The movie garnered mixed reviews. The film received 42% positive reviews out of 159 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10 at the movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes; the site's consensus states "A B-movie with its tongue planted firmly in cheek, The Core is so unintentionally (intentionally?) bad that it's a hoot." Several reviews cited the numerous scientific inaccuracies in the film. The film made less than half of its production budget back during its time in United States theaters. Internationally it was somewhat more successful; the film made $42,311,715 in the international market and grossed around $73,498,611 worldwide.
Elvis Mitchell, of the New York Times, said, "The brazen silliness of The Core is becalming and inauthentic, like taking a bath in nondairy coffee creamer. The Earth core's inability to turn is mirrored in the cast's inability to give the picture any spin." Kenneth Turan, of the LA Times, was a little more forgiving, saying, "If The Core finally has to be classified as a mess, it is an enjoyable one if you're in a throwback mood. After all, a film that comes up with a rare metal called Unobtainium can't be dismissed out of hand."
On March 30, 2009 it was reported that Dustin Hoffman was leading a campaign to get more real science into science-fiction movies. Hoffman is on the advisory board of the Science & Entertainment Exchange, an initiative of the United States National Academy of Sciences (National Academy of Sciences), intended to foster collaborations between scientists and entertainment industry professionals in order to minimize inaccurate representations of science and technology such as those found in The Core.
In a poll of hundreds of scientists about bad science fiction films, The Core was voted the worst.
On February 21, 2010, The Guardian ran an article about American professor Sidney Perkowitz's proposals to curb bad science in science fiction movies. In the article, Perkowitz is said to have hated The Core. "If you violate you are in trouble. The chances are that the public will pick it up and that is what matters to Hollywood. The Core did not make money because people understood the science was so out to lunch," he added.
Read more about this topic: The Core
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Grows by decays,
And, by the famous might that lurks
In reaction and recoil,
Makes flames to freeze, and ice to boil.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
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—Lawrence Balter (20th century)