30 Franchise-Killing Movies

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?

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.