Top Worst Reviewed Highest Grossing Movies Of All-Time

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has just passed $600 million at the worldwide box office, despite mostly really bad reviews. This is nothing new. Mainstream audiences don’t listen to the critics, and big screen spectacle will almost always win over quality entertainment. Nothing was going to stop me from seeing the movie, not all the bad reviews in the world. It’s an event movie — and I needed to see it for myself. It should be noted that box office should never be looked at as an indication of the mainstream public’s thoughts on a movie (it sold tons of tickets so the mainstream public must’ve loved it) but only an indication of the hype (and in later weeks, possibly word of mouth).

The success of Transformers 2 got me thinking. What is the worst reviewed box office success of all time? Could it be Revenge of the Fallen? Find out what I’ve uncovered after the jump.

What is the worst reviewed highest grossing worldwide release of all time? It’s a tough question.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest earned $1,066.2 Million and has a 53% on the Tomato-meter, making it the largest grossing film to be negatively reviewed, but not necessarily the “worst reviewed highest grossing worldwide release of all time”.

But how do you compare Dead Man’s Chest‘s 53% against Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen‘s 19%? I had to invent a formula to rank these releases. What I did was take the Box Office total and divide it by the tomato-meter rating, which gives us a more balanced unit which relates Box Office to the Critical Analysis. It’s not the most scientific or mathematical way of handling this, but for our purposes, it works. The films below are listed in descending order based on the $/% number, and guess what —Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the worst reviewed highest grossing film of all time.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 
Box Office: $607.7 Million (so far)
Rotten Tomatoes: 19%
$/%: 31.9

The Da Vinci Code
Box Office: $758.2 Million
Rotten Tomatoes: 24%
$/%: 31.6

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Box Office: $961 Million
Rotten Tomatoes: 45%
&/%: 21.35

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Box Office: $1,066.2 Million
Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
$/%: 20.11

Shrek The Third
Box Office: $799 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 42%
$/%: 19

Hancock
Box Office: $624.4 Million
Rotten Tomatoes: 39%
$/%: 16

Armageddon
Box Office: $553.7 Million
Rotten Tomatoes: 40%
$/%: 13.8

Meet the Fockers
Box Office: $516.6 Million
Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
$/%: 13.6

Angels & Demons
Box Office: $473.2 Million
Rotten Tomatoes: 37%
$/%: 12.8

The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Box Office: $618.6 Million
Rotten Tomatoes: 49%
$/%: 12.6

The Day After Tomorrow
Box Office: $544.3 Million
Rotten Tomatoes: 45%
$/%: 12.1

Bruce Almighty
Box Office: $484.6 Million
Rotten Tomatoes: 49%
$/%: 9.9

Surprises: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull are not on the list because they were actually come-what positively reviewed. Menace has a 63% on the Tomato-meter with 97 fresh reviews and 56 rotten. Crystal Skull received high praise from critics, earning 76% on the Tomato-meter with 186 fresh reviews and 58 rotten. Indy 4 is one of the rare occasions where the mainstream public average was actually a lot lower than the critics, with a 6.7 on IMDb. Spider-Man 3 also received some-what favorable reviews with a 62% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Aside: It should be noted that box office should never be looked at as a rating of the mainstream public’s review of a movie. People vote with their dollars before they see the movie, and thus the box office figure can only account for hype and not analytical review. While there is no accurate account of the mainstream public’s opinion on a movie post-viewing, I often use a combination of IMDb’s user rating, Netflix and Flixter ratings as they are the largest accounting of non-critic opinion of a film.

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