I’d like to say that the impulse for this list came from a desire to talk about box office as The Avengers continues to devour records like Galactus devours civilised planets. But in reality, over the weekend I was having a conversation with a friend that included the question, “what is the highest-grossing movie you” – meaning me – “haven’t seen?” And I thought, and said, that would be a fun list. So thanks to Andrew L for inspiring my list of:
The Ten Highest-Grossing Films That I Haven’t Seen (as of 21 May, 2012)
That’s world-wide box office, mind you; the domestic list (which I include as an appendix) is far less interesting.
And there’s more! I’m going to include a poll, including all ten of these movies, and I will watch and review which ever film wins. The poll is open till Saturday, which should give me enough time to arrange to get any of the five movies next week.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked ($338,706,642, #213)
Why I Skipped It: It didn’t go to #1 at the box office, and having forced myself through The Squeakquel the week prior, I wasn’t about to revisit that well just because I could. These movies are too awful without being fun-bad to endure them for no reason.
I, Robot ($347,234,916, #206)
Why I Skipped It: Whatever affection I have for Will Smith, Movie Star (it was less in 2004 than it is today), it certainly did not outweigh my profound disinterest in seeing the work of Isaac Asimov, a writer I care for very deeply, abused and insulted.
Basic Instinct ($352,927,224, #196)
Why I Skipped It: Because at 10 years old, I wasn’t in a position to engage with the controversy back in 1992, and I’ve never really been driven towards it since then, though due to my recent explorations into Paul Verhoeven’s pre-American work, I’ve grown curious.
Notting Hill ($363,889,678, #180)
Why I Skipped It: It took Erin Brockovich the following year to convince me that hating Julia Roberts might not be a good idea. And while I’ve never hated Hugh Grant, I’ve never really sought him out, either.
Hitch ($368,100,420 #177)
Why I Skipped It: Not my preferred mode for Will Smith even a little bit. And my allergy to Kevin James is strong enough that if I found out he had a part in the new Terrence Malick film, I’d have to give serious thought to whether or not I wanted to see it.
What Women Want ($374,111,707, #166)
Why I Skipped It: Between Helen Hunt, romantic lead-style Mel Gibson, writer-director Nancy Meyers, and the groaning, gender stereotyping concept, I think the question is why I wouldn’t skip it, but here’s a fun story: my mom and granmother went to see it while my dad and I saw Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon at the same time. My dad and I were happier.
The Bodyguard ($410,945,720, #145)
Why I Skipped It: As with Basic Instinct, I was too young when it came out. In the years since, neither my complete indifference to Whitney Houston nor my active avoidance of any Kevin Costner that I don’t “need” to see have made this one anything like a high priority.
Sex and the City ($415,253,641, #141)
Why I Skipped It: I imagined that my nearly complete ignorance of the show made me a poor candidate to get any real pleasure out of the film at all. The rancid Sex and the City 2 did not call this belief into question.
The Matrix Revolutions ($427,343,298, #135)
Why I Skipped It: I would comfortably use “hate” to describe my feelings toward The Matrix Reloaded, and everybody I know who saw the series finale opening weekend described it in a way that made it seem like my problems with the second film had only been exaggerated.
The Day After Tomorrow $544,272,402, #82)
Why I Skipped It: As much as I don’t really like effects-heavy disaster movies with over-stuffed casts, I like Roland Emmerich films even less. Though, truth be told, if the glowingly dumb 2012 had preceded this one the theaters, I probably would have made the effort.
Don’t forget to vote! It’s over there on the sidebar! Vote closed; The Matrix Revolutions won, with Basic Instinct coming just one vote behind, so I went and watched them both. This means, if you are interested, that Lethal Weapon 3 and the live-action 101 Dalmatians are now on this list.
Appendix: The Ten Highest Grossing Films at the U.S. Box Office That I Haven’t Seen
AKA, “Tim Brayton Doesn’t Like Contemporary Comedies: The List”. Source: Box Office Mojo.
Grown Ups ($162,001,186, #197)
Big Daddy ($163,479,795, #193)
Three Men and a Baby ($167,780,960, #183)*
Wild Hogs ($168,273,550, #182)
Elf ($173,398,518, #169)
Hitch ($179,495,555, #155)
The Polar Express ($182,704,446, #145)
What Women Want ($182,811,707, #144)
The Day After Tomorrow ($186,740,799, #136)
Wedding Crashers ($209,255,921, #110)