What do T. J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Steven Wright, Jennifer Coolidge, Christina Aguilera, SofÃa Vergara, Sean Hayes, and Patrick Stewart have in common? They all were voices on the critically declaimed Emoji Movie. The movie was such a stinker it managed to accumulate a total of 4 Golden Raspberry Awards — for Worst Director, Worst Movie, Worst Movie Combo, and Worst Screenplay. It isn’t often that a movie draws so much negative attention.
The Razzies are awarded each year the day before the Academy Awards, just to emphasize what the opposite of cinematic excellence is to audiences. The question is just how much value can be placed on what the voters of the Razzies think. In the case of The Emoji Movie, it cost an estimated $50 million to produce but raked in more than $217 million at the box office. A movie that generates a $157 million profit can hardly be considered a flop for its producers.
Three other Razzie awarded movies also managed to make money for its producers: Transformers: The Last Knight at $605.4 million, The Mummy with $409.2 million, and Fifty Shades Darker which took in $381.1 million. The Transformers movie was nominated for the most Razzies alongside Fifty Shades, so the voters on the Razzie committee may know as much about bad movies as The Academy knows about good ones. Maybe the only way to tell for sure is to wait until The People’s Choice Awards comes around.
Despite the large number of nominations for 50 Shades and Transformers, it was The Emoji Movie that bottomed out at the cinematic quality level. But it seems reasonable to suggest that the movie was not directed at the adult demographic, leaving the question of whether adults should criticize any movie targeted at children under the age of 10. There have been Academy nominations for Best Actor in a number of movies where the child was in the 10- 16 range, but never in a children’s movie. So it seems only fair the Razzies should leave it alone too. Maybe you can make a case for Worst Combo Movie, but that’s about it.
In the adult movie category, Tom Cruise got hit with the Golden raspberry for his performance in The Mummy. Believe it or not, Cruise will turn 56 this year, and he is primarily an action genre actor. His wheels are likely getting slower (ask Kiefer Sutherland who cited the stress on his knees as a major reason for limping away from 24 despite fans wanting more Jack Bauer). But despite what critics think, he is still a box office draw. The Mummy took in twice as much as the first installment of Jack Reacher, the more popular of the two Jack Reacher films.
There are those who say that the Razzies and the Oscars are more about actual theatrical talent than box office numbers. Many people would disagree. The main difference is that Oscar voting has people lobbying for their favorite films and actors, while the Razzie dishonorees are left with the opinions of a small group of people who nobody really knows or cares about. Maybe the Razzies would actually be better if they were fun instead of making themselves out to be qualified critics of serious filmmaking. Is The Emoji Movie supposed to be a serious filmmaking effort? Will its existence change the course of society or the world?
It’s a kid’s movie that is just there to entertain. Pink Floyd sent a message the Razzie voters should listen to – “Leave those kids alone!”