Follow TV Tropes

Following

Genre Killer / Film

Go To

Animation

Live-Action

  • In 1928, there was a double-header of Genre Killers so extreme that it took out the entire Canadian film industry. The federally-funded National Film Board of Canada was founded in 1939 in an attempt to revive it, but only in the '70s with cultural sponsorship projects from Pierre Trudeau's government did independent Canadian cinema begin to reemerge.
    • The first Genre-Killer was the 1928 Canadian film Carry on, Sergeant!note , a World War I silent epic about Canadian soldiers in the trenches of France. Thanks to its Troubled Production, soaring budget (about half a million dollars, as large as comparable Hollywood films like The Jazz Singer), controversial subject (an affair between a soldier and a French hooker), the fact it was a silent film when talkies were ascending, and box-office failure, it destroyed Canada's largest independent film studio and made Canadian financiers extremely leery of financing similar big-budget efforts, playing a huge role in reducing Canada's native film industry to an outpost of Hollywood.
    • The other one was the Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 (which came into force the following year), a law in the United Kingdom that placed a quota on foreign films in order to protect British film studios. Canada dodged the quota by technically being a part of The British Empire, but rather than nurturing and protecting the local film industry, it instead caused Hollywood studios to set up Canadian subsidiaries that vacuumed up the small pool of local talent for the production of "quota quickies", cheap and often wretched films made for the British market to get around the quota. The scourge of the quota quickies also affected the UK itself, but owing to a larger market and greater distance from the US, their film industry recovered in far less time. While more recent scholarship has reevaluated the quota quickies as the birth of the British B-Movie, a way for aspiring filmmakers to get their foot in the door with low-budget flicks, the Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 is still seen as a textbook case of short-sighted legislation having precisely the opposite effect than what was intended.
  • The 3-D Movie genre has been killed three times in the past several decades:
    • The first culprit was The Moonlighters, a forgettable Warner Western starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, in 1953. It didn't help that it had to compete against The Robe, a flat classic in CinemaScope, during its run. The film did the least damage to the genre, though, as it only took Kiss Me Kate later that same year to put 3-D back on the map and keep the Golden Age 3-D Craze going.
    • The second culprit was Phantom of the Rue Morgue the following year, which was just as mediocre as, if not more so than, Moonlighters was. Its accomplice was The Mad Magician, a cheap House of Wax clone involving stage magic instead of a wax museum, which did well at the box office but earned a sorry reputation. This time, though, the "Golden Age 3-D Craze" went out not with a whimper, but with a bang: the last classic '50s 3-D film, Revenge of the Creature, capped off this craze with a successful 3-D run, which still wasn't enough to save the craze.
    • A second craze, the "Spectacular 3-D Craze", was ended nearly thirty years later by Spacehunter: Adventure in the Forbidden Zone, a 1983 flop with a budget similar to the highly successful Star Wars, with accomplices including The Man Who Wasn't There, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, and Amityville 3-D.
    • Since 2009, there have been numerous false alarms about the "Digital 3-D Craze" dying, brought about by the likes of Battle for Terra, Clash of the Titans, The Last Airbender, The Nutcracker in 3D, and Conan the Barbarian (2011). Despite all the rumours of the dying craze, though, it was kept afloat by 3D theatrical re-releases of several classic movies, including a couple of Disney animated features and a few Pixar movies. That said, studios have more of a vested interest in keeping 3-D around this time — 3-D movies are much harder to pirate, a feature that the industry appreciates very much. Additionally, digital technology has greatly reduced the costs of producing 3-D movies.
    • And now, for only the second time, it's been over thirty years since the last 3-D craze had been shot down, and 3D movies are once again in grave danger of going the way of the dinosaur, this time no thanks to a court ruling stating that 3-D film as a whole could not be patented, as Disney had intended to by suing Real-D. Yep, you probably know where this is headed. As a result, Disney lost interest in 3-D outside of Marvel-related and animated productions, resulting on a nosedive of the number of stereoscopic releases beginning in 2014. In addition, 3D-TV (which was once considered to become commonplace by 2015) became too impractical and not worth the cost, Disney's abandonment of 3D home video making matters worse, and TV manufacturers eventually shifted towards larger formats and 4K.
    • The final blow for 3-D film outside superhero and cartoon films may have come with the success of Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, an entirely 2-D 70mm war movie that proved to be much more successful than any of IMAX's 3-D presentations in Q2 2017, prompting IMAX's aforementioned move away from 3-D. 2-D IMAX presentations of the 3-D animated films The LEGO Batman Movie and Cars 3 were just the beginning; when IMAX announced its decision to do more 2-D than 3-D screenings in late July of 2017, it was specifically mentioned that Blade Runner 2049 wouldn't be playing in 3-D in North American IMAX theatres, either. So, at least in North America, 3-D can be considered down for the count as of 2018. Unless Alita: Battle Angel or Avatar's sequel somehow revives it.
  • Many film historians consider Psycho to be the movie that killed Film Noir, as the purpose of the first hour or so is to continuously set up and subvert the tropes of that genre.
  • The disastrous failures of Cleopatra in 1963 and The Fall of the Roman Empire in '64 killed the Sword & Sandal epic for over three decades. It wasn't until 2000 when Gladiator revived the genre; there have been a number of Roman and Greek-era action films in the ensuing years.
  • The Greatest Story Ever Told, a 1965 All-Star Cast production of Jesus' life that received mixed reviews and bombed at the box office, was the beginning of the end for the mainstream success of the religious epic. Changes in film censorship (in the era of the Hays Code, religious epics were notorious for taking advantage of their unimpeachable message to push the envelope in terms of sex and violence) and the general politicization of artistic work with religious themes have further removed religious epics from the standard menu of film genres. When modern examples do appear, however, they're often big hits due to being perceived as novel.
  • The triple-threat of Doctor Dolittle, Camelot, and Hello, Dolly! between 1967 and 1969 knocked out the "big Hollywood musical", and dealt a deathblow to the common "roadshow" practice as well. Musicals as a genre still survive, but prior to this, they were seen as chart-topping audience-appeal blockbusters and routinely received massive budgets and promotion. The next really successful musical was Cabaret, which was a very different animal (more than a few people have called it "the musical for people who hate them") and a lot of its successors have followed suit.
  • The epic romance largely disappeared after Ryan's Daughter and Nicholas and Alexandra flopped in the early '70s. While occasional epics cropped up through the '80s and '90s (eg. Out of Africa, Titanic) they're now typically one-off events rather than the box office staple they once were.
    • Titanic's success itself created a very specific epic romance subgenre of "absurdly big-budget love story used to chronicle a historical disaster", which was followed by the first imitator in Pearl Harbor sending it six feet under. A belated imitator that arrived some years later, Pompeii, only confirmed that it wasn't coming back.
  • The failure of The Wiz in 1978 caused studios to give up on movies with mostly black casts for some time, outside of comedies, black cop/white cop pairings, and "urban" dramas. However, the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America helped bring back films with mostly black casts, and the smash success of Tyler Perry's films have helped Hollywood take more note of the African-American movie dollar in the more modern day.
  • The Poliziotteschi, gritty Italian crime films in the vein of Dirty Harry and Bullitt, had their heyday in The '70s, reflecting Italy's "Years of Lead" (a time of political violence from both Marxist and neo-fascist groups) and the wider fortunes of the Italian film industry of the time. But by the end of the decade, the genre was slumping in popularity. One of the genre's key script writers, Dardano Sacchetti, had grown dismayed by what he felt were the fascistic undertones of the genre, and helped undermine the genre from within by steering it towards self-parody and eventually outright comedy.
  • Though The Western was already struggling before due to a variety of circumstances for about a decade, the point cited by most film geeks and historians as the ultimate bullet in the genre's head was Heaven's Gate in 1980. That film was such a Box Office Bomb that it killed its studio and its director's career, and Hollywood became very reluctant to release big-budget Western films for several years afterward. Even successful reconstruction films like Silverado couldn't jump-start the genre back to its original prominence. While westerns are still fairly common, they have never returned from their virtual omnipresence of yesteryear. It's also telling that most modern examples subvert some aspect of the genre, as the straight western is still basically dead.
  • Heaven's Gate is also usually blamed for the end of the auteur films produced by Hollywood in the 1970s. Other flops, such as Steven Spielberg's 1941, Peter Bogdanovich's They All Laughed, Martin Scorsese's New York, New York, and Francis Ford Coppola's One From The Heart and The Cotton Club, were also used as examples of the danger of giving auteur filmmakers carte blanche when making "personal" or "blockbuster" films. Ironically, the auteur film genre was brought back by another genre killer (see Days of Thunder below).
  • It's said that Airplane! killed the Disaster Movie craze of The '70s by making audiences unable to take them seriously anymore. While the genre was revived by The '90s with movies like Armageddon, Deep Impact, Dante's Peak and Volcano, which benefited from the development of modern CGI, the airliner-in-peril/stewardess-lands-the-plane trope won't be taken seriously again. Eventually, 9/11 and the Indian Ocean tsunami killed the genre a second time by way of Too Soon, with very few pure disaster movies being made since then.
  • Xanadu and Can't Stop the Music effectively killed the musical, which was already crippled during the 1970s and by then was only kept afloat by the now-extinct disco craze. The genre didn't stay dead forever, however; Moulin Rouge! in 2001 and Chicago in 2002 sparked renewed interest in musicals. Various other films since then have had mixed success, but in general, musicals are not considered particularly standard. Trailers for some musicals will even disguise the fact that the film is a musical. However, the genre seems to be making a comeback with the combined critical and commercial successes of Into the Woods (2014), La La Land (2016), and Beauty and the Beast (2017).
  • Quest for Fire in 1981 effectively killed the serious caveman movie by setting the bar so high that nobody could hope to compete. Also not helped by the not-serious-at-all Caveman also being a success that year.
  • Female-led superhero movies suffered two major blows.
    • First came the 1984 film Supergirl, testing the waters for the concept in the wake of the fantastic success of the Superman films. It suffered terrible Executive Meddling and was so horribly received that it took two decades for any studio to try again. (The below-mentioned temporary death of the entire superhero genre during that time didn't help.)
    • The result was the one-two punch of Catwoman and Elektra, which were both instantly ridiculed as among the worst comic book movies ever made and sent the studios right back to the safe embrace of male heroes. Even the much-ballyhooed success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe took ages to attempt another, with its most prominent female hero Black Widow notoriously relegated to an occasional supporting role despite massive demand for her to get her own film. Eventually they came back on TV first, with the highly acclaimed MCU series Jessica Jones and (ironically enough) the Arrowverse series Supergirl finally showing tangible support for more female heroes. By this time the MCU had already set up their first foray in film with Captain Marvel, but were beaten to the punch by the newcomer DC Extended Universe and their Wonder Woman film, which became able to finally reverse the trend, immediately becoming one of the best-reviewed comic book films ever made and a smash box office success.
  • While successful, the negative critical reception that Police Academy received severely hurt the slew of "crass" comedies that began in the late 1970s with The Kentucky Fried Movie and Animal House. Police Academy itself went towards a more family-friendly direction after the first movie, and comedies oriented at a mature audience in general wouldn't recover until the 1990s, although the use of gross humor only became popular again with the Jackass trilogy (and probably just because of the show's popularity).
  • Conan the Destroyer in 1984 and Red Sonja in '85 may well have been the films that killed the "sword and sorcery" Heroic Fantasy as a film genre for quite some time. Their predecessor Conan the Barbarian, however, was a classic example of the genre.
  • The Slasher Movie genre went through two phases, with two Genre-Killers, roughly ten years apart:
  • Film journalist Stephen Metcalf argues that the wretched production excesses of Days of Thunder in 1990, and their attendant impact on the film's profits, killed the kind of blatantly commercial "triumph" movies that producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer had made so much money for Paramount with during the 1980s, films that were sort of a backlash against the auteur-era movies that had prevailed before Heaven's Gate. Afterwards, studios would let directors assert themselves creatively again, and it's no coincidence that Days director Tony Scott's critical reputation improved over the course of the '90s.
  • Jaws 3D and Jaws: The Revenge not only killed any attempt to continue the franchise centered around the Jaws, which fans generally disregarded as blatant cash grabs of Steven Spielberg's masterpiece, but ensured any further movies centered around killer sharks would not be taken seriously anymore beyond over-the-top horror. Jaws itself is also partly to blame for killing the genre because many shark-centered films following it couldn't shake off accusations of taking cues from the film, as following the release of Jaws public awareness of the rarity of shark attacks began to grow, to the point where the idea of a "killer shark" became redundant. The only serious, shark-centered film to have received a worldwide theatrical release since Jaws: The Revenge was Deep Blue Sea, which despite being a box office success ended up suffering the same problems many post-Jaws films got pinned with, and another serious killer shark movie wouldn't come to worldwide theaters until 17 years later, with The Shallows. While that movie was surprisingly well-received and moderately successful at the box office, it wasn't enough to generate interest, so it seems that the "killer shark drama" genre is staying dead. Even 2018's The Meg emphasizes the B-movie tropes of the genre rather than attempt to portray itself as serious.
  • A localized killer: the disappointing box office performance of Universal Soldier made it Carolco's third and final yearly science fiction blockbuster following the major successes that were Total Recall and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • The failure of Cool World in 1992 likely meant that more original adult animated movies couldn't be made until Sausage Party about a quarter-century later.
  • Jurassic Park in 1993 is another example of one film's smash success making it impossible for subsequent films to live up to it. Sequels to the original film notwithstanding, no-one has bothered to make a serious dinosaur movie since; and all films and video games that have happened to feature dinosaurs have, without exception, contained conscious nods to the franchise. Even the 1998 American Godzilla film riffed on it in trailers, and featured suspiciously velociraptor-like chase scenes with baby Godzillas.
  • Sean O'Neal of AV Club argued that 1995's Clueless killed off the slacker themed, Generation X-oriented comedic genre from the first part of the '90s. Before Clueless, there were movies such as Dazed and Confused, Reality Bites, SFW, PCU, and Clerks. O'Neal argued that Clueless unlike the prior films, presented a world populated by young people who actually cared and were motivated by a genuine interest in being somebody. The slacker movie genre however, did have a resurgence by the end of the decade with movies like The Big Lebowski, Office Space, and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.
  • Showgirls killed any chance of an NC-17-rated movie being seen as anything more than porn to the mainstream movie-going crowd. The rating is now limited to art house fare such as The Dreamers, Lust, Caution, Killer Joe, Shame, and Nymphomaniac.
  • In addition to launching the CG animated movie craze, the original Toy Story in 1995 was also largely responsible for ending the "kid empowerment" movie trend of the early-mid '90s. After Home Alone, there was a glut of kids movies which either ripped off that movie (Mr. Nanny, Camp Nowhere, 3 Ninjas, etc.) or placed kids in absurdly powerful positions and situations (Cop and a Half, Richie Rich, Blank Check, Little Big League, Rookie of the Year, etc.). When Toy Story, which featured a perfectly normal kid doing perfectly normal things, became a much bigger success (both critically and commercially) than any of those movies, the "kid empowerment" style was gradually phased out.
  • Toy Story also marked the decline of the live-action family film, which had been thriving for the first half of the decade, but it was now overshadowed by the greater potential CG offered while adult-oriented comedies were in resurgence. Attempts to make family films Darker and Edgier almost ended up evaporating the genre by the early 2000s, as it happened to the careers of the actors associated with it. The success of Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions eventually supplanted it by adding a more mature Cringe Comedy bent and blending in other genres, an approach that would quickly become the standard for 21st century-era family films (additional elements depending on the crew of a particular movie). After a slew of financial failures in 2010-11 (with Furry Vengeance, Gulliver's Travels and Mr. Popper's Penguins being the most notorious examplesnote , while The Muppets and Hugo struggled at the box office as well), traditional live-action family comedies were eventually banished to low-budget direct-to-video affairs in the 2010s, with the occassional exception and the odd box-office success (with the exception of the final Night at the Museum film), although more dramatic family movies have seen a resurgence throughout the decade (mostly through Disney's live-action remakes of its more iconic animated films).
  • Cutthroat Island in 1995 was an attempt to revive the swashbuckling adventure movie. Instead, it just sunk it farther down into its grave, along with Carolco Pictures, the careers of almost everyone involved, and (along with their other collaboration The Long Kiss Goodnight) the marriage of star Geena Davis and director Renny Harlin. The genre was not exactly a thriving one at release, but this made sure no one would even attempt another shot at it. Even after the success of Pirates of the Caribbean, no-one seems interested in pirate movies that don't belong to that franchise.

    Pirates of the Caribbean is itself an example of the tough-act-to-follow franchise. Those movies have both cost and generated so much money that a rival studio would have to make a major commitment just to play in the same league, and risk a financial catastrophe if audiences say, "Johnny Depp isn't in it? Pass." About the only other pirate-themed franchise that's still doing well is One Piece, albeit for different reasons. Also, both Pirates of the Caribbean and One Piece have very heavy fantasy elements that make them rather different to the pure swashbuckler. Add to that the major underperformance of Dead Men Tell No Tales at the domestic box office (though mitigated by strong overseas box office), which is no good sign either for the franchise or the movie genre POTC maintained alive on its own.
  • The genre of films with humans being paired with fellow great apes besides gorillas achieved some popularity with Project X in 1987, but was in serious trouble by the time Dunston Checks In was released to critical and commercial thrashing. But the film that really, truly killed the genre was Ed, which didn't even feature a real chimpanzee (it was just a human in a mechanical chimpanzee head) and was plagued with clichés and unfunny jokes that made it one of the worst-reviewed comedy films of the 90's. Since then, no studio has bothered making a film pairing a human with a great ape that isn't a gorilla, and even that genre has had only mixed success since then, ranging from hits like the 2005 King Kong remake and Rampage, to flops like Buddy and the 1998 remake of Mighty Joe Young.
  • Batman & Robin and Steel, both from 1997, are credited for being the reason why Super Hero films were a dead genre for some five years. They might have even killed a planned Sailor Moon adaptation at Disney (though its underperformance on the small screen, not helped by clumsy syndication scheduling placements, certainly didn't help matters, either). More importantly, they killed the superhero movie as a form of all-ages family entertainment. Joel Schumacher's Batman movies had undergone heavy Executive Meddling to make them more family-friendly and Merchandise-Driven, which played a huge role in their negative reception by fans, critics, and moviegoers. As a result, the next generation of superhero films in the mid '00s excised all traces of camp and went the Darker and Edgier route — Christopher Nolan's Batman films were essentially gritty crime dramas featuring Batman, while even more lighthearted films like X-Men and Spider-Man had substantially darker storylines (and, in X-Men's case, costumes) than past superhero films. Ironically, the fact that by the late 2000s the "dark superhero" era was becoming somewhat of a joke made these kinds of films as difficult to take seriously as the campy ones, not helped by the acclaim received by the Dark Knight trilogy making it hard to make a "dark" superhero film without being accused of ripping it off (at least until Logan). Around the same time, the newly-formed Marvel Cinematic Universe began to explicitly target superhero films at families again.
  • In an example of a movie being so good (or at least popular) that no one wanted to make anything else like it, consider James Cameron's Titanic (1997). There had been many previous movies about the famous sunken ship, but after Cameron's film became the highest-grossing movie of all time (only being overtaken by another Cameron film, Avatar) it's not likely that there will be any more since people see it as the definitive version.
  • The 1998 Godzilla movie, along with the remake of Mighty Joe Young that same year, killed off the American giant monster movie for at least a decade. Peter Jackson's planned remake of King Kong, for one, was delayed in the wake of their failures. The modest successes of Cloverfield and Pacific Rim are credited with at least helping the genre regain some niche appeal, enough that a reboot of Godzilla arrived theaters in 2014 and turned out to be a Sleeper Hit.
  • When Wild Wild West reared its ugly head in 1999, it was torn apart by critics and the audience. Roger Ebert gave it a spot on his most hated list, it became an Old Shame to Will Smith and Warner, and pushed ideas of westerns that crossed over into sci-fi/fantasy into the far background for over a decade. Eventually, Hollywood tried again with Cowboys & Aliens, which got a better reception but still mixed reception and bombed heavily. Disney had their own fantasy-esque western in the works, a reboot of The Lone Ranger, and nearly pulled the plug on it. When they finished it, studio chairman Rich Ross had been sent packing, and the film bombed even harder and got worse reviews than Cowboys And Aliens, giving the third strike to the idea of making a western with superfluous sci-fi/fantasy/mystical elements in it. No attempt to try this idea again has materialized since.
  • The failures of The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) killed the sub-genre of "cartoon characters living in the real world" that Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and Space Jam (1996) popularized.
  • In an odd twist, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle also heralded the above sub-genre being shortly succeeded afterwards by the similar "live-action/CG character" sub-genre; with the industry seeing a boom in live-action films aimed at families/kids that featured non-human characters presented in CGI (with the majority of them being adaptations of popular works in other media). While this style of films had first taken its roots with Casper (1995), the genre only really took off with the commercially successful 2002 Scooby-Doo adaptation, which was then followed by a glut of similar films throughout the Turn of the Millennium. By The New '10s, however, audiences' perception of these films began to fall in line with reviewers; who (with rare exceptions) largely panned the subgenre for their increasingly repetitive formulas of narrative beats, Shrek-inspired low-brow, pop culture-heavy humor, "realistic" depictions of characters, and — concerning adaptations — having little to do with the source material. Combined with increased competition and popularity of CGI animated films (especially due to Illumination's successful entrance into the industry, and Disney's return to form following their 2000s-era Dork Age), the declining popularity of live-action family films, and the success of Ted (an adult-geared Deconstructive Parody of the subgenre), the collapse of the genre had a firm grip in the industry until Peter Rabbit got okay reviews and was a financial success, and Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures and Paramount are trying to give it another go with Pokémon Detective Pikachu and a Sonic the Hedgehog adaptation in 2019 respectively, so the genre could live on.
  • Bless the Child (2000) killed off the Satantic horror sub-genre. By the Turn of the Millennium, numerous Satanic themed movies began to pop up including End of Days, Stigmata, Lost Souls, and The Ninth Gate. When Bless the Child was released it, like those that proceeded it, was a massive bomb and got atrocious reviews.
  • The Nostalgia Critic argues that the flop of 2001's Monkeybone killed the '90s trend of dark fantasy comedies that tried to imitate the style of Tim Burton. Burton himself, of course, would keep making films in this vein, but beyond him, the style wouldn't come back into vogue until Coraline towards the end of the decade, which was ironically helmed by the director of Monkeybone, Henry Selick. Then in 2012, a three-way race between Burton's Frankenweenie, Laika's Para Norman and Sony Animation's Hotel Transylvania would end with the latter ahead, while the other two were trounced at the box office in spite of being far better-reviewed, drying up interest on the genre in the animation industry. Three years later however, Goosebumps, a live-action adaptation of the book series, became a commercial success.
  • Not Another Teen Movie from 2001 and Mean Girls from 2004 likely destroyed the '90s teen romantic comedy sub-genre. Following the bitter Deconstruction of the John Hughes-style teen movie with Heathers, more optimistic and cheerful teen movies started roaring back by the mid-'90s. It began with Clueless, which was more or less a Reconstruction of the genre. It continued with films like Can't Hardly Wait, She's All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Never Been Kissed, Drive Me Crazy, Whatever It Takes, Bring It On, and Get Over It. While Not Another Teen Movie viciously parodied the tropes of the genre leading up to that point, Mean Girls rose the bar by tackling a slew of real-life youth issues in a way that made a lot of earlier films look uncomfortable in hindsight.
  • School of Rock in 2003, being a send-up of inspirational teacher movies, basically killed that sub-genre and created a new type of sub-genre where the teachers are rather useless (such as Half Nelson and Bad Teacher). Attempts at reigniting the sub-genre (such as Freedom Writers and Larry Crowne) have been critical and box office disappointments. Some may argue that the genre's still alive in the form of "Inspirational Coach Movies" such as Coach Carter, Miracle, We Are Marshall, and The Blind Side.
  • The Cat in the Hat killed off Dr. Seuss' work being made into live-action films as his widow hated it so much, she stopped them from being made. Animated adaptations, while not great, have at least gotten better reception.
  • Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life in 2003, Catwoman in '04, and Elektra in '05 killed off the idea of the female action protagonist in Hollywood cinema for quite a long time, with writer David Hayter claiming that the Black Widow movie that was in the works at the time was shelved for this reason. Later big-budget Hollywood movies did have Action Girls, but usually in secondary roles as love interests or fanservice characters. Haywire and Salt both attempted to revive the genre and did moderately well, but not enough to create a critical mass in its favor. Since then, the massive success of The Hunger Games franchise, as well as the growing demand for superhero movies starring someone other than White Male Leads, has led to WB finally releasing a Wonder Woman movie in 2017, as well as Marvel announcing a Captain Marvel movie for 2019. The critical and commercial success of Wonder Woman solidified the viability of female-led action/superhero films as major blockbusters (see below).
  • While, in hindsight, the writing was on the wall for the VHS format as a viable platform for major home media releases from the moment DVDs took off, the VHS release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004 is said to have sped the process along by several years. To wit: the film was made using Super 35, an extremely open film format that allowed for a variety of compositions, and yet the pan-and-scan VHS release was just that — panned and scanned from an anamorphic Scope print, and horribly so, by some videophile accounts. It's telling that releases for the niche D-VHS format stopped shortly after, and major label releases on VHS stopped by 2007. It's been said that director Alfonso Cuarón hated the Academy ratio so much he deliberately sabotaged the 4:3 composition on the VHS release, with some theorizing Cuaron wanted to give DVD the shot in the arm he felt it needed to definitively secure its then-recent lead over VHS.
  • In 2004, the films Fat Slags and Sex Lives of the Potato Men proved so bad that there was actually concern in the UK that the entire British film industry was going down the tubes. The £1 million grant that Potato Men had received from the National Lottery through the UK Film Council was especially criticized. It turned out to be a false alarm, with British cinema surviving into the present day and thriving during the early-mid 2010s, but it takes a special kind of film to make an entire country think that its film studios are in trouble.
  • The overwhelmingly negative reviews of 2004's one-two punch of Christmas with the Kranks and Surviving Christmas dried up interest in doing Yuletide comedies, which had been popular ever since Home Alone came out 14 years earlier, the only year two Christmas films have competed at the box office since was in 2006 with Deck the Halls and The Santa Clause 3, with both films being ravaged by critics, who have mostly shunned any attempts to do another holiday movie. During the second half of the 2010s however, Christmas-themed films aimed towards mature audiences such as A Madea Christmas, Krampus and A Bad Moms Christmas have become popular.
  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin in 2005 and Superbad in 2007 are often credited with killing the teen Sex Comedy. On one hand, the success of The 40-Year-Old Virgin proved that sex comedies aimed squarely at grown adults (with teenagers playing only supporting roles) could be just as successful as teen-oriented films like American Pie. On the other, Superbad mocked and deconstructed the genre so viciously that viewers could no longer take it seriously, cementing the public view of teen sex comedies as being weird, pathetic, lowbrow schlock that toed the line between sexy and sexist. The rise of internet porn, allowing such films' target audience to easily access far more explicit material than what could be shown in an R-rated film, merely read the genre's obituary. Subsequent attempts at reviving the genre, like Project X, have been widely reviled.
    • And by 2010, even adult-geared sex comedies began to lose popularity because of audiences getting more sensitive over their content (among other reasons). Their decline has actually brought cries of a "kid-ification" of the movie industry.
  • xXx: State of the Union in 2005 (according to Mathew "Film Brain" Buck in his Bad Movie Beatdown series) killed the early-mid '00s trend of fast, modern, teen-oriented action films centered on extreme sports (i.e. The Fast and the Furious, the original xXx, and their many copycats). While the Fast film series, which pioneered the trend, is still going strong today, later installments have focused more on straightforward action and car chases as opposed to the earlier, more extreme sports-centered installments.
  • The works of Seltzer and Friedberg (starting with Date Movie in 2006) have been blamed for killing parody movies; even slightly better ones like Superhero Movie (probably not helped by being named in the same "<name of genre> Movie" style used by S&F) have been lumped in with their disasters.
  • Basic Instinct 2 in 2006, besides derailing Sharon Stone's career as an A-list leading lady (ironically while reprising her Star-Making Role), also (at least according to Den of Geek) served as the final nail in the coffin to the erotic thriller genre. Not even the financial success of the Fifty Shades trilogy has caused studios to change their minds.
  • In spite of doing well at the box office, the 2006 remake of 1974's Black Christmas got such horrible reviews that it convinced Hollywood not to give the Christmas Horror genre another chance for almost a decade. Director Glen Morgan blamed the studio for the poor critical reception, saying he was unhappy with Dimension Films ordering dozens of reshoots and script rewrites to the movie, though backlash from Moral Guardians regarding the film's content and release date (it was released on Christmas Day) could also be to blame. It wasn't until around 2015 when another Christmas Horror movie, Krampus, was released to theaters. Thankfully, Krampus was both favorably received and was an instant box office success, sparking hope that the genre may be headed back to Hollywood interest.
  • The twin failures of 2007's Hostel Part II and Captivity marked the beginning of the end for the Torture Porn subgenre of graphically ultraviolent horror films. The Saw series endured for a few more years as a Franchise Zombie, but the only other subsequent standalone theatrical release in the genre, 2009's The Collector, played to empty theaters, and Hostel Part III went Direct-to-Video. The Human Centipede, which was marketed as an inevitable Cult Classic, was only played at midnight in most places, and the notorious A Serbian Film had only a single theatrical showing. Driving the final nails in the coffin was Paranormal Activity in 2009, a film at the complete opposite end of the horror spectrum that, through its mounting word-of-mouth popularity, easily blocked Saw VI from the #1 spot on the weekend before Halloween despite playing in over a thousand fewer theaters than Saw VI did.
  • 2007's Bratz single-handedly killed theatrical films based on doll franchises, a fact not helped along by the frame of mind they were up against to begin with. This was shown very clearly with the fate of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl the following year. Despite critics calling it a far superior film and the franchise having been going strong since the 1980s and thus having a built-in nostalgia market, Kit made even less money, largely due to theatres not wanting to give doll-line movies another chance. Kit Kittredge was barely advertised on TV and in theatres, and it had very short planned runs. Some cinemas even waited up to a month after its release just to make room to show the thing. Since then, all future American Girl movies have been direct-to-video and have followed their modern Girls of the Year rather than the flagship historical line; later Bratz movies are also direct-to-video and do not follow the live-action theatrical movie's canon. Monster High was apparently going to get a theatrical movie in the 2010s, but that hasn't been heard from in a long time and it too is only releasing DTV. The box-office failure of the Live-Action Adaptation of Jem and the Holograms only confirmed it was dead.
  • The failure of Speed Racer in 2008 likely killed the PG-rated blockbuster. It's even been stated that it led Warner Bros. to scrap a proposed Shazam movie that was in the works at the time, in favor of Darker and Edgier superhero flicks like The Dark Knight and Man of Steel. It's also telling that literally nobody expected Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to be rated PG... not that its success changed WB's mind about PG-rated blockbusters, although Marvel did see an enormous potential in them. Furthering this attitude for the studio is the box-office failure of Pan while more mature works like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad (2016) have become successful. Tellingly, when they finally got around to making a SHAZAM! movie, it was rated PG-13, and there were even rumors swirling about Pokémon Detective Pikachu also getting a PG-13 because of this phenomenon, though it ended up with a PG.
  • Twilight in 2008 and The Hunger Games in 2012 killed the child-led blockbuster franchises that Harry Potter had popularised. The young adult novels featuring child protagonists stopped getting adapted in favour of books with teen protagonists — and films such as The Giver and Seventh Son (2015) aged up their twelve-year-old protagonists significantly. Not helping matters was the Harry Potter leads also having entered their twenties by the time the final films were made. Disney felt the effects of this too with Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Oz: The Great and Powerful — based on stories with child protagonists, but featuring adults as the leads instead. Pan was an attempt at a child-led franchise that ended up bombing spectacularly. Warner Bros. later focused the film adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on adult protagonist Newt Scamander, to much greater success critically and commercially. Pokémon Detective Pikachu also aged its teenage protagonist from the video game into a young adult instead.
  • Not one film in particular, but the 2000s trend of remaking Asian horror films for Americans ended soon after 2008, which had no fewer than three movies of this type reach wide release — One Missed Call, The Eye, and Shutter. While they turned a profit, all three were poorly reviewed (especially One Missed Call, which has 0% on Rotten Tomatoes) and none were what you'd call big hits. This, combined with the fact that the found footage horror trend had started that year with Quarantine and Cloverfield, killed off the subgenre (the last entry was January 2009's The Uninvited). Rings was an attempt at a Genre Relaunch that ended up being a massive critical and commercial failure.
    • Also the trend of doing PG-13 remakes of R-rated horror films was killed off by the remakes of Prom Night and The Stepfather. The former did OK at the box-office but received almost universally negative reviews from critics and horror fans alike and the latter in addition to bad reviews barely made back it's budget.
  • Dragonball Evolution in 2009 tainted the very idea of a Western adaptation of anime and manga for a very long time, and the failure of Ghost in the Shell over similar concerns certainly hasn't helped matters. 2019's Alita: Battle Angel was arguably only released because it was a long time passion project from James Cameron, and even before release it was already facing lowered expectations in terms of box office return, expectations, which as it would turn out, ended up being largely accurate. Though a box office hit internationally (mainly thanks to China pulling in around 3/4 of its gross), it bombed domestically, which together with James Cameron's attention turned more toward sequels to Avatar, a sequel seems very unlikely. As of 2019, the only Western-Adaptation-of-Anime film being developed in Hollywood is an adaptation of Your Name being helmed by J. J. Abrams, though it is worth noting that unlike the Sci-Fi Action epics that had come out previously it is adapting a Magic Realism based modern youth romance instead. Other adaptations have remained in Development Hell, and Pokémon Detective Pikachu is instead opting for an Alternate Continuity with subtle nods to the anime.
  • In the 2000s, most romance-themed movies, with few exceptions (such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and (500) Days of Summer), could be split into two camps: a) pandering rom-coms occupied by the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Katherine Heigl, and b) weepy, melodramatic movies that copied The Notebook. How Do You Know in 2010 and Bridesmaids in 2011 killed the first type, the former due to its Troubled Production (the result of director James L. Brooks' perfectionism causing the budget to spiral out of control), and the latter by way of raising the bar by featuring a protagonist thoroughly independent from the romantic lead and successfully adapting the Judd Apatow style of raunchy humor and character-focused writing to a female-oriented comedy. While straight examples of type B still exist somewhat, if only due to Nicholas Sparks' name recognition, it's commonly accepted that, for most modern films that fall into that category, you have to do something unique like making the guy a teenage alcoholic, making the guy and girl have cancer, or having the girl be an AI system.
  • This article by Bloody-Disgusting makes the case that Paranormal Activity 4 and The Devil Inside in 2012 killed the found footage horror film, at least within the mainstream. After PA4's marked decline in quality compared to prior entries in the series (which had helped popularize found footage to begin with), and The Devil Inside's misleading advertising and frustrating lack of ending, audiences became skeptical of similar efforts in the subgenre. This led to subsequent found footage films like Devil's Due, the final two Paranormal Activity films, and As Above, So Below underperforming at the box office; most subsequent hits in the genre, like V/H/S and Willow Creek, have largely been on the indie circuit.
  • The critical and box office failures of Movie 43 and Inappropriate Comedy in 2013 have seemed to kill the anthology movie altogether, after it had mostly been on life support for the past two decades. Cloud Atlas seemed to be a brief shot in the arm for the genre, but even that failed to be a hit.
  • While the triplet failures of Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and Vampire Academy weren't enough to kill the YA novel adaptation as a whole, they were enough to kill off the Paranormal Romance subgenre, which had been on its way out in YA literature as far back as late 2010. The failures of the latter two were bad enough to cause studios to rethink their YA adaptation strategies, going for the ones that were bound to make a lot of money from the get-go — namely, dystopian Sci-Fi (not helping matters was that the The Mortal Instruments series was already getting flak from the community for being extremely derivative). The Twilight series survived into 2012, but only as a Franchise Zombie. Since 2012, with The Hunger Games popularizing YA dystopian fiction, its success was enough to finally get the long-awaited adaptations of The Giver, Ender's Game, The Maze Runner, and Divergent made.
  • The failure of Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse in 2015 ended the zombie film boom that began over a decade prior with 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead (2004). With Zombieland taking a long time for a follow-up to get made and World War Z failing to launch a franchise as its sequel is still sitting on the drawing board, zombie films are rapidly dropping in popularity. Zombie TV shows still remain successful, however, with shows such as The Walking Dead, Z Nation, and iZombie being incredibly popular.
  • Dirty Grandpa and Bad Moms both in 2016 hurt the reputation of male-oriented adult comedies, which were wildly popular throughout the late 2000s. The former, while doing well at the box-office, received such an overwhelmingly negative response that subsequent attempts at the sub-genre in the same year (including Zoolander 2, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Bad Neighbors 2 and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) either became financial disappointments or outright flops (it didn't help that the genre's popularity had waned considerably after 2010), while the latter was aimed specifically at women and was more successful then all of the aforementioned films. Nearly every modern-day adult comedy is now either aimed at a female audience (Girls Trip, Rough Night) or both men and women. (The House, Game Night, Blockers)
  • YA dystopian movies would themselves fall just a few years after YA paranormal romance films with the Box Office Bomb of The Divergent Series: Allegiant in 2016. Not only was this film the final theatrically-released entry in the franchise (there were plans to turn the fourth film, Ascendant, into a Made-for-TV Movie with a reduced budget, that have since been stuck in Development Hell), it seems to have caused studios to take the hint that the genre had grown oversaturated. Perhaps noticing the decline in popularity, 20th Century Fox opted not to split the third Maze Runner book into two films.note  By the time The Death Cure was released, dystopian films ended up being replaced by more down-to-earth teen/young-adult romances.
  • The failure of the Allegiant movie also put an end to the Movie Multipack trend, after an already lukewarm reception to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay being split in two parts. Shortly after that film bombed, both huge comic-book movie tentpoles Avengers: Infinity War and Justice League were first retitled to lose the words "Part 1" and "Part 2" and then announced to be shooting separately and following a more traditional model of "a standalone(-ish) movie with a sequel" instead of being a "multi-pack" experience. At this point, the only remaining announced multi-pack examples would be Avatar 2 to Avatar 5, which are currently still planed to shoot concurrently (with 2 and 3 shooting separately from 4 and 5) and release with one year between each individual movie of either pair and three years between the pairs themselves.
  • The "Sundance style" became not only synonymous with hopeless sentimentalism and a 21st century version of "kitchen sink" realism, but it also marked "indie" filmmaking during the 2000s, with many a mainstream film adopting elements of it to look more respectable (either as Award Bait or just as a last-resource measure to get positive reviews). While this formula had eventually turned into "uplifting Christmas release" material during the 2010s, it became completely discredited by 2016's Collateral Beauty, with most reviews calling out the schmaltzy elements of the formula (with 2018's Welcome to Marwen serving as its "obituary"). At the same time, a new "indie wave" emerged, inspired on the "auteur revisionism" Sundance strived to avoid.
Top

Example of:

/

Feedback