In 1994, Brandon Lee took on the role of Eric Draven for the supernatural comic book movie, The Crow. The film – directed by Alex Proyas – told the story of a musician who is brutally murdered, but returns from the grave to avenge his death, and the death of his fiancée.
Based on the comic book by James O’Barr, The Crow was dark, atmospheric, and very engaging, and although it was ultimately steeped in tragedy (as actor Brandon Lee lost his life due to an on-set accident), it was met with praise from critics and audiences alike. The film offered up a touching account of love and loss, while ensuring plenty of action and drama, and is still considered to be one of the best comic book movies of the 1990s.
Due to the success of The Crow, a series of sequels soon followed. These were mostly stand-alone tales, with no major links to the original, and they varied considerably in quality.
In fact, the quality in some of the movies was so poor, that none of them managed to find the same success as the original. However, The Crow series still has its fans, some of whom are very loyal, and will be able to tell you which movies are worthy of your time.
And speaking of which, that is the point of this blog post. Today I am taking a look at The Crow movies, to help shine a light on which films are considered hits, and which are considered misses.
I’ll be looking at the critical and commercial success of the films, sourcing information from three well-known sites to aid me. This information should hopefully provide you with all the important details, and help you avoid the movies which aren’t worth your time.
But before I get to all that, here’s a quick reminder of The Crow movies in order:
- The Crow (1994)
- The Crow: City of Angels (1996)
- The Crow: Salvation (2000)
- The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)
As you can see, there are four movies in total, beginning with The Crow, and continuing through The Crow: City of Angels, The Crow: Salvation, and The Crow: Wicked Prayer.
To begin, let’s take a look at the rankings of The Crow movies according to the Internet Movie Data-base (IMDb). Users of IMDb post reviews and leave scores for movies, which get turned into a score out of ten, and this is how The Crow movies shape up.
- The Crow (1994) – 7.5/10
- The Crow: Salvation (2000) – 4.9/10
- The Crow: City of Angels (1996) – 4.6/10
- The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005) – 3.0/10
As you can see from the list above, the ranking of the films is very similar to the release order. The only difference here is The Crow: Salvation and The Crow: City of Angels have swapped places (although there is not much in it).
From the list of four films, The Crow is viewed as the best of the bunch, while The Crow: Wicked Prayer is seen as the least popular. It’s also worth noting that Salvation, City of Angels, and Wicked Prayer all have relatively low scores, suggesting that audiences feel they are all of a similar quality, and not up to the same standard as the original.
Onto Rotten Tomatoes now, which is a website that compiles scores from critics, as well as members of the general public. The scores/percentages are taken from the collective opinions of professional critics (only), and are as follows:
- The Crow (1994) – 84%
- The Crow: Salvation (2000) – 18%
- The Crow: City of Angels (1996) – 11%
- The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005) – 0%
As you can see from the listings above, while the percentages may differ, the Rotten Tomatoes rankings match the rankings of IMDb exactly. Once again, The Crow is deemed the best film in the series, with Wicked Prayer the worst, and Salvation and City of Angels sitting in the middle.
Once again, there is a very clear margin between the percentage score of The Crow, and that of its sequels. While Rotten Tomatoes users love The Crow, they don’t think much of Salvation, City of Angels, or Wicked Prayer.
What is perhaps most interesting here, is that critically Wicked Prayer is seen as a complete disaster. The film can’t even scrape together a measly 1%, with the actually percentage being zero!
Box Office Mojo
Onto the final set of rankings now, which are sourced from Box Office Mojo. These results highlight how financially successful the films performed around the world, during their theatrical run.
- The Crow (1994) – $50,694,671
- The Crow: City of Angels (1996) – $17,917,287
- The Crow: Salvation (2000) – NO RESULT
- The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005) – NO RESULT
Now, here is something which is very interesting, and a slight shift in the rankings. Once again, The Crow remains in their same positions, but The Crow: City of Angels and The Crow: Salvation switch places.
You will also note that when it comes to The Crow: Salvation and The Crow: Wicked Prayer, neither of these movies have any box office results on Box Office Mojo. The reason for this, is that while both films were given a brief theatrical run (one week), they didn’t generate any notable income and essentially went straight to DVD.
Why did they go straight to DVD? Because the critical and commercial response to The Crow: City of Angels was not good.
The film underperformed at the box office, and fell considerably short of its predecessor. Moving forward, the belief was The Crow series still had some life left in it, but the next two entries would do better on home video rather than on the big screen.
So, what do the rankings highlight? Well, the rankings across the board suggest that while The Crow is considered a strong film, both critically and commercially, the three sequels are not.
Out of those sequels, The Crow: Salvation seems to fair marginally better amongst critics, although there is not much in it when compared to The Crow: City of Angels. Both films are viewed as being of a similar quality, so keep this in mind when approaching them.
From the rankings, it is also clear The Crow: Wicked Prayer is not seen as a strong film. It falls short all over (especially on Rotten Tomatoes), and is viewed as a weak movie.
Personally, I’d say the results of IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Box Office Mojo are a fair reflection of The Crow movie series. However, I’d buck the trend slightly and say The Crow: City of Angels is a better movie than The Crow: Salvation.
I feel the movie series started strong with the first entry, but got progressively worse as it went on, with the quality dropping off with each new film. I do, however, agree that The Crow: Wicked Prayer is not a good film by any stretch of the imagination, and should always appear at the bottom of these lists.
Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about The Crow movie series – I hope it has proved useful. For more posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.
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