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Sequelitis / Films - Live-Action

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"Didn't we say all we needed to say in the first Beetlejuice? Must we go tropical?"
Kevin Smith, on the (thankfully) aborted Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian

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  • Air Bud. It went from a touching story about a dog escaping an abusive owner, helping a young boy find his place, and leading a small-town sports team to victory, to a wacky comedy about talking puppies.
  • Airplane II: The Sequel, which wasn't produced by James Abrahams and the Zucker brothers. Most of the jokes and the plot were re-hashed from the original movie, Leslie Nielsen didn't return, and it did so badly at the box office that the planned second sequel was cancelled. The best parts were the courtroom scene and the self-parody by William Shatner.
  • Alien³ is ramshackle, given Executive Meddling forced first-time director David Fincher to work with whatever was available during the Troubled Production. Thus instead of going to Earth as promised in a trailer, the whole movie took place in a drab metal building on a barren rock full of loathsome convicts - and add the opening killing off the people who Ripley worked so hard to keep alive in Aliens, this made the movie way too grim and joyless for many viewers.
    • The fourth film kicked off on a ludicrous premise (cloned Alien-hybrid Ripley!), was full of characters without tangible goals, and squandered whatever good ideas Joss Whedon original script had (as he later stated, “…I just gave them dialogue and stuff, but I don’t remember writing, ‘A withered, granny-lookin’ Pumpkinhead-kinda-thing makes out with Ripley,'”). It halted independent Alien films until 2012's Prometheus.
    • Alien: Covenant tried to make up for the divisive Prometheus by making it more straightforward horror than going on intellectual tangents. Unfortunadely, it hit out with fans of that movie by dropping its story and baggage with at most off-screen resolutions, and also its dissers by retaining the overuse of Christian imagery and philosophical moments to pretend it's deeper, as well as people behaving stupidly and subsequently suffering easily avoidable deaths. The film's origin for the Xenomorphs also didn't sit well with many.
  • Alien vs. Predator. When you take two of the greatest sci-fi/action/horror franchises of all time and make a mess of them, there is bound to be negative feedback. It's disappointing to learn that Alien 5 was passed on in favor of AvP. It could be cool as a franchise but, as the second movie clearly showed, they didn't have any long-term plans.
    Jay: [rifftrack] James Cameron was putting together a script for a fifth Alien movie that Sigourney Weaver was attached to be in, and Ridley Scott was interested in directing, and then...
    Rich: [groans] Oh no.
    Jay: ...Freddy vs. Jason was a big hit...
    Rich: Oh no!
    Jay: ...and then 20th Century Fox decided they were going to abandon the James Cameron/Ridley Scott movie...
    Rich: Oh noooo!
    Jay: ...and slap together Alien vs. Predator. This movie had a two-month shoot and four-month post-production, and then it was quickly rushed out into theaters.
    Rich: That is the most depressing thing I've ever heard! I was ambivalent about this movie; now I hate it!
    • Both franchises were hard R-rated and had long running times. AvP has too low a rating to show things like a Chestburster, which is intrinsic to the films. ("Unrated" AvP is a bit of a joke since they basically just added splashes of CGI blood to that version.) The result then dropped all pretenses at horror, while also having a thin plot. And by being a Human-Focused Adaptation with non-combative people that couldn't have a bearing in the conflict (the games had Space Marines who served as an equal challenger to the Aliens and the Predators, and even the Predator movies had soldiers and policemen who held their own in a fight), the characters were boring and just took screentime away from the creatures that the people wanted to see. The human/Predator team-up at the end is a polarizing topic, even if it happened on the comics.
    • Requiem: Predator vs. Dawson's Creek. The movie builds up all these terrible characters that you hate, and then they all get butchered in ridiculous ways. The R-rated carnage was back, but used in an excessive and disgusting way (pregnant women turned into snake's nests of Xenomorphs!). By being set at night under heavy rain, it’s too dark to tell what’s going on half the time ("It's not bright enough." Yeah, no shit.), which was particularly frustrating to fans who were psyched to see the Predalien from AvP in action, only to finish the movie and still not know what the thing looks like.
  • American Pie descended into this for a while. The American Pie Presents series were direct to DVD releases with predictable results. The sole main cast member reprising a role from any of the first 3 movies is Eugene Levy. Inverted with American Reunion, which brought back the principal cast and was a much better film than the DVD cash-ins that preceded.
  • American Psycho 2: All American Girl has Mila Kunis slumming it in a horror film where the main character from the original dies in the first 5 minutes. It was originally going to be it's own thing, and they decided to add the Patrick Bateman connection in the middle of filming. Mila has disowned the film.
  • Both The Amityville Horror (1979) and The Howling had an unusually high number of sequels, most of them direct-to-video. With Amityville, it also extended to the book series, which eventually became pure fiction, and got progressively weirder and surreal.
  • Arthur 2: On the Rocks is still held up today as one of the biggest drop-offs in quality between a comedy and its sequel. The original 1981 film was a huge Oscar-winning hit, but prospects for a sequel were dicey from the beginning — first, writer-director Steve Gordon died the year after its release. Second, a major plot point in the original was Arthur's Servile Snarker valet Hobson dying at the end of the second act. Third, the title character was a happy, witty alcoholic, a character type falling out of favor as The '80s progressed and as substance abuse of all kinds was increasingly frowned upon. Fourth, the Surprisingly Happy Ending was pretty definite. There was still a major push for a sequel, though, and the original cast and a new creative team ultimately obliged. The plot made a legitimate attempt to continue the narrative of the first film and give Arthur more Character Development by stripping him of his fortune, leaving him and his true love in poverty, and having him sober up as part of his resultant quest to earn his happy ending, working in an appearance by Hobson that may or may not be a hallucination along the way (thus adding fantasy elements to a non-fantastic story). Unfortunately, critics felt this sucked all the fun out of the premise and Escapist Character, and audiences agreed — and the cast and crew had their regrets as well. Writer Andy Breckman actually stood outside his hometown movie theater to apologize to anyone who saw it.
  • Atlas Shrugged:
    • Part II: The Strike: Producer John Aglialoro was up against a wall and had to make a movie quickly or lose the rights. The budget is about half of what it cost to make the first one. They hired the director of American Pie Presents: The Book of Love. In the beginning we see Dagny walking through a train station with Robert Picardo and the trains are badly CGI'ed, which begs the question of why they didn't just film in front of an Amtrak. Yet in another scene we establish Dagny’s smarmy brother who has no talent but hogs all the credit: he is a supposed multi-millionaire but he goes into what appears to be a K-Mart and picks a tie for a piano concert next to the Slim Jims and antifreeze. The movie picks up where the last left off with no recap of what happened before. It takes 30 minutes to set things up but after that not much happens. It ends with Dagny flying to an island and finally meeting John Galt. There are some slightly better actors in Part II but they are hamstrung by horribly dry dialog about how greed is good and how fairness is illogical. If it isn’t already clear as to who this movie appeals to, Sean Hannity appears as Sean Hannity and Teller from Penn & Teller has a brief speaking role.
    • Atlas Shrugged III: Who is John Galt? Aglialoro couldn't even get the same cast and crew to come back. In fact, it was made on a budget so low that production had to license its shots of trains, cities, and landscapes from elsewhere. Much of this footage is quite old, and sourced from bleary standard-definition tapes.

  • Baby Geniuses of all things falls under this trope; in spite of the original film's critical thrashing, its modest box office success led to a sequel entitled Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, and viewers are still divided over which one is worse. Plans for a third movie seemed to fall through after its original director Bob Clark died in 2007, only for a new director to take the helm and resume the series with the third released as direct-to-video, and practically no-one admits that it's better than the first two.
  • Basic Instinct 2 wasn't racy enough to turn heads like the '92 original or the pseudo-sequel Sliver. The box office gross didn't even cover Sharon Stone's salary for the movie. Having lost her sex kitten purr a long time ago in her determination to be taken seriously as a actress, Stone is very unsure in the role and is the weakest link in the film. It's more of a psychological thriller, which is probably for the best, but don't get us started on that phallic building which serves as the shrink's headquarters.
  • Warner Bros. were squeamish about Tim Burton's dark and violent portrayal of Batman, and decided to go Lighter and Softer. Burton and Michael Keaton bailed once they saw the direction the franchise was headed in, and in comes Joel Schumacher, who took ALL of the blame for the decisions in the follow-ups.
    • Batman Forever ditched the moody and gothic look to instead bathe everything in neon lights, add sexualized imagery (Batsuits with nipples and huge codpieces! Statues of buff men! A Batmobile that looks like a dildo!), and not make Batman as important as two hammy villains who are clearly trying to outstage each other and at times just ditch the source material (Two-Face kept flipping his coin until he got the desired result, rather than accepting fate's ruling).
    • For Batman & Robin, Schumacher would often yell, "Remember, you're in a cartoon!" before takes, given it was studio- and Merchandise-Driven to the max. After Burton's movies and Batman: The Animated Series brought back serious Batman into the public conscious, B&R instead tried to recapture the camp of the 60s TV show, with everything being gaudy and colorful, and the villains bordering on ridiculous - specially Mr. Freeze, who retained the tragic Anti-Villain rework from TAS but was portrayed as a Card-Carrying Villain ("Go! Kill the heroes!") who loved to spew ice puns. It would take eight years for Batman to return to the big screen.
  • Be Cool, the sequel to Get Shorty: Cameos are jokes! Very loosely based on the Elmore Leonard novel. The conversation between John Travolta and Steve Tyler is some of the worst acting ever put to film.
  • A Hard Day's Night is still deemed a classic Mockumentary. The next film with The Beatles, Help! already dipped in quality by being more of a Denser and Wackier comedy. And then the band took it upon themselves to make a movie, and the result is the bizarre and disjointed mess that is Magical Mystery Tour, where the music is basically the only thing that works. (that's not counting Yellow Submarine, which was well done, but didn't involve the actual Beatles until the end, and Let It Be, an actual documentary that for being the portrait of a self-destructing band, appears to be too downbeat for enjoyment and has mostly been kept out of circulation).
  • Beethoven was a modest hit when it came out, but wasn't anything particularly special. However, the success of the film was enough to give Hollywood an excuse to turn it into a franchise, resulting in a film series that became more and more out of touch with the original with every installment. While Beethoven's 2nd stayed true to the original formula with its then-familiar cast and Beethoven still at his usual canine antics, Beethoven's 3rd saw Beethoven transferred to a new family headed by father Judge Reinhold replacing Charles Grodin, with increasingly uninspired villains and stories appearing in each installment. By the time of Beethoven's sixth film appearance, the series was rebooted and retooled and then the seventh installment, Beethoven's Christmas Adventure, had Beethoven talking, finally doing away with what little resemblance the sequels still bore to the original. There was also a short-lived animated series. In 2014, it spawned an eighth installment, Beethoven's Treasure Tail.
  • Beyond the Poseidon Adventure is one of the most infamous examples. The original plan was for the survivors of the first film to get trapped in a cave-in when the tunnel above their passenger train collapses. (This premise was later used for the Stallone vehicle Daylight.) Instead, Michael Caine is looking for gold coins in the upturned ship, which miraculously hasn't sunk yet. Standing in his way is Telly Savalas, who is looking for plutonium (!) stashed away in the holds. Poor Savalas was looking to get back into movies; Poseidon was a big middle finger to that idea.
    The Agony Booth: Standing at the railing is none other than Telly Savalas dressed up in a truly horrifying costume: He's all done up in a white polyester leisure suit, white shoes, and shiny black mock turtleneck... Telly introduces himself as 'Dr.' Stefan Svevo of the 'medical rescue ship' Irene. Uh huh. Svevo describes his henchmen as "paramedics", which is probably the biggest laugh to be had in this film.
  • Birdemic quickly gained a So Bad, It's Good following for its slipshod camera work, Author Tract-laden dialog, and incredibly fake-looking special effects. The director, realizing he had a cult hit on his hands, later put out Birdemic 2: The Resurrection, which—like many sequels to so-bad-they're-good works—is self-aware and deliberately tries to be corny. General consensus on this film is that this results in the movie trying too hard and ending up feeling forced and artificial, completely removing what makes the first movie so fun to watch. It's as bad at being intentionally bad as the first movie is bad at being intentionally good.
  • Blues Brothers 2000. The music is still good and the new Bluesmobile kicks the orginal's butt in terms of action. The third act is where the movie falls apart: the Voodoo Queen sequence is random as hell, and there's way too many people chasing them with too-little development (in the original, everyone on the planet was after them, from the Nazis to Carrie Fisher, but they all had time to explain why they were angry). John Landis and Dan Aykroyd said that studio interference played a role: for instance, they were forced to shoot in Toronto and add a kid into the movie. In order to get Universal to sign off on the music they wanted (which John and Dan considered more important than anything), they had to submit endless drafts and obey every stupid note. Any time they pushed back, Universal threatened to pull the plug. Universal really didn't want to make the movie. In the end it just seemed like Aykroyd wasted his creative capital on this instead of Ghostbusters III. The only worthwhile thing to come out of this was Skull Vodka.
  • Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is a sad story because the director had an interesting idea about whether the Blair Witch was real or if it was just mass hysteria. It was a commentary on society. After he was finished, of course The Weinstein Company came and said the general audience is dumb and won’t understand it and wants more of the same. Long story short, they shot scenes behind the director’s back, so much that it doesn't resemble the original vision at all. They also changed the title and the soundtrack.
  • The Boondock Saints II: All Saint's Day. If you have seen the documentary about the making of the first film called Overnight (which is a much more entertaining watch than Boondock Saints 2), you get a pretty clear picture as to why this failed. Troy Duffy thought he was Spielberg from Day One of shooting and he had no problem with burning non-existent bridges and pissing off everyone in the industry. He had ten years to come up with a sequel and to prove to all his doubters that he isn't a poor man's Tarantino, and the best he could do is a stale remake of the first movie. Even death doesn’t stop Duffy from going back to the well as we get several scenes of Rocco doing pointless crap. The one person they couldn’t get back was Willem Dafoe, and so we get a carbon copy in the form of Julie Benz who speaks in an over-the-top Texan drawl. They might as well have dressed her up like Annie Oakley and had her twirling a six shooter. Oh wait, they did.
  • The Bourne Legacy. The writers had two problems when they were drafting this movie. First was how does Aaron fit into this universe despite no one in any of the previous three movies even hinting at his existence? It would have been easier to simply recast Bourne with Jeremy Renner. The second problem is that there is hardly any action. The other Bourne movies were able to cut quickly between the action scenes and the talky intrigue scenes. Here it feels like we are trapped in a board meeting with Edward Norton followed by Renner and Rachel Weisz walk-and-talking around their respective workplaces. The plot has to bend over backwards to both justify its existence and provide something for our protagonist to do, so it gets bogged down in endless uninteresting exposition dumps.
    • And even bringing back Jason in the eponymous movie didn't save the franchise from this trope, as the movie just went through the same motions of the first three (including again killing a main female character in the opening minutes) and was criticized for not featuring anything new.
  • Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, a great American classic. The title says "Breakin'", and by God, that's what you're going to get. There is no plot to speak of. The community center is getting bulldozed, and they have to breakdance to save it? These people are dancers first and actors second, so maybe that's a blessing. Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo has been remembered and mocked for so long because the title is indicative of everything that is wrong with quick cash in sequels. This movie makes Step Up 2 look like The Red Shoes. It makes Footloose look like An American in Paris.

  • Caddyshack II. Everything in this movie feels like we are trading down. Chevy Chase and Kenny Loggins were the only ones who returned for the sequel (and Chevy insisted on a "Special Guest Appearance" because he didn't want to be billed at all). The others saw the writing on the wall, as did every castmate and even returning writer Harold Ramis. Ramis is not directing and hands it over to Allan Arkush, a TV director. The original idea was probably to make Al Czervik the main character. Instead of Rodney Dangerfield (who left due to a dispute over the script), our main character is the awful Jackie Mason, and everyone else is equally unremarkable or unlikable.
  • Carrie is considered one of the landmark horror films of The '70s, and its success helped to establish Stephen King, the writer of the book it was based on, as one of the biggest names in horror literature. Twenty-three years later comes The Rage: Carrie 2, a film that, while most definitely enjoyable in a certain way, fails to hold a candle to the original, and was a box office disappointment. Part of this may stem from the fact that The Rage was originally written as a separate film called The Curse, and was turned into a Carrie sequel presumably after somebody saw the obvious similarities between the two films.
  • Most slasher movies tend to suffer this fate. The Child's Play franchise is coasting on nostalgia at this point.
    • Child's Play 3: This sequel garnered heavily negative reception from critics and fans. The problems witth this one range from Andy's actor being replaced, unlikable characters such as Tyler and Shelton, The story working more like a military war camp film than a slasher film, and so many plotholes. The biggest problem with this film is that it was rushed. it was released just nine months after Child's Play 2. It's also an Old Shame for creator Don Mancini, and Brad Dourif.
    • Seed of Chucky: While the critics has mixed opinions on the film, The fans absolutely loathed it for many good reasons: For one, many felt that this film really overplayed the comedy aspect too much. Another major problem with this one is that the film is not scary enough. The biggest problem is the spoofing and the pop culture references overtaking the horror aspect of the film. Overall, many view this film as a disappointment, so much so that many fans think that the aforementioned Child's Play 3 is better.
  • The original Children of the Corn (1984) film has suffered from an attack of Sequelitis, spawning seven gradually worsening sequels - The Final Sacrifice, Urban Harvest, The Gathering, Fields of Terror, 666: Isaac's Return, Revelation and Genesis.
  • A Christmas Story is regarded as a holiday classic. The sequels were too obscure... except for A Christmas Story 2, which seen as one of the worst movies of all time.
    WrestleCrap Hey, don’t blame me… I had nothing to do with writing or filming this. I didn’t put together a storyboard with 'RALPHIE HUMPS MANNEQUIN' on it. That was someone else. Someone evil. Possibly Satan himself.
  • The Conjuring fared well with critics, then its prequel Annabelle released the following year was reviled by some and considered So Okay, It's Average by others. The Conjuring had a proper sequel in 2016 that met critical success, while Annabelle had a Surprisingly Improved Sequel in 2017.
  • The Crow:
    • The Crow was a powerful, emotionally-gripping comic book, that had an equally powerful film adaptation—with a kickass soundtrack, to boot. It had several sequels in both media, and none of them were anything close to the original, or even enjoyable. Thus, The Crow uniquely has severe Sequelitis in two media.
    • The second movie, The Crow: City of Angels, in particular, suffered - tortuously - from the writers attempting to take the "framework" of the original story and try to swap out the plot details, replacing the original compelling story with a particularly unsubtle morass of "IKEA Pathos." That, and apparently no one on the film team even noticed the visual aesthetic of the original, since not even the barest effort was made to retain it. Add to this wooden acting, a notable dearth of memorable lines or dialogue, an obvious, over-the-top Ass Pull ending, the utter absence of verisimilitude between the visual (and linguistic) environment depicted in the film and the real-life Los Angeles it was allegedly based on, and a particularly blatant bridge drop at the end, and you have a shameful attempt at remaking - even cloning - The Crow, with essentially none of the things that made the original great. You might say the series Came Back Wrong.
  • The DC Extended Universe already started off divisive with Man of Steel, and the direct follow-ups to that went even further down that path.
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a Frankenstein’s Monster of a script: a gorgeous but wildly inconsistent and overlong mess which is awesome in some parts and terrible in others (most infamously, the fight between the heroes stopping because both their mothers are named Martha), and was more focused on adapting various comic book events and setting up sequels rather than telling a cohesive story (in this movie alone, Zack Snyder sets up Wonder Woman, Jimmy Olsen who dies in the span of 2 minutes, Dark Knight Returns, Darkseid, Parademons, and Apokolips by having Batman dream about them, Justice League by having Wonder Woman read an e-mail, and The Death of Superman). The dark tone and drab color scheme also makes the thing joyless to watch, even with the addition of comedic elements like a goofy Lex Luthor (the idea of making Lex's motivation to hate Superman more of a philosophical one is interesting, but the usually talented Jesse Eisenberg is still channeling Mark Zuckerberg).
    • Unfortunately, the stars aligned for Justice League (2017) to be bad. Nobody came off well here, specially the studio under tremendous pressure from investors, press and general audiences to change styles and that by not budging on the release date created time restraints that took their toll on everyone - the actors don't expect such rigorous reshoots (Ben Affleck looks like he has given up as Batman), CGI can't be polished (the awkward removal of Henry Cavill's mustache being a lowlight), etc. The tonal clash between Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon (brought in when Snyder had to leave for personal issues) is visible, and by cramming the planned two movies into one, the villain ends up generic and unremarkable, making Eisenberg look like Vincent Price.
  • Battle Royale 2 suffered heavily from this. Even the most enthusiastic fans of the sequel will admit that it isn't anywhere near the caliber of the original (whether it be novel, manga or movie).
  • Death Wish started as a grounded, down-to-earth crime drama where Charles Bronson's character brought about a cynical analysis of the attitudes of Americans regarding the crime waves of the 1970s, and stood out as unique in the action genre at the time. However, its four sequels became progressively less grounded in reality and increasingly over the top, with Bronson resorting to excessive means in dispatching one typical action movie villain after another and dropping the social commentary that magnified the first film's impact.
  • Die Hard had two Contested Sequels in the second (because it was too similar) and fourth (for being exaggerated, with outlandish setpieces and John McClane's durability reaching Made of Iron levels), when A Good Day to Die Hard was universally considered a bad installment, with its thin plot stretched out through generic action sequences and tired The New Russia clichés, while making John McClane indistinguishable from other Bruce Willis roles and a side character in his own movie.
  • After Dumb and Dumber got serious prequelitis with Dumb and Dumberer, which seemed to think having people acting dumb and obnoxious was automatically funny, Dumb and Dumber To brought back the Farrelly Brothers and the two main actors, and still wasn't all cracked up to be. The Toilet Humor and Vulgar Comedy escalated while not being particularly effective, there are lots of references that were either already dated or aged poorly (cameo by Honey Boo Boo's mom!), and in spite of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels still giving their best and still having a great chemistry, Harry and Lloyd were not as lovable (as summed up by Honest Trailers, "The goofballs you used to love when you were ten or thirteen are back and dumber than ever, but now they're also old, unlikable, sexist, racist, and bizarrely mean-spirited.")
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God is often said to have inverted this trope in spite of being released as a SyFy Channel Original, which is normally a step worse than Direct-to-Video. It helps that the first Dungeons & Dragons was so campy and far gone from what D&D was (or was expected to be) that the few fans left felt it had nowhere left to go but up. The third one, however, The Book of Vile Darkness, managed to do worse again and strangely dropped all connections to the previous movies despite actually numbering itself this time.
  • Evan Almighty followed a straightforward comedy - Jim Carrey doing wacky shenanigans with godlike abilities - with an epic comedy about a "Noah's Story" Arc that was a big money splurge (lots of animals and a realistic flood sequence) but simply didn't deliver the laughs and entertainment audiences wanted in the first place. Steve Carell isn’t allowed to do anything that made him popular. The main gags just seem to be him goofing around with animals and doing stupid slapstick by falling off his construction site and smacking himself with a hammer. Because the movie is a PG, inoffensive, Christian romp, they could have cast anyone in this role and it wouldn’t have made a difference. Speaking of wasted talent, Lauren Graham and John Goodman are also not allowed to do a damn thing, and Jonah Hill is painful as Evan's top aide.
  • The Exorcist is widely regarded as being one of the best horror films ever made. Its sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic is widely regarded as being one of the worst. In spite of having John Boorman as a director and an all-star cast including Richard Burton, James Earl Jones etc, the consensus among critics and audiences alike is that the film was a train wreck plagued by an absurd premise, bad writing, and equally poor acting. In contrast, William Peter Blatty 's own sequel The Exorcist III (which ignored its predecessor) has developed something of a cult following in spite of its various perceived flaws. The Exorcist franchise also spawned two prequels, Exorcist: The Beginning and Dominion. While the latter has a better reputation than the former, neither came close to approaching the original film's impact or high standards in filmmaking.
  • The Expendables 3, due to being rated PG-13 and adding unnecessary new characters played by lesser-known actors who are taking the screentime from the bigger name actors whose appearance were the whole point of the franchise, has drawn much criticism. It doesn't help that many of these new characters are played by real-life MMA fighters and martial artists with little to no acting experience, which unfortunately comes across in their performances.
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald squandered the good will gathered by the first movie with an overstuffed script full of sideplots and lazy\contradictory Harry Potter Call Forwards, wasting returning characters Jacob, Tina and Queenie (the last one even goes from a charming flapper to a fascist date rapist in the span of one film), and being light on both the Fantastic Beasts that made the original fun, or a strong villainous presence to warrant the subtitle. It's one of those rare bits of entertainment which is actually worse than the sum of its parts.
  • Final Destination. Of the films, the first two are viewed as the best, the third is viewed as average, the fourth film is violently hated, and the fifth is viewed as a proper return to form (with the highest critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 61%).
  • The Fly II is generally seen by critics as inferior to the the 1986 remake due to being more of a standard monster movie than the tragic psychological thriller of its predecessor. Audiences, on the other hand, were more forgiving due to its visuals still as good as those of the remake and even critics noted that this was the one area it could match it.
  • Friday was a great comedy with good performances from Ice Cube as Craig and Chris Tucker as Smokey, the latter of whom is widely thought to be the funniest part of the film. A sequel, Next Friday, was released in 2000 and is generally considered inferior - mainly due to the lack of Smokey (Tucker had chosen to do Rush Hour instead and had become a born-again Christian after making Money Talks), who was replaced by Mike Epps as Day-Day - but the movie still has its defenders. 2002's Friday After Next, however, has been almost universally panned.

  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is even more schlocky than the original (with moments such as Ghost Rider pissing fire or spinning in mid-air after being hit by a flashbang) while not having a good story to back it up, and just trying to coast on Nicolas Cage's weirdness (Rotten Tomatoes' consensus even says the film has "a Nic Cage performance so predictably loony it's no longer amusing").
  • Ghostbusters II:
    • The film fell victim to this, as the plot reads like a Mad Lib rewrite of the first movie: An ancient (god/warlock) is resurrected in modern New York, possesses Dana Barret's nebbish (neighbor/boss), and needs (her/her baby) as part of its plot to destroy New York. She gradually falls for Peter's quirky charm, while the rest of the Ghostbusters try to convince the skeptical mayor and a sleazy (EPA agent/mayoral aide) that the world's in danger, until the big finale has the heroes facing off with the (god/warlock) in a gothic (skyscraper/library) now overrun by evil, while a giant walking mascot (terrorizes/saves) the city by stepping on things. It's all made even more implausible given how easily all the world-changing events of the first movie seem to have been swept under the rug, and the end result was so lackluster, both critically and financially, that the director and other three stars were completely turned off from Aykroyd's plans for a third movie (his plot ended up mostly used in a video game).
  • The Godfather Part III feels like a made-for-TV reunion special where the cast of something beloved comes together and goes through the motions for their fans. Al Pacino hadn't sunk into the full depths of self-parody yet, but in a couple of scenes, he lets Tony Montana (turned-down mouth) leak into his act. Sofia Coppola seems to get a level of hate similar to Jake Lloyd.note  In 1990, Sofia was just Francis' daughter with no acting or directing credits to her name. And while she is very beautiful, the long closeups of her Elvis-like sneer made critics stampede. It's not like the script did her any favors with the kissing-cousins subplot. Godfather III also suffers from a lot of unintentional self-parody, cringey 80's zeitgeist (80's clothing and hair when it's supposed to be 1979), and action scenes that are more congruent with a Bourne film. Coppola wanted an extra year to work on the script and they wouldn't give it to him, so he started filming in chronological order while continuing to revise the script. So you get a bunch of dropped threads like Bridget Fonda's stuff. Years after the fact, Coppola went on record saying he only did III for the money.
  • The Godzilla films often fall under this considering there are 27 sequels to the original Japanese film and two remakes. The first film is regarded as a classic and a few sequels are beloved by the fans. However, many films (especially the ones made in the 1960s-1970s) are considered to be So Bad, It's Good at best.
  • Grease is a hugely popular 50s nostalgia musical funfest. Grease 2 has only a few characters returning from the original (Frenchie, Eugene, the principal and her assistant, and the coach. All brief roles.) and introduces Sandy's cousin Michael in some weak attempt to connect the two movies. The plot is a Gender Flip of the first movie's plot and the results are... well, most Grease fans like to pretend it doesn't exist. Incidentally, Grease 2 unwittingly stopped the franchise from experiencing what would likely be more sequelitis. There were plans for two more movies and a TV series, but they were scrapped after Grease 2 flopped.
  • Halloween deserves special mention. The first film is seen as one of the best horror films ever, and every following film is seen as average at best and more often disastrous. It's at the point where, not counting the reboot, the franchise has had to pull Canon Discontinuity twice, with Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later ignoring everything after the second film, and Halloween (2018) ignoring everything after the first. It's generally seen that the 2018 film is the only one to be a genuinely good followup, though not as good as the classic original (they're the only two with a positive critical reception).
  • The 2009 comedy The Hangover quickly became regarded as a well-done, raunchy comedy, making $467 million of a $35 million budget. A sequel was made only two years later. Unfortunately, it played out as a carbon copy of the first film, only far more dark and raunchy without any of the surprise. While it managed to make even more money than the first, many people didn't like it for the above reasons. A third film came out another two years later, and while it did try to do something different, it had a plot that seemed to put comedy in second place and gave too much focus on the quirky Alan and Chau to the point they became unbearably annoying; unsurprisingly, it's widely considered the worst of the three by critics and viewers alike.
  • Hannibal Lecter. Manhunter presented us with a Lecter who could actually live among us. The Silence of the Lambs went for a more theatrical performance. At the time, it was a kind of acting nobody had ever seen before. Lecter became more super-villainous with each book, so that could explain why he comes across as a more-sophisticated slasher villain in...
    • Hannibal. It's thematically all over the place; don't go into it expecting Jonathan Demme's steady hand. It has the Jack Sparrow problem of putting way too much emphasis on Hannibal, when he was actually used quite sparingly before. And his one-liners start getting a bit too self-aware. Julianne Moore bravely took over a role from the Academy Award-winning Jodie Foster, but not many fans accepted her. They removed the character of Margot, who is probably the most-compelling character in the novel (she made it into the TV adaptation), and changed the ending; the original ending was probably un-filmable, but the new one isn't very well-developed.
    • Hannibal Rising. Young Hannibal is a cannibal superhero who goes around vanquishing evil. It's like Dexter in that regard. You're expecting a killer with moral ambiguity but instead you get a revenge porn with Nazis as the villains. Would you believe Hannibal Lecter studies the way of the Samurai in this picture? (They could've cut out the entire subplot with Gong Li.) The adult Hannibal in the movie acts like an edgelord. The cat-and-mouse game between him and the detective isn't on the same level as Graham or Starling. It was an unnecessary attempt to cash in on the franchise, one which even the author was coerced into writing. Harris' publisher told him to either write it so they could make a movie, or they'd do it without him.
  • The Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle sequels are seen this way by some. The first is well loved, though technically its box office performance was the smallest of the three, but Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay gets a lot of criticism for being too political even though it has the highest box office performance of the trilogy. However, the third film, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas has gotten better reviews than the previous movie mostly because it avoids the politics that plagued it.
  • This happened to a couple of Hellraiser sequels. They were filmed as different movies but they added in a few Pinhead scenes in post. It’s always a marketing decision, usually because they already spent money on a lackluster movie. Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth is often looked down upon for being more mainstream. The fourth tried returning to the series roots, but suffered severely from Executive Meddling, resulting in an extreme case of What Could Have Been. Mileage tends to vary on the direct-to-video films though Hellraiser: Hellworld seems to be the only near-universally disliked one (consensus saying it could've been a decent standalone film, but as a Hellraiser film, it falls flat).
  • Highlander:
    • Highlander II: The Quickening was a big-budget sequel to the promising cult phenomenon. As pointed out by internet reviewer and film historian Oliver Harper, the movie was beset by production problems (to the point where it had to be massively restored on DVD), but that doesn't alter the fact that the most-hated aspects of the film were baked-into the script (to the point where it had to be massively re-edited on DVD): the modern-day setting moved to a cyberpunk future, the distinctly Scottish Immortals were retconned into space aliens (without bothering to wipe the characters' memories or even give them non-regional names to explain this discrepancy), and poor Sean Connery comes back to life (due to Connor shouting his name) only to be killed-off again. Supposedly even more characters were going to come back from the dead, but Clancy Brown read the script and ran for the hills. At the premiere, director Russell Mulcahy left after the first 15 minutes. The series quickly slid back into obscurity, cranking out subpar sequels and a direct-to-DVD movie at the behest of greedy and disinterested producers. It did produce a TV spinoff which enjoyed greater creative independence and had a big following in Europe. It ran a respectable five seasons but hit a rocky patch in the sixth (see main article).
      Noah Antwiler: Highlander 2 also marks the first ever movie I saw in a theater where I tried to kill myself by attempting to shove my own thumb through my forehead and swirling it 'round to turn my frontal lobes into mashed potato.
    • III at least admits they have no way of going forward and instead opts to remake the damn original. We directly rip off scenes of the Kurgan taunting Connor in a church and careening around in a car. (Although The Quickening copied those scenes as well.) Another source of annoyance, frequently brought up by Christopher Lambert, is the fact that the Queen songs are scrapped and we get uninspired butt rock. The third and fourth films were mediocre at best, but some fans are quick to defend them. If nothing else it is good to see Lambert back in the role, but the nostalgia trip is short-lived. Highlander: The Source manages to be a bad sequel to both the film series and the TV series. It repeats the mistake of II by fast-forwarding to a post-apocalyptic future (this time with zero explanation), then snaps Duncan's iconic sword in two, before using it to stab a beloved character to death. Cheap drama to heighten the non-existent stakes. The screenwriters and the lead actor have distanced themselves from it, and it was retconned as a nightmare during Duncan's chemically-induced coma in 4.
  • The Hobbit is technically prequelitis. Guillermo del Toro was slated to direct, but was fired and replaced by Peter Jackson on extremely short-notice. Ignoring the fact that Jackson had years of prep on The Lord of the Rings, while with the Hobbit shoot, he was often approving designs the night before they were needed. In spite of the bloating to make another trilogy of long movies even if the book is the size of just one of the LOTR installments, the first movie was well-received, and the second got even better reviews. And then all the problems were clear on closer Battle of the Five Armies. Jackson went into shooting some scenes with no plan. Many scenes were filmed in-studio instead of New Zealand, and New Line Cinema almost crippled the film industry there with their union-busting. The newly-added Laketown stuff also didn't work. Jackson had two very different lives as a filmmaker; Alfrid seems like a character from one of his older films. He always used to include some "Uncle Les" who wasn't really the antagonist, just a huge piece of shit who always got in the way. One could argue that his purpose was to act as a mirror to Bard, but the greed metaphor was so heavy-handed, and Bard was never all that greedy. And let's not get into the cross-dressing scenes. And then there is the interspecies love triangle, which made Evangeline Lilly very unhappy given she agreed to do the films on the condition that there wasn't one in the first place, only for studio mandates to force it in.
  • Hot Tub Time Machine was well-received, while Hot Tub Time Machine 2 was ravaged by critics and only slightly better-received by audiences.
  • The Huntsman: Winter's War. The sequel nobody wanted from the movie nobody asked for. Word was Snow White was dropped from the title because Kristen Stewart had an affair with the first movie's director, but she later said she kept turning down the scripts due to their general ineptitude and because she wasn't contractually obligated. Universal reported losing $70 million on it. The first made around $400 million on a $175 million budget. They were smart and only spent $115 on this one, but it still flopped hard. Fewer people saw WW in two weeks than the original's opening weekend. The whole time jump thing (which led Universal to market their prequel as a sequel) was confusing. Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron are wasted. The trailers gave away every single major plot point, including the third act twist and the Queen's death scene. The way they go about explaining Snow White's absence and the Evil Queen's return is lazy.

  • I Know What You Did Last Summer was a minor hit in the 90s very loosely based on a mystery/suspense novel. It's fondly remembered as one of the better post Scream slasher films of the day. Its first sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, is divisive among fans but generally still accepted as canon. The next film I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer was a poor Direct-to-Video knock-off that featured none of the original cast and introduced out-of-nowhere supernatural elements that weren't in the original. Fans like to pretend it doesn't exist.
  • In the Heat of the Night had two sequels, 1970's They Call Me Mr. Tibbs and 1971's The Organization, that most people tend to forget about. It doesn't help that the only people who worked on all three films — other than Sidney Poitier, who played Tibbs in both sequels — were Quincy Jones, who provided the jazzy score for each, and producer Walter Mirisch.
  • Independence Day: Resurgence keeps trying to evoke the same kind of feelings as the first one, while also being much less gripping - the original was "down to earth" following the stories of ordinary people, even if one was the President; the sequel, for being more sci-fi oriented (it was not our 2016, but one where twenty years studying alien tech made for a more advanced world) was not as approachable; the new characters were mostly unremarkable, and Will Smith was sorely missed; and the action/destruction was not as innovative and fresh as back in 1996.
  • Interview with the Vampire vs. Queen of the Damned. The two movies were made over ten years apart, with completely different studios, directors, and actors. The themes and tones of the movies were vastly different, and no references were made to characters or plots from the first film, but it was explicitly set afterwards. Both movies being relatively self-contained, QotD was less of a sequel and ore like the closest thing to a Continuity Reboot without actually doing so. Interview was based on the novel of the same name, while Queen of the Damned was an attempt to squeeze two separate novels into one film.
  • While the first Iron Eagle is considered a Cult Classic, the remaining three... definitely aren't. At most, you might get some who argue IV to be a Surprisingly Improved Sequel compared to II and Aces, but all three are considered well behind the first in quality terms.
  • Iron Man 2 is usually considered the weakest or one of the weakest films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far. That said, general consensus seems to be that the second movie is still an entertaining film, if not exactly as fresh as the first one. It may help if you think of it as the second in a trilogy.
  • The James Bond films always seem to wear out their welcome.
    • Sean Connery was fed up with the repetitive nature of the movies and bailed after You Only Live Twice. On Her Majesty's Secret Service was dead in the water without him (though it was later praised for its verisimilitude), so Connery was dragged back for the turkey that was Diamonds Are Forever. He was starting to show his age, and the tone is borderline comedic. Which brings us to...
    • Roger Moore's Bond, which played to his comedic strengths, and also followed the lighthearted tone of Diamonds Are Forever. This also resulted in two of the most reviled installments of the series, The Man with the Golden Gun (in spite of a great villain in Scaramanga, it's just too silly at points, giving undue weight to the fact the villain has three nipples, too much screentime to Sheriff Pepper, and ruins a great stunt with a car jump by adding a slide whistle soundtrack) and Moonraker (Bond IN SPACE! While also having things such as reducing the previously menacing Jaws to just being bumbling and clumsy. Daniel Craig talked in interviews about the effect Moonraker and the Austin Powers movies had on the 007 franchise; he said it essentially forced the directors to go in this new gritty direction, as the previous style had been so painfully parodied). Moore, too, stuck around a little too long: he's just too old in A View to a Kill, and looks downright embarrassed during his love scenes and he departed the film business altogether after that one. That film also has an awful Bond Girl in Tonya Roberts, who was even nominated for a Razzie.
      Darren Mooney: ...this is a version of James Bond who can’t work a bloody coffee machine — never mind doing anything awesome. In a moment later on, which pretty much defines Roger Moore’s iteration of the character, Bond draws a card from the tarot deck. 'You have found yourself,' Solitaire remarks as Bond flips over a card labelled 'The Fool'. That pretty much says it all, I think.
    • Pierce Brosnan is a mixed bag. (GoldenEye ranks as an all-time great, whereas TWINE is sandbagged by Denise Richards. She is indeed as bad as people say.) Die Another Day, which was as outlandish and stupid as Moonraker, convinced the Broccolis to reboot the series, and it was the last nail in director Lee Tamahori's career.
    • Quantum of Solace: Overuse of Bourne-style shaky cam, a writer's strike (the screenplay was only half-completed) forcing the director and Craig to make up lines on the spot, and a lack of James Bond tropes. A competently made action film, but a subpar Bond movie. Remember when 007 was a spy sent on proper missions to do espionage?
  • Jaws 2, Jaws 3D, Jaws: The Revenge, ad nauseam. Ken Begg's series of reviews chronicles the slide in quality from Jaws to Jaws 2 (which he admits is merely inferior and mediocre, but much better than the knock-offs and the next sequels) to Jaws 3-D to Jaws: The Revenge (which bottomed out at 0% on RT, including a zero star rating from Roger Ebert, and ensnared the careers of a good chunk of its crew). So much that it was mocked in Back to the Future Part II: a holographic Jaws 19 poster can be seen during the 2015 sequence. Which makes oddly prescient a move by Peter Benchley, who wrote the original novel. Prior to the film's release, the royalties were late. He called his agent, she replied that there were negotiations on sequel right. “Sequel rights!? I don’t care about sequels; who’ll ever want to make a sequel to a movie about a fish? Sell them the rights to anything they want ... my life as an astronaut, anything. I need money!” Eventually Benchley's sequel rights were exchanged for one-time payments for each new installment, making the original author someone not to blame for the decay. Parodied again around "Back To The Future Day" in October 2015, when, to celebrate the gag from II, Universal released a fake trailer for the aforementioned Jaws 19.
  • The Ju On/The Grudge film series, which began life as Takashi Shimizu's V-Cinema TV special but is now up to a second special (which recycled most of the first), two theatrical Japanese films, two Japanese shorts, an American remake, and two American sequels. Special honors to the first American film because it reenacted, almost scene-for-scene in some cases, the exact same plot as the first Japanese theatrical movie, though somehow keeps the main star/character (Sarah Michelle Gellar) alive through the end.
  • While it's agreed something like this came into effect with Jurassic Park there's a lot of debate over when it came into effect.
    • Opinions were divided over whether The Lost World: Jurassic Park or Jurassic Park III was worse, although the latter usually won out in such arguments, with most outside the fanbase feeling neither of them held a candle to the original, even with several actors inexplicably agreeing to reprise their roles. Both films' Contested Sequel status slid over the years among the fanbase, with an increasing (but far from universal) number of fans regarding TLW as a worthy sequel to JP though with JP3 usually regarded as the abomination at worst, but a decent effort at best.
    • Averted at first with the fourth film, Jurassic World, which has been generally better liked than the previous sequels and was an even bigger financial success than the original film (though critical opinions have varied considerably).
    • ...since the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom however, an increasing number of fans prefer to isolate the "original trilogy" of films from the subsequent installments, seeing the latter as a Dork Age for the franchise, and though many fans liked the film, a notable number of reactions invoked fears that Sequelitis had set in.

  • The Karate Kid movies:
    • Initially averted, then played straight. The Karate Kid Part II was different enough from the first movie to avoid falling into this trope, but The Karate Kid Part III was much less appreciated. Then The Next Karate Kid became a Franchise Killer.
    • The original film received a remake in The Karate Kid (2010), which aside from the basic plot layout is a Karate Kid film In Name Only. As being set in China, there is little if any karate (being a predominately Japanese practice); it's now kung fu, taught by Jackie Chan, yet it's still called The Karate Kid in the US. note  Despite this, it's considered a good film.
  • Kick-Ass 2 was generally not as well received as the original (although audiences reacted better than critics), being more violent, dark and cynical but without the compelling characterization and comedy of the original, to the point of being called "unpleasant".
  • Released in 1989, Kickboxer was a fine action film that did well at the box office and helped propel Jean-Claude Van Damme to stardom. And then came the 1991 sequel, which Van Damme did not return for. Van Damme's character... and the paralyzed brother he fought to avenge... were both murdered before the events of Kickboxer 2, and the protagonist is a previously-unmentioned third brother. Then THAT was followed by three direct-to-video sequels, in which fewer and fewer actors returned to reprise their roles... and by the time the fifth film came out, absolutely no one came back, putting it squarely in In Name Only territory. Easy to see why most fans tend to ignore everything after the first one.
  • Both the original King Kong (1933) and the 1976 remake were followed by forgettable sequels (The Son of Kong and King Kong Lives, respectively, the latter of which finished off John Guillermin's directing career).
  • The Legend of Zorro. It wasn't just the marketing towards kids which killed it. It was how they turned Eléna into a nagging shrew wife for no reason. It's totally at odds with her personality in The Mask of Zorro.
  • The first Lethal Weapon is generally considered the best, despite making far less at the box office than its sequels. Lethal Weapon 2 lacked some of the tension, but traded it in for a lot of gags making it funnier. Lethal Weapon 3 seemed to get a little more tired and Lethal Weapon 4 gives us fake-looking sharks, anvilicious (and hypocritical) political sentiments and a sympathy-pouch-wearing Rene Russo who's supposed to be 9-months pregnant yet able to fight martial arts-trained mooks.
  • Machete Kills compared to Machete. Despite its silliness, Machete has a very tight and focused script, with a legitimate message about border control and the American Dream. The sequel? A hodgepodge of hit-and-miss gags with a disjointed script. Michelle Rodriguez and Mel Gibson do their best to salvage the finale, but it's a long road to get there.
  • The Matrix. The Wachowskis slaved over the first Matrix script for years before they sold it, fine-tuning every element. The first draft was described as incomprehensible, so they rewrote it to make it more accessible to audiences. They shot it on a restricted budget, which forced them to make tough choices. After the success of the first one, the Wachowskis had carte blanche and went back to being indecipherable. The first film was mostly set in 'our' world, and not the dreary Zion world. Zion really is the crux of the problem: the moment it's introduced, it becomes a stand-in for 'mankind' and the people trapped in the Matrix basically cease to matter. The directors got too obsessed with revealing that Zion is part of an even bigger Matrix, hence the Architect's ramblings (parodied by Justin Timberlake and Will Ferrell at that year's VMAs). And sure enough, the sequels feature a whole lot of dull exposition scenes and sappy character moments in Zion. So then all that's left is the kung-fu, with Neo battling Agents in extended fight scenes that are frequently compared to Dragon Ball Z.
  • The Maze Runner was well-received for being considerably smarter than a lot of the other YA adaptations. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials was viewed as a huge step down, with no emphasis on character development and for it being an In Name Only adaptation of The Scorch Trials. Maze Runner: The Death Cure had a better fan reception, but reviews were not as graceful, criticizing the plot decisions and finding the story not as enthralling as the original (helps that a delayed release made the film hit theaters when not many would remember the predecessors).
  • Those who consider Mean Girls to be a Cult Classic find Mean Girls 2 to be fairly lackluster. None of the characters return (except the principal, who is now the butt of out-of-place jokes where he appears to sexually harass the students), instead featuring a new group of Plastics and another new girl in Cady's position. The plot is very similar, but the original's deconstruction of high school tropes has been mostly thrown aside in favor of playing the cliches completely straight. Add that to its short production time of under a month, it bears resemblance to one of the more unremarkable Disney Channel original movies (which makes sense, as several characters are played by Disney Channel actresses).
  • Men in Black II. The original draft was about a terrorist attack in New York City. That plot had to be scrapped because of 9/11. That includes a UFO vs. flying car battle between the Twin Towers. Barry Sonnenfeld assumed the country needed a reason to laugh and weren't looking for anything scary or deep. Instead, make way for the talking pug, product placement, and unfunny jokes. They needed a reason to bring K out of retirement, and Linda Fiorentino can't get work anymore.note  K's and L's happy endings in the first movie are flushed down the drain.
    • Men in Black: International (from the writers of the worst Transformers movie!). The producer won out over the director who was pushing a more-timely story, tying it to the current debate surrounding immigration. Walter F. Parkes is no stranger to bullying directors and rewriting scripts, and he took over directing duties (one source called him "both the arsonist and the fireman"). It flopped for the same reason the Ghostbusters reboot did: it was obvious from the trailer that it's a vehicle for whoever's currently big in Hollywood. Chris Hemsworth plays the opposite of Chris Hemsworth: a talentless void with no charisma. He was very obviously meant to be the 'twist' villain, but it was changed at the last second because they hoped to franchise. Sony did the smart thing and made it a mid-budget film instead of dumping blockbuster money on it. But the whole aesthetic looks cheap compared to the previous films, and the mehhh marketing and poor reviews didn't help. The franchise trying so hard to connect to the MCU seems desperate. (It looks like it's relying entirely on Hemsworth's and Thompson's chemistry from Thor: Ragnarok.) The trailer gave away 90% of the plot and big set pieces in an attempt to convince you to see it.
  • The Millennium Trilogy. If The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was Manhunter for this generation, then The Girl Who Played With Fire was the Hannibal Rising. So where does The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest fit in? The reason this movie is deathly dull is because we know everything as soon as the movie begins. Unlike the last two movies, there is no mystery to unravel. The plot is about Mikael getting his sources straight before he can go to print. The movie tries to inject some kind of suspense by having a Mickey Mouse crime organization try and intimidate Mikael. The best they can come up with are spam e-mails. Near the end we do get an attempt on Mikael's life, but it is too little, too late. The second major flaw in this movie is that Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) has absolutely nothing to do. The appeal of this series is seeing this unique character interact with the world. Here she is shut away while bland side characters bicker endlessly about what to do. This movie is two hours and thirty minutes long. Girl Who Played With Fire is completely ludicrous, but it doesn't feel like waiting for jury duty.
  • The sequel to Miss Congeniality, between lacking Benjamin Bratt as Eric Matthews, and being overall more zany and wacky while not having the same compelling plot.
  • The Missing in Action series could have averted this trope but didn't due to Executive Meddling. The original two films were shot back-to-back and as discussed in the documentary Electric Boogaloo, Cannon executives realized the second film was a Surprisingly Improved Sequel. Knowing that no one would come out for it if the first movie bombed, they released the sequel first as Missing in Action and retitled the original Missing in Action 2: The Beginning! Thus the series gets progressively worse with each installment.
  • Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, brought to you by the producer of Foodfight! and director of Annabelle and Wish Upon. The great thing is that it immediately picks up from the previous film's cliffhanger, delivering a great sense of dread... until it's clear most of the cast have been replaced, and Johnny Cage is killed within five minutes, making it clear it will be a mistake pileup. Nightwolf must teach Liu Kang to use his claymotion Animality in order to beat Shao Khan. (The original 1981 Clash of the Titans looked better... and that's not counting the awful CG, such as a pathetic beast that attacks Sonya Blade) Porn-caliber acting. ("Too bad YOU.....will DIE.") The "script" is just long stretches of Infodumps and Evil Gloating interspersed by attempts to cram everyone in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, meaning loads of fight scenes where characters are killed off unceremoniously. Some actors are completely out of frame, or the microphone is so far away you can't hear what people are saying!
  • The Mouse on the Moon was completely devoid of Peter Sellers and brought back very few people from The Mouse That Roared, one of whom, producer Walter Shenson, made two more (better recognized) movies with director Richard Lester. Unsurprisingly, the other three "Mouse" novels by Leonard Wibberly never made it to the silver screen.
  • The Mummy Trilogy. The Mummy Returns is even more of the first film with the comedy dialed-up more. Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was probably not helped by the seven-year gap: Rachel Weisz, who is keenly missed, is replaced by Maria Bello. (Weisz's and Fraser's chemistry in the first two films is a major draw, whereas Fraser and Bello are totally unconvincing as a couple.) The omission of Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) and Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr) robs the film of their ability to stretch beyond the B-movie limitations. Jet Li is criminally underused as the Dragon Emperor (spending most of his screen time as a CGI dragon), as is Michelle Yeoh. The sequence with the yetis stretches willing suspension of disbelief too far. It made less money than either of the first two, even factoring in inflation.

  • National Lampoon's Vacation is a well-liked road trip comedy, and out of its sequels, only Christmas Vacation gets a pass with its relatable Christmas hijinx. European Vacation was deemed as an inferior rehash, Vegas Vacation is watered-down to the point the series was now PG, and the 2015 "remake" got widely bashed for reveling in crude humor.
  • Neighbors was well-received and a huge box office success, grossing $270 million against a $18 million budget. Naturally, a sequel was ordered, leading to Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising two years later. Although that received a modest reception, which is a rarity for sequels to comedy films, critics complained that the film used the same clichés as the prior film and did nothing unique to them.
  • With a title like The Neverending Story, one would expect the movie to have at least a few sequels or follow-ups. The first movie is a very nice fantasy film; the second movie is not as good as the first one (with a dramatic drop in production values), but still watchable, at least compared to the third movie, which had to invent a plot out of whole cloth and ended up with a lot of cringeworthy sitcom-style humor plus OOC characters and shut the book on The Neverending Story (it's also an Old Shame to villain actor Jack Black). That third film only got a limited release in the States after the second bombed there, and eventually went Direct-to-Video by Miramax/Disney instead of Warner.
  • At the time of writing (2018) there are eight A Nightmare on Elm Street movies and a remake, eight Halloween movies, a remake with a sequel to that remake and a direct sequel to the original which ignores the rest of the franchise and ten Friday the 13th movies and a remake. And that's just the names most horror fans would be familiar with. As expected, the quality of the sequels of these franchises varies widely.
  • Oh, God! is generally remembered as a quirky little Carl Reiner comedy, while the next two movies are ignored almost to the point of being Fanon Discontinuity. The changes in creators definitely didn't help.
  • Omen III: The Final Conflict. Damien (Sam Neill) is not some kid protected by Satan anymore but a full-grown, Dilbert-style boss who always sounds like he's telling his staff to go file their TPS reports. Really, he's ordering mass infanticide to stop the Second Coming, but the plot is full of cul-de-sacs where everyone just goes about their business, and plot lines come and go without much point or resolution. There is also a weird subplot where Damien rapes a news reporter and makes her son an acolyte of Satan, neither of which serve his agenda.
  • The first Once Upon a Time in China film is an iconic classic that more or less made Jet-Li a superstar and has a number of very moving scenes that push it well beyond being just a kung fu movie and more towards a tragic, End of an Era sort of historical film. The second doesn't have the same iconic status, but it's a very high quality movie beloved by the fans with a lot to enjoy (especially Donnie Yen and Jet Li facing off) and in some specific areas (such as the depiction of Westerners and Chinese xenophobia) it might have done some things better than the original. The third film... most fans will agree that the main good thing about it was an antagonist who does a Heel–Face Turn about halfway through the film, but otherwise it's pretty underwhelming and forgettable. Jet Li declined to reprise the lead role of Wong Fei-hung for the fourth and fifth films, and they afterward became exiled to Canon Discontinuity, not even being included in the official Blu Ray boxset of the series. While Jet Li did return for the sixth movie and it seems to be regarded as at least some improvement over the previous two films, it didn't gain much attention outside of Hong Kong and is still a steep drop in quality from the first two installments.
  • While not considered terrible Pacific Rim: Uprising is considered a major downgrade on the original, lacking both Del Toro's artistic vision and being far more Merchandise-Driven.
  • The Pink Panther movies escalated the slapstick comedy, wacky disguises, and whatnot quite a bit in the 1970s entries, even bringing in science fiction elements in The Pink Panther Strikes Again. There were also new female leads in each entry, whether they became Inspector Clouseau's love interest or not. The series also hit Franchise Zombie status with Revenge of the Pink Panther, which United Artists commissioned for summer 1978. Still, they were all hits — the franchise jumped the rails in The '80s when director-writer-producer Blake Edwards attempted to continue the series in spite of the death of Peter Sellers, who played Clouseau. It turned out that without Sellers, people weren't interested in more of the same hijinks. This was made clear with the release of Son of the Pink Panther in 1993, which became a huge Box Office Bomb and is considered to be the series' worst.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean. The first movie is swashbuckling fun with a sprinkle of spooky magic. In each movie, they crank the magic up a few notches and the plot suffers for it. Jack Sparrow was great as a scene-stealer, but as the center of all attention and being used as a pirate Mr. Magoo - a slapstick device who's going to bumble his way through a massive, perilous set-piece and somehow emerge miraculously unscathed - it can get tiresome (particularly in At World's End, where some scenes have multiple Jacks!). The first two sequels, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, also had the problem of overtly complicated plots where everyone seemed to have a hidden agenda. The next two streamlined the scripts, but still gave undue weight to the magic, and were deemed by some as struggling to get new ideas - particularly the fifth, Dead Men Tell No Tales, which like the first has undead sailors, and two attractive youngsters alongside Jack who can't avoid being considered as Expys for Will and Elizabeth.
  • The original Planet of the Apes (1968) had four sequels - most entering Franchise Zombie; Charlton Heston even asked that the second, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, to end with Earth being destroyed so it would be the last, but didn't work - with varying levels of quality, mostly due to lowering budgets, culminating in the terrible Battle for the Planet of the Apes. It only continued afterwards in TV series and reimaginings. The third movie, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, considered the best of the sequels, was the only one deliberately written open-ended with a sequel in mind. The fourth movie, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, would have been the last (APJ was already considering a TV series), but profits were good enough to justify a fifth movie.
  • The Police Academy series. The first movie was a commercial success, and jumpstarted the careers of several actors who would go on to bigger projects (Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, Bobcat Goldthwait), but as the sequels progressed, the humor became increasingly lowbrow and cast members started leaving throughout the franchise. By the time the seventh and final film, Mission to Moscow, was released in 1994, only a handful of original characters remained, and it failed to surpass the $200,000 mark. It's the last theatrical film directed by Alan Metter, who disowned it in the end.
  • The first Poison Ivy was a Cult Classic despite its poor critical reception (a lot of which came from it being directed by a woman and centering on teenage girls). Its sequels follow the formula of the trope - featuring none of the original cast, only a vague connection to the first film and amping up the gratuitous sex and nudity (which actually wasn't in the film). And of course all of them were either Direct-to-Video or made for TV.
  • The original Psycho spawned THREE sequels, none of which involved Alfred Hitchcock due to Author Existence Failure. Psycho II, directed by Hitchcock protege Richard Franklin, is widely considered a good follow up to the first movie. The third and fourth movies, not so much.
  • The first Return of the Living Dead is an almost perfect mix of black comedy and horror and is also a deconstruction and/or Affectionate Parody of Romero's "Dead" series. It's a Cult Classic. Return of the Living Dead Part II uses a lot more comedy than the first which makes it less scary. Return of the Living Dead 3 disregards continuity from the first two and makes it Darker and Edgier. More scary but without the charm. Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis and Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave aren't well-regarded at all.
  • Return to Oz holds the record for longest Sequel Gap for a film. It was not made by MGM because in the 80’s the books were no longer copyrighted and were public domain. (Many do not know that there are about 14 books in the Oz series.) Return to Oz is not a direct sequel but kind of a mash-up of The Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz. The budget was $25 million but they went over. Return got generally favorable reviews (and was even nominated for a Visual Effects Oscar), but the mainstream audience ignored it. The main issue is that it was blasphemy to make a sequel to one of the most-beloved children’s movies of all time. Many parents also felt the movie was too scary, with 9-year-old Fairuza Balk (who was seven years younger than Judy Garland in the original) having to endure shock-treatment in an asylum and being terrorized by nightmare images. Return to Oz is not a musical, either. It dealt with too-high expectations with that title.
  • The Ring franchise has suffered from this disease. While each of the three "original" films has been well-received (Japanese, American, and Korean, respectively), their sequels have met with various degrees of scorn and failure to the point that the very first sequel, a film adaptation of the novel's follow-up Spiral, is considered so bad it's Canon Discontinuity by the Japanese producers, who went on to make The Ring 2 instead.
  • RoboCop (1987) and its sequel, RoboCop 2 were violent, satirical cyberpunk films about 80's office culture. RoboCop 3 instead attempted to tone down the violence, bring in ridiculous developments and uninteresting side characters, and even made RoboCop injured and out of action for most of the movie, before giving him power-ups that just made him resemble the star of a Japanese series. Says something Peter Weller declined to return, and Nancy Allen only agreed to sign on if her character Anne Lewis was killed off. The director blamed the negative reception on the script, claiming it was too "liberal" for viewers who were doing pretty well under Bush/Clinton. (Guess they forget to ask Detroit residents how well they were making out in the 90's.)
    • There were several lame attempts to prolong the franchise over the years, including a squeaky-clean, Canadian-made TV series which bombed after one season, a TV mini-series (also filmed in Canada), and another PG-13 movie (this time a failed reboot).
      Oliver Harper: "RoboCop has proven time and time again that he is a character who belongs in an adult world. He is not suited to daytime entertainment. As much as kids love the character, he is not designed for them. His world is very much a violent and corrupt one; and when you dilute that, it becomes something else, and he seems redundant."
  • Rocky was one of the biggest film industry punchlines. The series is a roller-coaster of quality: the first movie won an Oscar for best picture, the fourth is an unintentional camp classic, and the fifth is simply bad. It's strange how Stallone seemingly forgot how to play Rocky after eleven years of doing it; he sounds like he's doing an impression of someone doing an impression of Sly Stallone. Though at least the revival after a 16-year gap, Rocky Balboa, averted the trope by taking the series back to its roots and show the human side of Rocky, even leading to the successful follow-up Creed and its sequel, where Rocky was now the coach instead of the boxer.
  • Shortly after Diane Thomas agreed to write a sequel to her first screenplay Romancing the Stone, she was killed in a car crash. The studio went ahead with a sequel anyway:,The Jewel of the Nile, a film so bad that one college screenwriting professor made an exam out of pointing out all the flaws in it.
  • The Rush Hour trilogy. The first was a box-office success and a modest critical hit. Rush Hour 2 had mixed critical reception but still did well in theaters. Rush Hour 3 is unanimously considered the weakest of the three, with a more contrieved storyline and forced comedy.

  • S. Darko. Despite having one actress from Donnie Darko, Daveigh Chase, returning for this sequel, most Donnie Darko fans won't even acknowledge its existence.
  • Saw:
    • Fans debate whether the series has suffered from Sequelitis, and if so, at what point. This argument is closely tied to the one over Jigsaw's successors. Some fans believe that the series should've stopped at the third movie, which acted as a solid conclusion to what had been until then a trilogy. Others feel that the fourth movie was still good, but that the fifth was the series' jump the shark moment. Oddly enough, even they usually agree that the sixth film was a surprising improvement over the fifth. Opinion on the seventh film is too wildly varied to pin down any fan consensus. A few believe that there shouldn't have been any sequels, or that only the second film counts as a proper continuation.
    • Honestly, the series was supposed to stop at the third film, but when Lionsgate saw how much money it was bringing in, they demanded that the script to Saw III be changed to allow more movies to be made. The suckiness of Saw IV and V and sequelitis in general are the fault of Executive Meddling.
    • They decided not to make Saw VIII. Until they decided to make Saw VIII.
  • The Scanners franchise. The original film was a landmark in sci-fi horror, and had David Cronenberg and Michael Ironside doing some of their best work... but then came a pair of Direct-to-Video sequels that stopped going for shock value and settled on B-movie cheese focusing on various scanners' unsuccessful attempts to start a revolution, backed by shoddy effects and weak performances by the main cast. This later produced a spinoff series, Scanner Cop, which also went DTV and just had more of the same.
  • Scary Movie expressed the tagline, No mercy. No shame. No sequel., but as we all well know, did have one anyway (with the tagline "We lied"); which reveled far too much in vulgar humor for its own good. The series got closer back to its roots of satirizing horror movies in the third, but then stepped back again and had that Tom Cruise couch jump parody in the fourth. A fifth film happened, but mostly everyone from the previous films is out of it, and rarely would anyone say that that's a good parody. The spinoffs of the franchise have been even worse, starting with Date Movie, billed as "from two of the six writers of Scary Movie", and somehow running on to three more.
  • Scream:
    • Scream (1996) is considered a great movie. Scream 2 is pretty awesome too. Then comes Scream 3, which gives plenty of reasons to be treated as bad by critics and fans. Scream 4, which came well after the original trilogy, is accepted as a better effort than Scream 3, if still not on the same level as the first two films.
    • Occurs in-universe with the reception of the Stab series. These films are based on the real life events, but apparently kept on going to six sequels - one of which involving time travel.
  • The original Sharknado was just a typical Syfy Z-movie churned out by mockbuster proprietor The Asylum. What set it apart from the rest was its absurd mishmash of creature feature and Disaster Movie, as well as downright silly moments like Ian Ziering taking on a shark with a chainsaw, turning it into a social media phenomenon. Syfy immediately greenlit a sequel, which ramped up the So Bad, It's Good elements and stuffed it with celebrity cameos. In no time, Sharknado became a Cash Cow Franchise for Asylum and an event for Syfy, ordering sequels for the next few years. While the third film cranked up the goofy factor Up to Eleven (the sharks are flown TO SPACE!), the franchise started to lose its bite with the fourth film's attempt at upping the ante being seen as tired. By the time the fifth film rolled around, viewers felt that the franchise had outstayed its welcome and the So Bad, It's Good factor was getting contrived to the point of not being amusing anymore. While the sixth (!) film lampshaded the series' longevity and apparent fatigue, it was clear that the initial joke was stretched out for so long it was no longer there.
  • Shock Treatment was originally planned as a sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but was re-written as Something Completely Different after Tim Curry refused to be typecast as Frank. The second movie features Brad and Janet, but the events of Rocky Horror are never mentioned. Taken on its own, it has its merits, but proved a massive disappointment for people expecting an actual sequel. Point of clarity: Shock Treatment was not the original plan for a sequel, that being Rocky Horror Shows His Heels, which never ended up happening. Shock Treatment did keep Brad and Janet (albeit played by different actors), and some of the subtext to their relationship troubles can be taken to have been caused by the first movie. Also, Judge Oliver Wright probably was the Criminologist, making Charles Gray and Jeremy Newson (Ralph Hapschatt) the only actors to continue playing the same characters (unless you consider the McKinleys to actually be Riff and Magenta returned to Earth for some strange reason... also, Bert Shnict was supposedly Dr. Scott in earlier versions of the script). Besides, it's not a sequel, it's an equal.
  • One particularly painful example: The original Sleepaway Camp was surprisingly deep for its genre, and possessed a genuinely unexpected (yet not nonsensical) Twist Ending that hasn't succumbed to It Was His Sled. The sequels, by comparison, are almost parodies of their predecessor. According to writer/director Robert Hiltzik, only the 2008 sequel, Return to Sleepaway Camp, is canon (he had little to nothing to do with Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland).
  • Smokey and the Bandit was a massive hit in 1977, with only A New Hope grossing more money at the box office that year. Its two sequels, however, did not do so well against its fellow Star Wars films. The second film was considered a tired rehash of the first film, but gets some flack off of it for at least featuring Burt Reynolds and Sally Field in their starring roles and having an awesome climactic battle. The third film, however, put Jackie Gleason's Buford T. Justice in the lead role (which is considered the only positive about this film) and omits Sally entirely and Burt's only involvement is a cameo at the end.
  • Sin City 2. As you can tell from this article, Robert Rodriguez has gone off the rails. He thought there's no way Sin City would be as appreciated as it was, so he took the best stories from the graphic novel and condensed them into one film, just so he could tell as much of the story as possible. A Dame to Kill For is a compilation of the leftovers, plus some new crap Frank Miller wrote. It also suffers from cheap and poor production.
  • Son of the Mask. Jim Carrey was replaced with comedian/rapper Jamie Kennedy (enough said). The comedy was unfunny, the visual effects were employed for horrifying scenes straight out of the Uncanny Valley, Jamie Kennedy rapping while wearing the mask was an unholy sight, and everyone else was just embarrassed (such as Alan Cumming, who shows his buttcrack and wears buck teeth). Roger Ebert's co-host, Richard Roeper, said “In the five years I’ve been co-hosting this show, this is the closest I’ve ever come to walking out halfway through the film, and now that I look back on the experience, I wish I had.”
  • For its time, Species was pretty good, especially the gore, nudity, tight direction and creature effects. Species II didn't fare so well, trying to make a bigger spectacle but not delivering it particularly well (everyone is conveniently leaning against a wall when something bursts out of them, the final confrontation is full of strobe lighting to disguise the shoddy effects), and the acting and dialogue were hideous.The following TV movie, Species III, was made by filmmakers who thought the entire franchise was composed of gratuitous violence and sex. The fourth film, Species - The Awakening, seems to be an odd inversion, however - most viewers seem to regard it as a decent B-movie.
  • Speed 2: Cruise Control. Just the title shows how nonsensical it was. Where should we set our movie in a series about high-speed? A cruise ship, of course! Even Keanu Reeves jumped ship (ha ha) when he read the script, and Jason Patric couldn't hold a candle to him. It was almost universally panned (Siskel & Ebert gave it a lukewarm review), barely avoided being a box-office flop worldwide, and started the career derailment of director Jan De Bont. The plot is stupid on its face since there is nothing preventing the guests from escaping the boat. Dafoe's character is an action movie villain checklist, and his revenge scheme is more than a little convoluted.
    Chris Parry: You want to sneak bombs onto a cruise ship. Do you:

    A: Put them in your luggage
    B: Strap them to your body
    C: Put the detonators in the heads of the seventeen irons in your set of golf clubs, make the balls the bombs and have a member of the crew bring them on board for you

    Again, obviously it's C. Nobody would think a set of golf clubs with seventeen irons was silly, especially irons that had LED displays on them.
  • The Spider-Man Trilogy was hit by it with the final movie, which in spite of the warm reception was widely considered inferior, with its problems all traced down to the forced inclusion of Venom: having three villains (something only attempted before in the loathed Batman & Robin) made the script too busy, and the symbiote's bad influence on Peter Parker led to ridiculed moments such as him strutting down the street, Saturday Night Fever-style.
    • A reboot later, sequelitis struck once more with The Amazing Spider Man 2, which again had too many villains and too much on its screenplay (this time, to also set up follow-ups in Sony's attempt to face the Marvel Cinematic Universe with just Spider-Man-related properties), while also retaining the Darker and Edgier tone that already drove off people from its predecessor.
  • Spy Kids proved to be a very successful family film and thus spawned its own franchise; unfortunately, each new installment has done worse than the one that came before. While Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams proved to be a decent movie despite this, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over quickly came to be considered the series' jump the shark moment, having little to do with the franchise other than the characters; however, this did not stop Robert Rodriquez from producing (reluctantly) Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 2011, eight years after the conclusion of the original trilogy, with rumors of a fifth film on the way despite the fourth film's poor critical and box office reception.
  • Star Trek has the "odd-number curse":
    • The Motion Picture : a tantric experience which goes on for too long.
    • Search for Spock: The second Star Trek movie was written to be the last. The Search for Spock was shoe-horned into II's final sequence, when Spock renders McCoy unconscious. This one is actually alright, even if it's a weak follow-up to Wrath of Khan.
    • The Final Frontier: this happened because Shatner's contract (and ego) demanded that he be given the chance to direct a movie like Leonard did. The premise about the Enterprise searching for God is still mocked, and the script has some other major wrinkles: Spock having a brother who wasn't mentioned before. The fact that the Enterprise can travel to the center of the galaxy so quickly. Where did the Scotty and Uhura slash come from? And where did it go? There is a lot of comedy in this film, but they are part of an incoherent jumble. The sets and effects are amateurish and produce some hilarious moments.note  They spent their meager budget on a three breasted cat-lady instead of the final battle with Yosemite Sam. In fairness, it is more-faithful to The Original Series than the other films. Fans only wish they hadn't chosen to recapture the spirit of Season Three in particular.
    • Star Trek: Generations: Nimoy and Kelly refused to sign on, so they just gave their roles to other actors, hence why Chekov is treating patients. (Nimoy said that Spock's dialogue could have been written for any character. He was proven right when the Spock part was given to Scotty.) Picard's relatives are unceremoniously killed off-screen, which motivates him to go along with the evil scheme. The Enterprise-D is destroyed by the show's least competent villains, and it re-uses old footage, which is just crazy in a feature film. Picard delivers some dry exposition in a hectoring tone, and Kirk condescends to come with him and punch Caligula in the face. And then there is the matter of ending Kirk's story, which even names our trope regarding unsatisfactory plot deaths.
    • Star Trek: Insurrection: Fails in that the dilemma it is trying to present is obviously flawed. The 'good' aliens want to continue being immortal and so will not relocate to allow a scientific test to take place, even though that procedure could "save billions." The other glaring issue is that it defies Star Trek's own premise: for decades the series operated on the assumption that a rational application of science would improve everyone's lives. Now we're confronted with a society which is portrayed as idyllic because they chose to stay at home and actually regressed their technology to whatever level permits their bucolic cod-Amish existence. Michael Piller wrote an unpublished, tell-all book about the making of the movie which is available in PDF form. His frustration is palpable in places.
    • Star Trek: Nemesis: Nearly every scene in Nemesis is bad, and most of the time, it's because none of the characters act like themselves and the villain's motivation makes no sense. Brent Spiner and his lackey John Logan made the film all about his character Data, but the best they could do is copy elements from an earlier film: the villain bent on revenge and in control of a superweapon, and the emotionless science officer sacrificing themselves to save the ship, except not really because their memories are saved in someone else's mind. Also, a ship which can fire when cloaked. Nemesis had a budget of $60 million, and made $67 million total. It was #2 in the box office opening weekend, behind Maid in Manhattan. It nearly killed Tom Hardy's film career before it began, along with Hardy himself.note 
    • The 2009 reboot was wildly successful, though some fans still try to make the curse work by citing Galaxy Quest as the tenth movie.
  • In the Star Wars series, this started with Return of the Jedi, which wasn't considered quite as good as the two movies before it, but still a classic. Then came prequelitis, with The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones widely considered the two weakest films in the series. Revenge of the Sith, however, was generally thought to be an improvement, but that's not saying much given the competition. Fortunately, the next in the series, The Force Awakens, is generally believed to be a return to form, and Rogue One is widely regarded as being a worthy prequel to A New Hope, unfortunately the same can't be said about The Last Jedi which received mixed receptions that divided the fanbase once again. Then came Solo, which unlike Rogue One was considered alright at best, and The Rise of Skywalker, which reviewers bashed (alongside The Phantom Menace, it's the only not-Fresh Episode on Rotten Tomatoes) for an uncreative and messy plot, split the fanbase even further (though the overall trend among most factions of the fanbase leans towards dislike), and grossed the least of the three sequel trilogy films by a decent margin.
  • Staying Alive, the sequel to Saturday Night Fever. Music not by The Beegees, but by Frank Stallone. Enough said. (His acappella group in Rocky kicks ass. Take you back! Doo doo doo dooo!) It was also directed by his brother, Sly. Thanks to Battlefield Earth, it is no longer Travolta's worst movie. Once people looked at it less as a sequel and more of a missing link between Rocky III and Rocky IV, they re-evaluated it as a gonzo delight.
  • Richard Donner was shown the door in Superman III (taking Margot Kidder and Gene Hackman with him) and replaced with Richard Lester, who specialized in comedies. The result is a zany thing heavy on slapstick, that gives more focus to Richard Pryor as the villain, and uses the Man of Steel in wacky ways like the "rebuild the Wall of China vision". Supergirl's rights were bought at the same time as Superman, in case they ever wanted to do a spinoff. However, after Christopher Reeve bolted, WB dropped Supergirl like a hunk of kryptonite. The film was eventually picked up by TriStar Pictures, and while it was #1 at the box office initially, it was still a bomb, largely due to Reeve's absence. And then there was Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, a cheap-looking sequel with a heavy-handed message, which furthered the implosion of The Cannon Group.It took 19 years for another Superman movie was released, and Superman Returns pointedly erased it from continuity.

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was considered a nice piece of 1990s pop culture. The second film wasn't quite as well-received due to being Denser and Wackier, but it still had a few entertaining moments, and it has its fans. The third film, however, was bashed mercilessly by critics and fans alike. (Fans were actually less forgiving than Siskel & Ebert ever were to the trilogy as a whole, and Ebert famously used TMNT II as an excuse to bash Gen-X kids in some kind of social commentary.) It's viewed as the worst of the three by a healthy margin; it swept the Turtles off the big screen until 2007, and it would take until 2014 for another live-action TMNT film to surface; it does not have any continuity to the others.
    The Angry Video Game Nerd: "I feel like I have to turn the volume down and face the TV toward the wall and watch it in a dark corner of somewhere where nobody will ever know. It just leaves you with a bad, bad feeling, like this movie should not exist."
  • There hasn't been a Terminator movie which is considered good since 1991, and almost all of them have just kept reusing the same scenes and lines of dialogue from the first two movies. They also repeat the folly of trying to introduce evil Terminators who become more-defective with each generation.
    • Rise of the Machines is passable, but it's basically a beat-for-beat copy of the previous two. Dissers are particularly critical of the added comedy, which was deemed as mocking its predecessors, and following the hopeful "No Fate But What We Make" with a Downer Ending about how You Can't Fight Fate.
    • Salvation, while visually impressive, lacked suspense. The T-800 continually throwing John Connor around instead of killing him was the final straw for many. Turning SkyNet into a person is like walking a tightrope.The ending was re-shot with a sappy new ending which robbed it of any emotional weight or surprises. (John was going to die instead of Marcus, and John's face would be grafted over Marcus' skeleton so that he could continue the fight.) It underperformed at the box office, which then led to the death of its production company and the rights being sold off.
    • Terminator Genisys tried something different by playing fast and loose with time travel and alternate timelines, and the result is a confusing mess. The script also kept some things vague hoping they could be explained in sequels, and made questionable decisions such as making a villain out of a main character (John Connor as the new Terminator, and the decision to spoil the twist in a preview certainly drove off potential viewers). Add lots of miscast roles, and instead of being the starter of a trilogy, led the studio to pull the plug on sequels (even if it had good international numbers, specially in China) and instead just ask for the help of creator James Cameron in the next-follow-up (although his involvement is suspect, given his involvement with the Avatar sequels made him not even visit the set)...
    • Terminator: Dark Fate. They just moved the pieces around; there was hardly anything new happening. Again there was alternate timeline stuff, leading to two concurrent evil AI and robots co-existing. And, in spite of Cameron having previously remarked on how disappointed he was with Alien³ starting off with a Happy Ending Override on what he had done with Aliens, he suggests doing the exact same thing, killing off John Connor in front of Sarah in the opening scene. So no matter if reviews were the most positive since the third movie, between franchise fatigue and underwhelming previews lots of viewers couldn't be bothered to check on Dark Fate, making it a Box Office Bomb and leading to no follow-ups planned for the moment.
  • There were six films in The Thin Man series. The first got a Best Picture nomination and is still remembered as a classic. The subsequent movies have been progressively less acclaimed, going from the "pretty good" second movie to the "terrible" sixth one.note 
  • The only movie in the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series that has gained wide recognition is the original. The first sequel took a more exaggerated, comedic route that remains controversial among fans and critics, although part 2 has gained a cult following over the years. the third film is considered forgettable and the fourth is infamous for its Narm Charm. Despite great box office success, the remake is highly divisive, and its prequel is mostly disliked.
  • The Toxic Avenger is a horror comedy classic. The second film isn’t bad, but it’s largely just made up of footage that was cut from the first one, and it shows. The third film was panned and subjects Toxie to severe Badass Decay. This being the sort of series it is, the fourth film hangs a hilarious Lampshade Hanging on it During the opening narration:
    15 years ago, A mop boy named Melvin Ferd fell into a case full of toxic waste and became a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength, he became... The Toxic Avenger, the first superhero from New Jersey! Then came two shitty sequels, sorry about that. This is the real sequel.
  • Transformers is in a weird place because it seemed unkillable, and then all of a sudden the bad press started to matter. It must have been a shock at headquarters. The first movie was deemed an okay sci-fi action-thriller that gave a semi-realistic tone to the franchise; the follow-ups alternate between playing sequelitis straight and turning it on its head.
    • The second movie was deemed a huge downfall that took Sequel Escalation too far, with a frantic pace, exaggerated action sequences, unneeded adult humor (such as the pot smoking mom, the racist robots and mechanical testicles), and a plot more complicated that needed to be. The third movie had no real consensus, as things were less hectic, but the first half mostly focused on a not as interesting human plot and the second was a sci-fi war movie killing some of the main robot characters left and right. And then the fourth somehow was both an improvement and the worst of the lot, given the human cast was replaced and the action scenes were longer, but the abusive length (2:45 hours!) and questionable writing made the final result to be considered by many reviewers to be a monotonous and phoned-in regurgitation of the previous three films. And the fifth film looks to have finally driven off the public, being considered as bad if not worse than the second movie, and not even having the international box office saving it, given the final gross was less than the first film despite a decade of inflation and foreign market expansion. For comparison, Bumblebee, widely considered better than most, if not all the movies, underperformed at the box office given The Last Knight poisoned the well.
  • The Trial of Billy Jack:
    • The success of the first movie (the highest-grossing independent film at that time) led Laughlin to direct a three-hour movie in which he gets on a soapbox and berates you non-stop, and the movie doesn't have enough action. It was something Laughlin could never reconcile when he wanted to make a movie about peace and love, while simultaneously make an action movie to appease his core audience. In its day, Trial of Billy Jack was a huge success but now is being classified as one of the worst films of all time.
    • The third movie, Billy Jack Goes to Washington, is accused of copying Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and came out well after the series' cultural moment had passed and very few saw it.
  • U.S. Marshals got a lukewarm reception. It was fun to spend time with The Fugitive's Sam Gerard and his flunkies again. It was sad to see Robert Downey Jr. slumming it for a paycheck. The plot is pretty hokey and Wesley Snipes doesn't have much action stuff to do.
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. It’s odd when the then-recent financial collapse kind of takes a back seat to a revenge plot and Gordon Gekko making good. Oliver Stone is being disingenuous when he says he hates the fact Gekko is well-liked by fans. He wasn’t sent to prison for Bud Fox’s testimony as indicated at the end of the original movie, but instead framed and wrongfully convicted. But if the movie were really all about him, Michael Douglas might have carried this whole movie. Instead, he is made to play a supporting role to Shia LaBeouf, who was promoted as the next big thing.
  • Weekend at Bernie's is a whimsical little comedy, with TV veteran Terry Kiser stealing the show as the eponymous dead guy. The sequel is regarded as more of the same. In the original, the main duo were hiding from the mafia and had to pretend Bernie was alive so they wouldn't get whacked. Now the corpse of Bernie is re-animated with voodoo magic, and he marches off to recover a hidden treasure chest — but he can only get up and walk when music is playing? The Voodoo Queen is the new villain. The love interest whom one of heroes spent the entire first movie wooing vanishes without even the most cursory explanation. Some viewers felt that Weekend at Bernie's II pulled off the rare feat of being so unbelievably stupid that it came back around the other side and became funny again. This is referenced in How I Met Your Mother, as evidence that Lily is a "laugh-slut":
    Ted: "Remember that time we heard her laughing, and we thought she was watching Weekend at Bernie's, but it turned out she was watching Weekend at Bernie's II?"
  • The sequel to The Whole Nine Yards, The Whole Ten Yards. It's criticized for not having a coherent story. Willis returns as Jimmy "The Tulip", who is raising chickens and slowly turning into a housefraud in Mexico. This is pissing off his girlfriend, Amanda Peet. Also bothering her is the fact that Jimmy is 'shooting blanks' in the bedroom. Kevin Pollack plays an old version of the previous movie's villain, complete with makeup that leaves his face unable to move for the entirety of the movie. His shtick is that he's Hungarian and says things "that'll be a piece of pie" instead of "piece of cake".
  • Warlock: The Armageddon. The original Warlock could have been picked apart for inconsistencies, but fans forgave it because of its sense of humor. When you get rid of it, you are left to stew over things like: why can't the Warlock simply kill to get access to the magic stones? He has to make bargains with the owners to get the stones willingly. Of course, these are all Faustian deals which means they all end badly. So you would expect the Warlock to try to strike some kind of deal with the hero for his stone. No, the Warlock just tries to kill him? Nearly half the movie is spent with Julian Sands travelling all across America to find stones. All of the stone holders are unknown jerks so there is no tension at all because we know nothing can stop him until he gets to our protagonist. This movie should have just been about the hero training his powers and occasionally cutting to the Warlock to remind the audience of the impending threat.

  • The X-Files: I Want to Believe. This movie is supposedly Chris Carter’s apology for letting the mythology get so self-indulgent and out of hand. David Duchovny looks energized being back in his famous role. Gillian Anderson on the other hand looks like she wants to shoot herself in the head for being dragged back. Half the movie is about Mulder trying to convince Scully to join the investigation. Amanda Peet and Pimp My Ride's Xzibit almost take over the movie as the new Mulder and Scully. There is an even less-interesting side plot about Mulder and Scully’s relationship problems and Scully being a nagging girlfriend. The mystery is laughably bad, even by the standards of the TV show.
  • The X-Men Film Series has a few cases, with Executive Meddling often playing a role (some leaked e-mails show the Fox higher-ups have no idea what the characters are about, and they assume fans will just show up and not care about implausibilities or holes in the plot).
    • The Last Stand followed up the Sequel Hook alluding to The Dark Phoenix Saga by making it the B-plot to the "mutant cure" (as the studio thought that was a better draw than the darker storyline), and Jean Grey is reduced to standing around for most of the third act. Many new characters were added, with only a few having the time to shine (Juggernaut, Beast, Kitty), and thus leading to bad cameos (Psylocke) or people with little to do (Angel), while short-changing actors who have been around for three movies ( Rogue, Cyclops).
    • There was no way to proceed after X-Men 3 (they killed off three of the central characters and de-powered another three), hence the prequel X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Origins was total schlock resembling more a generic 90s action movie, with effects that at times looked worse than in the first movie (made nearly a decade prior), and for every attempt at pleasing fans (finally a live-action Gambit!), some serious backfiring (that was supposed to be Deadpool?). Says something the next prequel ignored Origins, while the two solo Wolverine films only took certain elements from it while providing a more character-centric approach that made reviewers and fans pleased.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse made one of the most menacing mutants in the comics a more generic villain who couldn't be bothered to use his wide array of powers in a more useful manner. The movie also provided fuel for those complaining about the extra focus given to Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique, as the mutant best known as a villain was fully transitioned into a heroine vital to the X-Men.
    • And it all came crashing down with Dark Phoenix in 2019. Writer turned director Simon Kinberg, who already had his attempt at adapting the same story in The Last Stand screwed by the studio, had his plans of two movies shortened to just one, and his workarounds eventually led to many underwhelming choices, such as a villainess not from the original comics that was just a stoic non-presence on-screen. The cast looked bored, as if they couldn't wait to get out. One Troubled Production full of delays and reshoots later, the result was a disappointing attempt at a Grand Finale that couldn't even make more money than The Secret Life of Pets 2.


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