The Worst Movies That Grossed $1 Billion Worldwide
Discerning moviegoers understand: A movie’s success at the box office is not indicative of (or even determined by) its artistic merit. Some of the greatest movies ever made became massive commercial flops. And every year, mediocre or flat-out awful movies attract massive crowds and generate millions upon millions of dollars in ticket sales.
Still, I think most cinephiles like to imagine that there is at least some connection between quality and popularity. After all, a movie has to attract millions of customers to become a true blockbuster. And it doesn’t seem like a bad movie should be able to attain the kind of word-of-mouth popularity you need to generate sell-out crowds.
But it happens. When you look at the list of the highest-grossing movies of all time, you see a shocking number of terrible films. To date, just 51 movies have grossed $1 billion at the worldwide box office, and in my subjective opinion at least a quarter of those are bad — and a few rank among the worst films Hollywood has produced in the last 50 years. For every Titanic or Top Gun: Maverick or The Dark Knight — blockbusters whose popularity speaks for itself — there are almost as many pieces of junk that, for one reason or another, still managed to catch on with audiences.
Below are the ten worst offenders. By any measure that Hollywood studios care about, these movies were hits — all-time, record-breaking hits, in fact. But that didn’t make them good movies. Not even close.