As I'm sure you know by now, the reaction to this past weekend's release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was, to put it mildly, divided. While critics roundly savaged the superhero showdown (its RottenTomatoes average currently stands at a noxious 29%), general audiences were far more receptive, awarding the film a massive domestic opening of $170 million and rounding out its global total at an Earth-shattering $424 million worldwide.
Of course, BvS is only the latest in a long tradition of movies that broke records at the box office while getting broken in half by the critics' circle. Let's take a look back at some of the most prominent examples of such "split-decisions":
1. 'Spider-Man 3' (2007)
Despite being best remembered as the franchise-ruining embarrassment which spawned Emo Peter Parker and pie-enjoying Harry Osborne, Spider-Man 3 is actually the highest grossing film of the entire series, having raked in a bank-busting $890 million during its theatrical run.
2. 'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' (2014)
Sure, reviewers largely found the fourth(!) installment of the Transformers saga to be a bloated, China-pandering mess which starred Mark Wahlberg as a Texas inventor and Jack Reynor as a proud statutory rapist, but everyday folks were far kinder to Age of Extinction, pushing it to a worldwide box-office take of $1.1 Billion.
3. 'Spectre' (2015)
Though not totally panned, the most recent Bond installment was seen as something of a major step-down after the universally beloved Skyfall. Nevertheless, the picture raked in a mighty haul of $880 million (so far), making it the second highest grossing Bond movie of all time.
4. 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' (2011)
Hey, remember the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise? The one that replaced Kiera Knightley and Orlando Bloom with younger, C-Level copies? No? Neither does anyone else, but that didn't stop the flick from tallying an impressive final lift of $1 Billion.
5. 'Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs' (2009)
I wasn't aware that there were three Ice Age movies (there are actually four), or that the lackluster third installment grossed $866 million, making it the second highest grossing animated film of all time!
So, with all that in mind, the disparity between critics and audiences regarding Batman v Superman doesn't seem all that crazy anymore? Now, let's just wait and see how they respond to Justice League: Part One...