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A big budget disgrace that turned a profit but canned a trilogy finds peace on streaming

If enough people leave it alone, then maybe it'll finally go away.

the last airbender
via Paramount

There are many contenders worthy of being included in the conversation when it comes to naming the worst big budget blockbusters in the history of cinema, but very few state a case stronger than that of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender.

It was highly unfortunate that the live-action adaptation of such beloved source material came during the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker’s rapid descent into the critical doldrums, but it’s hard to imagine that even peak The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable-era Shyamalan would have been able to put much polish on this particular turd.

the last airbender

It wasn’t just fans of Avatar that hated The Last Airbender movie with a passion; it was the general public, too. A five percent Rotten Tomatoes score is embarrassing stuff, while the fantasy epic also went on to win five Razzies including Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Eye-Gouging Misuse of 3D, all of which were fully merited.

Incredibly, though, a $319 million haul at the box office on a $150 million budget ensured that it turned a profit during its theatrical run (even when you factor in marketing and distribution costs), even if Paramount couldn’t move quick enough to scrap any plans for a further two installments to round out a trilogy.

Time may not have been kind to the infamous disaster’s reputation, but streaming subscribers seem to be a forgiving bunch. As per FlixPatrol, The Last Airbender has become one of the most-watched titles on Prime Video’s global rankings, leaving us to feel sorry for the unfortunate folks who end up subjecting themselves to an offensively awful 103 minutes.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.