In order to qualify for our list, the franchise must have at least three films on their resume. It’s no coincidence that the last film in a majority of these franchises ended up with the lowest total gross of all the films. The box-office totals provided are the total domestic gross. Here is what we came up with . . .
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery ($53 Million) – An inspired film spoof unlike anything we have seen before.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me ($206 Million) – The budget is bigger the second time around and introduces the world to Mini Me and Fat Bastard.
Austin Powers in Goldmember ($213 Million) – The franchise takes a turn for the worse and becomes more about cameos, product placement and inside jokes.
Why It Needs To End: Myers is reportedly taking the Powers franchise to Broadway for a live musical. A fourth film would be as tired and uninspired as the last hour of Goldmember. Leave the franchise as a trilogy and us with good memories.
Toy Story 2 ($245 Million) – A worthy follow-up that takes the gang out of Andy’s bedroom and into a full fledged adventure.
Toy Story 3 ($415 Million) – A fitting ending to the trilogy and the most successful animated film of all time.
Why It Needs To End: There is something to be said about going out on a high note. The last 15 minutes of Toy Story 3 were some of the best in the franchise and left everyone felling just a little bit better. Don’t take us into Bonnie’s room . . . let us leave with Andy.
Raiders of the Lost Ark ($242 Million) – The classic first film introduces the world to Indiana Jones.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ($179 Million) – The darkest of the four pictures gets the first PG-13 rating ever.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ($197 Million) – Indy ends his adventures on a high note in 1989. The Holy Grail is the perfect McGuffin.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($317 Million) – The fourth installment is 18 years too late. Aliens and Shia LaBeouf leave us scratching our heads.
Why It Needs To End: The franchise went from a great trilogy to a great trilogy with a terrible fourth movie after Crystal Skull hit theaters. Fans asked for a fourth movie for 18 years and George Lucas’s alien premise was a punch to the face. Please just let Indy be . . . no one is asking for another film.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($423 Million) – The sequel is heavy on CGI and low on a comprehensive storyline. Audiences leave disappointed . . .
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($309 Million) – The third film makes even less sense then the previous film and the CGI is out of control.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($241 Million) – They do a good job cutting down on the CGI, but the premise is boring and tired.
Why It Needs To Stop: It is no coincidence that On Stranger Tides made the least amount of money in the U.S. of the four films. Audiences are getting more and more disappointed with each film. Enough with the Pirates . . .
Die Hard ($83 Million) – Bruce Willis becomes a star and makes one of the best action films ever made.
Die Hard 2: Die Harder ($117 Million) – The underrated sequel does not disappoint as McClane fights terrorists in an airport.
Die Hard: With A Vengeance ($100 Million) – McClane and Sam Jackson in New York is smart with some surprises along the way.
Live Free or Die Hard ($134 Million) –The studio went from R to PG-13 so more people could by tickets and in the process ruin the franchise.
Why It Needs To Stop: Don’t expect the upcoming A Good Day To Die Hard to be R. The studio doesn’t care about making a Die Hard film true to the franchise. They want to make money.
Spider-Man ($403 Million) – One of the films responsible for changing how superhero films are made.
Spider-Man 2 ($373 Million) – The best of Raimi’s trilogy is also one of the better superhero films ever made.
Spider-Man 3 ($336 Million) – One of the most ridiculous superhero films made.
Why It Needs To Stop: Things will change if Marc Webb’s upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man is a hit. Meaning it will lead to studios “rebooting” films in shorter time spans. Spiderman 3 was just five years ago. Give me a f&#ing break. Oh I forgot . . . Foster is telling a darker story. Whatever . . .
Scream ($103 Million) – Wes Craven’s horror picture is smart and a surprise hit.
Scream 3 ($89 Million) – The franchise comes full circle with a satisfying end.
Scream 4 ($38 Million) – The fourth film bombs and the actors look like actors trying to get back into the spotlight.
Why It Needs To Stop: Try and come up with a reason to keep going. The copycat killer thing is just getting ridiculous.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day ($204 Million) – Cameron takes the franchise and CGI to the next level.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines ($150 Million) – Arnold and the franchise show their age, but the film is a nice fit in the trilogy.
Terminator Salvation ($125 Million) – Director McG and star Christian Bale take the franchise into the future hoping to start a new chapter in the Terminator saga. Unfortunately, the movie under-performs . . . big time.
Why It Needs To End: I’m not sure there is another story the studio needs to tell. We have seen everything from John Connor being conceived to John Connor leading the resistance. Do we really need to see the entire battle with the machines? Do we even care?
Blade ($70 Million) – The film opens with a great club scene and Snipes is the perfect Blade.
Blade II ($82 Million) – The Reapers help make Guillermo Del Toro’s version of Blade the best of the three.
Blade: Trinity ($52 Million) – New Line’s decision to put Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel in the picture puts a stake in the franchise for good. Whoever thought the two would get a spin-off could not have been more off.
Why It Needs To End: Del Toro arguably made a film that will not be topped. Snipes will be 50 this year and his acting has gotten worse over the years. Plus, the 2006 Blade TV series starring Sticky Fingaz proved the brand is not as popular as it used to be.
The Mariachi Trilogy
Desperado ($25 Million) – Antonio Banderas stars in a crazy action picture with a smoking Salma Hayek (who has never been hotter).
Once Upon A Time In Mexico ($56 Million) – Johnny Depp is the bright spot in the star-studded threequel. The movie is decent, but not enough to make us want more.
Why It Needs To End: Don’t be surprised if Rodriguez takes another crack at his Mariachi franchise. Don’t be surprised if the movie does worse than Machete and Spy Kids 4.
Manhunter ($8 Million) – Before Anthony Hopkins there was this 1986 flick where Will Graham searches for Lector.
Silence of the Lambs ($130 Million) - The 1991 film is a critical and financial hit.
Hannibal ($165 Million) – The Jodie Foster-less sequel is a hit, but disappoints audiences.
Red Dragon ($93 Million) – The Brett Ratner prequel is actually decent and uses CGI to make Anthony Hopkins look younger.
Hannibal Rising ($27 Million) – No one goes to see Hannibal as a young man.
Why It Needs To End: Hannibal’s story has been told. Hopefully, the studio was listing when Hannibal Rising tanked. Unfortunately, their hearing is not that great.
Saw II ($87 Million) – A worthy follow-up with a nice ending.
Saw III ($80 Million) – A good way to wrap up the trilogy with Jigsaw biting the bullet.
Saw IV ($63 Million) – A ridiculous way to continue the franchise.
Saw V ($56 Million) – I can barely remember this one.
Saw VI ($27 Million) – I really don’t remember this one either.
Saw 3D ($45 Million) – 3D . . . nice try. The end is stupid.
Why It Needs To End: Simply put … the franchise died with Jigsaw. Continuing a horror franchise without the main villain is dumb . . . and don’t even think about bringing him back from the dead.
Transformers ($319 Million) – Michael Bay makes a good popcorn flick from the 80’s cartoon.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($402 Million) – So bad it’s insulting.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($352 Million) – The third film redeems the franchise with the craziest hour of action I have ever seen.
Why It Needs To End: We want to meet the person who is asking for more. What else could they possibly want? Bay almost destroyed Chicago . . . Leave on that note . . .
Shrek ($267 Million) – An excellent CGI flick cast perfectly.
Shrek 2 ($441 Million) – One of the highest grossing animated films of all time is a worthy follow up.
Shrek the Third ($322 Million) – Shrek has a kid. Great.
Shrek Forever After ($238 Million) – Supposedly the last installment of the franchise.
Why It Needs To End: Shrek meets the girl, then meets her parents, then has a kid, then runs out of ideas for the next movie.
Paranormal Activity ($107 Million) – The movie becomes a surprise hit a la The Blair Witch Project.
Paranormal Activity 2 ($84 Million) – The sequel proves people are in love with these movies.
Paranormal Activity 3 ($104 Million) – The success of part 3 means we are getting at least 3 more.
Why It Needs To End: The Paranormal Activity phenomenon is a mystery to us. People know this is not actual footage . . . right? It needed to end after the first one, but there is nothing we can do about it.
Jurassic Park ($357 Million) – Steven Spielberg changes the CGI landscape forever.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park ($229 Million) – A very average sequel that works hard to make sure no dinosaurs were harmed.
Jurassic Park III ($181 Million) – A pointless sequel with a ridiculous “kid lost on a dinosaur island” plot.
Why It Needs To End: Another instance where there is not another story to tell. How many more mistakes can be made with these islands? By now the military or the government would have done something to make sure Sam Neil and Jeff Goldblum stop ending up on the island.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ($291 Million) – A huge hit has the studio seeing dollar signs for years to come.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ($141 Million) – The sequel under-performs and the studio blames the release date.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader ($104 Million) – The studio is out of excuses and realizes people don’t care about the franchise.
Why It Needs To Stop: A complete waste of money. The next film would gross about $60-$70 million.
Meet the Parents ($166 Million) – The hilarious movie is a huge success.
Meet the Fockers ($279 Million) – The movie has its moments, but the premise seems tired.
Little Fockers ($148 Million) – One of the worst films of 2010 is lazy and had to have Dustin Hoffman (who was originally not in the film) come in and shoot new scenes to make the film “funnier.”
Why It Needs To End: Greg has the worst luck in the world. We get it . . .
Rush Hour 2 ($226 Million) – A decent sequel with some good laughs.
Rush Hour 3 ($140 Million) – Six years later the duo has lost their mojo. The film is terrible enough to make us resent the franchise.
Why It Needs To End: It’s been 14 years since the original and the chemistry between Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan has disappeared faster than Tucker’s career.
Spy Kids ($112 Million) – Robert Rodriguez makes a low budget kids film with heart.
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams ($85 Million) – The decent sequel that is a hit with audiences.
Spy Kids 3D: Game Over ($111 Million) – Crappy 3-D and a crappy Stallone performance.
Spy Kids: All The Time In The World ($38 Million) – Rodriguez is stunned when the franchise returns and bombs . . . big time.
Why It Needs To End: The gross for the last picture proves the Spy Kids are a thing of the past. Apparently, Rodriguez believes he could just keep feeding new kids the same thing every 10 years hoping to make millions of dollars. Sorry Robert . . .
The Mummy ($155 Million) – The Brendan Fraser flick is a fresh take on the old tale.
The Mummy Returns ($202 Million) – The sequel brings the Mummy back for a bigger action film.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor ($102 Million) – A pointless third film that has nothing to do with The Mummy.
Why It Needs To End: Our Brendan Fraser tolerance meter finally exploded and we can’t take it anymore. Plus, why do a Mummy movie with no Mummy?
Alvin and the Chipmunks ($217 Million) – Apparently, people love 80’s cartoons.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel ($219 Million) – The Squeakquel? $200 Million? Are you kidding?
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked ($104 Million) – The third film fails to make half the money the first two did.
Why It Needs To End: We can’t take the month of commercials every time one of these is released.
Major League ($49 Million) – You will find this one on the list of greatest sports flicks of all time.
Major League II ($30 Million) – The franchise goes PG and has 1 to 2 funny scenes.
Major League: Back to the Minors ($3 Million) – You will find this one on the list of worst sports flicks of all time.
Why It Needs To End: Admittedly, we were a little excited when Charlie Sheen was ranting about a fourth film in the works. The dust settled and we realized a bunch of aging actors teaching a new batch of young players is a disaster waiting to happen.
Resident Evil ($40 Million) – The videogame adaptation is a modest hit in the U.S. and a bigger hit overseas. The film is mediocre at best.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse ($51 Million) – A slight improvement over the original as the fight is taken to the streets.
Resident Evil: Extinction ($50 Million) – A money shot of Las Vegas deserted and under sand is enough to get people into theaters.
Resident Evil: Afterlife ($60 Million) – A complete waste of time that adds nothing to the franchise. Yet, it is the biggest hit of the four worldwide.
Why It Needs To End: From here on out the Resident Evil films are going to be bad CGI and bad 3D all working towards an ending where a bad cliffhanger promises another bad film.
Night of the Living Dead – A classic. No complaints.
Dawn of the Dead – A classic. No complaints.
Day of the Dead – A classic. No complaints.
Land of the Dead ($20 Million) – A watchable film if only for Dennis Hopper’s performance.
Diary of the Dead ($958 K) – Romero hopes to cash in on the found footage genre by making a bad found footage film.
Survival of the Dead ($101 K) – An unwatchable zombie film made with B-movie quality.
Why It Needs To End: The last three Romero movies have been well below average. Romero is the king of zombie flicks, but not over the last 15 years.
Big Momma’s House ($117 Million) – Martin Lawrence as a large women makes large money.
Big Momma’s House 2 ($70 Million) – The sequel is a modest hit and proves people still love Big Momma.
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son ($37 Million) – Terrible idea.
Why It Needs To End: The fact that there is a Big Momma trilogy is scary. Hopefully, the box office gross of the third film will deter them from making another film . . . unless they decide to give the kid a spin-off. It’s not funny because it is possible.
Underworld ($51 Million) – A well made vampires vs. werewolves film.
Underworld: Evolution ($62 Million) – A decent sequel.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans ($45 Million) – The prequel is not bad, but not great.
Why It Needs To End: There is nothing left to tell. The new film focuses on the humans killing the vampires and werewolves . . . where have the humans been the whole time? The soon to be released Underworld: Awakening looks like the first film.
Ocean’s Eleven ($183 Million) – A great caper flick proves you can never have too many stars in one movie.
Ocean’s Twelve ($125 Million) – A terrible caper flick proves you can have too many stars in one movie.
Ocean’s Thirteen ($117 Million) – A nice comeback for the gang as they return to Vegas.
Why It Needs To End: Ocean and his crew were getting a little too cool for their own good. Unless they end up in jail, we don’t need to see actors getting rich playing cool criminals getting rich . . . again.
Conan the Barbarian ($39 Million) – The original with Arnold is still awesome.
Conan the Destroyer ($31 Million) – The sequel is better than the original.
Conan the Barbarian Remake ($21 Million) – The remake is not terrible, but casting an unknown was a terrible idea.
Why It Needs To End: The Conan franchise is dead for good after the remake became one of the biggest bombs of 2011 and grossed less than the 80’s flicks. The Conan saga is over.
Beverly Hills Cop ($234 Million) – The Eddie Murphy is a classic.
Beverly Hills Cop II ($153 Million) – The sequel has some great moments.
Beverly Hills Cop III ($42 Million) – The third film goes PG and then down the toilet.
Why It Needs To End: We used to want a fourth film, but have since given up on Eddie Murphy. We don’t believe he can play Axel Foley or any other role convincingly these days. Leave the franchise alone . . . we will just pretend like the third film never happened.
10 We Are Anxious To See More Of
- The Bourne Franchise – The upcoming The Bourne Legacy will introduce us to a new member of Treadstone and could lead to a Bourne vs. Bourne confrontation down the line.
- X-Men – First Class breathed new life into the franchise and left us wanting to learn more about the early days of the X-Men.
- Mad Max – It feels like enough time has passed to give Mad Max another run. Tom Hardy as the title character in Mad Max: Fury Road sounds like a good idea.
- Mission Impossible – The fourth film was not only the best of the franchise, but also gave the series new life in a big way.
- Batman – With so many villains and storylines, this one can go on forever.
- James Bond – Quantum of Solace was a set back, but Skyfall could be the best Bond film in a long time.
- Lord of the Rings – There is no reason to not see The Hobbit films if you are a fan of the franchise.
- Alien – Alien Resurrection was not great, but Prometheus has us yearning for Alien films again.
- Predator – The Robert Rodriguez reboot was ok, but there are better stories to tell. Enough with the jungle already . . .
- Fast and the Furious – We just want to see how ridiculous the storylines can get.
Source : CMP Original