Fifty Shades Darker is out this week - just in time for Valentine' Day. It was never going to be an enormous hit with the critics, and when author EL James stood up to address a packed premier and said that words failed her, she pretty much wrote the reviews for them. However, anyone involved in the film can breathe easy, because a critical panning is unlikely to stop it earning a fortune at the box office.
RottenTomatoes.com brings together an average of all the critical reviews, and while it's early days, Fifty Shades Darker is impressive in scoring an incredibly tiny 8%. As Peter Travers of Rolling Stone put it: "This softcore swill is hardcore awful." Meanwhile, Brian Truitt of USA Today said it: "Somehow manages to be worse than the stupefyingly bad Fifty Shades of Grey."
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However, there have been plenty of films that defied the critics to take a fortune at the box office - some of which took over $1 billion. The Fifty Shades Darker crew may take some comfort from the list.
This installment in the Transformers saga managed an impressively poor 35% on Rotten Tomatoes. Anthony Quinn of the Independent wrote: "Director Michael Bay perpetrates another junkyard fiasco that turns the volume up to 11 and the IQ to -1."
Transformers: Age of Extinction - $1.104 billion
Yes there's a bit of a theme developing, but Rotten Tomatoes calculated that critics gave this outing of the franchise just 18%. Among the kindest comments was Rob Lowman in the Los Angeles Daily News, who said: "The running time of 2 hours and 45 minutes allows plenty of time for lots of explosions and inane dialogue."
Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace -$1.027 billion
As the new films come out to rave reviews, this is considered a bit of a low point in the saga. Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian called it: "A pop-culture calamity, a soulless, passionless film whose only real effect was to smudge the happy memories of the three originals."
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - $963.4 million
Otherwise known as 'the third one', this got a critical average score of 45%, and Jamie Russell of the BBC noted: "World's End is duller than a Disneyland ride during a power cut."
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - $886.7 million
The third in the series earned just average reviews of just 45%. Nigel Andrews wrote in The Financial Times: "Even the little boy in the second row, dragged along by a parent for a treat, was frozen in silence, victim of that cyclical ice age that affects audiences powerless to fend off the cryogenic effect of a sub-zero digimation romp."
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice - $873.3 million
This scored a shockingly bad 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, and garnered some terrible reviews. Camilla Long wrote in The Sunday Times: "It seems amazing that something as idiotic as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice could now even get beyond the pitching stage."
Given that the first Fifty Shades film made $571 million at the box office, and that as a general rule highly successful films with a huge fanbase make more as the franchise rolls on, we can expect Fifty Shades Darker to be a storming success at the box office. Whether you enjoy it is another matter entirely.