Sequels, prequels, and spin-offs can be a good thing or a bad thing. However, it seems there are more bad than good. For example, here are several popular film franchises that progressively get worse with every movie. Do you agree?
1. The Karate Kid (1984)
Thanks largely to Mr. Miyagi’s selfless guidance, The Karate Kid became a beloved underdog narrative. The first movie’s success led to several sequels and even a “reboot” in 2010, which starred Jaden Smith. Nonetheless, the original is hands down the best of the bunch. Although, part two isn’t bad.
2. Home Alone (1990)
The comedy and warmth of Home Alone have made it a classic holiday film for generations. The first movie’s success led to several follow-ups, and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is an alright sequel. However, the next four installments didn’t include Macaulay Culkin playing Kevin McCallister, so they declined quickly.
3. Transformers (2007)
Michael Bay’s first Transformers film was a blockbuster spectacle, introducing audiences to the live-action adaptation of the popular toy line and animated series.
While the initial film was praised for its visual effects and action sequences, subsequent entries are criticized for their convoluted plots and overemphasis on explosions. Fans of the original characters also expressed disappointment with character redesigns.
4. Meet the Parents (2000)
The original Meet the Parents film was a comedy hit driven by the awkward and humorous interactions between Ben Stiller’s Greg Focker and Robert De Niro’s Jack Byrnes. However, the sequels, Meet the Fockers and Little Fockers, didn’t recapture the same comedic dynamic.
5. Jaws (1975)
The film Jaws revolutionized the suspense thriller genre. In the first movie, the great white shark’s constant fear made a lasting mark on movies. Later movies, like Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D, and Jaws: The Revenge, tried to make the same kind of tension, but they didn’t succeed.
The franchise’s reputation went downhill as the stories got stranger and stranger, like when the shark and the Brody family had a psychic link in the fourth movie.
6. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Johnny Depp’s famous performance as Captain Jack Sparrow made the first Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl a surprise hit. But as the series went on with movies like Dead Man’s Chest (2006), At World’s End (2007), and On Stranger Tides (2011), some people thought that the sequels got too long and complicated, losing the charm and simplicity of the first film’s swashbuckling adventure.
7. The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Someone make it stop! They should have quit after Paul Walker died, at the very least. Originally conceived as a series about street racing, The Fast and the Furious has evolved into a high-octane action extravaganza.
Early movies in the series were well-received, but later ones, like Fast & Furious 6 (2013) and F9 (2021), pushed the limits of believability with stunts and story twists that were harder to believe.
8. Divergent (2014)
Divergent had promise as a dystopian young adult adaption that might compete with blockbusters like The Hunger Games. But as the series went on with Insurgent (2015) and Allegiant (2016), fewer people went to see the movies, and the reviews were less positive. The choice to make the last book into two movies was also seen as a way to get more money from fans of the series.
9. Jurassic Park (1993)
Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is hailed as a groundbreaking achievement in cinema, blending cutting-edge visual effects with thrilling storytelling. However, subsequent sequels like The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001) struggled to capture the same sense of wonder and terror.
10. Jurassic World (2015)
While Jurassic World revitalized the dinosaur franchise for a new generation, its sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), faced mixed reviews. Some viewers felt that the film leaned too heavily on spectacle and didn’t live up to the original’s sense of awe. And Jurassic World: Dominion is just— no!
11. Halloween (1978)
John Carpenter’s Halloween is a seminal slasher film introducing the world to the relentless killer Michael Myers. Known for it’s creepy theme and Jamie Lee Curtis screams, the first is a masterpiece. The franchise expanded with numerous sequels, reboots, and reimaginings that continued to get worse.
I’d argue that Halloween H20: 20 Years Later was pretty good, as it revived Laurie Strode and introduced us to Josh Hartnett. But all the others are terrible. Don’t even get me started on Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
12. The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix was groundbreaking in its visual effects and philosophical themes. Its sequels, The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003), aimed to expand the story’s complexity but faced criticism for convoluted narratives. The Matrix Resurrections revival (2021) was also not well-received.
13. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a horror classic known for its gritty, low-budget terror. Several sequels followed, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) and the 2003 and 2022 remakes. While the franchise maintained a cult following, opinions vary on the quality of its numerous entries.
14. Highlander (1986)
Viewers of Highlander were first introduced to a world where immortal sworders compete for immortality. Fans of the first movie stuck with it but had mixed feelings about sequels and spin-offs like Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) — the worst of the bunch!
15. Friday the 13th (1980)
Filmmaker Shinji Aramaki and actor Jason Voorhees created a cultural phenomenon with their Friday the 13th series. The first movie is a classic in its genre, but the rest of the films in the series are criticized for repeating the same formula with increasingly gory scenes.
16. Police Academy (1984)
Originally, Police Academy was meant to be a comedy about a ragtag group of outcasts who enlist in the police force. The first movie was a hit and led to six terrible sequels. Many reviewers and fans think that the quality and humor got worse with each one.
17. Taken (2008)
Liam Neeson’s Taken introduced audiences to a retired CIA operative with particular skills. While the original film was a hit, its sequels, Taken 2 (2012) and Taken 3 (2014), faced criticism for formulaic storytelling and diminishing tension.
18. Starship Troopers (1997)
Starship Troopers is a satirical take on militarism and fascism. While the film gained a cult following, its direct-to-video sequels —Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004) and Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008 — received less attention and were criticized for lower production values.
19. Predator (1987)
John McTiernan’s Predator introduced the world to the alien hunter known as the Predator. While the first film was praised for its suspense and action, the sequels faced mixed reviews. The crossover films with the Alien franchise also divided fans. However, the prequel, Prey (2022), was well received.
20. RoboCop (1987)
RoboCop explored themes of law enforcement and corporate control in a dystopian future. While the original film is regarded as a classic, its sequels are criticized for losing the satirical edge and becoming more formulaic.
21. Saw (2004)
The Jigsaw Killer and his elaborate, gory traps were first shown to the public in the film Saw. While the first movie was hailed for its psychological horror and crazy twist ending, the later movies are criticized for relying more on shock value and hard-to-follow plots.
22. The Mummy (1999)
Brendan Fraser’s remake of The Mummy was a brilliant mix of adventure and fear. The first movie and its instant follow-up, The Mummy Returns (2001), were well-liked. Still, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) and the reboot from 2017 were criticized for changing the tone of the first movie.
23. American Pie (1999)
The racy teen comedy series that American Pie launched. The first movie and some of its straight sequels, like American Pie 2 (2001) and American Wedding (2003), did well; later films and spin-offs had trouble bringing back the humor and charm, which led some to say that the franchise has gone on too long.
24. Tremors (1990)
Tremors began as a creature feature about giant underground worms terrorizing a small town. The original film was well-received, but its numerous sequels faced diminishing returns and criticism for their lack of innovation. The original Tremors delightful cast included Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, and Reba McEntire.
25. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
While the Harry Potter series was a beloved success, its spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts, faced mixed reviews. The first film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), was well-received. Still, its sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), faced criticism for its complex plot and character choices.
26. The Hangover (2009)
The Hangover began as a wild, comedic adventure in Las Vegas. The first film was a surprise hit, but its sequels, The Hangover Part II (2011) and The Hangover Part III (2013), were criticized for recycling plot elements and losing the freshness of the original. In other words, way to beat a dead horse!
Top 25 Popular TV Shows That Would NEVER Be Made Today
There is no contesting that pop culture is evolving, and what was acceptable in the past is being corrected for today. For example, many hit TV series were massive successes and would never be made today. Here are the top 25.
A Dish Best Served Cold: 12 Movies to Satisfy Your Thirst for Revenge
Some of the most exciting films have been based on this desire for revenge. These films are suspenseful, full of action, and hard to figure out morally, with both vigilantes and people looking for payback. From classic Westerns to current thrillers and thought-provoking dramas, these films will satisfy your thirst for revenge.
16 Popular Movies That Bombed at the Box Office With Cult Followings Today
Success doesn’t always come immediately in the unpredictable world of movies, and the first box office numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Some films that didn’t do well when they were in theaters have since developed a loyal cult following.
These movies were once ignored or passed over, but they have now won over viewers in ways that no one could have predicted based on how poorly they did at the box office.
50 Greatest Ensemble Casts in Cinematic History — Do You Agree?
Movies with star-studded casts are some of my favorites. From mysteries to dramas, comedies, and war films, these are some of cinematic history’s most extraordinary ensemble casts. Do you agree?
25 Greatest Comedy Films of All Time According To IMDb
Laughter is the best medicine, and I have an incredible list of comedies for you. According to IMDb, these are the greatest comedies of all time, from cult classics to forgotten gems. Do you agree?