An exceptional amount of films managed to break the mold and surprise audiences in 2017 – from superhero films such as Logan and Wonder Woman to horror films like IT and Get Out, with outliers like Dunkirk, Lady Bird, and The Big Sick sprinkled throughout – but as is the case with every year before (and will be with every year after), 2017 featured quite a few duds along the way. That’s the nature of Hollywood, unfortunately; not every film can achieve critical acclaim, break box office records, and win numerous awards.
While many people may point to movies such as Baywatch or The Mummy as some of the worst movies of the year, those films were heavily promoted and, in general, received lots of press, which is why casual moviegoers will remember that those movies released in 2017, even if they didn’t actually see the movies in theaters themselves. That’s why it’s unlikely that a major release such as The Emoji Movie, no matter how horrendous it actually is, could be easily forgotten by general audiences. And that’s also why we haven’t included that movie in our annual list of movies so bad that people probably forgot they released in theaters.
Here are the 20 Movies So Bad You Forgot They Released In 2017.
20. Underworld: Blood Wars
Release Date: 1/06
The Underworld franchise has never produced overwhelmingly successful movies, but they’ve been good fun for audiences to watch and they still manage to turn a profit in the end. That’s why Screen Gems asked Kate Beckinsale to don her all-black costume as the vampire Selene one more time for Anna Foerster’s Underworld: Blood Wars. It’s the fifth installment in the Underworld series, and as one can imagine, it went fairly below the radar, despite having Beckinsale’s name attached to it.
While Blood Wars didn’t perform as well as the studio might have hoped, it still turned a profit in the end, which is why they’re already in the midst of pursuing the sixth film in the Underworld series, with Beckinsale reprising her role at least one more time. At this point, it seems like Underworld will never end.
19. Monster Trucks
Release Date: 1/13
Given that Chris Wedge’s Monster Trucks released at the start of the year, audiences shouldn’t be faulted for not remembering it at all, but seeing how bad the movie actually is, who knows if people would’ve remembered it even if it had released at the tail-end of 2017.
The Lucas Till-starring comedy movie about a boy named Tripp and his newfound monster-ish friend, Creech, is something that could’ve worked if it had been given a different writer, director, and VFX team. For $125 million, Monster Trucks should’ve been much better than it turned out to be.
If Hollywood really wants to make a monster trucks-style movie, perhaps they should do just that instead of adding actual monsters into the mix, because Paramount’s 2017 film is anything but a credible movie.
18. Return of Xander Cage
Release Date: 1/20
Vin Diesel was the highest-grossing actor of 2017, thanks to his roles in F. Gary Gray’s The Fate of the Furious, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and even D.J. Caruso’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage. The latter was a sequel to 2001’s xXx and a follow-up to 2005’s spinoff, xXx: State of the Union. While the movie may have satisfied fans of the first two installments, particularly the action sequences involving adrenaline-filled stunts, the long-awaited sequel failed to produce anything new or invigorating for the once-dormant franchise.
Despite its poor quality and non-existent cultural footprint, xXx: Return of Xander Cage was an enormous success for Paramount Pictures, and the studio is already looking into developing a fourth installment with the bulk of the main cast, including Diesel, reprising their roles.
17. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Release Date: 1/27
Paul W.S. Anderson’s long-running Resident Evil series, starring Milla Jovovich as Alice, came to an end in early 2017 with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – but not many people know that because it was fairly easy to overlook (and forget).
While the movie offered nothing new compared to past installments, it was still a somewhat satisfying conclusion for fans of the movie series. Unfortunately, that’s not saying much, as The Final Chapter proved to be just as mind-numbing as the rest of the Resident Evil sequels.
In spite of being ridiculed by critics and many fans of the Resident Evil games, the movie series is still the most successful video game movie adaptation ever created, which is why Constantin Films is already in the works on a full-fledged reboot. Hopefully, the next Resident Evil movie will be closer to the source material.
Release Date: 2/03
Gore Verbinski’s 2002 film, The Ring, was a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror movie, Ringu. While it wasn’t as scary as its Japanese counterpart, the film was successful enough to spawn a sequel in 2005, The Ring Two, and another sequel in 2017: Rings. The 2017 sequel was directed by Before the Fall‘s F. Javier Gutiérrez and starred Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, and Aimee Teegarden, among others.
As with the other films in the series, Rings achieved box office success due to its relatively low production budget, but that doesn’t mean it was viewed by tens of millions of people. In fact, Rings received overwhelmingly negative reviews upon release. The long-awaited sequel may have offered some cheap thrills, but all it really did was rehash tired storylines.
15. A Cure for Wellness
Release Date: 2/17
Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness starts off strong and takes viewers on a journey through an American executive’s retreat in the Swiss Alps, but at some point in the film, virtually everyone will realize that the story isn’t building to anything exciting. Its ending, although makes sense for the story, may make audiences feel like they were deceived all along. Perhaps the film should’ve ended a half-hour earlier.
A Cure for Wellness attempted to tell an intriguing psychological thriller, but what audiences got was a well-produced B-movie that a story that doesn’t know where to go. By the looks of it, Verbinski has had a rough time since his days working behind the camera on the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, with A Cure for Wellness and The Lone Ranger being his last two outings. We’ll just have to wait and see how Gambit performs.
14. Table 19
Release Date: 3/03
Fox Searchlight Pictures is known for distributing low-budget and indie films – 127 Hours, 12 Years a Slave, Black Swan, Birdman, Slumdog Millionaire, etc. – that go on to win awards or achieve cult status, or both. But every once in a while, Searchlight releases a dud that does little to nothing to reshape the filmmaking industry. One such film is Jeffrey Blitz’s Table 19, starring Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson, and Lisa Kudrow.
The crux of the movie’s problems is that the filmmakers don’t seem to know what they want the movie to be, and they drag out a story that could’ve been told, albeit more cleverly, in a single episode of a TV comedy instead of a feature-length film.
Release Date: 3/24
Parenthood and Hit and Run‘s Dax Shepard wrote and directed 2017’s CHiPs, based on the TV series of the same name by Rick Rosner, starring himself and Ant-Man‘s Michael Pena. While the concept of a buddy cop TV show scoring big on the big screen isn’t implausible (just see Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s success with 21 Jump Street), CHiPs misses virtually every opportunity to make a name for itself and instead focuses on adapting the worst parts of the original series.
What’s more, comedy writers should, at this point, realize that one too many crotch-related jokes will put off audiences more than actually make them laugh, let alone chuckle. And as 2017’s Baywatch can attest to, adapting TV shows onto the big screen doesn’t always work out like studios hope.
12. Ghost in the Shell
Release Date: 3/31
Rupert Sanders’ live-action Ghost in the Shell movie, based on the manga series of the same name by Masamune Shirow and starring Scarlett Johansson as Major Mira Killian/Motoko Kusanagi, was one of the year’s biggest flops, grossing $169.8 million against an estimated production budget of $110. Seeing how much the movie differs in quality from its source material, it’s not that difficult to understand why it was a failure. All the CGI in the world couldn’t save Ghost in the Shell.
What’s more, the film spawned a notorious whitewashing controversy that many believe contributed to the movie failing at the box office. The overall fact is, it was a bad year for live-action anime movies. Hopefully, the genre will soon go the way of superhero films and undergo its own renaissance.
11. The Circle
Release Date: 4/28
James Ponsoldt’s The Circle, based on the novel of the same name by Dave Eggers, is the latest thriller to exploit audiences’ fears about invasion of privacy. While its trailer may have caught the attention of general audiences, it wasn’t enough for people to justify seeing it in theaters, despite how much it had going for it.
Tom Hanks? Emma Watson? John Boyega? What could go wrong? As it turns out, a lot. On the surface, The Circle is an intriguing concept that deals with present-day concerns about lack of privacy in the digital age, but really, it’s a by-the-numbers, tech-driven film that drags out its story and feels lazily put together. If The Circle was a satirical comedy, then it might have stood a chance at being something than another forgettable movie.
Release Date: 5/12
Amy Schumer’s rise to the top of comedy in recent years may have clouded her judgment in going for a major payday with 2017’s Snatched, from 50/50 director Jonathan Levine and The Heat scribe Katie Dippold. The comedy movie, starring Schumer as Emily Middleton and Goldie Hawn as Emily’s mother, Linda Middleton, was problematic from the get-go. A story about a mother-daughter duo being kidnapped while on vacation isn’t too far-fetched, but how it’s presented in Snatched is quite absurd, to say the least.
The movie’s biggest mistake is casting Hawn and Schumer as the mother and daughter, seeing as they have little to no real on-screen chemistry to make use of. To make matters worse, this comedy doesn’t actually produce many laughs.
9. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Release Date: 5/12
Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, starring Charlie Hunnam as Arthur and Jude Law as Vortigern, is Warner Bros.’ biggest box office flop of 2017. The film grossed only $148.7 million at the worldwide box office against an estimated production budget of $175 million. Perhaps that’s because the studios shifted the movie’s release date so many times that it became confusing for the general public.
But, the real reason King Arthur performed so poorly is because the film was crushed by critics, even though those who saw the movie reacted to it more favorably. As a result, Ritchie may not be able to continue with his and Warner Bros.’ planned six-film King Arthur series. Until an official word is given about the sequel, fans can look forward to seeing Ritchie’s live-action take on Aladdin for Disney.
8. Everything, Everything
Release Date: 5/19
Stella Meghie’s Everything, Everything – based on the 2015 young-adult novel of the same name by Nicola Yoon – stars Nick Robinson and Amandla Stenberg as its titular characters, but their popularity amongst young audiences can only prop up this film so much until the inevitable, eye-rolling twist emerges. At that point, even melodramatic-inclined viewers, who may find themselves immersed in the story from time-to-time, will start to feel the tug of boredom.
As it so happens, though, the concept of a young girl’s illness preventing her from leading an ordinary life, only to find love with her next-door neighbor, is actually quite popular. That’s why Scott Speer is remaking Norihiro Koizumi’s Midnight Sun, which revolves around a similar idea. Hopefully, that movie turns out better than Everything, Everything.
7. Rough Night
Release Date: 6/16
Girls’ night out-related movies seem to be on the rise in Hollywood, and if Lucia Aniello’s 2017 comedy, Rough Night, is any indication of quality, that’s probably not a good thing. Luckily 2017 also brought us the raunchy, delightful Girls Trip to cleanse our palates.
Rough Night featured an excellent cast consisting of Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Demi Moore, Zoë Kravitz, and Ty Burrell, but none of their ace comedic chops were utilized properly in the comedy movie.
While Rough Night manages to produce a few laughs every now and then, there’s simply not enough substance in the story or the characters to hold the movie together throughout its 101-minute length. To make matters worse, McKinnon, for some reason, sports a rather appalling Australian accent throughout the movie.
6. The Book of Henry
Release Date: 6/16
In between writing and directing Jurassic World and prepping for Star Wars: Episode IX, Colin Trevorrow made the low-budget drama, The Book of Henry, starring Naomie Watts, Jacob Tremblay, and Sarah Silverman. Trevorrow was taken by surprise when the film, which is about a mother who desperately tries to fulfill her late son’s wishes to rescue their next-door neighbor from abuse, released to generally negative reviews. The filmmaker brought his long-in-development passion project to fruition, but he did so without making the story appealing to general audiences in the slightest.
It’s believed that reception for The Book of Henry is what eventually resulted in Trevorrow being booted from Star Wars: Episode IX. Whether or not that’s true, the film’s reviews certainly didn’t help his case.
5. The House
Release Date: 6/30
Andrew Jay Cohen’s latest comedy, The House, starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, is something that actually looked quite promising. But, that’s why marketing is important for movies, especially if trailers give audiences something that’s entirely different than what the actual product provides -in this case, an unfunny comedy movie that doesn’t know how to capitalize on its bizarre plot developments. Plus, the movie’s actual jokes aren’t even remotely humorous, and instead border on being cringe-worthy.
Even if Ferrell didn’t phone-in his performance in The House, he couldn’t save the film’s lackluster script even if he was at his best – and neither could Poehler, which is particularly disappointing because these two comedic geniuses could’ve conjured up a memorable comedy if they were given something better to work with.
4. The Dark Tower
Release Date: 8/04
The long-awaited film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower novel series finally hit theaters this past August, but not many people would remember that since the movie went by relatively unnoticed. After all, it undercut everything that made the books so special and fell by the wayside because of it. That’s not for a lack of trying, though. The Dark Tower had ambition; it just wasn’t what audiences needed to become immersed in King’s expansive story.
The film starred Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba as its two leads. And while the director, Nikolaj Arcel, imagined a multi-film series, fans of King’s novel will be lucky now if The Dark Tower TV show still happens. Unfortunately, The Dark Tower sequel stands a chance of being dead-on-arrival, just like the first installment.
3. American Assassin
Release Date: 9/15
Nowadays, it’s almost as if actors are required to star in an action movie in order to either come of age or return to the fold. Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien does just that by appearing alongside Michael Keaton and Taylor Kitsch in Michael Cuesta’s 2017 action thriller, American Assassin, based on Vince Flynn’s 2010 novel of the same name.
At its best, American Assassin is a movie that will offer action fans a mind-numbing escape from their daily lives, but that’s not saying much given the mundane plot and tired action sequences that feel only a tad bit more convincing than a standard TV show shootout.
Release Date: 9/29
Nowadays, it seems as if any more that was even remotely successful in the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s is being remade or rebooted – and that includes Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners.
A remake directed by Niels Arden Oplev from a script by Ben Ripley released in 2017, starring Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, and more. While fans of the original film might’ve been excited about a remake, the movie failed to provide anything of substance that made it worth spending money to see in theaters.
At one point, the Flatliners sequel/reboot held a 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but a few fresh reviews has since bumped it up to a measly 5 percent. At least that’s something, but definitely not worth continuing the series in any way whatsoever.
Release Date: 10/20
Dean Devlin returned to the big screen in 2017, except this time he was in the director’s chair. His large-scale disaster movie, Geostorm, marked his directorial debut, and it seems that it didn’t go the way he hoped.
If you’re wondering what the most ridiculous, preposterous disaster movie ever created is, look no further than Geostorm – a movie with an over-inflated budget ideally made for TV audiences, specifically those who don’t know what else to watch in the dead of night.
Don’t, for a moment, think that Geostorm is the next Twister or The Day After Tomorrow, because it’s not. The film has more in common with 2012 than anything else, and not in a good way. The weird thing is that Geostorm still managed to make at least some money back, but most of its box office gross, understandably, came from foreign markets.
Did you forget about any of these movies? Let us know in the comments!
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