How many movie sequels is 'too many'?

Friday The 13th (1980 present)

The franchise: Friday The 13th is one of the iconic slasher franchises of the 80s, but most of that iconography would never have existed if the franchise hadnt got to at least three instalments. After all, the first movie is about Jasons mother, Mrs Voorhees (Betsey Palmer), taking revenge for the death of her son; Jason turns up in the sequel, but doesnt put on his hockey mask until Part III.

After that, he proved unstoppable, because thereve been 10 sequels, one crossover, and a remake already, with another remake due imminently.

Signs of trouble: Friday The 13th movies were always a bit sillier than their contemporaries, but things get properly daft as the franchise goes on. Jason X, which sees the titular killer resurrected in the future, in space, is the daftest of them all.

Shouldve given up: After the fourth movie, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. The title says it all.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984 2010)

The franchise: While were talking 80s slashers, we cant ignore the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise. A tale of a terrifying child-killer who continues to stalk his prey from beyond the grave by infiltrating their nightmares, there was plenty of potential for this horror franchise to run and run, but it ran on a little too long.

Signs of trouble: When your villain has become more of a comedian than a killer, you know youre in trouble. In the early movies, the odd one-liner highlights the horror, but when Freddys posing in sunglasses, its just too silly to work.

Shouldve given up: Before Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. Thats both the point where the mythology became hopelessly confused and the point where audiences stopped turning up.

Romeros Living Dead (1978 2010)

The franchise: Night Of The Living Dead was an ultra-cheap horror movie that attracted huge success because, for starters, it was terrifying. It created a new kind of monster, and kickstarted a whole genre. Tracing its family tree is tricky, though, because of all the spinoffs, reboots, and foreign wannabes. But for now, lets just count the direct successors, i.e. the ones directed by George Romero. That makes this a franchise of six movies.

Signs of trouble: A long gap between sequels usually isnt a great sign, and there were 20 years between Day Of The Dead and Land Of The Dead. The mangling of the naming convention could also be regarded as a sign than the latter three movies werent really necessary.

Shouldve given up: After Day. Land was reasonably well received, all things considered, but Diary and Survival are best ignored.

Rocky (1976 2015)

The franchise: Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) is a boxer whos not even sure he wants to win his first match, let alone six movies worth (seven, if you count the upcoming Creed). The first movie ends on an odd note for a sports movie, as Rocky technically loses the match (but wins his self-respect) so its understandable that, in the sequel, fans would want to see him win. The rest, though? Hmm.

Signs of trouble: The thrill of the fight started to wear off after the second movie, but Rocky kept getting drawn back for just one more fight. By the fifth movie, he was suffering from brain damage, which seems like a pretty serious sign things have gone too far.

Shouldve given up: Trilogies are nice, right? Everything feels neat and tidy after three movies. Rocky IV received mostly bad reviews, and V isnt much loved by anyone. Rocky Balboa revived things a bit, but Creed looks set to be one of those passing-the-baton movies that usually signal a franchise is well and truly tired out.

The Hangover (2009 2013)

The franchise: The Hangover was an enjoyably raucous comedy that made the most of the camaraderie between its cast members. That first movie was brimming over with ideas and silliness, so it seemed like thered be plenty left over for a sequel. And there was, just about. The problem was, the first two movies made enough money for a third to be made.

Signs of trouble: The third movie just kind of gave up, didnt it? Its not very funny, theres no hangover, and the whole thing lacked energy.

Shouldve given up: After the first one, ideally, but definitely after the second one. The third movie didnt flop, exactly, but it made significantly less money than the first two, suggesting audiences, too, had run out of patience with the Wolfpacks antics.

Rambo (1982 2008)

The franchise: There almost wasnt a Rambo franchise at all: the first movie, First Blood, was supposed to end with a traumatised Rambo killing himself. But that ending was changed since studio bosses thought audiences would want Rambo to survive, and thus the potential for sequels was created.

Signs of trouble: Well, its probably not the greatest idea to keep throwing a character whos suffering from PTSD into more and more harrowing situations, is it? Rambo II was a commercial success if not a critical one, and it was all downhill from there.

Shouldve given up: After the first one. Really.

Police Academy (1984 1994)

The franchise: Theres plenty of comedy potential in the idea of unsuitable recruits learning to be cops. But maybe there isnt seven movies worth. Following the success of the first Police Academy, a new sequel was released every year between 1984 and 1989, with the final instalment limping out in 1994.

Signs of trouble: Never particularly well liked by critics, Police Academys 4, 5, and 6 have the dubious honour of being rated 0% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. That means not a single critic acknowledged by the site thought they were any good at all. Ouch.

Shouldve given up: After the third one, definitely. At least at that point the movies were still selling cinema tickets.

Bourne (2002 present)

The franchise: The Bourne Identity was a likeable action thriller. The Bourne Supremacy was a worthy successor. And The Bourne Ultimatum, unusually for a third movie, is generally regarded as the best of the franchise to date. So its a shame The Bourne Legacy dropped the ball, but considering it had to cope without Bourne himself, Matt Damon, it did okay.

Signs of trouble: Passing the baton to a new face is usually a pretty dreadful sign, and the box office for the fourth film reflected that with a pretty enormous drop off after the third movie. Still, it wasnt entirely disastrous

Shouldve given up: With Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass set to return for the next movie, well let this one carry on.

Transformers (2007 present)

The franchise: Taking a beloved nostalgia property like Transformers and turning it into a new movie is always a risky proposition. Not that Michael Bay probably cared much he was too busy blowing stuff up. And despite fan outrage, all of the Transformers movies made massive amounts of money, with both Dark Of The Moon and Age Of Extinction smashing the 1 billion barrier.

Signs of trouble: Right from the start, this franchise attracted terrible reviews, which doesnt seem to have actually done it any commercial harm. The franchise even trundled on when Megan Fox was fired for comparing Michael Bay to both Napoleon and Hitler.

Shouldve given up: Before it got started, ideally.

Terminator (1984 present)

The franchise: James Cameron kicked off the Terminator franchise in style, with the first movie introducing the world and concept of the time-travelling cyborgs and the second ramping up the action and emotion. Then he handed over the reins to Jonathan Mostow for Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines, which is also reasonably well regarded. Its just the most recent movie, Terminator Salvation, that isnt so well loved.

Signs of trouble: The Terminator franchise is just one of many to get a late reboot, and in most cases, itd be better to leave well enough alone. Terminator Salvation couldve been worse, though.

Shouldve given up: Stopping after T3 wouldve been reasonable, especially since Terminator Salvation underperformed, box office-wise. Still, the only way out is through, so well have to wait and see how Terminator Genisys does