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Top 10 Films That Derailed The Franchise

VO: Rebecca Brayton
There are the movies that disappointed legions of fans. Welcome to http//:www.WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movies that derailed the franchise. For this list, we’re looking at those entries in popular franchises that are considered to be not on par with their predecessors. Or to put it bluntly, these are those films that tarnished the reputations of the series they come from, and in some cases killed them altogether. However, we’ve excluded movies that had no business becoming a franchise anyway, as well as series that are too big to fail. Special thanks to our users SomeoneOnWatchMojo, ThoseComicalGuys, Andrew A. Dennison, Isaiah Tweet, Tommy Carr, arimazzie, JeanPant and MattEmery for suggesting the idea on our suggest tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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There are the movies that disappointed legions of fans. Welcome to http//:www.WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movies that derailed the franchise.

For this list, we’re looking at those entries in popular franchises that are considered to be not on par with their predecessors. Or to put it bluntly, these are those films that tarnished the reputations of the series they come from, and in some cases killed them altogether. However, we’ve excluded movies that had no business becoming a franchise anyway, as well as series that are too big to fail.

#10: “Terminator Salvation” (2009)


Hitting big screens in 1984 with a leather-clad cyborg assassin of few words as its star, “The Terminator” and its 1991 sequel are beloved movies about the battle between man and machine. Some point to 2003’s “Rise of the Machines” as the beginning of the end of this iconic franchise; but we blame 2009’s effects heavy and Schwarzenegger-less sci-fi extravaganza. Not only was Ah-nuld not there; but he was replaced by a miscast Christian Bale in a film overstuffed with style and lacking in substance.

#9: “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006)


With his first “X-Men” films, director Bryan Singer brought action, personality, depth and more action to his comic book movies – and ensured they appealed to all kinds. When he stepped down for the third film, Brett Ratner took his place, and the result is a movie where the excitement and grit of the original are replaced by Hollywood gloss and one-dimensional characters. To make matters worse, it’s as boring a superhero movie as we’ve ever seen. Fortunately, it didn’t prevent the franchise from pulling off a successful reboot five-years later.

#8: “Die Another Day” (2002)


This Bond film marked the end of the Pierce Brosnan era – and for good reason. Focusing on gadgetry, action and effects rather than the mind games and thrilling suspense the franchise is known for, “Die Another Day” was criticized for catering too heavily to the younger crowd. And, even with Halle Berry as the Bond girl, it was considered a mess. This experience hurt the 007 franchise so much, the creative minds behind it were forced to rethink their game plan – and that’s how we ended up with a Blond Bond.

#7: “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008)


It took 19-years for a new Indy film to join the ranks of this fan-favorite franchise – but after watching this Steven Spielberg and George Lucas mess, many fans wished they’d been kept waiting a little longer – or at least until a suitable sequel could be cobbled together. Though Harrison Ford and Karen Allen both returned, the casting of Shia LaBeouf as Indy’s sidekick was a risky move that didn’t pay off, and the script had less heart and humor than its forerunners. Simply put: this one nuked the fridge.

#6: “Friday the 13th: A New Beginning” (1985)


The fifth film of this never-ending horror movie franchise felt like a machete stab in the back for many hardcore fans. While the first entry was campy, it had some charm. This entry managed to remove that charm and replace it with b-movie horror tropes that were laughable at best. Still haunted by Jason, Tommy starts to lose his mind thinking he’s responsible for the gruesome murders happening at the halfway house he resides in. The cheap horror thrills and nudity that ensue are ridiculous – but always good for a laugh.

#5: “The Matrix Revolutions” (2003)


Although a case could be made that “Reloaded” began the derailment of this inventive franchise, that movie at least had one kickass highway chase scene. Its follow-up, on the other hand, had nothing for fans to get excited about. Stripping the series of its more vague philosophy and inserting instead a bombastic amount of special-effects and scripted pretentiousness, “Revolutions” is just anticlimactic, and an unsuitable end to an otherwise exceptional series. We were disappointed the minute we got to Zion – a hokey, fictionalized city that didn’t live up to expectations.

#4: “Jurassic Park III” (2001)


If you thought “The Lost World” was disappointing, then you’re sure to be disappointed by the third installment in this dino-franchise, which rehashes every original idea the first two entries may’ve had. “Jurassic Park III”’s first mistake was not having Steven Spielberg as director. But there were many more. An unexpected parasailing landing? An unexpected island? Unexpected new inhabitants? Yawn. Director Joe Johnston turned a once imaginative world into a b-movie letdown. Its unoriginality set the franchise back significantly; and in fact it was 14-years until the next edition.

#3: “Spider-Man 3” (2007)


Director Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire’s final “Spider-Man” film was met with such a lukewarm response from fans and critics that the franchise had to be rebooted and started from scratch. So what went wrong? Where do we even start? The pacing plodded through with too many villains and too many subplots; but mostly we’re still scarred by Peter Parker’s random dance breaks and his notorious emo transformation, which will live forever in superhero infamy.

#2: “Superman III” (1983) / “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” (1987)


After an incredible first two films, expectations were sky high when “Superman 3” came out in the summer of 1983. Needless to say, those expectations were not met. Casting Richard Pryor, as funny as he was, was mistake number one. The film’s unusually campy/comedic tone was mistake number 2. Mistake number 3 was following it up with the even worse “Quest for Peace,” which has since gained the reputation as one of the worst movies ever made. Not even Superman could save the day on that one.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable – or in this case dishonorable – mentions:
- “Home Alone 3” (1997)
- “A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child” (1989)
- “Shrek the Third” (2007)
- “Ghostbusters II” (1989)
- “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III” (1993)

#1: “Batman & Robin” (1997)


This is when Batman died. Thanks to director Joel Schumacher, a miscast George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger and some questionable costuming decisions like bat-nipples and bat-cod pieces, this fourth film in the original Batman franchise has gained an ugly reputation over the years as the “how-not-do-it” superhero movie. Sucking out the gothic horror that enlivened Tim Burton’s two films; Schumacher’s loose, goofy and overly punny approach was mocked and shunned by critics and fans alike. And that’s putting it kindly.

Do you agree with our list? Which movies do you think derailed a beloved franchise? For more movie top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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