20. The Smurfs 2 (2013)
Worldwide Box Office: $347.5million
Starring: Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Katy Perry, Jayma Mays, Anton Yelchin
It’s not good, but it did at least patch up some of the issues of the original The Smurfs movie, albeit through reverting to the most simplistic and derivative of creative choices.
The Smurfs 2 was a film Sony Pictures Animation seemed to stuff with as many things as possible in the hope that at least some of them might land, and yet it never quite got to shake the image of being a plasticised, cheap and uncaring knock-off of a once better intellectual property.
19. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)
Worldwide Box Office: $93.3million
Starring: Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ken Jeong
Despite a relatively positive start in adapting the world famous “Goosebumps” children’s books for the big screen with Goosebumps in 2015, Sony Pictures Animation’s follow-up suffered a significant drop in appeal when lead star Jack Black chose not to return.
The gravitas of Black’s persona was sorely missing from Haunted Halloween, but it didn’t help that the live-action elements of the production looked not-too-dissimilar from your typical Nickelodeon children’s show. Why take the family to see something if they can get the same quality thing at home for much cheaper?
Of course the studio wanted to make this, but they probably shouldn’t have.
18. Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017)
Worldwide Box Office: $197.2million
Starring: Demi Lovato, Danny Pudi, Kelly Asbury, Julia Roberts, Michelle Rodriguez, Gordon Ramsay
Smurfs: The Lost Village tops Sony Pictures Animation’s mini-table of Smurfs movies, this 2017 entry being just as underwhelming and disappointing to general audiences as most movies in this portion of the list, only slightly improved on its predecessors in almost every conceivable way; mostly in how it appeals to children.
This isn’t a movie that will cross age boundaries like a lot of animated fare, but it is one that will please children with its simple, hearty and inoffensive story and vastly improved presentation.
Recommended for you: Laika Animated Movies Ranked
17. Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
Worldwide Box Office: $474.8million
Starring: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Adam Samberg, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Mel Brooks, David Spade, Molly Shannon, Keegan-Michael Key, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Rob Riggle, Jon Lovitz
Despite a relatively strong start to the Hotel Transylvania franchise in 2012, Hotel Transylvania 2 seemed somewhat devoid of new ideas in comparison, Sony Pictures Animation clearly taking the safest route possible for their animated sequel.
Hotel Transylvania 2 wasn’t bad, but it was far from original and failed to capitalise on the unexpected buzz that the first movie had received, almost derailing the franchise altogether.
It’s not like you have to miss this out if you’re going to watch the trilogy back-to-back, but it’s hardly the one you’ll remember most fondly after all is said and done.
16. Open Season (2006)
Worldwide Box Office: $197.3million
Starring: Jane Krakowski, Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Billy Connolly, Jon Favreau, Gary Sinise, Debra Messing
Inspired by the work of cartoonist Steve Moore and directed by the people behind The Lion King (Roger Allers and Jill Culton), Open Season looked set to be Sony Pictures Animation’s game-changing introduction to the world of animated feature film, but what came to pass was much less exciting.
This 2006 release, starring the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Martin Lawrence, Iron Man director Jon Favreau, and Jane Krakowski, was entertaining enough but lacked in creative visual set pieces, featured only a mildly interesting narrative, and is probably one of the most dated of Sony’s animated features, despite holding a certain charm to those who grew up on it.