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Life After High Fidelity: John Cusack's 10 Worst Reviewed Films

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | April 29, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | April 29, 2012 |

Everyone knows John Cusack thanks essentially to five signature roles, none of which were box office hits: Better Off Dead ($10 million), Say Anything ($20 million), Grosse Point Blank ($28 million), Being John Malcovich ($22 million), and High Fidelity ($28 million). He’s only had two $100 million movies i his career, and the special effects were the stars of both of those (2012, $166 million, and Con Air, $101 million).

Still, since High Fidelity, Cusack’s career has been in something of a tailspin, alternating mediocre moves with really bad, culminating in this weekend’s The Raven, which is the second worst reviewed film of his career, according to Rotten Tomatoes. The horrible $7 million opening (good for 7th place) doesn’t speak to well for his future, either. If you look at his post-High Fidelity (92 percent of Rotten Tomatoes) career starting with America’s Sweethearts,there’s a lot of green tomatoes on his RT profile, all the more disappointing given just how many red tomatoes there were in the early half of his career.

According to Rotten Tomatoes reviews, here are the 10 Worst Reviewed of His Career, nine of which came after 2000’s High Fidelity.

10. The Ice Harvest (2005) — 46 percent

9. Road to Welville (1994) — 41 percent

8. 2012 (2009) — 39 percent

7. Igor (2008) — 36 percent

6. Must Love Dogs (2005) — 34 percent

5. Martian Child (2007) — 33 percent

4. American’s Sweethearts (2001) — 31 percent

3. War Inc. (2008) — 30 percent

2. The Raven (2012) — 21 percent

1. The Contract (2007) — 0 percent

Despite a $25 million budget, The Contract — in which Cusack co-stars with Morgan Freeman — was never released to theaters in the United States. That’s how bad it was. The studio was so embarrassed by it, they didn’t even bother trying to collect the few million dollars Cusack and Freeman’s name might’ve automatically meant with even an average marketing strategy.

How was the rest of the box-office? Think Like a Man did the unthinkable and became the first movie with a predominantly black cast to top the box office two weekends in a row since Tim Story’s Barbershop (and you know what? It deserved it). The film has now amassed $60 million to become the highest grossing movie released in April of this year.

The next four movies were a clusterfuck, separated by only $250,000 a piece, so it’s possible that their positions will change once the weekend box office becomes official later on Monday. For now, Pirates! Band of Misfits is at number two with $11.4 million; The Lucky One tumbled 50 percent to $11.3 million; The Hunger Games is in at number four with $11.25 million, and at number five, Five Year Engagement opened with a dismal $11.15 million.

I don’t really understand the disappointing box office of Five Year Engagement, given the talent behind it, specifically the Nick Stoller and Jason Segel (the team behind Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Muppets script). It wasn’t a great romantic comedy, but how many romantic comedies are? And when has that ever stopped more moviegoers from attending them? Seriously: All About Steve had a better opening weekend. So did No Reservations, and The Back-Up Plan and the aforementioned Must Love Dogs, all completely forgettable films.

I’m glad it’s not my job to figure out why moviegoers see certain films and don’t see other similarly-themed films with similarly-situated stars with similar or better reviews.

All well: Summer movie season kicks off next week with The Avengers, which is already closing in on $200 million overseas. Oh, and also Kate Hudson’s Just Like Heaven. Don’t forget about that one.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.