The Flix List: Six Unnecessary Big-Budgeted Sequels

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Love them or hate them, Hollywood love to make sequels. Why? Because they’re easy to make and market because audiences are already familiar with the story and characters. Just slap a number after the title and studio executives are happy once the films start making a lot of cash at the box office. Now, I don’t mind sequels as long as they’re good, I mean Hollywood did give us some great sequels, Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, T2: Judgment Day, The Dark Knight and The Godfather Part 2 are just some good examples. But for every great sequel Hollywood gave us, there are a dozen bad ones. For this article I want to list some of the sequels that I couldn’t understand why they were made in the first place.

  1. Alien: Resurrection

    When Fox announced they were going to make another Alien film; a lot of people in the industry sort of scratched their heads and asked why? Alien 3 was a huge box office failure and it never garnered any cult following. Rumors started going around in mid 1995 that Sigourney Weaver was going to reprise her role as Ripley and people thought didn’t she die in Alien 3? Well not only did Fox convinced her to come back, they also put up big money to back the project, $70mil to be exact; this was back in the 1990s so that was a huge budget. The film opened on Thanksgiving weekend of 1997 and it earned a respectable number on opening weekend but unfortunately the film was so bad, it didn’t get a repeat business and with bad word of mouth, it only earned $47mil here in the States.
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    Of course this didn’t stop Fox from pursuing to make more films about the Alien saga; they made two awful Alien vs. Predator films. Then they somehow convinced Ridley Scott to come back and make prequel to his original Alien film. Now none of us know how the new film will turn out but I kept thinking to myself, why keep making these films? I mean they lost huge sums of money on Alien 3 and Resurrection yet Fox just refuse to let this franchise die. I’m sure if the new film is a big hit, then we’ll definitely see more Alien films down the road.
  2. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

    Now I’m actually looking forward to see this fourth M:I film and I’m huge fan of the franchise. But after the so-so box office take of the last film, I didn’t think we’d see another M:I film for a long time, if ever. Some rumors going around was that this one is actually a reboot, but for it to be qualified as a reboot, the franchise would need a new leading man. From the trailers and clips I’ve seen so far, it’s still a Tom Cruise film. When the third film came out, no one was really interested in seeing it. Tom Cruise was probably the most hated celebrity on the planet, right behind Mel Gibson around that time and the poor box office take confirmed it.

    The first film earned over $180mil, the second made well over $200mil but the third one a made ‘measly’ $133mil. Paramount actually ended its partnership with Cruise and his business partner after the poor earnings of M: I-3. Rumors even went around that they were looking to reboot the franchise with a new leading man and Brad Pitt was even mentioned as the leading candidate to take over. As we all know, that never happened and now Cruise is back on another mission and even though I’m scratching my head as to why they made this fourth entry, I’m pretty excited to see it on the giant IMAX screen.
  3. The Chronicles of Riddick

    This sequel to Pitch Black is probably one of the worst sequels I’ve ever seen and again I still don’t know how or why it was made in the first place. I mean Pitch Black didn’t earned that much at the box office and yes it did have some cult following, but I didn’t think it was enough to earn a sequel. But somehow director David Twohy and Vin Diesel convinced Universal to give them over $110mil to make this film. The movie opened in the summer of 2004 and unsurprisingly earned a lot less than its budget, $57mil to be exact. Apparently both Twohy and Diesel are shooting a third Riddick film as we speak, and some independent studio is financing it. Didn’t they see the earning of the last film? Seriously, I think whoever is in charge of that studio needs to put a stop to this right away. I’m speaking for myself here but I don’t need to see another film about Riddick, he’s not that interesting of a character and I know a lot of people agrees with me.
  4. Escape from L.A.

    This sequel to John Carpenter’s 1981 Escape from N.Y. was another head-scratcher. Throughout most of the 80s and 90s, Escape from N.Y. was and still is considered a cult hit but no one really expected to see a sequel from it. Well somehow Paramount Pictures thought it would be a good idea to re-team Kurt Russell and John Carpenter for another film about Snake Plissken’s escape. When this film was announced, no one was really excited to see it, except for maybe the Paramount executives who green-lit the project. Again this was one of the most dreadful sequels I’ve ever seen, the film came out in the early days of CGI and the effects were quite bad, even for its time. If you watch the film now, you’ll laugh your ass off at how bad the effects looked. Not surprisingly it tanked at the box office and I think this was the last film Carpenter made that has a huge budget.

    A couple of years ago, New Line was ready to start shooting a reboot version of Escape from N.Y. but they ran into some financial troubles, so now it’s stuck in limbo. I think most people will agree with me that we don’t need to see another film about Snake Plissken right? Just like Riddick, he’s not that interesting of a character.
  5. Rocky Balboa & Rambo 4
    I’m cheating here since I combined both of these films together but let’s be honest, did any of us ask to see another film about Rocky or Rambo? No, but somehow Stallone was able convince two movie studios to get both films off the ground! I actually enjoyed Rocky Balboa quite a bit, not so much with Rambo 4 though. After the critical and financial failure of Rocky 5, I don’t think anyone except maybe Stallone, expected to see another Rocky film. Like I mentioned before, I actually enjoyed the sixth Rocky film quite a bit, it was a throwback to the first film and Stallone was pretty good in it. Rambo 4 on the hand was pretty dreadful, I mean the film has no plot and the last 20 minutes or so was just carnage. I know that Stallone’s been trying to get the fourth Rambo film made since the mid 90s but because of his diminishing box office power, no studio wanted to make it.

    Of course as we all know, these two films actually rejuvenated Stallone’s sagging career and it seems he’s back doing big action films again. But I kept thinking to myself, why in the heck did the movie studios decided to make these films in the first place? Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the biggest fans of both the Rocky and Rambo franchises but I still believe they’re totally unnecessary sequels that shouldn’t have been made. Couldn’t the studios spent money on other (read: better) scripts?
  6. Terminator: Salvation

    This sequel might be best remembered for its behind the scenes drama when an audio clip of Christian Bale berating the director of photography was leaked online. After the third film almost bankrupt the production companies that financed it, no one really expected to see another Terminator film for a long time. So when the project was announced in 2007, I don’t think many people were excited to see the film, probably because McG was attached the direct it. It opened in May of 2009 and didn’t really make a dent at the box office. I thought the movie was decent, definitely better than Terminator 3 but it could’ve been a lot better. The rights of the film have been sold to another production company and we may see the fifth film soon. I think the franchise has run its course and should be put to rest now.

Honorable Mentions:

Well actually these are the sequels many people wanted to see but wish they never got made.

  • Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    After Last Crusade came out 1989, Indiana Jones fans were expecting to see another Dr. Jones’ adventure right away but it took Spielberg, Ford and Lucas 19 years to deliver another film to fans. Well, even after ALL that time, the film turned out be quite a disappointment. I actually enjoyed it the first time I saw it in theater but after watching it for the second time, I thought it was one of the worst films of 2008. The film didn’t have the fun and sense of wonder as the previous three and it didn’t help that they cast Shia LaBeouf as Jones Jr. He just annoys the heck out of me.
  • The Matrix Reloaded & Revolutions
    After the mega success of the original Matrix film, fans were clamoring for sequels since the first one sort of ended in a cliffhanger. Of course we got our wish when Warner Bros. greenlit the sequels and decided to let The Wachowskis shoot the films back to back. Both films came out in 2003, Reloaded opened in May and Revolutions in November. Even though Reloaded was a huge hit, Revolutions didn’t fare too well. Probably because after people saw Reloaded and were quite disappointed with it; they decided to not go see the final film. I’m one of those people who were pretty disappointed with the film, besides the awesome highway car chase scene, the film had nothing else that interest me. I did go see Revolutions in theater but I thought it was even worse than the second film.
  • All of the sequels of Psycho
    I’m not big into Alfred Hitchcock’s films but I remember seeing the original Psycho when I was very young and it freaked me out. Of course I decided to seek out the sequels and wish I hadn’t. Psycho 2, 3 and 4 (which was actually a prequel) were quite awful. Obviously the only reason those films got made in the first place was for money, they came out in the 80s and early 90s, around the time when slasher films were quite popular. For those who have not seen the sequels, I advise you to stay away from them at all cost.

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What do you think folks? Are you a fan of any of these sequels, or are you like me and think these films shouldn’t have been made in the first place? Let’s see your list of unnecessary sequels.