TIME’s Top 20 Worst Blockbusters of All Time

Although some might disagree, overall it seems like this summer movie season has been a bust — outside of a few surprises, it’s been nothing but disappointing big budget blockbusters thus far. Whether we’ve fared better or worse than any other summer remains to be seen, but apparently it’s been bad enough to inspire TIME Magazine to weigh in and pick their 20 worst blockbusters of all time. Like any good Top 20 list, it exists mainly to spark discussion, but I do feel like their choices are a little on the obvious side.

Michael Bay has the honour of landing three films on the list, while George Lucas had a hand in two of them. Somehow I’m surprised that M. Night Shyamalan got away with just one mention. Knight and Day in particular sticks out as the one movie that doesn’t really belong here, but I’m guessing it got nominated just because of the Tom Cruise factor. They also didn’t waste any time in adding a couple of movies from this year to the list… go figure. Do you agree with these picks? What do you think are the worst blockbusters of all time? Check out the list after the jump or follow this link to read more.

20. The Last Airbender
19. Knight and Day
18. Hudson Hawk
17. Avengers
16 Transformers: Dark of the Moon
15. Stealth
14. The Haunting
13. Howard the Duck
12. Speed 2: Cruise Control
11. Green Lantern
10. Pearl Harbor
09. Catwoman
08. Wild Wild West
07. Waterworld
06. Godzilla
05. Batman and Robin
04. Battlefield Earth
03. Sex and the City 2
02. Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
01. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen



  • Colin

    Agreed — Knight and Day and Green Lantern don’t belong on this list.

  • LisaM

    I actually enjoyed 2,6,9 and 10. Not great films but fun popcorn movies. I so wanted to like the 2nd and 3rd Transformers films, just couldn’t.

  • RC

    Waterworld is not the disaster that everyone makes it out to be. I actually enjoyed it. Its reputation as a flop is more due to the fact that it went way over budget because the movie set sank and numerous other problems during the shoot. The final result however is an OK movie.

  • Colin

    Waterworld is completely watchable remake of the Road Warrior… it cost way, way too much, but it’s not bad.

    How in the hell is Super Mario Bros not on that list?

  • Swarez

    Are these critical flops cause many of these films did extremely well at the box office. Godzilla made 400 million worldwide for instance.

  • Sly

    I’ve only seen 8 movies from this list.
    Yes – I’ve got good taste :)

  • Ben

    Green Lantern does not belong on this list. A slight argument could be made in favor of Episode 1 not belonging on it either, but… eh.

  • No GI Joe, Die Hard 4, or Superman Returns?

    I think this list is seriously lacking in some Vin Diesel, particularly XXX and Chronicles of Riddick.

    While I’m sure that it’s terrible (I work at a theater and I’ve seen enough to know so), does Sex and the City 2 really fall into the blockbuster category? I don’t think it was really designed as such, except that it was capitalizing on the business of the first one. If nothing else, those films were an interesting experiment in determining just how much a movie could make when you COMPLETELY eliminate heterosexual males from the potential moviegoer equation. Boyfriends got dragged to Twilight, but I think they took a stand when it came to THIS shit.

  • Oh wow, since when do comments on here require moderation? Interesting.

  • mitch

    why the hell is knight and day on this list

  • Marc

    Well, actually i really don`t get this list…
    yes, a lot of this movies suck (at least in my opinion)
    i personaly liked no 1, 8, 16, 18, 19. No 4 was kinda bad but still i liked it in a weird way… but for this list there seems to be no citeria… some of them where at least financial hits… some weren’t blockbusters…(i. e. hudson hawk)… but maybe it’s just me ;)
    but what ever … list are funny ;)
    oh and btw… i havn’t seen green lantern yet but i’m kinda looking forward to it ;)

  • Greggs brother

    Let’s be honest here. about 70% of all BBusters are crap, 10% okay, 15% above average and 5% good/great.

  • Brendan

    If we’re being honest, we should also admit that these “best/worst” lists are mostly bogus. Media outlets realized they’re an easy way to increase traffic to their sites. It’s just one person/people’s opinion. The fact that this one is by Time Magazine leads you to believe it means more, but in the end it’s just another list that carries no real weight. If you agree with it or not, you’re right either way.

  • Kasper

    Shitty list. Knight and Day is actually very entertaining. Silly americans and their hate for Cruise.

  • At least this wasn’t a list compiled by Rotten Tomatoes, which gets referenced way too much, and is pretty much based on just Yes/No system. You could have a movie that’s 100% there that’s a C+ movie across the board because it was only thiiiiiiis close to not being recommended.

  • ABP

    Horse Pucky!

    Wild Wild West should be #1 and then 3 pages later Avatar L.A.B should be #2.

    Waterworld should not be on the list, nor Green Lantern – it wasn’t great but it wasn’t that bad.

    What was M. Night’s killer plant movie?
    No Pluto Nash or The Klumps?

  • MamaCass

    Yeah…awful list. Hudson Hawk is an awesome flick and so was Batman and Robin (Yeah I said it) and who said Super Mario Bros. should be on there? That’s ridiculous!

  • patrik

    Knight & Day, Waterworld and also Star Wars shouldn´t be on that list imo.. The Phantom Menace isn´t very good but there´s certainly more than 20 other blockbusters worse than it.

  • Steve Kasan

    Total agreement with RC & Colin, Waterworld should not be on this list. If you are talking about failure, fine, but in terms of quality, hell no.

    Batman & Robin…ugh, why Arnold why???

  • 90% of everything is crap.

    But I agree that Waterworld and Knight & Day are perfectly serviceable blockbusters, not in the same league as Batman & Robin or Battlefield Earth.

    Phatom Menace suffers more from expectations placed on the StarWars universe, rather than being outright atrocious.

  • Ev

    Knight and Day, Green Lantern, and Star Wars Episode 1 are all surprising. Spiderman 3 should have been on the list.

  • 90% of everything is crap.

    Ahh, the cynic rears his douchey head.

  • KeithTalent

    Waterworld and Howard the Duck are awesome.

    Knight & Day was pretty darn fun.

    Most others I agree with or have not seen.

  • Mrbarr

    I’m looking at this list with 1 complaint how has every Marvel done well yet the Avengers (which hasn’t even come out yet) end up on the list. How dare someone say that a movie will be in the top 20 bust. You can say it looks bad but it’s not even out yet. P.S. Howard the Duck should be #1.

  • XY-Man: The Last Stan

    So, is this Reed’s top 20?

  • We also agree. Green Lantern doesn’t belong here for one. The CGI is pretty. The performances were entertaining enough. Ryan Reynolds is doing his same old thing. Mark Strong didn’t appear so much (which is disappointing) but still he’s awesome. Definitely does not belong there. But everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. It’s what makes life fun! Thanks for the post! Keep blogging.

  • sdiee

    This list is a bust.

    GREEN LANTERN and KNIGHT AND DAY do not deserve to be on this list.

    How is Spiderman 3 not on this list?

  • #24—You know they mean the 1998 Sean Connery/Uma Thurman flick based on the TV show, right? I can’t tell if you’re kidding.

  • Kerri

    Oh, come on, I love “Batman and Robin”! It’s campy, yes, but can you honestly tell me that it isn’t so-bad-it’s-hilarious?

    And “The Last Airbender” does not belong on this list either, it isn’t that bad.

  • @PlanBFromOuterSpace: I don’t think Mrbarr was kidding. Ha ha.

    @XY-Man: The Last Stan: My list would include J.J.Abrams’ Star Trek, all the Lord of the Rings movies, and the first two Harry Potter movies (since I haven’t seen the rest of them.)

  • Zelda Lord

    Pluto Nash belongs on the list.

  • Jon

    How come ‘sHOwgirls’ is not on this list? Dont get me wrong, we love it, but its complete garbage too… and a major flop. Also Hudson Hawk & Knight & Day seem out of place here.

  • Ash

    I liked Howard the Duck as a kid. As long as this IS talking about 2012 Avengers, I totally agree.