Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: It took director Joe Dante and co six years to figure out how to bring these little critters back to the big screen, and when they did, they shoved their tongues even further into their cheeks than before.
Cranking up the post-modernism, this city-set sequel reunites loveable Gizmo with Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan), and includes nods to Rambo , The Wizard Of Oz and Phantom Of The Opera . Plus a cameo by Christopher Lee.
Many cite the post-modernism for killing off the Gremlins franchise, but rumour has it Dante was so against doing the sequel in the first place, he deliberately made it impossible for anyone to follow it up.
He did a good job if so, it's been 23 years since we last had to worry about feeding anything after midnight.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: We'd have gone even more post-modern, with Gizmo becoming a massive movie star. When he heads to Hollywood, he becomes a Hollywood darling. That is until an evil movie exec gets him wet…
Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Like Gremlins 2 , Wes Craven buried his Freddy franchise by going post-modern - the surest way to kill off a movie series. We follow Heather Langenkamp (playing herself), who goes up against Freddy when he breaks out of the movies.
Kudos to Craven for thinking outside the box with this seventh (his third) Nightmare flick - he makes Freddy scary again, and sent the franchise out on a high.
After this we got Freddy Vs Jason and the abysmal Jackie Earle Haley-led reboot, which forgot to bring the fun, instead delivering a downer of a funereal mood.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: The film would focus on Johnny Depp, playing himself, being plagued by nightmares of Freddy.
Blade: Trinity (2004)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Wesley Snipes was such a pain in the behind on the set of this third Blade flick that he frequently refused to come out of his trailer.
That's according to actor Patton Oswalt, who recently revealed to The AV Club just what went on during the making of Blade: Trinity . "It was a very troubled production," he said. "Wesley was just fucking crazy in a hilarious way."
Things got nastier when Snipes sued New Line Cinema for allegedly not paying his full salary. He was also upset that he wasn't involved in casting decisions, and that his screen time was minimalised.
Needless to say, the possibility of a fourth film withered and died.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: It would've been called Hannibal and ditched Blade entirely in favour of Ryan Reynolds' muscular quip machine.
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: All right, so the original film wasn't a masterpiece, but Annihilation sure makes it look like one.
Adapted mostly from the game Mortal Kombat 3 , it sees Earth threatened by evil emperor Shao Kahn (Brian Thompson). Which is basically the entire plot in a nutshell - director John R. Leonetti is less interested in story and more interested in a barrage of choreographed fight sequences.
Needless to say, the critics went at it like vipers and pre-production on a third MK film was quickly called off.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: A third film could have been based on the videogame Mortal Kombat 4 , in which Elder God Shinnok makes life difficult for intrepid fist-fighters.
Jaws The Revenge (1987)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: By this point, plausibility had been stretched to snapping point. Not least because director Joseph Sargent's Jaws flick involves a shark out for revenge. Sheesh.
The critical response was unsurprisingly negative, and Jaws The Revenge holds the honour of a bang tidy 0% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Yep, this is one of the worst movies ever made. Ever.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: We'd want a back-to-basics approach - none of this "Your dad killed my shark dad, and now I want revenge!" nonsense.
All we need is a beach. A shark. And loads of sun-worshippers as bait.
The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Disney was so fond of its cheese-loving mini-heroes that it planned on making a third Rescuers movie after this Oz-bound sequel. However, thanks to Down Under 's low box office returns (obviously Oz wasn't cool in the early nineties), The Rescuers 3 was cancelled.
Which is a shame, because Down Under is actually a pretty decent movie. The animation's stunning (not least the bird-flying scenes), and there's enough action to keep jaws well and truly slack in awe.
Sadly, the fate of Rescuers 3 was also sealed by the tragic death of Eva Gabor, who voiced Miss Bianca.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: Let's not ignore Eva Gabor's death, instead paying homage to her with Bernard mourning her passing.
Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Just one in a wave of video game movies that hopped from the game console into cinemas in the last decade. This one looked more promising than the others (ahem, Hitman ) thanks to a buff Jake Gyllenhaal and the involvement of director Mike Newell.
The film performed fine at the box office (though not overwhelmingly so), but earned mixed to negative reviews, meaning Disney hasn't been in a rush to continue the franchise.
A sequel has yet to materialise…
If There Had Been Another Instalment: Videogame Warrior Within p icks up right where Sands Of Time left off (well, seven years later to be exact), so it would make sense for a sequel.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 (1993)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that doesn't involve Shredder /or/ Krang really a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie?
Well, yes, but it's one that sucks. Rolling out a tired time travel plot that feels horribly gimmicky (because it is), this third TMNT movie is dog-tired.
It's been 20 years since its release, and we've already had one failed CGI reboot. The next one, starring Megan Fox, lands next year…
If There Had Been Another Instalment: Krang finally makes his movie debut! Setting out to conquer the Earth (with the help of his Rock Soldiers), he makes New York his homebase.
Except he didn't count on four half-shell turtles with weapons taking issue with his agenda…
Police Academy 7: Mission To Moscow (1994)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: You'd be forgiven for not realising that there's actually a seventh Police Academy movie - this Russia-bothering jape features barely any of the original players (Steve Guttenberg is long gone).
It does have Christopher Lee as a Russian, though, which has to count for something. Needless to say, this ended up being the last Police Academy movie.
That is until they reboot it, which appears to be on the cards.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: We honestly can't think of anything worse than an eighth Police Academy.
Let's just leave this one.
Planet Of The Apes (2001)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Tim Burton's big budget redo of the 1968 classic was meant to kickstart the Apes franchise. Instead, it buried it even deeper.
Sure, the prosthetics were impressive, but that's pretty much all Burton's film had going for it. Much of the blame falls to the shoddy scriptwriting, which involves a truly horrendous final 'twist' that doesn't make any sense. Critics mauled it.
Wahlberg was equally non-plussed. Asked if he fancied starring in a sequel, he succinctly answered: "I'd rather jump out a window."
Instead, it fell to Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes over a decade later to reignite the franchise.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: A sole human attempts to survive on an alternate Earth that's run by apes (think that Family Guy episode where Brian ends up in an alt dimension where the roles of humans and dogs are switched).
Can the human escape his lab prison and ban human testing?
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Tenth instalment in the Star Trek movie franchise, and the one that finally convinced Paramount to retire the series.
Just at the right time, too, as there was dissent in the ranks - both LeVar Burton and Marina Sirtis criticised Nemesis director Stuart Baird for delivering a patchy film that didn't seem to understand the rules of Star Trek.
This one has a happy ending, though, thanks to JJ Abrams, who completely rebooted the franchise seven years later…
If There Had Been Another Instalment: Star Trek: The Beginning was all set to roll as the 11th Star Trek film, and would have bridged the gap between the original series and Star Trek: Enterprise.
It would have followed the Earth-Romulan War.
Conan The Destroyer (1984)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Considering the wealth of source material available, you'd be surprised if Hollywood execs weren't keen on turning all of Robert E. Howard's stories into movies. Sadly, that idea went down the drain with this lacklustre sequel.
Decidedly camper than the grisly original, it's a kid-friendly adventure yarn that sees Conan on a quest to find a special jewel. After the success of E.T ., Universal wanted to turn Conan into family entertainment - their meddling paw-prints are all over the film.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: In 2012 Arnold Schwarzenegger confirmed that will make King Conan, but only if it's of a high quality.
"The important thing with Conan is to make it into an A-movie, to treat it like a 300, or any of those great movies, rather than a B-action movie, where you just hack a few heads and limbs off and just run around with a sword. That doesn't do it. The audience today, and the fans, are very sophisticated. They've seen Spider-Man, Superman, Iron Man, all of those movies, and The Expendables. They've seen it all. They demand something - when they see a Conan movie - that isn't just a spectacle."
We haven't heard anything since...
X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008)
The Franchise-Killing Movie : If casual X-Files viewers had one complaint, it was that the increasingly-intricate and discombobulating 'conspiracy' arc was almost impossible to follow.
For Mulder and Scully's second big screen outing, showrunner Chris Carter opted for a stand-alone adventure that promised to be as good as the show's early stand-alone episodes.
It wasn't. Despite David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson sharing typically zingy chemistry, the blot was deemed baggy, off the mark, and stuffed with clichés.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: Did the TV series leave any myths and legends untouched?
We can't think of any, though sending Mulder and Scully off to investigate Loch Ness sounds as likely as anything else.
Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2002)
The Franchise-Killing Movie : Let's not kid ourselves; the first Charlie's Angels probably isn't on many peoples' 'favourite film' lists. It made enough money at the box office ($264m) to warrant a sequel, though.
What we got was this orgy of carnage, as orchestrated by director McG. Tonally erratic and with a plot that didn't make a jot of sense, it at least featured Demi Moore looking salon-fresh fantastic as villainess Madison Lee.
It didn't exactly bomb at the box office ($259m), but the lack of enthusiasm surrounding the project meant no third outings were scheduled for the Angels.
If There Had Been Another Instalment : The plot would revolve around the Angels training up the next generation - because how long were they really planning on kicking ass for a living?
Grease 2 (1982)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: If Grease was a fun romp that sorta knew how tacky it was, Grease 2 bowls along oblivious to its shortcomings, stringing together unmemorable song sequences as a pretence of 'plot'.
In lieu of anything else, most of the attention was lavished on Michelle Pfeiffer, who was praised for her first major leading role ("she has a sullen quality," sang the New York Times ).
The film itself, though, was so forgettable that they forgot to follow it up with a Grease 3.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: The casts of Grease and Grease 2 combine for super- Grease !
They're all ex-high schoolers fighting for the same jobs - but who's better qualified?
The Franchise-Killing Movie: With Predators , director Nimród Antal made the same mistake that so many directors make when they're crafting a belated sequel to a beloved classic - he took it far, far too seriously.
Arnie's 1987 Predator was a tongue-in-cheek action flick with some great lines and an awesome monster. Predators forgoes the great lines and settles for earnest action that fails to find the joy in man-versus-alien skirmishes.
Still, Laurence Fishburne gives good crazy, and Adrien Brody's physique is terrifying. The predators look great too - even if that awesome trailer shot of Brody being targeted by hundreds of predators doesn't appear in the movie…
If There Had Been Another Instalment: We'd pick up right where Predators finished, with Royce and Isabelle rescuing the new people dropped into the jungle.
Could a mad scientist be their key to getting off the predators' homeworld?
Scream 4 (2011)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Scream 4 was the sequel that nobody expected, mostly because Scream was always touted as a trilogy - a trilogy that wrapped up (for better or worse) with 2000's Scream 3.
Set a decade after that film's events, Scream 4 saw the return of director Wes Craven and original writer Kevin Williamson, plus key players Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette - all of whom are back in a slasher-plagued Woodsboro.
The concept's neat - it takes down reboots - and everybody's as gung-ho as usual, but by now the scares are wearing thin. And could one woman really be targeted by so many serial killers? Audiences yawned - Scream 4 only took $40m on its opening weekend.
An MTV-produced TV series is potentially in the works, but it's pretty unlikely we'll ever see Scream 5 …
If There Had Been Another Instalment: Sidney would turn out to be the killer in the end. Surviving that many knife-wounds has got to leave you messed up…
The Jewel Of The Nile (1985)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Proof that franchises aren't all about making money.
Though Jewel Of The Nile was more successful financially than its predecessor ( Romancing The Stone ), it earned such critical ire that 20th Century Fox ditched any plans to turn the films into a trilogy.
Of course, a remake's currently in the works…
If There Had Been Another Instalment: Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) and (Michael Douglas) would be struggling to raise a kid before being sent off on a new quest to find another elusive McGuffin.
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: That subtitle proved disturbingly prophetic with this third Naked Gun flick - after it bombed at the box office and received a critical mauling, it ended up closing the files on the franchise once and for all.
Both O.J. Simpson and Anna Nicole Smith also won Golden Raspberry Awards.
That didn't stop Paramount contemplating a fourth film - sans Leslie Nielsen. Thankfully that never happened.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: Our nineties references are a little rusty, but you can bet Frank Drebin would've gotten a job as a bodyguard to the Spice Girls. Meanwhile, a young Sarah Michelle Gellar makes a cameo.
Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life (2003)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: The first Tomb Raider did decent business, but didn't exactly earn the love of critics or audiences.
Cue this amped-up sequel, which aimed to fix the first film's problems - but ended up bombing at the box office despite its best efforts.
It's a shame, because there are some genuinely good set-pieces in the mix here, and Angelina Jolie's clearly having a ball as Lara Croft.
According to Jolie, she didn't don the ponytail for a third time because she was happy with Cradle : "In the first one, I was kind of frustrated," she said in 2004, "but I was trying something new, and then with the second one, I felt like that's how we wanted to do it."
If There Had Been Another Instalment: Tomb Raider: Angel Of Darkness would've made a fun movie adventure, with Lara ending up in Paris and going on a sort of Da Vinci Code-style treasure hunt.
Alien Resurrection (1997)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Hundreds of years after sacrificing herself on Fiorina 161, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is cloned back to life in Joss Whedon's decidedly gooey fourth Alien flick.
Whedon disowned the film (claiming "everything was done wrong"), but it's not /that/ bad. Weaver's on fine tongue-in-cheek form, and that underwater sequence (above) is to die for.
It also holds up particularly well in comparison to Alien Vs Predator and, uh, Aliens Vs Predator . The xenomorph lived on, but it's not had a standalone outing since Resurrection (no, we're not counting Prometheus ).
If There Had Been Another Instalment: The film would have taken place on a desolate Earth (as hinted at in Whedon's original script), where, naturally, xenomorphs have also crash-landed.
Sex & The City 2 (2010)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: "Borderline racist" ranted The Guardian . "The most polluting and women-hating film of the year" raged the Evening Standard.
Though they're extreme views on what is essentially a silly rom-com, there's no denying that this second cinematic outing for Carrie and co did little other than undo the stellar work of the genuinely pioneering TV series.
Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) turns into a she-monster of Cloverfield proportions, while Samantha (Kim Cattrall) offends Eastern culture (and everybody else) with her rampant nymphomania. Don't expect a third jaunt any time soon.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: The story would come full circle with Carrie deciding to divorce Mr Big, and setting back out onto the dating scene to bemoan being a newly- single forty-something.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Sam Raimi's third Spidey flick had its problems, and it's arguable that even though Raimi almost got to make Spider-Man 4 , Sony's confidence in him was so shaken that the studio second-guessed his every decision, eventually forcing him out.
The common argument against Spider-Man 3 is an oldie but a goodie - it tried to shoe-horn in too many villains.
When Raimi couldn't agree with Sony on a direction for Spider-Man 4 , the studio decided to hit the reboot button.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: Pre-production on Raimi's Spider-Man 4 got so far as hiring James Vanderbilt to write a script, which featured the Lizard and potentially Anne Hathaway as Black Cat.
Blair Witch 2: Book Of Shadows (2000)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: When The Blair Witch Project blew up in 1999, its makers promised us a terrifying trilogy.
Sadly, that trilogy never materialised, and it's all because of Book Of Shadows , which dumped the first film's restrained, micro-budget approach for something altogether more in-yer-face.
Critics slated it, branding it atmospheric but muddled. Still, directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez are keen on a third film even now - only time will tell if they eventually get it made.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: A return to Burkittsville, in which a documentary film crew attempt to retrace the steps of Heather, Josh and Mike in order to discover what really happened to them.
Batman & Robin (1997)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Joel Schumacher's second time behind the camera on a Batman film, and things have spiralled into the kind of neon-hued campery that makes Adam West's time in the cape look positively sombre.
Crotch and butt shots ruled, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr Freeze spouted some of the worst one-liners the Austrian Oak had ever tackled, and George Clooney wore one of the worst Batsuits ever created.
Warner Bros cancelled Batman Triumphant, an irony that surely wasn't lost on them…
If There Had Been Another Instalment: Batman Triumphant would have seen The Scarecrow as the main villain, while The Joker would have returned from the grave as a hallucination.
Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Christopher Reeve takes a final spin in the super-suit as the Man of Steel, except things are looking even shakier than ever for Krypton's favourite son.
Reeve was given a (somewhat misguided) story credit, the budget was shrunk down to a miniscule $17m and Superman's nemesis - Nuclear Man - was turned into a long-nailed joke. "[ It ] was a catastrophe from start to finish," Reeve later admitted.
It took almost 20 years for Superman to recover - he finally returned in 2006's Superman Returns . Which is a whole other story…
If There Had Been Another Instalment: We might have got Superman V: Superman Reborn , starring Christopher Reeve.
Based on an idea by comic writer Cary Bates, the film would've seen Supes going up against Brainiac.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Halloween H20 resurrected the Halloween franchise after years in the wilderness (oh, Paul Rudd). Just four years later, Halloween: Resurrection buried it again.
Trying too hard to be hip, Resurrection capitalised on the rush of reality TV by installing POV cameras, Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes - who uses groan-worthy karate moves on Michael Myers. Our EYES, our poor, poor EYES…
If There Had Been Another Instalment: We discover that young Jamie (played by Danielle Harris in Halloween 4 and 5 ) is alive and well, another young woman having been mistaken for her in Halloween 6 .
Now with her own daughter, Jamie's trying to forget her troubled past. Until Myers comes calling again…
Green Lantern (2011)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Ryan Reynolds suits up as the Green Knight in this failed franchise kickstarter. We say 'suits up', but his suit actually consisted of mo-cap sensors - the suit was built in a computer later.
Reviews were harsh (a "joyless amalgamation of expository dialogue and special effects that aren't especially special" spat the Associated Press), and all thoughts of a franchise fizzled.
Reynolds is still keen on a sequel (well, he's not really doing much else at the moment), but it would need a serious rejig if it was going to work. They could start with giving him an actual suit…
If There Had Been Another Instalment: We'd have wanted to see the Blackest Night comic brought to the big screen.
In the fan favourite story, Nekron brings dead superheroes back to life in an attempt to eliminate life in the universe. Naturally, Hal Jordan steps in…
The Last Airbender (2010)
The Franchise-Killing Movie : The Last Airbender made a lot of money. And we mean a lot. Its budget wasn't tiny ($150m), but its box office haul was huge - M Night Shyamalan's action epic took $319m.
That's a lot of money for what was deemed one of the worst movies ever made. Paramount yanked the film from cinemas after it was almost universally derided, then scrapped its plans to make an Airbender trilogy.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: There were two more series of Nickelodeon's cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender (the first film pretty much covered the first series), meaning the sequels would have more than likely followed the cartoon.
John Carter (2012)
The Franchise-Killing Movie: Before it got its mitts on Star Wars , Disney went for space opera gold by adapting the sci-fi epic that inspired George Lucas (among others) in the first place.
Pumping a whopping $250m into the film, Disney seemed confident. But then the reviews came in - not hugely damning, but not exactly effusive. Despite taking $282m at the box office, it wasn't enough to cover the extra costs accrued during the marketing process.
It's a shame, the film is much better than its reputation might suggest.
Franchise cancelled. New hope: Star Wars.
If There Had Been Another Instalment: John Carter could have gone up against the Yellow Martians (as seen in The Warlord Of Mars ), which are hiding in secret cities at Mars' North Pole. Which would have been cool.
Still, there would have been a downside to another Carter. It would mean we probably wouldn't be getting any new 'proper' Star Wars movies - we're fairly sure the John Carter situation was at least partially responsible for Disney's decision to buy up Lucas' universe.