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How did they make it out of the studio? The 5 worst movies released this year

With most movie releases, people can spot the good from the bad pretty easily, either from the trailer itself or the myriad of pre-release reviews that inevitably surface. The question is, why can’t film companies? Looking at the worst rated films released this year, it is immediately apparent that some know, while some are clueless. It also becomes obvious that quality isn’t the primary concern, rather the likelihood of the film to make a profit. By examining the five worst films this year so far, perhaps it will become clear how bad movies always seem in abundance.

The worst films have been determined by considering their rating on review site RottenTomatoes, which is the percentage of critic reviews that were favourable to the film.

5) Manny Lewis – 25% rating on RT

Carl Barron writes and stars in his first feature film – a story about a fictional comedian and his inability to make personal connections, despite a fandom of millions. This film received little advertising or media coverage, and was clearly not expected to be a box office hit. In what seems to be a passion project for Carl, the comedian has been unable to deliver a good film. The budget for this film is not known, although speculated to be low. Due to the fact this film was not expected to be successful, it is hard to draw any conclusions from.

4) Tracers22% rating on RT

Attempting to gain some leverage based on the success of Twilight star Taylor Lautner, the film Tracers plays out as an action film set in New York, where heists are pulled off by gangs of parkour masters. Rather than being an earnest attempt at a new, creative action film, it seems to be a straightforward, sub-par movie relying on star power instead of quality. With a speculated budget of only $11 million, this is clearly a case where the studio didn’t care for the quality of the movie in the end, as a low cost film with a bankable star is almost guaranteed to run.

3) Kidnapping Mr Heineken20% rating on RT

This film is based on the 1983 kidnapping of Freddy Heineken, CEO of Heineken International at the time. The dramatic portrayal of a historically significant kidnapping seems to be a promising idea, but critics have panned it for poor execution and being an overly clichéd crime drama. The producers clearly hoped for a better film, as the subject material is definitely worth a closer look. It seems that the low budget of the film and unclear direction inevitably caused its mediocrity.

2) The Gunman 16% rating on RT

Starring Sean Penn, and directed by Pierre Morel (notable for directing the cult classic Taken), The Gunman has an outward appearance of a film with pedigree and potential. Some critics share this sentiment, but most found that it delivered a poor story, as it was not clear what the movie was actually trying to elicit. With a production budget of $40 million, and a list of names that moviegoers might recognise, it seems that The Gunman is an example of a film that studios got totally wrong – and it may cost them, as it has only recouped ¼ of its initial budget in its release so far.

1) Paul Blart: Mall Cop 26% rating on RT

A sequel to the 2009 Kevin James film, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, this new iteration hopes that audiences will be receptive to the same comedic ideas, with very little of the film striking new ground. With a budget of $30 million, the film seems content to cash in on the draw of Kevin James and ride his reputation to a safe profit from a terrible film.  This is an example of a studio being aware of what is has on its hands, and going with their bottom line in spite of audience enjoyment.

Considering these films and the reasons behind their failure, it is apparent that bad movies are perpetuated by the industry itself, and this isn’t likely to change any time soon.

By Leo Sloan

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