The summer has been full of disappointing movie sequels that have failed to bring audiences into the theatre, including the latest “X-Men” movie, “Dark Phoenix,” and “Men in Black: International.” And the box office is down compared to this time last year – 6% domestically and 4.7% worldwide.
It raises the question: what movie franchises should Hollywood just retire already?
The “X-Men” franchise is in a unique position. After the Disney-Fox merger, the X-Men will eventually get a fresh start in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which dominates the box office with movies like “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame.”
But not all franchises are as lucky, and some should take a long, long vacation.
Below are seven movie franchises, ranked by how much Hollywood should put an end to them (box-office numbers are domestic and adjusted for inflation based on data from Box Office Mojo):
7. “Indiana Jones”
Number of movies: 4
Highest grossing: “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) – $US696 million
Lowest grossing: “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008) – $US398 million
The “Indiana Jones” franchise has been successful. The last one, “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” made over $US780 million worldwide, and nearly $US400 million domestically after adjusting for inflation.
But that’s still the lowest-grossing movie in the franchise after inflation. In fact, they have all decreased at the box office since the first movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
That’s not to mention that “Crystal Skull” is the worst movie in the franchise, and left a bad taste in a lot of fans’ and critics’ mouths. Maybe the upcoming fifth movie, set to be released in 2021, can be both a comeback and a fitting end to the character – or at least, we can hope.
6. “Men in Black”
Number of movies: 4
Highest grossing: “Men in Black” (1997) – $US492 million
Lowest grossing: “Men in Black: International” (2019) – $US37 million (so far)
“International” is pacing to be the franchise’s least-successful movie by a long shot, and shows that audiences have lost interest, especially when original stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones aren’t involved.
But despite the new movie bombing and reports of a troubled production, a Sony executive told The Hollywood Reporter that the franchise “will be revisited again at one point, either as a series, as streaming, or as another movie.”
5. J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World
Number of movies: 10
Highest grossing: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001) – $US504 million
Lowest grossing: “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (2018) – $US160 million
Adjusted for inflation, the highest-grossing movie in the Wizarding World – which includes the “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” series – is the first one released, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” The lowest grossing is last year’s “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”
The “Fantastic Beasts” movies haven’t been received like their “Harry Potter” predecessors. The final movie in the “Harry Potter ” series made over $US1 billion worldwide. “The Crimes of Grindelwald” struggled in the US and was only helped by international audiences – but it even fell short of the first “Fantastic Beasts” movie in that regard.
There are three more “Fantastic Beasts” movies in the works, and it’s hard to imagine the series’ box office will improve.
Number of movies: 8
Highest grossing: “Saw II” (2005) – $US122 million
Lowest grossing: “Saw VI” (2009) – $US33 million
“Saw VI” is the lowest-grossing movie in the “Saw” horror franchise, but the last release, 2017’s “Jigsaw,” is the second-lowing grossing.
Granted, Chris Rock is developing a ninth movie in the franchise, which could pique audiences’ interest. But isn’t eight enough already?
3. “Jurassic Park”
Number of movies: 5
Highest grossing: “Jurassic Park” (1993) – $US777 million
Lowest grossing: “Jurassic Park III” (2001) – $US288 million
The original “Jurassic Park” remains the highest-grossing movie in the franchise domestically after adjusting for inflation.
But there’s no denying the success of the new “Jurassic World” movies, 2015’s “Jurassic World” and last year’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” They both made over $US1 billion worldwide, so it’s a no brainer why the studio Universal is making another one.
But that doesn’t mean those movies are good.
None of the “Jurassic” movies have lived up to the quality of Steven Spielberg’s original. There’s only so many ways you can tell the same story over and over again.
2. “Die Hard”
Number of movies: 5
Highest grossing: “Die Hard 2: Die Harder” (1990) – $US270 million
Lowest grossing: “A Good Day to Die Hard” (2013) – $US76 million
The fifth movie in the “Die Hard” franchise, “A Good Day to Die Hard,” is the least successful. And yet, a new movie featuring Bruce Willis’ “Die Hard” character John McClane, called “McClane,” is already in the works.
It will bounce back between present-day McClane and his younger self, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The “Die Hard” series is already washed up, and movie stars like Willis don’t attract audiences like they once did. Consider “McClane” dead on arrival.
1. “Robin Hood”
Number of movies: Too many
Highest grossing: “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” (1991) – $US354 million
Lowest grossing: “Robin Hood” (2018) – $US31 million
Hollywood loves making “Robin Hood” movies, even though audiences obviously don’t love watching them anymore.
The last two live-action “Robin Hood” reboots, in 2010 and last year, underperformed. Last year’s entry can only be described as a disaster, raking in just $US31 million in the US, and barely making a blip internationally. It was one of the biggest bombs of the year.
But Hollywood will be back at it soon. Sony is developing a Robin Hood spin-off called “Marian” starring Margot Robbie.
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