Entertainment Movies The worst movies ever, according to people who paid to see them

The worst movies ever, according to people who paid to see them

battlefield earth
This photo of John Travolta (right) in 2000's Battlefield Earth should explain why it was one of the most-hated movies people saw in cinemas.
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What’s the worst movie you ever paid to see? This simple question from a random internet user garnered thousands of hilarious responses, with several repeat offenders emerging.

Chicago man Eric Bailey posted the innocent query on his Twitter account on Tuesday and immediately received a torrent of replies from disappointed moviegoers.

Bailey’s picks were “either Superman Returns or Celtic Pride“, but his respondents were varied in their choices, listing both well known blockbusters and under-the-radar indie films.

“My mentions are very funny right now, I have truly gifted myself today,” Bailey wrote as his question gained traction.

Trends soon emerged.

“Pretty sure every human person who saw Ghost Rider 2 in the theatre has been in my mentions today,” Bailey wrote, referring to a 2011 movie starring Nicholas Cage.

He added: “I have so many questions for the people who willingly bought a ticket for Freddy Got Fingered and actually expected a work of cinematic quality.”

But it was sequels and big-action or fantasy franchises that proved the least popular films for paying moviegoers, prompting a clearly frustrated Bailey to post a Public Service Announcement in jest.

“At this point I feel like I need to make a public service announcement – you don’t HAVE to watch every sequel to a franchise you hate,” he wrote.

“Why in the WORLD do you keep seeing Transformers/Fifty Shades/whatever movies if you think they’re so awful you can’t pick which is worst?!”

It was a valid question given the nature of the responses, which saw plenty of mentions of the Transformers franchise, which bore five films, the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, based on EL James’ erotic novels and the Twilight franchise, based on Stephanie Meyer’s vampire novels.

Here were the other repeat offenders …


The gist: Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2009 satirical film about an eccentric fashion designer from Austria was expected to be a brilliant follow-up to his 2006 hit Borat. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

What Twitter said: 

  • “Garbage. Unfunny.”
  • “So bad I forgot it even existed.”
  • “The beginning of the end of Sacha Baron Cohen.”

Box office total: $183 million

Sacha Baron Cohen as a fame-hungry fashionista in Bruno.

The Happening

The gist: A 2008 apocalyptic thriller starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel and directed by M Night Shyamalan, about deadly gas that causes mass suicide.

What Twitter said:

  • “My disappointment became despair before that film was over. What was M Night Shayamalan and everyone else involved thinking?”
  • “I jokingly asked someone working at the cinema for my money back, but secretly I was serious.”
  • “I almost wanted to die along with everyone in the movie.”

Box office total: $217 million

What were they thinking? Zooey Deschanel and Mark Wahlberg in The Happening.

Freddy Got Fingered

The gist: The bizarre 2001 black comedy was written and directed by its star, comedian Tom Green, who played a man in his late 20s stuck living with his parents who, in an act of revenge, falsely accuses his father of molesting him.

What Twitter said:

  • “As a 17-year-old, movie seemed hilarious but hindsight shows it’s horrible.”
  • “I literally wanted to murder the friend who made me watch it.”
  • “Walked out 20 minutes in.”

Box office total: $18 million

Director, writer and star of Freddy Got Fingered, Tom Green.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

The gist: French writer/director Luc Besson’s highly anticipated 2017 space opera ran for over two hours and had a budget of nearly $200 million, but failed to deliver any thrills.

What Twitter said:

  • “My daughter pulled her hoodie over her head and said ‘my stomach hurts with the cringe’. Terrible film!”
  • “Good at first but then got all messed up.”
  • “The poster was the best part of the movie.”

Box office total: $299 million

Valerian stars Dane DeHaan (left) and Cara Delevingne.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

The gist: By far the most frequently mentioned film, this 2010 action movie from director M Night Shyamalan was a live-action adaptation of a beloved Nickelodeon animated series that completely missed the mark.

What Twitter said:

  • “What a let down, especially because my family and I went to see it for my birthday. It still hurts.”
  • “I still believe I deserve compensation for the pain I went through.”
  • “Made me nauseous.”

Box office total: $319 million

Fans were wildly disappointed by this big-screen interpretation of a beloved TV cartoon.

Battlefield Earth

The gist: The 2000 sci-fi film based on a 1982 novel by Church of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard starred an unrecognisable John Travolta, a longtime Scientologist who fought to have it made for many years. Even today it is still regarded as one of the worst movies ever made.

What Twitter said:

  • “Horrible doesn’t begin to describe it.”
  • “I’d rather stick my eyeballs in a meat grinder than sit through that movie.”
  • “So bad, I suggested to my date we go do something else instead. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. So bad, in fact, she agreed.”

Box office total: $38 million

And the Oscar for worst wig ever goes to …. John Travolta in Battlefield Earth!

The English Patient

The gist: Despite winning the Best Picture Oscar in 1997, The English Patient, a war drama starring Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas, was panned for its nearly three-hour runtime and overly dramatic plot.

What Twitter said:

  • “Academy award be damned. It was a major draaaaag.”
  • “My wife had to console me for hours afterwards.”
  • “I’ll never have those three hours back.”

Box office total: $307 million

Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas in the 1996 film The English Patient.

* Global gross box office figures taken from Box Office Mojo and quoted in Australian dollars.

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