What Single Terrible Film Killed an Entire Franchise?

Don’t you hate it when a franchise is rolling along, full or one or two or even three great (or at least not terrible) movies, and then BANG.

A bad movie enters the picture, and it completely ruins everything that came before – or that might come afterward – from then on.

If you’re curious what some examples of this phenomenon might be, here are 17 pretty great ones.

And by great, I obviously mean awful.

17. His books really don’t translate all that well.

I heard there were plans for a Stephen King cinematic universe of some sort, but given how badly the Dark Tower did that’s probably never going to happen now.

considering how the movie has nothing at all to do with the books i’m not surprised its scrapped….i f**king love the Dark Tower series and the movie was a joke

16. The more you know.

When the Cat in the Hat movie with Mike Meyers was released, Dr. Suess’s (Theodore Geisel’s) wife Audrey was so disappointed and disgusted with how it turned out, she never approved of any more live action adaptations.

Subsequent films have now instead only used computer animation adaptations instead of live action studio versions.

15. They should have known.

The Mummy with Tom Cruz. It was meant to kick off an entire “Dark Universe” of horror movie remakes but it was horrible.

The Mummy was their second “first movie in a cinematic universe”. Dracula Untold was their previous attempt, which also bombed.

14. At least there’s a bright side.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. There were 3 more books in the PJ story plus all of Rick Riordan’s other books/spin offs. There was so much potential and it was just botched.

On the bright side, Disney+ is working on Percy Jackson TV series (which Rick Riordan is working on) that will probably be airing next year!

13. It killed acting careers, too.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

The most expensive indie film and most expensive European film of all time ($200+ million budget) and it barely broke even at the box office, probably netting a 9-figure loss when factoring in marketing and publicity costs.

Neither Cara Delevingne nor Dane DeHaan have worked much since, though this was hardly the first franchise killer either of them have been involved with (Suicide Squad for Delevingne, The Amazing Spider Man 2 for DeHaan)

12. Pirates was lightning in a bottle.

Disney’s The Lone Ranger and John Carter were both supposed to be the first of a series, like Pirates of the Caribbean.

The thing about John Carter was that the ‘typical’ cliches were there in part because this was the work that a lot of those kinds of cliches/tropes come from.

I.e. I am also upset that they didn’t explore that series more.

11. So many regrets.

Queen of the Damned.

Interview with the Vampire was amazing. 8 years later they skipped the 2nd book in the series and went to the 3rd. I don’t know why. The 2nd book, The Vampire Lestat, was the best in the series.

Maybe they couldn’t get Tom Cruise to continue, and just decided that would be the end of it. Then some jacka$$ came up with the idea to do a s*%t job of Queen of the Damned and … ugh.

10. Brendan Fraser is always a shining light.

The inkheart book series was fantastic, I was very dissatisfied in the movie.

The only shining light being Brendan Fraser as the main guy.

Hollywood did that man so dirty. ‘

Hopefully he can regain his career.

9. There was so much hope.

Pacific Rim Uprising.

The original pacific rim was the perfect Kaiju movie imo. I think that any sequel would’ve been ill advised, because the only way to really follow that would be “more of the same, but bigger” and I don’t think that’s a sustainable formula.

The opening ten minutes of the sequel was the most interesting part. Here’s a world in the aftermath of a dimensional war, which saw many coastal cities left in ruins that was saved by giant robots that need to be piloted by two people at a time. Here’ an opportunist living in these ruins, and look, one of them who is not impressed with this dual piloted military machines and the government that owns them, has built their own single pilot version. That, of itself is interesting.

Then what happens, she gets conscripted into the military boot camp, the previously defeated aliens come back once again for a second attempt, and the same generic “but the aliens came back” plot beats seen a thousand times in other such clumsy sequels (like Independence Day 2) kicks in and the rest of the movie retreads the same beats as the original.

8. Both were legitimately horrible.

‘Green Lantern’. They had big plans for sequels and a wide story arc but because the movie bombed at the Box Office all of that was scrapped.

Same with the “Green Hornet” remake with Seth Rogan.

My Mom hated that Green Hornet because she loved the original series and saw Seth Rogen’s Hornet at a bumbling doofus compared to the suave original dude. (I haven’t seem either so I cannot confirm truth to this).

7. Thank goodness for television reboots.

The Golden Compass.

The studios seemed to honestly think that the audience for a book about trying to kill god was….the audience who went to see Narnia, an allegory for Christian faith.

6. A monumental failure.

Allegiant: the movie after Divergent and Insurgent. The end of the Divergent series was never made into a movie because Allegiant turned out so badly.

To be fair, book Allegiant ruined the franchise too. I was excited for the expanded world building, but the character (un)development destroyed the narrative and series for me.

5. The new one is better anyway.

Amazing Spider-Man 2. They had gigantic plans to spinoff a gigantic Spider-Verse out of that film, but it was such a muddled mess, it brought that to a halt.

But hey, Spider-Man’s back in the MCU, and Sony is trying to piggyback a Spider-Verse off of that, so it all worked out in the end.

One of the big critiques of Spider-Man 3 was trying to juggle too much, especially villains.

So they decided to jam as many villains as possible into ASM2. Always shows competence to make the same multi-million dollar mistake twice.

4. So disappointing.

Any of these movies could have easily kick started a whole successful franchise if they hadn’t f**ked up the opening entry so badly:

Eragon. Avatar the Last Air Bender. Artemis Fowl.

Tha Avatar the Last Airbender film was terrible. When it came out, I saw it in theaters because I was and still and a big fan of ATLA. The moment they pronounced Aang’s name wrong, I knew the movie was gonna flop.

I came out of the theater so unsatisfied. I have never tried to give the Last Airbender movie another try since then.

3. It was a disaster.

Batman and Robin.

There were multiple sequels planned and instead the continuity was ended and rebooted 7 years later with the Dark Knight trilogy completely changing the tone of the franchise to the exact opposite of Batman & Robin.

As far as I remember, there was one movie planned, called “Batman Triumphant”, which would have featured the Scarecrow and the director planning to “make it right” to give the franchise a movie worth of its name, but it was all cancelled so he didn’t get a chance to redeem himself.

2. Womp-womp.

Also The Dark Is Rising, The Black Cauldron, and Ender’s Game.

The wiki entry for the Dark is Rising has a great two sentences about the film that sounds so British.

” The film was released on 5 October 2007, in the United States and the U.K. It was not successful. ”

I was so excited for that movie. My disappointment was immeasurable. Those books were a cherished part of a difficult childhood, and I would love to see them done properly. I think I started to lose my joy when they made Wil’s family American expats…just why?

1. The books were so good!

I am Number Four.

The movie is just awful as it leaves out so much cool s**t from the books. The movie is just a shameless cash grab and your typical high school romance with guy gets special powers and falls in love with quiet girl.

I thought Timothy Olyphant did a good job but he is just a good actor.

I loved the books so much but that movie was just so bad, they killed Henry at the wrong time and a lot of the details were just so off. I hope they remake them and do it well one day

I have to say, I definitely agree with these.

What else would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments!