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10 Sure Signs A Movie Is Going To Be Bad, According To Reddit


When it comes to promoting movies, studios have a lot to figure out to make it successful and one wrong movie could give the audience signs a movie is bad before it ever comes out. While these signs are not always correct, they can make a world of difference in whether a movie will have a successful box office run or end up a financial flop. Some of the best movies ended up failing at the box office because people misinterpreted the signs and just assumed the movie would be bad based on previous movies and their experience at paying for a ticket for what turned out to be a disaster in the past.


However, there are also a number of signs that are out of the hands of the marketing team. In today’s world, people can learn news about movie projects from pre-production to the final editing stages, and these news briefs also give signs a movie is bad, even when no one has seen a frame of the final product. However, Issues during production are just one of the many signs a movie could end up being bad. Some hints can be spotted in trailers, while others may be spotted too late – when a person is already in the theater and the movie has just started.

Reboot Of An Old Children’s Property

Reboots and remakes are all the rage for production companies, but more often than not, these films are poorly rated and are signs a movie is bad. Children’s properties in particular have been given terrible reboots, with Reddit users citing content in which they never asked to be rebooted. Kk2816 wrote about Artemis Fowl, saying, “It got a reboot by Disney, who changed the whole premise and most of the characters, so it would be more kid-friendly, and then expected people to like it. Hint: They didn’t.” Fans adore the originals because they’re special and unique, and rebooting often misses the point of why people like it.

Cast Is Over-Stuffed With Big Stars

The cast of Don’t Look Up look at the sky.

A-List actors don’t always make great movies. Some of the most star-filled films are also the most disappointing, as the critical reviews for Don’t Look Up proved. Fans expect so much from their favorite actors and get upset when the films they’re in don’t live up to expectations. Eerawai acknowledges this, admitting they’ve “been burnt too often by movies that proclaim an ‘all-star cast.'” Redditor darthymacdougall explains that this is “typically done to compensate/distract the audience from all the suckiness.” If a viewer is a die-hard fan of the lead character, they may not even notice how much the film lacks.

Long Opening Credits Sequence

Universal Studios, MGM, Disney, Warner Brothers and Touchstone Pictures are featured.

The opening credits of most movies take the time to recognize the studios that helped bring the film to life. This is where the Marvel, Universal, or other logo appears. Reddit user LeonardGhostal suggests, “The more production company logos that come up before the title cards, the greater chance it’s going to be lame… Too many cooks, as they say.” It’s not unusual for a few logos to grace screens at the very beginning of a movie, but when several are acknowledged in more than a minute, it is one of the signs a movie is bad, as it often struggles to find its footing.

Too Many Production Issues

Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland sit in Chaos Walking.

Sometimes the behind-the-scenes process of creating a movie is just as dramatic as the movie itself, with several production issues being one of the signs a movie is bad. Delays are common, but there’s something to be said when the film’s production issues drag on. Reddit user UndecidedLemon notes that if a movie has “been in production for too long, there is always a reason. For a recent example: Chaos Walking. It changed screenwriter, director, and production company so many times over 10 years… then Lionsgate said the negative reviews were shocking to them.” When a film takes this long to complete, the product is rarely worth the wait.

Every Trailer Features The Same Big Moment

Chris Pratt walks with his team carefully in The Tomorrow War.

It’s not out of the ordinary for a film to produce multiple trailers before its release to give fans more than one look at what’s coming. Some movie trailers, however, constantly reuse footage from the film’s funniest or most action-packed moments. This is one of the signs a movie is bad because it often means there are no other scenes from the movie as enticing, and the film studio is more interested in getting people to the theaters than making them stay for low-quality content. Readingit1010 blasted The Tomorrow War, revealing that “the funniest line in [the film] was in every trailer.”

Constant Advertising

Split Image of Florence Pugh and Harry Styles in Don’t Worry Darling.

Advertisements and promotion are critical to making sure as many people as possible learn about a film. However, studios should be careful of having too many ads that pop up every ten seconds, as this is one of the big signs a movie is bad. Ads serve as a reminder to viewers that a product exists. With movies, it can be overcompensation for something that isn’t great. Reddit user whattheydontsay explains, “Sometimes this is just a big marketing budget, but sometimes it’s a tactic called a ‘smash and grab.’ If the studio knows the movie will bomb, they cut the total marketing spend and use the rest to flood ads for it to get the best opening weekend.”

The Trailer Gives It All Away

Addison and Tanner ride horses in a still from He’s All That.

A trailer is meant to give the target audience an exciting idea of what a film is about. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s clear it is touching upon every plot point in the movie. As Redditor TrippyTippyKelly says, “A climactic scene is way more impactful when you’ve never seen it before.” They may be trying to target a viewer that loves to watch predictable films. For example, Hallmark movies and Netflix romantic comedies such as He’s All That, are notorious for their revealing trailers and predictable plots. Most movies should steer clear of this though, as giving it away is one of the clear signs a movie is bad​​​​​​.

Movie Opens With A Cool Story

X-Men Origins Wolverine poster.

Some movies begin with an epic tale that catches audiences up on the world they’re walking into. Unfortunately, this isn’t always done well and leaves something to be desired. Much of the time, the backstory given at the beginning of a film is more interesting than the actual conflict of the movie, and as Reddit user, Astro4545 says, “it makes you ask, ‘why didn’t they make a movie about that?'” Possibly one of the best examples of this is X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It opens with one of the coolest sequences in comic book movies, but it quickly became one of the most criticized films when the rest of the movie didn’t live up to its amazing start.

Alan Smithee Is Credited As Director

Poster for Burn, Hollywood, Burn by Alan Smithee.

Alan Smithee is credited as directing 131 projects on IMDb, including Catchfire and episodes of the 1980s MacGyver. The thing is, Alan Smithee isn’t a real person. The pseudonym ‘Alan Smithee’ is used when a filmmaker disowns something they worked on because they don’t want to be associated with the end result. Reddit user nambot explains, “It’s literally a big red warning sign – this film is so bad, the director fears people knowing they made this will make it harder for them to get work.” It’s one of the biggest signs a movie is bad. If the director is sure it’s terrible, they have a valid reason to believe it.

Painfully Obvious Exposition

Suicide Squad cast walking forward dramatically.

The point of exposition is to naturally introduce the characters, the setting, and the conflict of a film so that viewers are filled in on what they need to know about the central story. Reddit user xmrtypants states one of the biggest signs a movie is bad is “an exposition in which one character explains everything that’s going on to another character that should already know what is going on.” They’re not wrong. Dialogue like this signifies lazy writing. The story wants to get to the conflict so bad, that they resort to painful exposition dumps that basically guarantee the movie will be bad.



This story originally appeared on Screenrant

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