LOS ANGELES - Adventure movie "Transformers: The Last Knight" led nominations on Monday for the annual Razzie Awards for the worst films on a list packed with previous Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson and Russell Crowe.
The tongue-in-cheek Razzies, created in 1980, serve as an antidote to Hollywood's Oscars ceremony. Winners of the year's worst films -- if they turn up -- are given a gold, spray-painted trophy at a ceremony held on the eve of the Academy Awards in March.
"Transformers: The Last Knight," the latest in the action franchise based on toys that change from robots to vehicles, earned nine nominations, including worst picture and worst acting nods for many of its star-studded cast, including Anthony Hopkins and Mark Wahlberg.
Despite lackluster reviews, the 5th film in the series earned a healthy $605 million at the worldwide box office in 2017.
Razzie founder John Wilson called "Fifty Shades Darker," based on the best-selling erotic novels, "more sleep-inducing than sexy," while the reboot of "Baywatch" was among the worst picture contenders.
Johnny Depp -- a perennial Razzie target -- was singled out for what Wilson called "his worn out drunk routine" in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," the fifth entry in the franchise in a summer of Hollywood sequels and remakes.
Lawrence and director Darren Aronofsky also felt some Razzie wrath for their horror movie "Mother!," which some movie reviewers viewed as the work of a genius and others found laughable. The movie earned a rare F score from audiences and less than $45 million at the global box office.
Cruise and Crowe were among the worst actor nominees for "The Mummy," while Gibson got a Razzie nod for his role in "Daddy's Home 2."
Nominees and winners of the Razzies are voted for online by around 1,000 Razzie members from 24 countries, who sign up online and pay a $40 membership fee. The winners will be announced on March 3
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Sandra Maler) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; 213 955 6811;))