->''"Probably the most damning evidence against this movie is that they're going right to rebooting the film franchise. It committed movie-suicide in only one installment."''
-->-- from '''Website/TheAgonyBooth''''s ''Film/{{Hulk}}'' recap

So the Hollywood marketing machine is hyping a movie as the next big thing in the industry. The producers are so confident that they have already announced the comic book adaptation, action figures, [[Film/{{Spaceballs}} the flamethrower]] and plans to make a trilogy.

However, when the work is actually released, it flops and kills the plan to make more out of it. This can happen for a variety of reasons:

* An adaptation that pisses off the fans of the original source and fails to capture mainstream interest.
* A niche property being shotgunned into a multimedia cash cow even though not many are interested in it.
* Something that just plain sucks.

In some cases, the start of a stillborn franchise may actually be [[AcclaimedFlop critically]] and/or even financially successful, but complications (such as the creators parting ways with the production company and losing the rights, or the creative team focusing on other projects) prevent sequels from being made.

On top of the actual WordOfGod from the creators about their plans and the natural law that forces executives to milk anything they spent a lot of money on, there are also several common hints to their intentions that affect the work in various places:
* An orphaned SequelHook.
* [[OneSceneWonder A surprisingly good actor in a bit part]] being saved for later.
* ColonCancer-riddled titles to set up a series name.
* An adaptation of the first work in a popular series.

Compare and contrast with FranchiseKiller where an already vibrant franchise is ended by a later bad entry. Another installment might be planned but end up being a victim of DevelopmentHell. Often overlaps with OrphanedSeries. See also GenreKiller, CreatorKiller, and StillbornSerial.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico'' was planned to have a trilogy of movies to tie up loose ends, along with a video game to explain how things ended up that way. ''The Prince of Darkness'' bombed quite badly, and no more effort has been put into the series. A video game that [[AllThereInTheManual covers the events between the series]] and ''The Prince of Darkness'' was released, [[NoExportForYou but in Japan only]].
* ''Great Dangaioh''’s performance was bad enough to have the show get cancelled and leave things hanging in episode 12 (out of a planned 26). This effectively ensured that the ''{{Dangaioh}}'' series as a whole would never get a proper ending (let alone resolve the OVA's events).
* In the world of BD sales, the general chance of a series getting a second season is often called the "[[Anime/ManabiStraight Manabi]] Line", where they must pass a certain amount of BD sales per volume (at least 2900 units) to warrant the hopes of getting a second season, failing to do so will result in a stillbirth adaptation.
* ''Anime/SonicTheHedgehogTheMovie'' was supposed to be a full-fledged anime series, but only two episodes were released because the franchise's popularity in Japan is lower than it is elsewhere.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comics]]
* Creator/MarvelComics has a number of attempts to create new superhero lines. TheNewUniverse did ''relatively'' well, in the sense that it made it three years before imploding. Others less so.
** A number of characters which were supposed to be the next generation of heroes. Among them ''{{Sleepwalker}}'', ''ComicBook/{{Darkhawk}}'', ''Super Pro'', and ''[[TheAwesomeSlapstick Slapstick]]''. None of them lasted long, although there have been many attempts to bring them back after years in ComicBookLimbo.
** The Shadowline Saga, a completely new 1988-90 GrimAndGritty superhero universe.
** Razorline, a 1993 attempt to create ''another'' new superhero universe, with Creator/CliveBarker.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Eastern Animation]]
* David Hand's ''Animaland'' series, a lushly animated series of [[TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation Golden Age shorts]], was supposed to be a full fledged series. But since it was unable to find a distributor in the US, it died after just nine shorts. David Hand's son has tried to revive the series, but nothing ever came from that.
* The 1999-2000 Russian animated series ''Adventures in the Emerald City'' was supposed to be an adaptation of Creator/LFrankBaum's ''Literature/LandOfOz'' novels. They only got to producing four episodes, adapting the first two books, before the budget ran out and they were unable to secure more funding.
** This might be because the Russians are more familiar with the [[Literature/TalesOfTheMagicLand literary translation by Alexander Volkov]] than the original novel. In fact, Baum's sequels didn't get the same treatment from Volkov as the first novel, as Volkov went on to write his own sequels to the translation, unrelated to Baum's sequels except for the occasional magical artifact or substance.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film]]
* ''Film/{{Daredevil}}'' was released during the early 00s superhero movie boom, trying to use a darker tone and character. However, reviews were mixed, but word-of-mouth was much more negative, and the film is generally considered a failure. While several follow-ups were considered, including an adaption of the famous "Born Again" storyline, they weren't considered worth the investment, and rights reverted back to Marvel. A ''Daredevil'' Netflix series is currently being filmed, and is to be the first of several series leading up to a ''Defenders'' series, all of which are set in the MarvelCinematicUniverse and, not being on prime-time TV or meant to be accessible to all audiences, are allowed to be much darker.
** It did have a followup via the ''Elektra'' film, which itself became a stillborn franchise and also was a key factor in [[GenreKiller in killing superheroine-led movies]].
* ''Film/GreenLantern'' ended with a SequelHook setting up {{Sinestro}} as the BigBad of a future installment, and was intended to be the start of DC's version of the MarvelCinematicUniverse. However, the movie was met with lukewarm reception at the box office and terrible reviews from critics, which killed off any chance for a sequel or a shared universe. WB is only just now getting around to trying to launch a shared continuity again with the 2016 ''Film/ManOfSteel'' sequel.
* The ''Film/BattlefieldEarth'' [[TheFilmOfTheBook movie is an adaptation]] of the first half of the book. Despite Creator/JohnTravolta's (decade-old) claims, it is probably safe to say that the sequel is not forthcoming. Not that a planned sequel would have been very exciting anyway, as the second half of the book basically revolved around getting the paperwork for the first half squared away when the Psychlos' bankers came calling.
** An animated series was also planned and actually went quite far into production, with voice actors being cast and, according to rumors, the pilot episode was almost fully animated by the time of the film's release. Needless to say, no network was too eager to pick up the series.
* ''Film/{{Eragon}}'', despite having been [[TemptingFate hubristically]] advertised as "The First in the Trilogy." Ironically, the movie leaves out the book's SequelHook ending and changes so much that it would be impossible to make additional films without making massive changes or giving the franchise a reboot. Oh, and there's the fact that the author decided to write a fourth book within a few months of the ''Eragon'' film's release.
* ''Film/TheGoldenCompass'' was a blockbuster hit [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff outside the U.S.]], but MisaimedMarketing and some [[ExecutiveMeddling boneheaded decisions]] by Creator/NewLineCinema (which led to their [[CreatorKiller getting absorbed into]] Creator/WarnerBros) ensure that the rest of the trilogy won't see the light of celluloid. Like ''Eragon'' above, some of the changes make it hard to figure how they would have finished it anyway. Apparently the filmmakers were quite determined to make the full trilogy work, but the late-2000s recession caused New Line to pull the plug. Outcries from the Christian right in the U.S. over the first film may have also hurt its chances; while ''The Golden Compass'' didn't have a lot of anti-religious content to play down in a film, adapting the rest of ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' in a way that wouldn't offend that market would result in an unfaithful adaptation that would have offended the novels' fanbase.
* ''Film/BarbWire'' was poorly received by critics and fans of the [[ComicBook/BarbWire original comic book]] and bombed at the box office, leading Creator/DarkHorseComics to take back the film rights and prevent any more ''Barb Wire'' movies. So far it is the biggest box office failure based on a Dark Horse franchise, with ''Film/SinCity: A Dame to Kill For'' being the runner-up.
* ''Film/{{Battleship}}'', like ''The Golden Compass'', did well in every market except North America, which [[{{Pun}} sunk]] its chances of becoming Creator/{{Hasbro}}'s next ''Film/{{Transformers}}''-style blockbuster film franchise.
* ''Film/MastersOfTheUniverse'' had a SequelHook.
* ''Film/VanHelsing'' was [[http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0338526/trivia supposed]] to spin off a TV series, ''Transylvania'', in addition to at least one film sequel. The DirectToVideo animated featurette ''VanHelsingTheLondonAssignment'' doesn't count -- it was released at the same time the film hit theaters (and explains why Van Helsing was fighting Mr. Hyde at the beginning of the film). While the original did gross plenty of money, Universal found it wasn't enough to make them happy, which is why they pushed the reboot button.
* All the actors in 1998's ''Film/LostInSpace'' adaptation were contracted for a trilogy. When the first one failed, the rest were canceled. In the DVD commentary, Akiva Goldsman still seems optimistic that he has a successful franchise on his hands, and gives a preview of what viewers can look forward to in future films, which seem better than what was in the film itself.
* It's quite evident by the ending that the ''Film/DungeonsAndDragons'' film intended to have more films following it revolving around the same characters. Thankfully for viewing audiences, that never came to pass.
** Damodar [[Film/DungeonsAndDragonsWrathOfTheDragonGod came back]], but at least he stopped using [[FashionVictimVillain bright blue lipstick]].
* The animated version of ''WesternAnimation/TheLordOfTheRings'' by Creator/RalphBakshi made it halfway through the second volume of [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings the novel]] (''The Two Towers''). Due to ExecutiveMeddling, the title did not indicate that it was Part I, and a sequel was never produced. Rankin-Bass' ''WesternAnimation/TheReturnOfTheKing'' is sometimes seen as (and, today, frequently ''marketed'' as) a sequel to the Bakshi film, but the two films don't link up perfectly and differ wildly in style and tone. There's no official relation between them.
* The U.S. ''Film/{{Godzilla 1998}}'' movie was meant to have a sequel as well, but it never came to fruition (the closest to that was [[WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries the animated cartoon]]). There is going to be a new [[Film/{{Godzilla2014}} American film]], but as a ContinuityReboot.
* The film of ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' is an adaptation of the first three books with an ending tacked on, covering 3/13 of the series. The ending doesn't preclude a sequel, but there hasn't been one. There are still plans for one, but those, too, seem to have been shelved.
* ''Film/MasterAndCommander'' had pretty much the entire cast signed on for multiple sequels, ''and'' they bought the actual boat they used to make sure it was going to be available. It made enough money for it to be deemed a financial success, as well as being well received critically, but not enough to make the sequel a sure thing, and in the end it never happened. It was even fully titled ''Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World'', taking the titles of two of the books so that the first book's name would work as a series title followed by the particular book that the film was closest to. The principal cast have all said over and over that they'd love to do more, and so has Peter Weir. Weir just tends to take a long time in between his projects. He's also said that shooting a film on water is the hardest thing a director can do, and thus he'd really need to be sure that it'd be worth it. (He asked the directors of films like ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' and ''Film/{{Waterworld}}'' for some advice on how best to make a ship-set film. They all said "Don't".)
* Creator/RayHarryhausen's ''Film/JasonAndTheArgonauts'' ends with Zeus saying "For Jason there will be other adventures..." which sounds like a sequel hook, but there wasn't one. This is probably for the best, because Jason becomes a total JerkAss in at the actual myth.
* Ang Lee's ''Film/{{Hulk}}'' was divisive and dropped off at the box office sharply from its huge opening weekend. Marvel let the would-be franchise wait for a few years before giving it a ContinuityReboot (which suffered the same fate as the previous film right down to the near-70% 2nd weekend drop, but the character was later a part of ''The Avengers'' with TheOtherDarrin #2, Mark Ruffalo.) The positive reaction to Ruffalo's interpretation of the character has already seen him signed on for a stack of entries in the franchise. Whether they'll escape the curse or not is another matter. After several years with no sequel to ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'', there's very little chance that future films will actually build on the original's intended SequelHook (with [[spoiler: Samuel Sterns becoming the Leader]]). (Tie-in material for ''The Avengers'' film at least resolved that particular thread.)
* Inverted in the case of Music/GarthBrooks' alter-ego, Chris Gaines. A movie called ''The Lamb'' was planned to chronicle the life and times of the multi-platinum enigmatic recording artist in Brooks' head. Then the preview ''[[Music/InTheLifeOfChrisGaines Greatest Hits]]'' album (recorded by Garth in-character) bombed, despite "Lost in You" being Garth's ''only'' Top 40 pop hit, in or out of character.. Safe to say, no ''Lamb'' will be forthcoming. Music/{{KISS}}'s ''[[Music/MusicFromTheElder Music from "The Elder"]]'' was a similar failure; it was supposed to be the springboard for a high fantasy film they would have starred in.
* A strange variation of this was done for Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/PlanetOfTheApes''. While he himself had no intentions of doing any more movies, he deliberately left a SequelHook in case another filmmaker decided to do more.
* ''Film/{{Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory}}'' leaves off with Wonka telling Charlie that he [[spoiler:inherited the factory]]. Any plans for this to be followed up with ''Literature/CharlieAndTheGreatGlassElevator'' were scrapped when [[DisownedAdaptation Roald Dahl became so upset about the film adaptation of his book]] (''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'') that he left it in his will that ''Elevator'' could not be adapted for the big screen. This explains why Tim Burton's version 30 years later lacks any SequelHook.
* The ''Film/SuperMarioBros'' movie left on a sequel hook, with Daisy finding Luigi and Mario and shouting "You're never going to believe this!" We'll never find out what they'll never believe, since the planned sequels never saw the light of day either due to production costs or lack of interest.
* Disney started work on a TV spinoff of ''AtlantisTheLostEmpire'' (2001), but when the movie bombed they canned it and edited the completed episodes into a direct-to-video movie. This one is of special note to ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' fans, as Creator/GregWeisman was the producer on both shows and one of the unfinished episodes was to be a CrossThrough between the two.
** Plans to retheme the Submarine Voyage at Disneyland to an ''Atlantis'' ride were also scrapped between the failure of the film and the general DevelopmentHell of the Tomorrowland '98 expansion. The subs remained docked until finally getting reopened as a ''FindingNemo'' (2003) ride.
** In fact, every single animated Disney movie that failed at the box office starting with ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective'' (1986) and ending with ''Film/MeetTheRobinsons'' (2007) will always be a stillborn franchise.[[note]]After ''Robinsons'' was released, Disney's new management announced that Disney Feature Animation would no longer be making films with the sole intention of turning them into larger franchises.[[/note]] You can easily tell by which characters from those films were added into the merchandise: if a film succeeds at the box office, then the hero(ine) will be marketed very greatly, but if the movie fails, then the villain will be marketed instead.
** The failure of ''DuckTalesTheMovieTreasureOfTheLostLamp'' (1990) actually prevented the making of any sequels to the ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' film series as well as the making of a ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' movie and a ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' movie.
* A few notable live action stillborn franchises for Disney since the '90s include:
** ''Film/DickTracy'' (1990), though not for the assumed reason that it wasn't a hit at the box office. It didn't reach the ''Film/{{Batman}}''-level grosses Disney hoped for and the merchandising was a total dud (Creator/WarrenBeatty complained in a ''Premiere'' interview at the end of 1991 that they tried to blow up the film into something it wasn't with the latter), but it was still successful enough that a sequel was planned. The problem was a dispute between Beatty and the Tribune Co. over who owned the rights to the ComicStrip/DickTracy franchise. The dispute didn't end until over 20 years later, in March of 2011. Beatty won the lawsuit and has plans for a sequel, but it's currently in DevelopmentHell.
** ''Film/TheRocketeer'' (1991). Interestingly, director Joe Johnson went on to the very successful ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' and intends to reboot this character, so maybe there is hope after all.
** ''Film/SkyHigh''’s stillbirth wasn't its own fault, as it ''was'' a critical and commercial success. Disney just didn't consider it ''enough'' of a success to risk investing in the planned sequels. The fact that [[FollowTheLeader a lousy-as-hell imitator]] called ''Film/{{Zoom|AcademyForSuperheroes}}'' was rushed into theaters the very next year [[GenreKiller can't have helped]], either.
** ''Film/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' (2010).
** ''Film/JohnCarter'' (2012) has become a particularly famous example of this. The problems began in late 2011 when Disney shopped the film around to various toy companies, and all of them refused to sign a deal to produce ''John Carter''-based merchandise, claiming that films based on Mars (including Disney's own bombs ''MissionToMars'' and ''MarsNeedsMoms'') don't sell. In response, Disney dropped the "of Mars" from the title and refocused marketing efforts from the film's sci-fi elements to its action/adventure elements. The changes didn't resonate with the general public and sci-fi fans, both of whom saw the new advertisements and concluded that the film was a generic fantasy blockbuster. As a result, the film flopped at the box office, and ultimately led to the resignation of studio chief Rich Ross and the firing of marketing chief MT Carney.
*** While there have been talks of a sequel despite its dismal box office take, Disney's commitment to continue the series was not strong. [[http://screenrant.com/john-carter-2-reboot-disney-movie-rights/ The rights have now reverted to the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate]] and they plan on making additional films. Whether or not the plan involves a sequel or a reboot is unclear.
** ''Film/TheLoneRanger'' (2013). Disney had been planning on making a film based on the Lone Ranger since the early 1990s, and finally greenlighted the film's production in 2008. The production ended up going wildly over budget, was shut down for a while, and started up again a few months later with a slightly smaller budget, which ended up going up again. It got to the point where the film would have needed to become one of the highest-grossing films of all time to break even, at which point Disney decided to hold off on sequel plans. After the film bombed (according to some estimates being the biggest flop ''in history'') the plans were completely thrown out.
* Jeffrey '''K'''atzenberg brought the whole concept of "every film we do needs sequels" to Disney when he left Creator/{{Paramount}} to join the studio in 1984, and he held on to that mantra when he left Disney to form Creator/DreamWorks SKG (with Steven '''S'''pielberg and David '''G'''effen) in 1995. Every single successful film that Creator/DreamWorksAnimation has made has been turned into a franchise in some way, while their not-so-successful films have been all but swept under the rug.
** ''TheRoadToElDorado'' (2000) was supposed to be the beginning of a film franchise about Miguel and Tulio's various adventures in search of gold. Unfortunately, low grosses and DreamWorks' preoccupation with its new-found computer animation meant that chances were not [[IncrediblyLamePun solid gold]].
** ''SinbadLegendOfTheSevenSeas'' (2003) did so poorly at the box office (forcing the studio's then-parent company DreamWorks SKG to take a [[http://www.foxnews.com/story/2005/08/01/island-could-sink-dreamworks-sale/ $125 million loss on the film]]) that it convinced Katzenberg that audiences were no longer interested in hand-drawn animation, acting as a GenreKiller for 2D animation at [=DreamWorks=].
** ''SharkTale'' (2004) did well in the United States and Canada, but its poor international take meant that a planned sequel did not move into production.
** ''Film/OverTheHedge'' (2006) is unique among DreamWorks' stillborn franchises in that it actually did well critically and commercially, but disagreements that the studio had with United Media (who at the time owned the rights to the franchise) ultimately resulted in the cancellation of ''Over the Hedge 2'' as well as a ''PearlsBeforeSwine'' movie.
** ''FlushedAway'' (2006) was supposed to mark the beginning of a new franchise, but it resulted in both a $109 million loss and the end of the eight year partnership between DreamWorks and AardmanAnimations.
** ''BeeMovie'' (2007) did mediocre business at the box office, but the main reason that a sequel didn't move forward was that the film resulted in two lawsuits against it by a Swedish animation studio and a Florida-based cosmetics company, both of whom sued over alleged plagiarism.
** ''MonstersVsAliens'' (2009) like ''Shark Tale'' was a flop internationally, though it did result in a [[Series/MonstersVsAliens short-lived TV series]] a few years later.
** ''{{Film/Megamind}}'' (2010), like ''Shark Tale'' and ''Monsters vs. Aliens'' before it, did poor international business and as a result a sequel to the film was cancelled.
** ''RiseOfTheGuardians'' (2012) was supposed to carry the successful ''TheGuardiansOfChildhood'' book series into a new medium, but instead the Guardians fell -- and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rise_of_the_Guardians took down $83 million]] of [=DreamWorks=] Animation's money (and [[http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/dreamworks-animation-lay-350-employees-79381 25% of their employees]]) with them. ''Guardians'' was particularly notable at the time of its release for being the first non-Aardman [=DreamWorks=] film to actually ''lose'' the studio money since ''Sinbad'' almost a decade earlier, and for being the first time in the studio's history in which animators were fired as a direct result of a films under-performance.
** ''{{WesternAnimation/Turbo}}'' (2013) actually managed to ''underperform'' ''Rise of the Guardians'' at the box office (though oddly enough the studio didn't take nearly as big a hit, [[http://www.deadline.com/2014/02/dreamworks-animation-takes-13-5m-charge-for-turbo-as-q4-earnings-lag-analyst-estimates/ only losing $13.5 million]] on the film). This was a major blow to [=DreamWorks=] as they were hoping that the film would result in their next billion-dollar franchise (or more accurately, that it would result in [[FollowTheLeader their version]] of Creator/{{Pixar}}'s own billion-dollar racing franchise ''{{WesternAnimation/Cars}}''). A made-for-Netflix show called ''Turbo F.A.S.T.'' was put into development before the film came out and premiered in December 2013, but that show's lukewarm reception coupled with a [[http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/onlocation/la-et-ct-dreamworks-lawsuit-20140811-story.html lawsuit against the film]] means that any chance of a ''Turbo'' sequel is all but dead.
** ''WesternAnimation/MrPeabodyAndSherman'' (2014) was the first film made as a result of DreamWorks' purchase of the Classic Media holding company, and was intended to test the waters and see if audiences would be interested in seeing Classic's library of older characters re-imagined on the big screen. Although it had a decent opening weekend and held the #1 box office spot in the U.S. for a week, as well as good critical and audience reception, it quickly fell, probably due to competition with the arguably more appealing ''WesternAnimation/{{The LEGO Movie}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{Rio 2}}'' (as well as other non-animated films), and ended up losing the studio [[http://www.deadline.com/2014/04/dreamworks-animation-takes-57m-impairment-charge-on-mr-peabody-sherman/ $57 million]]. The movie also managed to underperform '''both''' ''Rise of the Guardians'' and ''Turbo'', and currently is the studio's lowest grossing CGI film since ''WesternAnimation/{{Antz}}''. Of course, any chance of a sequel or other future development is practically zero at this time.
* There were several attempts to extend ''TheAdventuresOfBuckarooBanzaiAcrossTheEighthDimension'' into a franchise, all of which failed. The movie ended in a SequelHook, and a TV spinoff was attempted by Creator/{{ABC}}, but the rights got locked up for nearly a decade by a nutcase studio executive whose paranoia made him believe the filmmakers had tried to rip him off. It wasn't until his suicide that the rights were released. Several attempts were made to create both a movie sequel and a television series spinoff, but [[ExecutiveMeddling studio expectations]], combined with [[CreativeDifferences conflict over character and story continuity]], effectively killed the projects.
* ''Film/TheLastAirbender'' is another example. While in July 2010 Creator/MNightShyamalan [[http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/07/m_night_shyamalan_on_the_last.html was convinced the planned sequels will be made]] there's a noticeable ''lack'' of talk about them from anyone else involved since the film's release.
* ''Film/RemoWilliamsTheAdventureBegins''... and then immediately stops (although Orion and DickClark (yes, that one) did have another go with a TV pilot two years later, which didn't work either). The [[Literature/TheDestroyer book series]], on the other hand, had a long and very healthy franchise life.
* The last forty years have seen several examples of attempted hard-boiled detective/police/private eye films series that never reached more than one film.
** Larry Cohen intended to make a few sequels to his 1982 remake of ''I, the Jury''. The script for one of them served as the basis for 1987's ''Deadly Illusion'', but as of 2010 no further Spillane-based films have reached theaters.
** Kathleen Turner bought options on many of Sara Paretsky's ''VI Warshawski'' books. Only one film came out, and its failure [[StarDerailingRole ruined Turner's career as an A-list star]][[note]]Although as she's subsequently admitted, [[LadyDrunk her alcoholism]] also had a lot to do with that[[/note]]
** ''Darker Than Amber'' was the only film based on John D. [=MacDonald=]'s Travis [=McGee=] books (although there was a TV movie pilot with Sam Elliott more than 10 years later. Which wasn't a hit either).
** ''Devil in a Blue Dress'' was the only adaptation of Walter Mosely's Easy Rawlins books.
** ''Eight Million Ways to Die'' adapted Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder character. The next movie based on him, ''A Walk Among The Tombstones'', arrived 28 years later in 2014.
** {{James Lee Burke}}'s ''Heaven's Prisoners'' featuring Dave Robicheaux only had a [[DirectToVideo direct-to-DVD]] follow-up, ''In the Electric Mist'', with Tommy Lee Jones taking over from Alec Baldwin.
** The first book in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, ''One for the Money'', was released in 2012; it bombed at the box office and was eviscerated by the critics.
* The end of the film version of ''Film/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' left a SequelHook that the characters would be going to The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in the next film. The first film was somewhat successful (grossing $104 million worldwide on a $50 million budget) and the actors and the director were signed on for a sequel, but Disney (through Touchstone) decided against making it, claiming the film wasn't profitable enough.
* The adaptation of ''RoyalFlash'' in 1975 did not lead to other adaptations of the {{Flashman}} novels.
* ''Literature/GorkyPark'' did not lead to other adaptations of the Arkady Renko novels by Martin Cruz Smith.
* ''Film/TheEmptyBeach'' did not lead to other adaptations of the Cliff Hardy novels.
* ''Film/TheBoneCollector'' did not lead to other ''Literature/LincolnRhyme'' films.
* Creator/CliveCussler has seen two attempts to start film franchises based on his novels about [[NUMASeries Dirk Pitt]], ''Literature/RaiseTheTitanic'' and ''Film/{{Sahara}}''. Neither produced sequels and received negative fan reactions -- Cussler disowned both movies.
* ''Film/PrimalFear'', based on the novel by William Diehl, could have been the beginning of a trilogy of films featuring Creator/RichardGere as Martin Vail and Creator/EdwardNorton as Aaron Stampler (the duo were featured in two more of Diehl's novels, ''Show of Evil'' and ''Reign in Hell''). That didn't happen.
* Just as DocSavage served as a partial template for Buckaroo Banzai, his 1975 film announced a sequel which never appeared.
* ''Film/FlashGordon'' ended with a sequel hook, with someone taking Ming's ring.
* ''Film/FlightOfTheIntruder'' did not lead to adaptations of the other Jake Grafton novels.
* ''Film/TheSpecialist'' did not lead to other adaptations of the Specialist novels.
* While ''Film/{{Firefox}}'', Clint Eastwood's adaptation of the novel by the same name, resulted in novelist Craig Thomas writing additional stories about Mitchell Gant, it didn't lead to any other film adaptations.
* The Russian adventure film ''Film/{{Mongol}}'' was originally planned as a trilogy depicting the rise and fall of GenghisKhan. After difficulties on the first film, production on the sequels were stalled. A brief glimmer of hope occurred when it was announced that the sequels would become one large-scale film but production was canceled again in late 2010.
* The film ''Film/{{Devil}}'' was intended to be the beginning of a new anthology series called "The Night Chronicles" based on stories by Creator/MNightShyamalan. The film even has the number one showed after the label's logo. However, its disappointing box office combined with Shyamalan's {{Hatedom}} among audiences (the film, not directed by him, had mixed reviews) led future installments to be canceled.
* Another Creator/MNightShyamalan film, ''{{Unbreakable}}'', was originally planned to have a sequel. It never happened. Every couple of years, Shyamalan, Creator/BruceWillis, and Creator/SamuelLJackson discuss their hope for a sequel but then always end up not going anywhere with it.
* Subverted, after a number of years, with Creator/DarioArgento's Three Mothers trilogy. ''Film/{{Suspiria}}'' was produced in 1977, and the sequel, ''Film/{{Inferno}}'', followed in 1980. The third film was to have immediately followed ''Inferno'' but wound up in DevelopmentHell due to ''Inferno''’s delayed release and mixed critical response in the United States. The trilogy was finally completed with ''Film/MotherOfTears'' in 2007.
* ''ComicBook/ThePunisher'' is a unique example, as different filmmakers have tried (to date) three times to start a series, and in all three cases have failed. ''Film/ThePunisher1989'' starred Creator/DolphLundgren as Frank Castle and focused heavily on the Yakuza, and went DirectToVideo in the States. ''Film/ThePunisher2004'' reboot starred Thomas Jane as Castle, and adapted the "ComicBook/WelcomeBackFrank" storyline, but was panned by reviewers who said it was boring, and a sequel hook (where Frank intends to drive to New York) never panned out. Although it has become a cult favorite. The series was rebooted once again with ''Film/PunisherWarZone'' (part of the then newly-launched ''Marvel Knights'' film franchise) an intended sequel that became a second reboot, and cast Ray Stevenson as a much more gritty, morose version of the character -- with plenty of nods to the comics and R-rated violence to boot. ''War Zone'' received middling reviews and bombed at the theaters, scuttling any plans for future installments. In October 2011, Fox announced that it would try to adapt the franchise for a television series, which ended up going nowhere and got shelved a year later. In the end, the rights to the character ended up reverting back to Marvel. It remains to be seen what Marvel plans to do with the Punisher.
** However in 2012, there is a fan film called "Dirty Laundry" which acts as an unofficial sequel to the 2004 film and has Thomas Jane reprise his role as The Punisher https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIuqZtamG80 .
* In his review of ''Magazine/NintendoPower'', WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd notes a contest to appear as an extra in ''Film/TheMask 2''; the 1994 laserdisc commentary with director Chuck Russell (ported over to the [=DVD=] releases) also mentions plans for a sequel. But because star Creator/JimCarrey decided to move on, no sequel was made until ''Film/SonOfTheMask'' over a decade later, and it has only vague connections to the original.
** Even ''Nintendo Power'' noted the lack of sequel in its final issue with an apology to the winner of that contest.
* Hal Warren intended ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate'' to have a sequel due to a SequelHook. However, the movie was so notoriously bad that even ''the original film'' was barely seen until it showed up on ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''. Nearly 40 years after the film was made, some people are trying to actually make a sequel to it!
* The 1996 film adaption of ''Film/ThePhantom'', starring BillyZane, was to have been followed by two sequels. Instead, it under-performed at the box office and no further films were made, despite subsequent redemption through rental sales.
* ''InterviewWithTheVampire'' is a curious example that did well on the box office. Notice that the complete title of the film was ''Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles''. ''Film/QueenOfTheDamned'', a sequel of sorts, was eventually made, but several years too late and made by different people (including the not-Creator/TomCruise actor Stuart Townsend as Lestat).
** Interestingly, both films enjoyed initial opposition from AnneRice (the author of the original novels) until she actually met the lead actors and changed her mind.
* 1994's ''Film/TheShadow'' movie was intended to be the beginning of a franchise, but the movie bombed at the box office.
* Subverted with the 1982 film ''TheSwordAndTheSorcerer''. The credits promised a sequel titled ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tales_of_an_Ancient_Empire Tales of An Ancient Empire]]'' [[SequelGap that finally materialized in 2010.]]
* ''Film/MacAndMe'' ended with the words "We'll be back!" Not quite, guys...
* ''WesternAnimation/Dougs1stMovie'' was also his last.
* In 2007, Creator/KevinCostner talked about wanting to do two sequels to ''Film/MrBrooks''. but despite a decent box office performance, the sequels never went past talks.
* ''Film/TheATeam'' seems like the ideal start of a franchise. It's a big budget action blockbuster based off of a silly tv show with likable characters. However, the film performed slightly below box office expectations (budget was $110 million, the film made $170 million). The 4 main actors and director Joe Carnahan all expressed interest in making a sequel but concluded that the film ultimately didn't make enough revenue.
* Not everyone knows this, but Vincent Vega (Creator/JohnTravolta) in ''Film/PulpFiction'' and Mr. Blonde/Vic Vega (Creator/MichaelMadsen) in ''Film/ReservoirDogs'' are actually brothers and the films are set in the same universe. There was originally a plan for a film about the two brothers but this project ultimately never took off. The film can't be made now since [[spoiler:both brothers were killed in their movies so the film would have to be a prequel and the actors look far older now]].
* The 1994 remake of ''Film/TheGetaway'' was planned to become a series of movies focused around their characters but the film's failure led to the cancellation of future installments.
* In a rare blockbuster example, the LiveActionAdaptation of ''Rex: A Dinosaur Story'', directed by Haruki Kadokawa, was the first such adaptation of a {{CLAMP}} manga, as well as the last. [[RoleEndingMisdemeanor Blame it on cocaine ]][[MilliVanilli he was smuggling, smuggling...]]
* The box office failure of 2013's ''Literature/BeautifulCreatures'' doomed any chances of seeing the three other books in the series being adapted into sequels. Fans wouldn't have cared due to not liking how executives handled the film.
* ''Literature/TheHost'' was originally intended to be the first of a trilogy, but the film's poor box office intake and the next novel's [[VaporWare nonexistence]] have left the prospects of a sequel distinctly murky.
* The Russian film ''Asiris Nuna'' is the live-action adaptation of ''Today, Mom!'', the first of the ''Island Rus''' trilogy by SergeyLukyanenko. While many fans of Lukyanenko would like to see the other two books turned into movies, it doesn't appear that this will happen in the near future. The additional difficulty comes from the second novel having an entirely different set of characters with the SiblingTeam from the first book only coming back in the third novel.
* Aside from the aforementioned ''The Great Mouse Detective'', other Sherlock Holmes-based or inspired films made from 1959 to 1988 which either stood as attempts at franchises or hinted at sequels but did not produce any include ''Young Sherlock Holmes'', the Hammer Studios ''Hound of the Baskervilles'', and ''A Study in Terror''. No Sherlock Holmes film reached U.S. theaters from 1989 to most of 2009.
* ''Bear Island'' announced an adaptation of ''Goodbye California'', another Alistair Maclean novel, in its credits.
* The makers of ''FreddieTheFrog'' had planned to make it a franchise but the financial failure of the first movie stopped that from happening.
* Author/screenwriter Anthony Horowitz attempted to turn his successful ''Alex Rider'' novels into a blockbuster franchise, the starting point being ''Stormbreaker''. Unfortunately, the film's poor box office take prevented this from happening. Horowitz has since then admitted that bringing the spy teen to the screen was a [[OldShame “mistake”]].
* It seems that the film version of ''TheMortalInstruments'' may become one of these after performing poorer than expected at the box office, with [[http://www.thewrap.com/mortal-instruments-city-of-ashes-delayed-exclusive/ production shut down indefinitely]] on the sequel only a week before it was supposed to start. It is supposedly only a delay requested by the author herself, who was not pleased with the script for the next movie and asked it to be rewritten, but there's been a noticeable lack of any news on the project since then.
* Following a three-year break after the expiration of their deal with Creator/MiramaxFilms and Creative Capers Entertainment, Franchise/{{LEGO}} partnered with Creator/{{Universal}} and Threshold Animation to launch a second DirectToDVD trilogy of animated films based on their ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'' franchise, concurrently with the slight ReTool of its story. ''BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn'' came out in 2009 and ended on a big SequelHook. The first draft for the sequel's script had already been written when LEGO announced that they're ending ''BIONICLE'' due to reasons that were never made explicit (probably unsatisfying sales and [[ContinuityLockout the story being too continuity-heavy]] [[CommitmentAnxiety to bring in new fans]]). They wrapped up the story (leaving out some pre-planned arcs) in the comics and a WebSerialNovel. However, their partnership with the studios wasn't wasted: they released an AnimatedAdaptation for ''HeroFactory'', ''BIONICLE'''s SpiritualSuccessor toy-line and numerous other LEGO themes.
* The ''SesameStreet'' franchise has to date only dabbled twice in feature film, with ''Film/SesameStreetPresentsFollowThatBird'' in 1985 and ''Film/TheAdventuresOfElmoInGrouchland'' in 1999. Both films were financial flops [[AcclaimedFlop despite garnering]] [[CriticalDissonance critical plaudits]]. 20th Century Fox is currently developing another attempt.
* ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' was intended to be the first instalment of an ''X-Men Origins'' film series [[{{Spinoff}} spun off]] from Fox's ''Film/XMen'' movies, to be followed by ''[[WhatCouldHaveBeen X-Men Origins: Magneto]]''. After disappointing reviews for ''Wolverine'', the ''Magneto'' script was eventually incorporated into the much better-received ''Film/XMenFirstClass'' and the ''X-Men Origins'' series was scrapped.
* Plans were made for an ''Film/EndersGame'' sequel, but instead of being the start of a new film franchise, the film adaptation could end up serving as a prime example of why creators of potential franchises should [[http://articles.latimes.com/2013/oct/30/entertainment/la-et-jc-orson-scott-card-antigay-views-haunt-enders-game-premiere-20131030 watch their mouths]] in the future.
* Movie (and TV special/miniseries) adapations of ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' series tend to fizzle out long before making it through all seven books. The 80s BBC miniseries got through four books, and the Disney-Walden films barely made it through three. See the Narnia page for more adaptations of just the first book.
* Creator/WaltDisney intended for ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'' to be rereleased every year with some new segments. Instead, ''Fantasia'' became a BoxOfficeBomb, and unused segments ended up being released as standalone shorts. Sixty years later, Walt Disney's nephew Roy tried to resurrect the dream project with ''Fantasia 2000''; once again, segments created for a never-finished sequel were released as standalone shorts.
* The 2014 movie adaptation of ''Literature/VampireAcademy'' tanked ''massively'', moreso than any other young adult adaptation in recent years. [[EpicFail It never even reached 10 million]], killing any chances of further installments, though the book series consists of six parts.
* The 1991 film ''Film/{{Bingo}}'' ended with the announcement of a sequel titled "Bingo's Big Fix" as "Coming Soon", the film itself was savaged by critics and lukewarm box office, which definitely played a part on it being cancelled.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* ''Saban's MaskedRider'', an Americanized adaptation of ''Series/KamenRiderBlackRX'' and one of several Saban projects hastily compiled to cash in on the success of ''PowerRangers''. The result was so painfully homogenised that ''Franchise/KamenRider'' creator Shotaro Ishinomori forbid any more American adaptations of his work. This ban would persist until 2009, when ''Series/KamenRiderDragonKnight'' was developed as a series much closer in spirit to the original source.
* [[Series/HardyBoysNancyDrewMysteries After having a semi-successful series in the seventies]], there have been multiple attempts to adapt the ''Literature/NancyDrew'' and ''[[Literature/TheHardyBoys Hardy Boys]]'' series onto the screen, often as a TV series. Both had a limited 13-episode Canadian adaptation in 1995, but both were quickly cancelled (many feel the biggest factor working against them was the half-hour format, which just doesn't give enough space to set up a good mystery.) This happened to Nancy again in 2002, with a made-for-TV movie that would function as a backdoor pilot if ratings were good enough. It wasn't, and after the flop of the 2007 Nancy Drew movie starting Emma Roberts, it might be safe to say that live-action adaptations of both series are pretty much dead in the water for the foreseeable future.
* In 2008, the BBC released a series of drama pilots all at once with the intention of choosing the most popular one to make into a full-length series. This led to several instances of the trope:
** ''The Things I Haven't Told You'', a mystery drama. It was supposed to, unsurprisingly, contain lots of secrets and stuff that would be released throughout the show's entire prospective run. As an episode in its own right, it made very little sense, but the viewers that found it compelling were very disappointed (not to mention confused/angry/frustrated) when ''Series/BeingHuman'' was made into a series instead.
** ''Phoo Action'', a futuristic comedy about a [[TheyFightCrime mismatched crime-fighting duo]] trying to stop mutant terrorists from turning Princes William and Harry into mutants. It was commissioned for a series and a franchise planned around it (it was already based on an existing comic strip), but cancelled before shooting began when the BBC decided the show wasn't going to achieve its "creative ambitions."
** ''Dis[=/=]Connected'', about a group of high schoolers discovering that each played a role in a classmate's suicide. Initially touted as a rival to ''Series/{{Skins}}'' and ambitious talk about its future, but its ratings were too low to justify a full series.
** Similar to the above, in 2010 the BBC aired another pilot called ''Lizzie and Sarah'' about two abused wives who go on a murder spree. It was to have been the last of six stand-alone TV movies in a planned series, with a possible second series to follow, and expected to be a hit BlackComedy following in the footsteps of shows like ''Series/NightyNight'' (whose star, Julia Davis, wrote and performed in ''Lizzie and Sarah''.) It aired in a very poor time slot and was ultimately not commissioned, despite complaints from fans and support from other comedians such as Creator/SimonPegg.
* The 2002 [[MadeForTVMovie made-for-TV]] version of ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'' was meant to lead into a series on Creator/{{NBC}}, in which [[spoiler:Carrie, having been SparedByTheAdaptation, heads to Florida to search for others like her]]. Low ratings for the film meant that the series was never made.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music]]
* Mid-to-late [[TheNineties '90s]] hip hop supergroup The Firm -- consisting of {{Nas}}, Foxy Brown, AZ, and Cormega (who was later ousted and replaced with Nature) -- was hyped as one of the hottest new groups in hip-hop after their formation, appearance on Nas' ''It Was Written'' album, and signing to Dr. Dre's record label. In 1997, they released their debut album... which got such a lackluster reception by both consumers and critics that any interest in more music from the group was nixed, and they went their separate ways the year after. While Brown has mentioned that there have been discussions of The Firm reuniting, the project seems to be an OldShame for nearly everyone involved.
** Arguably this could be a case of CriticalDissonance, with a touch of HypeBacklash. At the time, Nas, Foxy Brown, and AZ weren't that popular outside of New York and were never really heavy sellers to begin with. Basically they were a precursor to another hip-hop supergroup by the name of ''Slaughter House''. Essentially they only appealed to the most hardcore hip-hop fanbase.
** This was not the first time a band called The Firm had failed to proceed; in the mid '80s, Jimmy Page formed a miniature supergroup with himself on guitar, and Paul Rodgers, formerly of Free and Bad Company, on vocals. The original plan was to fill the band out with former Yes percussionist Music/BillBruford, plus ubiquitous 80s fretless bassist Pino Palladino, but this didn't pan out. Despite being Jimmy Page's first band project since Led Zeppelin, the group's debut album met with lackluster reviews and poor sales. Surprisingly there was a second album -- shades of [[DavidBowie Tin Machine]] -- after which the group disbanded.
* In 1993 {{The Sisters Of Mercy}} released ''Greatest Hits Volume 1: A Slight Case of Overbombing''. It was the last album they released.
* ABBA's compilation ''The Singles: The '''First''' Ten Years'' has an ironic title. After promoting the two newly-recorded singles, they took a break from which they never regrouped, making it their ''final'' release before (in effect) splitting.
* George Michael failed to release a followup to his ''Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1'' album of 1990.
* The full title of Music/MichaelJackson's 1995 DistinctDoubleAlbum was ''[=HIStory=]: Past, Present and Future, Book I''. There never was a Book II, though there was ''Blood on the Dance Floor: [=HIS=]tory in the Mix'' in 1997 (which was mostly remixes), not to mention ''[=HIStory=] on Film:'' '''''Volume''''' ''II'' (which was music videos).
** The ''This Is It'' tour, planned to be his last one ever, would have probably enabled [[{{Sequelitis}} several more "last tours ever"]] had he not suffered AuthorExistenceFailure before the first one got off the ground.
* '80s band Re-Flex is best known for their single of ''The Politics of Dancing'' from their one and only album of the same name. The single ''How Much Longer?'' released in 1985 was labled "From the forthcoming album ''Humanication''". The album never forthcame due to ExecutiveMeddling.
* In 1996, Music/TheBeachBoys released ''Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1'', an album featuring them singing re-recordings of their hits as duets with CountryMusic stars. After the album was ripped apart by critics, any future installments were scrapped.
* Music/DavidBowie's 1996 concept album ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1._Outside 1. Outside]]'' was planned to be the first of a 3-album set. However, his next album was the unrelated drum-and-bass-influenced excursion ''Earthling'', and as of 2013 no follow-up has been released.
* 2008 saw the release of ''[[FunWithAcronyms OMFGG]] – Original Music Featured on GossipGirl No. 1''. By the time the series ended four years later, there was still no sign of No. 2 (compare to ''OneTreeHill'' racking up four albums and ''GreysAnatomy'' having five).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* Creator/{{Capcom}}'s ''Pinball/{{Breakshot}}'' was advertised as the first in the "Capcom Classic" series, a line of low-cost pinballs with "classic-style" gameplay to appeal to all players. Needless to say, this is the only game in the series.
* The ''Pinball/JudgeDredd'' pinball was the debut of "Supergame", where for an extra credit, players could play the table with extra modes and expanded rules, including exclusive multiball modes. No other pinball has used the feature.
* ''Pinball/SafeCracker'' was advertised as the first "Token-Pin" game, which would dispense tokens for winning that could be used for various things, such as prizes or a special game mode. No other game in the line has been produced.
* ''Pinball/FlipperFootball'' was Creator/CapcomPinball's first "Interplay Display" pinball game; the dot-matrix display was mounted in the cabinet, and would respond when the player struck targets underneath it. Capcom closed its pinball division soon after the game was released, and no other "Interplay Display" games were made.
* Creator/SteveRitchie's ''Pinball/{{Hyperball}}'' married a {{Pinball}} cabinet with a ShootEmUp, challenging players to fire up to 250 balls a minute against an army of attacking lightning bolts. Despite plans to product up to 50,000 games, only 5,000 were made and sold, and the idea was neveer revisited.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{XIII}}'', based on the first five volumes of [[ComicBook/{{XIII}} the European comic book series]], ends with a CliffHanger. Poor sales, however, erased hopes of a game continuation of the story. A [[VideoGameMoviesSuck TV miniseries]] based on the comic and the game was later produced staring Val Kilmer and Stephen Dorff, which suffered a similar fate as the game it was based on. It was resurrected a second time as ''Series/{{XIII}}: The Series'' in 2011 by a Canadian company. The TV series is a direct continuation of the miniseries's plot, though none of the miniseries actors (especially Kilmer and Dorff) reprise their roles. It burned ''Series/XPlay'', which had done a single preview episode devoted to the game based on that show's editorial staff and Adam Sessler's excitement over the game's cel-shaded graphics and underlying story. When it turned out to be a [[SoOkayItsAverage run-of-the-mill "3... out of 5"]] shooter featuring bored voice acting by David Duchovny, the show wouldn't do a single game preview episode for another five years. Only much later, a sequel (''XIII-2'') was made for mobile phones and developed by {{Gameloft}}.
* ''Haven: Call of the King'' for the {{PlayStation 2}} was supposed to be the first installment in a revolutionary video game trilogy that would defy all genres. What was actually released was [[SoOkayItsAverage mediocre]]: while it did mix together a lot of genres (action, platforming, RPG, driving) as promised, it didn't do any of them particularly ''well''. The lackluster sales killed the planned trilogy at the first game, whose planned {{Xbox}} and {{Nintendo GameCube}} ports were also canceled.
* ''AdventRising'' was intended to be a trilogy on consoles with a spin-off for the PSP. The poor reception of the original game put a stop to any further prospects, as well as the million-dollar contest promoting it.
** ''Advent Rising'' also reportedly killed off a video game adaptation of the OrsonScottCard book ''Literature/{{Empire}}'' to be done by the same development studio (Card had also penned the plot of ''Advent Rising'' and ''Empire'' was written to actually promote the game rather than the other way around). What also didn't help was the fact that ''Empire'' was mediocre at best and basically a [[WriterOnBoard novel-length scathing rant about how liberals are literally destroying the country]].
** ''ShadowComplex'', on which ''Empire'' was based, was released on XboxLiveArcade to glowing reviews. Of course, in order to sell it to people without having a massive backlash strike out, the developers had to entirely ignore the novel Card had written to promote it.
* ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'' was a commercial bomb, and ruined any chances of a sequel. It was well-received by critics and has a devoted cult following, however. Several years later Creator/{{Ubisoft}} has apparently started production on one, and as of 2013 it looks like it's finally going to happen.
* ''{{VideoGame/Kya Dark Lineage}}'' flopped, partially due to a dumb marketing campaign ("She's a whole lotta hurt in a belly shirt"), and the sequel hinted at in the ending never materialized.
* ''VideoGame/{{Anachronox}}'' is an interesting case, because the SequelHook at the end, which will probably never be followed-up on, wasn't originally planned to be one. It was supposed to be the halfway point of the game, but due to a whole slew of problems, they ended up having to end the game there.
* ''VideoGame/{{Action 52}}'' had a $199 price tag (in 1991 ''for a NES game''), nearly unplayable games, weak concept, and was [[GameBreakingBug horribly and seriously bug-infested]], yet for some impossible-to-fathom reason, Active Enterprises believed that its featured title ''Cheetahmen'' (which shared many flaws with the other games on the cartridge, including [[NoEnding not having an ending]]) was going to be a huge breakout hit. Plans were made for a ''Cheetahmen'' {{Saturday morning cartoon}}, action figures, and of course a sequel. Their hopes turned out to be ''waaay'' premature; the sequel never emerged except as an unfinished, unplayable beta.
* The commercial failure of action [=RPG=] ''VideoGame/TooHuman'' not only killed Creator/SiliconKnights' hopes of a trilogy, but also any hopes of an ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' followup. The studio has now gone under, making it even less likely that these games will ever get sequels. ''Shadow of the Eternals'', a SpiritualSuccessor to ''Eternal Darkness'', was in the works, but its ill-fated Kickstarter campaign doesn't bode well.
* ''Pryzm Chapter One: The Dark Unicorn'' was a PS2 game about Pryzm, a [[TheChosenOne very special young unicorn]], and Karrok, a [[DeadpanSnarker grizzled troll mage]], [[WunzaPlot who team up to defeat]] [[BigBad Zartu the Dark Unicorn]]. The game was presented as DarkerAndEdgier than typical fare involving unicorns, and came with a comic expanding on the backstory, but it didn't sell well, so all plans for a sequel quickly evaporated.
* Perhaps putting overt franchise aspirations in the ''title'' of the 1988 game ''Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic'' was an act of hubris. ElectronicArts never made a sequel for this interesting proto-''Franchise/MassEffect'' game, though 1990's ''Hard Nova'' was a SpiritualSuccessor.
* The 2008 ContinuityReboot of ''{{VideoGame/Turok}}'', after ''Evolution'' [[FranchiseKiller killed the original series]] [[CreatorKiller and]] [[Creator/{{Acclaim}} its publisher]], had the bad luck to be an average shooter when better shooters were glutting the market, thus the planned sequel was canned.
* Creator/ElectronicArts' ''Auto Destruct'' ends with the BigBad escaping in an emergency submarine after you shoot down his helicopter. While not bad by any means, the game was rather obscure and didn't sell well, so no sequel was made.
* ''VideoGame/PN03'' sold barely 20,000 copies, so Capcom aborted the franchise.
* ''VideoGame/{{Haze}}'', which also [[CreatorKiller took down its developer]].
* ''VideoGame/BruteForce'' was a original Xbox exclusive which was hyped as doing to third-person shooters what ''VideoGame/{{Halo}}'' did to console first-person shooters, and just like ''Halo'', was promoted with a prequel novel that expended on the backstory. However, the final version didn't quite live up to the hype and thus ''Brute Force'' never became the multimedia juggernaut ''Halo'' is. There were rumors of a sequel for the {{Xbox 360}}, but Digital Anvil's death in 2006 ensures that it will never happen.
* ''VideoGame/MitsumeteKnight'' is a sad case of this. After the surprise and spectacular success of ''[[VideoGame/TokimekiMemorial Tokimeki Memorial: Forever With You]]'', Creator/{{Konami}} wanted to keep the momentum and create another similar DatingSim CashCowFranchise. ''Mitsumete Knight'' was thus planned as such, and lots of efforts were put in it: co-created by Konami and Red Entertainment (the other DatingSim leader of the time, creator of ''SakuraTaisen''), a spectacular voice cast, deep storyline, solid gameplay, a line of goods, favourable critics, lots of built hype ''one year before'' the game's actual release in March 1998 via a Radio Drama and previews... Only to meet average-ish good sales, not the expected killer profit (partially due to the public's vaning interest in {{Dating Sim}}s which started around that time). Realizing this, and with ''Tokimeki Memorial 2'' around the corner, Konami canned the franchise one year later in 1999.
* Due to ExecutiveMeddling, ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay'', ''VideoGame/DiddyKongRacing'', ''[[VideoGame/BanjoKazooie Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts]]'', and ''VideoGame/GrabbedByTheGhoulies'' each promised a sequel which never came to be. The most that ever came of any of these were remakes of ''BFD'' for the Xbox and ''DKR'' for the NintendoDS.
* ''TheLastExpress'', despite the [[DoingItForTheArt sheer quality of everything from the art nouveau style to the intricate storyline]], was hit by a perfect financial storm that sank both its production company and the game itself. The ending drops tantalizing hints at a sequel that will most likely never be made.
* ''VideoGame/MagicalDoropie'' had plans for a sequel, but making one for the SNES was expensive, so they didn't make it. The developer regrets it.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' was not supposed to be the end of the ''[[VideoGame/ChronoTrigger Chrono]]'' [[VisualNovel/RadicalDreamers series]]. A sequel, ''Chrono Break'', was planned shortly after ''Cross'''s completion and, [[VaporWare a decade later, it has yet to materialize]].
* ''DonaldInMauiMallard'' had a sequel planned and was made to test the waters for this detective/ninja incarnation of DonaldDuck, with even ideas for an animated series. Due to coming at the end of the 16-bit consoles' lifespan and some flawed marketing (Donald's name was dropped from any promotional material), the game bombed and all plans were scrapped.
* ''VideoGame/SiN Episodes: Emergence'' debuted to weak sales and some critical acclaim (for a series that hadn't seen an installment in more than a decade). Plans were made to have several more episodes, and a teaser was released at the end of ''Emergence'' that teased plot points from upcoming installments. Then the game's production company, Ritual Entertainment, was sold to a casual game developer, and production was canned -- meaning that you'll never get to see any of the last eight('''!''') installments.
* The ''Rising Sun'' installment of ''Franchise/MedalOfHonor'' was originally going to be the first of a series that would have followed a group of brothers through the Pacific War fighting a secret cabal of the Japanese high command. However, it flopped. It was somewhat resolved later on with somebody mentioning that one of the brothers had been planning POW rescues (one of them was in Japanese hands at the end of the game), but we never got to see those rescues.
* ''VideoGame/{{Loom}}'', a 1990 adventure game made by LucasArts. The game was well received, sold well and was part of a planned trilogy. However, the game's makers had other commitments and didn't want to work on the sequels.
* ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol'' was intended by publisher Creator/{{Sega}} to become part of a greater series. The poor sales killed that, but as Obsidian still maintains all the rights, it's possible if a particularly optimistic publisher comes along.
* ''VideoGame/{{Nightshade}} Part 1: The Claws of Sutekh'' was not followed by a Part 2.
* There were two attempts by Capcom at making a ''CaptainCommando'' franchise (''Section Z'' and, unsurprisingly, ''Captain Commando''), but neither game took off quite as well as expected.
* The VinDiesel vehicle ''VideoGame/{{Wheelman}}'' was supposed to lead up to a film, with the game setting up the backstory and the characters. However, the game's tepid critical and commercial performance very likely scrapped those plans.
* The instructions and advertising for the UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum text adventure ''Merlock the Mede'' describe the two games on the tape as the first of a set of eight -- and a player who solved all eight could win a digital watch. The first two received far from glowing reviews, and nothing was ever seen of the other six.
* The ''WebComic/BladeKitten'' video game ends on a cliffhanger (and is advertised as a "Part 1" on its title screen) that is unlikely to be resolved, partly due to Krome Studios shutting down shortly after going into administration. Krome Studios did have part 2 done, but Atari didn't want to release part 2 due to poor sales of part 1. When Atari moved out of the video game market, the developer had to wait awhile before the rights could revert before re-releasing part 2.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning'' was designed as a prologue to a multimedia franchise centred upon a planned {{MMORPG}} with the WorkingTitle ''Project Copernicus''. Unfortunately, [[http://hothardware.com/News/38-Studios-Is-Dead-Fallout-Over-Company-Implosion-Takes-On-Life-Of-Its-Own/ catastrophic financial shenanigans]] ensued, revolving around an ill-advised government loan for $75 million (with wildly-unrealistic repayment terms) and incredible mismanagement on behalf of developer 38 Studios. The resulting monetary implosion meant the game needed to sell three million copies to break even, and despite selling over one million in a few weeks, the company went under. The rights then reverted to the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, though, who have indicated an intent to sell the IP. And the game ''did'' sell well by normal, non-bankruptcy-involving standards, so it'd be a better investment than some of the other stuff on this page.
* ''VideoGame/SiegeOfAvalon'', whose developer disbanded and left the planned sequel unproduced.
* The Website/{{Facebook}} app ''The Agency: Covert Ops'' was made to help promote a spy-themed MMO that was ultimately canceled after four years of development.
* ''WorldInConflict'' ends with an obvious cliffhanger ([[spoiler:the Soviets are pushed from the US mainland but the war in Europe is still raging and the Chinese fleet besieges the Pacific Coast]]) but it was never continued, despite the game receiving enthusiastic reviews, good sales, and even an ExpansionPack. The main reason was that the developers' previous owner Activision sold them to Ubisoft, who, in turn, shifted their priorities from the RTS genre to action games.
* ''Journey: The Quest Begins'', befitting its title, ended with a SequelHook. It was the very last game developed by Creator/{{Infocom}}, and no sequel was ever made.
* ''VideoGame/ShogoMobileArmorDivision'', due to being overshadowed by the launch of ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life|1}}'' a few weeks later, received neither the announced {{Expansion Pack}}s or a sequel.
* Crytek UK, a studio which formed from the ashes of ''VideoGame/SecondSight'' and ''VideoGame/TimeSplitters'' creator Free Radical Design, has [[http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-06-22-why-second-sight-2-wasnt-made gone on record]] that this is the case with ''VideoGame/SecondSight''. They had a few ideas for a sequel and still maintain the IP rights, but according to them the game just didn't garner enough interest. As for ''VideoGame/TimeSplitters'' Crytek apparently isn't planning to continue it, [[https://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2013/03/14/crytek-okays-fan-made-resurrection-of-timesplitters.aspx though they did greenlight]] a FanSequel.
* ''VideoGame/MetalArmsGlitchInTheSystem'' by Swingin' Ape Studios received fairly decent reviews and had a clear SequelHook at the end, so it was no surprise that the developers had hoped for sequels. There was a lot of work done towards a ''Metal Arms 2'', but Swingin' Ape Studios was purchased by Blizzard in 2005 and the neither the franchise nor the work done on it have been heard from since.
* Creator/BioWare promised that ''VideoGame/SonicChronicles'' would become a full series after its first installment, but for unknown reasons (nothing's been said on the matter since then), this never came to be.
* ''Pearl Harbor Trilogy -- 1941: Red Sun Rising'' was meant to be released as the first of a trio of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII-themed WiiWare {{Flight Sim}}s (or more accurately, the PC game ''Attack on Pearl Harbor'' chopped up in three parts) but poor sales have prevented the rest of the series from seeing the light of day.
* ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'' was supposed to have a sequel using the Source engine but this was derailed by a disagreement between Creator/{{Valve|Software}} and the game's publisher Creator/{{Sierra}}. Troika's dissolution sealed its fate.
* ''VideoGame/{{Illbleed}}'' has vague hints toward a sequel. Its developer closed down in 2002, and though the company's founder Shinya Nishigaki had hopes of resurrecting it, he died suddenly two years later.
* ''[[VideoGame/PurpleMoon The Starfire Soccer Challenge]]'' was intended to spin off a third series of Purple Moon games and was heavily promoted by girls' sports organizations, but had no sequel. What might have been had the company not gone under, the world may never know.
* ''VideoGame/{{Blinx}}'' was Xbox's early attempt to have a cute SeriesMascot like Creator/{{Nintendo}}'s ''[[SuperMarioBros Mario]]'', Namco's ''PacMan'', Sony's (then) ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' and Sega has with ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''. The game was deemed overrated and simply "average" by many, the most troublesome part being the difficult controls. The game got a sequel but other than that has dropped off the radar (while [[Franchise/{{Halo}} Master Chief]] was one who became the mascot).
* ''[[VisualNovel/{{TwelveRiven}} 12Riven]]'' was originally intended to be the first in what would have been the ''Integral'' series (a spinoff of the ''Infinity'' series), but a variety of factors, including the company's bankruptcy, the main writer's departure, and less than stellar sales ensured that didn't happen.
* In 1995, Creator/{{Konami}} introduced its "Ultra Sports" series of {{Arcade Game}}s, which came in special cocktail cabinets with trackball controls for two players. The first two games, ''Five A Side Soccer'' and ''Ultra Hockey'', were the only ones released; at least two more were planned.
* ''VideoGame/{{Cocoron}}'' had a sequel, or possibly a remake, developed for the PCEngine called ''PC Cocoron'', which was apparently finished but never released.
* ''Ride to Hell'' originally started development in 2008, then was cancelled, then [[UnCancelled restarted]] and intended to be a series of three games - one on retail discs, one as a downloadable XboxLiveArcade[=/=]PlayStationNetwork game, and one on smartphones. Only the retail product, ''VideoGame/RideToHellRetribution'' was released, receiving immense backlash from all corners. Unsurprisingly, neither Creator/DeepSilver nor Eutechnyx made a peep about the other two games, ''Beatdown'' and ''Route 666'', suggesting that they were unceremoniously cancelled.
* ''Wars and Warriors: JoanOfArc'' was a PC game released in 2004 to mixed reviews. There were plans on making a XBox port as well as sequels, none of which ever left the drawing board.
* ''VideoGame/AloneInTheDark'' was supposed to be the first game in the "Virtual Dreams" (as one can read on the original French boxart) series of standalone titles which shared the same engine. No more were made and the label was immediately discontinued.
* A title called ''Time Gate - Knight's Chase'' was supposed to be the "real" ''Alone in the Dark 4'', and the beginning of a new trilogy of games under the "Time Gate" label based upon time traveling and ancient Egyptian mythology. Since the ''Alone in the Dark'' engine was already dated at that time, plans to keep the trilogy going were cancelled and "Knight's Chase" remained a standalone title.
* The [=SNES=] ShootEmUp, ''VideoGame/{{Axelay}}'', from Creator/{{Konami}}, shows the message "[[SequelHook See you again at Axelay 2]]" after finishing the game on the hardest difficulty for the second time, however this sequel never materialized.
* As with its animated adaptations counterparts, games based on the ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' main books have suffered this fate:
** Starting with the [=SNES=] game ''J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I'' by {{Interplay}}, a Vol 2 was planned but poor sales and critical panning killed those plans.
** Much later, when the Creator/{{Peter Jackson}}'s film adaptations were coming out, Vivendi Universal was planning on making the full videogame trilogy adapted from the books (back then, Vivendi held the rights for Tolkien's novels while Creator/ElectronicArts held the film's rights), Vivendi managed to release ''The Fellowship of the Ring'' which [[SoOkayItsAverage although not a bad game, it was nothing special]]. Meanwhile EA, released ''The Two Towers'' and ''The Return of the King'' which were based on the movies (The Two Towers actually also contained Fellowship material). But the planned novel-based adaptations of the remaining books were never released. Eventually, Vivendi lost the rights to EA too.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* The very short lived VanBeurenStudios FelixTheCat shorts, an attempt to revive the franchise after the original theatrical cartoons fell to the wayside due to multiple factors (including the death of his owner Pat Sullivan and the latest efforts absolutely paling in comparison to the new MickeyMouse sound films, and the fact that Felix still had a popular newspaper comic running) only lasted for three shorts (with a fourth one never getting past the story stage) due to VanBeurenStudios abruptly going belly-up when RKO negated their contract in favor of distributing {{Disney}} [[ClassicDisneyShorts shorts.]]
* After the massive success of the Franchise/DisneyPrincess crossover franchise, Creator/{{Disney}} attempted to do the same thing with its popular male heroes in the mid 2000s. The result was the Disney Heroes franchise, whose lineup consisted of Disney/{{Aladdin}}, [[Disney/TheSwordInTheStone King Arthur]], Disney/{{Hercules}}, Disney/PeterPan, Disney/RobinHood and Disney/{{Tarzan}}. Poor sales ended the franchise pretty quickly and Disney abandoned using their own characters for boy-centric franchise merchandise, having much more success later on with boy-centric merchandise based on acquired franchises like ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'', Creator/MarvelComics and ''Franchise/StarWars''.
[[/folder]]