Top 10 Movie Franchises that Overstayed Their Welcome

Script written by Lyne Dubeault. Sometimes, less is definitely more. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 movie franchises that overstayed their welcome. For this list, we’re looking at movie series that were – at one point – beloved by legions of fans, but which have now fallen into disfavor with the general public and are considered past their prime – to put it politely. Sequels are fine, but know when to call it quits, Hollywood. Special thanks to our users Francis FNT, WackyWorlds, Kevin Murphy and tom dray for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Lyne Dubeault.

Top 10 Movie Franchises that Overstayed Their Welcome


Sometimes, less is definitely more. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie franchises that overstayed their welcome.

For this list, we’re looking at movie series that were – at one point – beloved by legions of fans, but which have now fallen into disfavor with the general public and are considered past their prime – to put it politely.

#10: “The Terminator” franchise (1984-)

It’s the story of a robot that’s sent back in time to kill the mother of the future resistance leader, who will one day help the human race rise up against Skynet. Brought to life by brilliant acting and masterful storytelling; the 1984 original and its 1991 sequel explored themes of human destruction, man’s dependency on machines and fate. But fights over copyrighting and too many writers have left many confusing issues with the plot in later films. Not to mention, the same story and cyborg has been rehashed one too many times.

#9: “Ice Age” franchise (2002-)

“Ice Age” started as a funny, little movie that had a sloth, a saber-toothed squirrel and Ray Romano. However, after a slew of sequels – each less successful than the last – the franchise is treading on thin ice. The original gang of Manny, Diego and Sid has grown to include Manny’s wife, their daughter, two possums, Sid’s grandmother and so many other peripheral characters we can barely keep track. Together, they have faced the ice age, global warming, dinosaurs and pirates, and we’re just about ready to see them go extinct.

#8: “Underworld” franchise (2003-)

In 2003, we entered a world of Death Dealers and Lycans, and Selene was our guide. And, to be honest; we can’t blame the creative minds behind this one for milking Kate Beckinsale in a skintight leather suit. However, the magic of that first film faded with each new addition because there are only so many ways to tell the vampire-werewolf story. Even worse, the third film took Selene virtually completely out of the equation, and floundered almost irrevocably. While she came back for #4 with its uninspired 3D, the damage was already done.

#7: “Saw” franchise (2004-)

When John Kramer found out he was dying of cancer, he began punishing immoral people to make sure they were grateful to be alive, thus becoming the Jigsaw Killer. However, those twist endings that became a signature of the “Saw” series left holes in the storyline, and lessons in morality were tossed aside to clear the way for more corpses. Although producers swore that “Saw 3D” was the last film in this torture porn series, it’s been confirmed that an eighth is in development. Will it ever truly be game over?

#6: “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise (2003-)

When “The Curse of the Black Pearl” hit theaters, it ushered in a new age of coolness for the outlaws of the sea. The series had action, laughs and romance in equal measure, and somehow it was all based on a Disneyland ride! But, when Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley left, and took Will and Elizabeth’s epic love story with them, it left a major hole. Now, fans just have Captain Jack’s drunken hijinks, a returned Barbossa and a plot that makes less sense with each sequel. It’s time for this series to walk the plank.

#5: “Paranormal Activity” franchise (2009-)

Like “The Blair Witch Project,” this franchise is meant to have a sense of realism that other horror flicks lack. The original, made on a shoestring budget by a first-time director and first-time actors, is about a young couple haunted by a demon. And pacing, disturbing visuals and rewarding scares helped make the series successful. However, overuse of the same scares, too much backstory and a fourth film that barely connected to the rest of the franchise by introducing a new family scared audiences away.

#4: Michael Bay’s “Transformers” franchise (2007-)

Michael Bay’s live-action film franchise of the popular ‘80s cartoon started with so much promise and paid tribute to the originals, despite several key flaws like a focus on the humans, weird humor and questionable acting. Unfortunately, the sequels suffered from an increasing lack of plot, even weirder humor, stiffer acting and a focus on style over substance. Perhaps it would be better to leave Transformers in the realm of animation. Yet, with an entire second trilogy greenlit and on the way, we bet Michael Bay wouldn’t agree.

#3: “Die Hard” franchise (1988-)

With three films completed to the kind of witty perfection only possible from action-comedy movies, and #4 coming off as passable, John McClane should’ve quit while he was ahead. But that ain’t his style. Instead, part-5 follows him to Russia to visit his son. Once it’s discovered that his son is CIA, it’s all about him, leaving McClane to be the sidekick in his own movie! Plus, there’s all this cartoony action that takes things way, way over the top. However, that scene where McClane talks to the cabbie is amusing, kinda…

#2: “Scary Movie” franchise (2000-)

When did the “Scary Movie” franchise become more about sequels and less about satire? Originally created by the Wayans, the first few installments were funny and entertaining retellings of “Scream,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “The Exorcist” and other horror movie greats. But lately… Well, it’s a pretty bad sign when the creators and lead actress jump ship. Plus, this is a series that’s been keeping Charlie Sheen employed with its last few entries – insert joke here.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable – or in this case dishonorable – mentions:
- “Jaws” franchise (1975-87)
- “Shrek” franchise (2001-)
- “The Hangover” franchise (2009-13)
- “American Pie” franchise (1999-)

#1: “Resident Evil” franchise (2002-)

It’s always risky to make a movie based off a video game. But “Resident Evil” was one of the few that succeeded – originally – even though it abandoned key elements that made the games iconic. Now, if they would only stop! After several uninspired films that happen to have zombies, clones and other generic forms of cartoony action, we wonder if we have to throw ourselves at the mercy of the Red Queen to get this franchise to reboot or die.

Do you agree with our list? Which movie franchise are you most tired of? For more entertaining top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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