There are tons of movie releases in 2017 that we’re beyond excited for. This year will give us the next chapter in the Star Wars saga, the first new Pirates of the Caribbean movie in years, and even a sequel to Kingsman.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t a good deal of ill-advised releases on the other end of the spectrum. Hollywood definitely isn’t immune to bad ideas, most of which are motivated by money. When a studio thinks they can make a quick buck at the box office, it often leads to some bad decisions. These are likely going to be those poor choices.
1. Fifty Shades Darker, February 10
The Fifty Shades movie franchise was propped up by strong international numbers the first time around, despite poor reviews and a whole lot of disinterest from domestic audiences. For the sequel, it looks like the same old story. Fifty Shades Darker is currently trending at a meager 9% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critical consensus pointing out how it “wants to be kinky but only serves as its own form of punishment.” At the box office, it pulled in just $113 million stateside after a month (admittedly with a strong overseas gross of $256 million, as of publishing).
2. CHiPs, March 24
Hollywood’s propensity for reboots really hit terminal velocity with this one. In this particular case, it’s hard not to feel like a bunch of suits threw darts at a board full of mid-tier ’70s and ’80s TV shows, and somehow landed on an adaption of the CHiPs TV show.
The odds seem good that Warner Bros. wildly overestimated the public interest in CHiPs. And barring a revelatory 21 Jump Street-esque miracle, they’re going to pay for it at the box office.
3. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, May 12
This isn’t the first time Hollywood has tried to make money off of a modern update of the Camelot legend. Back in 2004, Training Day director Antoine Fuqua had an A-list cast in hand for King Arthur, and still the film flopped to the tune of a $51 million domestic box office.
That of course, hasn’t slowed Guy Ritchie in the slightest; King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is merely the first installment in a planned six-film series, but chances seem good that it won’t make it past the opening movie this year.
4. Baywatch, May 26
Sure, Paramount’s Baywatch landed two of Hollywood’s biggest stars in Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson. But with a pair of screenwriters most known for Freddy vs. Jason, and a director whose crowning work is Horrible Bosses, it’d probably be smart to keep your expectations low.
Again, we have a studio vastly over-projecting the popularity of an old TV series, and hoping that that alone will be enough to win out at the box office (hint: it won’t be).
5. The Mummy, June 9
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a double-edged sword for Hollywood. On one hand, it’s spawned an exciting series of superhero movies and TV shows that connect Marvel’s vast, expansive world of diverse stories. On the other, it’s had competing studios scrambling to create their own shared universe franchises, none of which have been anything near the MCU’s level of quality.
Enter The Mummy, Universal’s haphazard attempt to create a connected franchise using their stable of classic movie monsters. Even with Tom Cruise on board to star, it’s tough to see this one getting far (at least if Dracula Untold is any indication).
6. Cars 3, June 16
The bizarrely grim early marketing for Cars 3 aside, the Cars series has long struggled to gain a solid foothold in the Pixar universe. The best Pixar films are the ones that double as thematic parables, ranging from growing up (Toy Story) to how we process our emotions (Inside Out). Both Cars films have lacked that same emotional crossover appeal, and yet Disney keeps on green-lighting the franchise. All that being so, we don’t have high hopes for the third installment releasing this summer.
7. Transformers: The Last Knight, June 23
American audiences have long since abandoned the Transformers franchise in terms of their interest at the box office. Strong numbers in China though, have kept it alive, with each successive film marketing itself more and more toward that overseas audience. But as the saga has drifted away from our shores, the overall quality continues its free-fall. So yeah, we can understand the temptation to continue cranking out mindless sequels, don’t get us wrong. Just don’t expect us to be rushing to the movie theater on the opening weekend.
8. The Emoji Movie, August 4
The Emoji Movie couldn’t be a bigger Inside Out ripoff if it tried, and that’s not even the most egregious reason to avoid it at all costs. Inside Out was carefully constructed by a studio known for quality crossover cinema, with a skilled, experienced creative hand at the helm in Pete Docter. The Emoji Movie‘s director, Tony Leondis, has a resume filled primarily with forgotten straight-to-video sequels for Lilo & Stitch and The Emperor’s New Groove. Yeah. Good luck with this one.
9. The Lego Ninjago Movie, September 22
Warner may have struck gold with The Lego Batman Movie early in 2017, but Lego Ninjago may very well end up being the point where they realize the limits of the fledgling movie franchise. With upwards of 13 credited writers on the screenplay, it doesn’t exactly exude the can’t miss appeal of past Lego movies. Hopefully, it’ll be a valuable learning experience for all involved about over-extending a good idea.
10. The Six Billion Dollar Man, December 22
Hollywood just can’t help but mine 1970s television for their movie ideas this year. The Six Billion Dollar Man (smartly adjusted for inflation) will star Mark Wahlberg as Steve Austin, a man reconstructed into a cyborg secret agent by the United States government. We don’t know much past the basic concept and the release date, but color us immediately skeptical about this one.
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