made the mistake of trying to act as a follow-up to Straight Outta Compton. Hip-hop fans will tell you that this movie is a hidden gem that covers Tupac's extraordinary life, but I'm going to tell you that it's an overhyped, under-satisfying biography that doesn't do Pac justice.
1 The Fate of the Furious — $1,239,000,000
After the death of Paul Walker, I was really hoping that filmmakers were going to step away from making more Fast & Furious movies. Furious 7 had the perfect ending to the series. It was a tribute to Paul Walker where his character and Vin Diesel's drove their cars off into the sunset with that one song by Wiz Khalifa playing. Instead of ending with that, we're given more or less the exact same thing that we saw in the last 4 movies. It's looking more and more like these movies will keep getting made until the end of time, with every popular celebrity making an appearance at some point.
If you've seen one of these movies, you've pretty much seen them all. I'll admit that the movies are great to watch with friends on a Saturday night because of their over-the-top ridiculousness, but you shouldn't pay to watch The Fate of the Furious. Wait for it to be on Netflix in a couple of months.
With another Fast & Furious scheduled, someone needs to tell Hollywood that we're sick of these movies. Nine movies about people who drive cars in ways that are physically impossible are enough. Please stop.
Sources: Wikipedia.org, IMDB.com, boxofficemojo.com, fortune.com
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