When it comes to movie sequels, lightning rarely strikes twice... but that sure hasn't stopped Hollywood from trying.
Despite dwindling ticket sales and increasingly abysmal reviews, most franchises get run right into the ground rather than quit while they're ahead. Two big franchises are giving box office glory yet another shot this weekend as The Hangover Part III and Fast & Furious 6 hit theaters on Friday, even if it doesn't look like either is about to cover any new territory. Instead, they return to the same well that worked the first time... and the second... and the fifth, in Fast 6's case. Is there any chance these will live up to the first installments?
Not really. But these are hardly the only offenders beating a dead cinematic horse. Check out the 10 most overdone movie franchises of all time!
1. The Fast and the Furious
Franchise Installments: The Fast and the Furious (2001), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Fast & Furious 7 (2014)
This franchise has certainly had its moments, but is now an excuse to make a flick every summer with minimal effort and clear a huge profit. How else to explain the fact that they've already announced a seventh movie well before the sixth one hit theaters? None of the movies have been slammed too hard critically, but it's brainless action at its finest and certainly won't be winning Oscars anytime soon.
2. The Hangover
Franchise installments: The Hangover (2009), The Hangover Part II (2011), The Hangover Part III (2013)
The first Hangover was funny. Really funny. The second one? Not so much. Although box office sales were just about the same, it was viewed as a cheap attempt by Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis to get a major payday with little effort. And unfortunately, all signs are pointing to the third installement of this franchise being much of the same, with an inappropriately epic marketing campaign and an oddly dark (giraffe-killing) tone.
Franchise installments: Saw (2004), Saw II (2005), Saw III (2006), Saw IV (2007), Saw V (2008), Saw VI (2009), Saw 3-D (2010)
Even if a movie franchise is brilliant, seven movies in seven years is completely excessive. And the Saw franchise? Not brilliant. Every Halloween from 2004 through 2010, those who needed a gore fix sure got it with these flicks, shunning plot and characters to go way overboard on the blood and guts. However, while these movies have all gotten terrible reviews, they're low budget by Hollywood standards and managed to make profits of anywhere from $100-150 million on each film. Sadly, we probably haven't seen the last of this series...
Franchise installments: The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009 TV series), Terminator Salvation (2009)
The first two installments in the Terminator franchise were groundbreaking sci-fi flicks, but the same can't be said for the most recent two. Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger is no longer governating California, here's hoping he returns if this franchise continues to fulfill its promise that "I'll be back."
Franchise installments: Underworld (2003), Underworld: Evolution (2006), Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009), Underworld: Awakening (2012)
The first installment of Underworld never lived up its massive hype, and subsequent sequels haven't even come close. The impressive visuals in the film are ultimately made at the expense of decent characters and coherent plots. With that said, Kate Beckinsale battling it out with werewolves may be enough for some: the most recent installment of the franchise was its most successful to date, with $62 million in sales.
Franchise installments: Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), Untitled fourth Transformers (2014)
The original Transformers movie was one of the highlights of 2007, blockbuster-wise, even if many of Michael Bay's weaknesses as a filmmaker were on full display. But even once-devoted fans of the franchise are now sick of it. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen featured Transformers who had inexplicably become racial caricatures, while the third installment wasted a potentially cool plot about the alien robots hiding out on the moon. However, Paramount signed on for yet another Transformers movie in 2014 with Mark Wahlberg replaced Shia LeBeouf as star, which means the Razzie committee is already getting their golden trophies lined up for it.
Franchise installments: Rocky (1976), Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990), Rocky Balboa (2006)
The original Rocky remains one of the most inspirational stories in movie history, and after he finally won the belt in the sequel, that should have been the end of it. Movie studios didn't feel that way, though, and continued to cart Sylvester Stallone out for one flick after another with mostly diminishing returns. The most recent installment was well reviewed critically, but still remains one of the lowest selling films in the franchise with $155 million worldwide.
Franchise installments: Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), Alien Resurrection (1997), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), Prometheus (2012)
This franchise serves as a warning for what happens when a studio decides to pump out too many sequels. Alien redefined the sci-fi and horror genres, while Aliens remains one of the best action films of all time. As for the others? While Alien: Resurrection can be enjoyed as camp, Alien 3 stands out in particular for its truly awful storyline and straight-to-DVD level of acting, and let's not talk about what happened when they added Predators into the mix. Ridley Scott returned to the franchise for the first time since the original with Prometheus, but even his gorgeous visuals and strong acting couldn't save it from a screenplay that made little sense.
9. Resident Evil
Franchise installments: Resident Evil (2002), Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), Resident Evil 6 (2014)
These movies are notorious for featuring a ton of crap being blown up in lieu of anything an audience member could possibly care about. And despite five installments of this franchise, all the movies follow the same paint-by-numbers formula of Alice (Milla Jovovich) doing battle against the evil Umbrella Corporation and its army of monsters and faux zombies. We wanted to think this franchise was finally done with, but considering the last movie in it cleared $240 million at the box office, it's no surprise that a sixth installment will hit theaters next year. Guess that's what happens when you make a movie based on a video game...
10. Friday The 13th
Franchise installments: Friday the 13th (1980), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood(1988), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason X (2002), Freddy vs. Jason (2003), Friday the 13th (2009)
The initial installment of this franchise provided one of the greatest horror villains of all time in Jason Voorhees. (Well, technically, his mother.) But 30 years and 11 other movies later, it has become a parody of itself that resorted to campy humor over horror. The 2002 flick Jason X, which features him inexplicably going into outer space, is widely considered to be one of the worst films of all time. The 2009 reboot was a marked improvement, but its still time to let this franchise die a painful death by machete.
What do you think is the worst movie franchise of all time?
Photos courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn Pictures, Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Touchstone Entertainment, Paramount Pictures and United Artists