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  • Actor turned director Richard Attenborough's greatest achievement was Gandhi. His next film right after Gandhi was the much maligned film version of A Chorus Line. His subsequent efforts, though better received — they included biopic Chaplin starring Robert Downey Jr. (which got him his first Oscar nomination), Shadowlands starring Anthony Hopkins as C. S. Lewis, and Grey Owl starring Pierce Brosnan — never had the same level of success. He found better success returning to acting in films like Jurassic Park and the remake of Miracle on 34th Street.
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  • Roberto Benigni directed the film Life Is Beautiful, which netted him several Oscars and numerous other awards. His next film, a big budget adaptation of Pinocchio was a massive flop outside of Italy, with a terrible English dub and a truly ludicrous case of Dawson Casting. Pinocchio-wise, Benigni had to compete with the acclaimed version of Walt Disney, which set the bar very high. His next film, 2005's The Tiger and the Snow, didn't fare much better with critics and bombed. Benigni hasn't directed a film since.
  • After Easy Rider the studio gave Dennis Hopper carte blanche. The result: The Last Movie, which was once considered to be one of the 50 worst movies of all time. Hopper's later films were mostly duds, although Colors became both a critical and financial success and The Hot Spot has been Vindicated by History.
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  • Director Michael Cimino had an unbroken string of hits starting with Silent Running, and continuing through Magnum Force, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, and The Deer Hunter, for which he won two Oscars. As a result, United Artists gave him free rein on his next picture. The result was the Western Heaven's Gate, a film that lost so much money it effectively bankrupted United Artists and killed Cimino's career as a big studio movie director. It also killed off the entire notion of a director's creative control in Hollywood.
    Miles Antwiler: This is a horrendous movie which highlights the express elevator to rock bottom in the career of Michael Cimino. With each passing movie his potential and talent just go down down down. There was a time when I only had seen Deer Hunter and I pondered to myself how someone like this could never get another hit again. Well, I now know and it was a brutal lesson to learn.
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  • Judd Apatow's Funny People came on the heels of Knocked Up; one of the highest grossing R-rated movies of all time, and one of the most critically acclaimed of 2007. Funny People got mixed reviews, and nearly completely fell out of the top ten within a few weeks of its opening.
  • Richard Kelly started his career with the cult-favorite Donnie Darko. His next directorial role: Southland Tales, which did so terribly with both critics and the public that Hollywood ran his Auteur License through a shredder.
  • In 2002, Rob Marshall directed Chicago which was a smash-hit and the first musical in over thirty years to win the Best Picture Academy Award. His next musical, Nine, was a critical and financial disaster which failed to win any of the four Oscars it was up for.
  • After the incredible success of Deliverance, John Boorman was given free rein to make the movie he always dreamed of making. The result? Zardoz. And then he followed Zardoz with Exorcist II: The Heretic, a film so reviled it's sometimes considered the worst sequel of all time.
  • One for Adventureland that noted that many directors follow up a mainstream success with a more ambitious, personal movie that fails to find an audience, which sadly did end up happening to Adventureland. It was directed by Greg Mottola, who also directed Superbad. Mottola himself expected this to happen.
  • Alien is considered one of the best horror films of all time. Aliens is considered one of the best action films of all time. Alien³, while a pretty severely flawed film, probably gets more flak than it deserves because of this trope.
  • Olivier Dahan decided to follow-up La Vie en Rose (which won Marion Cotillard an Oscar) with My Own Love Song. The resulting film was a complete mess that badly tries to combine country music with the supernatural and was destroyed by critics at its festival screenings. The final movie got dropped by both Fox and Lionsgate and was quietly sent straight-to-DVD.
  • The Thing (1982) is constantly looked at as one of the greatest sci-fi/horror films of all time. Its prequel, The Thing (2011), could never hope to live up to this. Sad really. Interestingly, the original film was poorly received upon release so this trope did not affect director John Carpenter - the prequel was only hit by this trope after the original was Vindicated by History.
  • Since The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan has been trying to replicate his success with low-key supernatural horror and the Twist Ending. So far, each film has had a progressively worse critical reception overall, to the point that now Shyamalan's name attached to any project seems to be a kiss of death. However, it became averted with the release of Split.
    • Unbreakable and the above-mentioned Split are considered some of Shyamalan's best work. As a result, the last film in the trilogy, Glass, was held to some pretty high standards. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to them, garnering mostly mixed to negative reviews from critics.
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi is often derided for not being as good as the fan favorite The Empire Strikes Back, which in turn had to struggle against the fame of A New Hope before it gained its current reputation. The prequels get enormous amounts of hate simply over being not as good as the original trilogy, and the sequels are very divisive for the same reason.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull fell flat in part due to comparisons to the original trilogy.
  • Orson Welles never had a prayer of producing another film that would live up to the reputation Citizen Kane enjoyed, although this is partly because he was never again allowed the degree of creative control he had with Kane. A later Welles film, Touch of Evil, is nowadays regarded by critics as a great artistic work, though it's nowhere near as well known to the public at large as Kane is. The Magnificent Ambersons is regarded as almost as good, but the "almost" wasn't Welles' fault; it was RKO's for destroying the original ending and tacking on a new one.
  • Pulp Fiction:
    • Most of Quentin Tarantino's films have been financial and critical successes, but none of them will probably ever top his first major release, Pulp Fiction, at least in terms of mainstream reinvention of the medium.
    • Though Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most popular Hollywood actors, people agree that his star-making turn as Jules Winnfield is still easily his greatest performance. Since then, Jackson hasn't landed an Oscar nomination and is more known as a blockbuster actor than an Oscar darling.
  • Tobe Hooper never was able to replicate the success of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) as well as his subsequent films. The closest he ever came was probably Poltergeist, but the involvement of executive producer Steven Spielberg overshadowed Hooper's work.
  • German actress Luise Rainer won the Best Actress Oscar twice in a row in 1937 and 1938, a feat repeated only by Katharine Hepburn. She once said about her awards that nothing worse could have happened to her, as audience expectations from then on would be too high to fulfill. Her career waned at the end of the 1930s, and she retired in 1943.
  • Donald Cammell spent his career trying to make another film as well-received as his debut, Performance, which he co-directed with Nicolas Roeg. He eventually committed suicide after dealing with Executive Meddling one too many times.
  • Christopher Nolan had expressed anxiety over the prospects of the third film in the The Dark Knight Trilogy, noting that after the massive accolades The Dark Knight received it would be difficult to write a satisfying follow-up, and pointing out "how many good third parts in a franchise can you think of?" After the massive critical and commercial successes of The Dark Knight and Inception, the reception for his two subsequent films The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar were comparatively mixed. He seems to have recovered with Dunkirk, which several critics described as his best film yet.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan had it all: an edge-of-your-seat plot, tremendous music, fantastic visual effects for its time, literary references galore, a true Tear Jerker ending, and great timeless themes interspersed throughout. With every new movie since, they've been trying to measure up to that - and frequently fell short. Although the 2009 reboot ended up dethroning II as the best-reviewed Trek film on Rotten Tomatoes. For many people, the same has been true of Star Trek Into Darkness when compared to the 2009 film.
  • Canadian filmmaker Michael McGowan built credit on the performance of his films Saint Ralph and One Week. Soon after, he was given the freedom to pursue a passion project - a comedy-musical about a homegrown hockey player who makes it to the big leagues. The resulting film, Score: A Hockey Musical, featured a who's who of Canadian singers and character actors, backing from Canadian production houses/government funding and a selection of up-and-coming Canadian talent. Unfortunately, the film made just $200,000 against its $5.3 million budget, was thoroughly trashed by Canadian critics and audiences, and put a damper on McGowan's career just as it started.
  • John Singleton's directorial debut Boyz n the Hood was critically acclaimed, and made him the youngest Academy Award nominee for Best Director at the age of 24. He never reached that level of success again, and when he died in 2019, he was eulogized as the director of Boyz n the Hood.
  • This is definitely one interpretation of The Godfather Part III. When you're making a sequel to two films that are almost universally regarded as absolute masterpieces, whatever you make is highly likely to not live up to its predecessors, even if it's a good film in its own right, which a lot of people regard Part III as. Most people also put the 16-year gap between the second and third films and the fact that another Mafia movie released the same year would become a masterpiece on par with the first two Godfathers as part of the reason the film came off as disappointing.
  • Brüno (2009), Sacha Baron Cohen's follow-up to Borat, didn't get anywhere near as positive a reaction as Borat at the box office. While it opened as big, its second weekend fell nearly 75% to a single-digit-million-take after pulling north of $30 million the week before.
  • Cracked's "5 Works of Art So Good, They Ruined Their Whole Genre" calls 2001: A Space Odyssey, Fight Club, and Animal House tough acts to follow in their respective genres.
  • James Bond:
    • GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan's debut as James Bond, simply was so phenomenal that his subsequent movies could not live up to its high standards. Then again, GoldenEye was the film that revived the franchise after years of Development Hell.
    • Many of the Bond films have gone through this, starting all the way back with Goldfinger, the Codifier for all future Bond films. It was followed by Thunderball, which, while well-received, failed to have the staying power of its predecessor. This is also true of Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker, Octopussy, and Quantum of Solace, and currently seems to be the case with Spectre. Reviews are mixed, unlike the nearly unanimous praise for its predecessor Skyfall, and even the positive reviews are forced to admit that it isn't as good as the previous film.
  • Peter O'Toole holds the record for being nominated the most times for an Academy Award without winning, at eight. A contribution to this is without a doubt that his first nomination was for Lawrence of Arabia, his most iconic role, where he lost to Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. It was simply the case of one being the veteran and the other never having done a film before. While he has been a great actor, Lawrence is of course what he will be remembered as.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron ultimately became a victim of this. Not only did it have to live up to The Avengers, it also had to follow the massive dual-success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. Ultimately, many fans just felt underwhelmed by Age of Ultron, and this became even more jarring when the Avengers franchise concluded with the critically acclaimed InfinityWar and Endgame.
    • Captain Marvel (2019) found itself facing unusually high expectations given its circumstances. The film not only had to continue the critically praised streak of the Phase 3 movies, but its lead heroine Carol Danvers has big shoes to fill as the new face of the post-Endgame era. While the film was warmly received by critics, it had much more mixed reviews from fans, who found its protagonist boring and overall plot uninteresting.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Hans Zimmer had really, really big shoes to fill as the composer for Man of Steel, because the theme of Superman: The Movie by John Williams is one of the greatest movie themes of all time and is undeniably the theme of the Superman franchise. In fact, Zimmer initially didn't want to score Man of Steel for this reason, but changed his mind.
    • Any actor playing the Man of Steel will be measured against Christopher Reeve, a truly daunting standard of acting excellence and sincere charm.
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had a double whammy of tough acts. As a film devoted to setting up a Justice League movie, it followed in the footsteps of the mega-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, which popularised the concept of a shared cinematic universe for Western audiences. As the first film in this new universe featuring Batman, it also followed in the footsteps of The Dark Knight Trilogy, considered by many to be one of if not the greatest superhero movie series of all time, especially with its second installment. Critics were not kind, and though it still managed to gross over 800 million, it fell short of the studio's hopes for an Avengers-level hit, and failed to match the box office grosses of either of the two previous Batman movies.
    • Suicide Squad (2016):
      • Before the movie was even released, Jared Leto's Joker was already facing comparisons to Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson's prior portrayals of the character. When the film was released, Leto's performance was met with a decidedly mixed response, and it was Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn who became the Breakout Character instead.
      • While the film already had a lot of problems, some critics wondered if it may have gotten better reviews had the monster hit Deadpool (another "edgy" comic book movie starring a violent Anti-Hero) not been released earlier the same year.
    • Wonder Woman (2017) finally broke the streak of divisive at best movies, but wound up as a twofer high bar for two works: the next DCEU movie, Justice League (2017) (which also had to compare itself with The Avengers (2012), which managed to pull off the ambitious idea of teaming up heroes introduced in different movies) and sequel Wonder Woman 1984 (which wound up a Contested Sequel and with even positive remarks forced to compare it lower to the original).
    • Many feel that the franchise's divisive reputation stems partly from comparison to previous incarnations of the heroes. In contrast to the MCU, which started out comprised of B-tier superheroes, the DCEU stars more iconic characters who had to live up to pre-existing images and audience beliefs about the characters from both the comics and past adaptations. Subsequently, lesser known heroes like Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa's Aquaman clearly did not have the pressure of living up to iconic adaptations and as such were positively received in spite of deviations from their comics incarnation, e.g. Wonder Woman's more modest costume or Aquaman's Race Lift.
    • Zack Snyder's Justice League managed to avoid that kind of pitfall, surprisingly enough.
  • Paper Moon was this for director Peter Bogdanovich. His next three films were critical and commercial failures. No other film he made after was nearly as successful until Mask, which was released 12 years later, and he hasn't had another one since. Today, if Paper Moon itself remembered for anything, it's for making Tatum O'Neal became the youngest person to ever win an Oscar. That being said, The Last Picture Show is still his most acclaimed and best-remembered film by far.
  • Given that Neill Blomkamp's debut film was District 9, this reaction was kind of inevitable, unfortunately. While many praise Elysium for its effects and Sharlto Copley's performance as Kruger, quite a few thought that the social commentary and the overall character development paled in comparison to Blomkamp's debut film. It doesn't help at all that Blomkamp's subsequent films have copied many of District 9's themes and tropes while not actually continuing its story, despite the film having a some very blatant Sequel Hooks.
  • The second movie Mel Brooks directed, an adaptation of The Twelve Chairs starring Ron Moody, Frank Langella, and Dom DeLuise, hasn't left nearly as strong an impact on pop culture as The Producers has. Fans could make a similar comparison between Young Frankenstein and Silent Movie, although at least they both made more money than The Twelve Chairs did.
  • Kevin Smith followed up Clerks, a Generation X comedy masterpiece, with Mallrats. While it's since been Vindicated by History and recognized as a pretty entertaining film in its own right, Mallrats was initially seen as a Sophomore Slump for Smith, subject to a lot of unfair comparisons to Clerks, to the point where Smith gave a mock-apology for it at the 1996 Independent Spirit Awards. It didn't help that, at the time, it was a Box Office Bomb that nearly bankrupted distributor Gramercy Pictures. He's said multiple times the film "hangs over [his] whole career."
  • While The Amazing Spider-Man Series has a good deal of fans, it does have one major case of this within itself with J. K. Simmons' iconic performance as J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy. It dealt with this by turning the character into The Ghost. The Marvel Cinematic Universe iteration of Spider-Man also falls under this, with barely any mention of the character's existence in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Spider-Man: Far From Home however, suddenly completely subverts this with its mid-credits scene: showcasing J. Jonah once more, with J.K. Simmons at long last returning to the role no less.
  • After Behind Enemy Lines, many of John Moore's movies didn't do well with critics.
  • Paper Towns may or may not be bad, but regardless, it gets compared to The Fault in Our Stars a lot, with many complaints that Paper Towns can't quite live up to TFIOS.
  • Peter Jackson may have other big-budget hits and critically-acclaimed films, but it's doubtful that anything will ever surpass the juggernauts that was The Lord of the Rings. The films were so meticulously and carefully made, so financially successful, and so critically acclaimed by casual and geek audiences alike that nothing he has made since has been able to escape their shadow. And when he went back to the well for The Hobbit, the comparisons between the two series was seldom positive in the favor of The Hobbit.
  • Christian Bale won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2010 for his role in The Fighter. Unfortunately, it followed not one, but three all time classic villainous performances to win the Oscar — Christoph Waltz's Hans Landa, Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh, and ironically enough, given who Bale is, Heath Ledger's take on The Joker. Even with its win, the shadow of the past three victories is still glaring.
  • This is a reason why many Academy Award winning actors, particularly in the supporting categories, become victims of the Hollywood Hype Machine and retreat into obscurity and\or low-profile work seeking paychecks. Especially once the sudden fame leads to starring roles not everyone can pull off.
  • The Halloween franchise:
    • John Carpenter's original film has always been highly acclaimed by critics, audiences, and horror fans, and is now considered one of the greatest slasher movies of all time (if not the greatest), and an icon of horror cinema. All the subsequent films in the franchise it spawned have had a very difficult time living up. A peak at their Rotten Tomatoes scores makes this all the more obvious. The original film has a 92% "Certified Fresh" rating, nine out of the ten other films are in the "Rotten" spectrum. While some of those films have their fans, their success has always been hindered by the fact that they will always be compared to the original, which is simply an impossible standard to measure up to.
    • Halloween: Resurrection had the double-whammy of also having to live up to H20, widely considered the best sequel up to that point, and a satisfying conclusion to the original series. It's usually seen as the worst film in the entire series, not just for its poor story, characters, and acting, but also for how it wrapped up the plotlines from H20.
    • Halloween III: Season of the Witch has a history of being a very hated film among Halloween fans, since it's completely unrelated to the main story, and does not feature Michael Myers. These days, it's slowly gaining a cult following among 80s horror fans, who feel it would've been better received were it not attached to the Halloween series.
    • The first film in Rob Zombie's rebooted series easily had this working against it, since it was a prequel/remake of the original movie, but his sequel to that film, while it has plenty of haters, was allowed to be judged more on its own merits, since it was mostly fresh material.
    • The direct sequel in 2018 was seen as a step up by many fans, and was considered by critics to be the best film in the franchise since the original (scoring a decent 79% on Rotten Tomatoes), with praise given to the more simple, refreshed writing, solid direction, Jamie Lee Curtis' performance, and haunting electronic score. It certainly helped that John Carpenter returned to executive produce the film and contribute to the music. However, nobody claimed it was anywhere near as good as the original.
  • David O. Russell really hit it big time with Silver Linings Playbook, a movie that nearly everyone loved. His next release American Hustle did very well, but some Hype Backlash set in and it failed to win any of the ten Academy Awards it was nominated for. But the effects of this trope were felt with Joy, which was trashed by critics and only got Jennifer Lawrence a Best Actress nomination, before quickly vanishing from public consciousness.
  • Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry was a mega hit that turned Hilary Swank into a star overnight and was a critical darling. Her next feature - which wasn't released until eight years later - Stop-Loss flopped at the Box Office and got no awards love. It was however still well-received by critics. Her third film, a remake of Carrie, made plenty of money at the Box Office but was met with So Okay, It's Average responses. Swank was affected by this for a while, but she ultimately subverted it thanks to Million Dollar Baby—although she has has fallen victim to this trope for that film.
  • Kate Hudson became a star overnight for her turn as a drugged out groupie in Almost Famous and got a Best Supporting Actress nomination. She then followed it up with a bunch of forgettable romantic comedies, which got mixed-to-negative reviews but did well at the box office, and the Hollywood Hype Machine failed to make a star out of her. Almost Famous is about the only film of hers that's remembered well today, even though it initially wasn't nearly as commercially successful as her later films. However, The Skeleton Key has started to get traction as a cult favourite.
  • Dito Montiel's debut film A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, based on his own memoirs, was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival. His follow-ups remained below the radar and got mixed reactions.
  • Warren Beatty had a very successful career as a producer, director, and actor, with critical and commercial hits such as Bonnie and Clyde, Shampoo, Heaven Can Wait (1978), Reds, Dick Tracy, and Bugsy, but he's had a hard time living up to his glory days. His 1994 film Love Affair was a critical and commercial flop, and Bulworth (1998) failed to make back their budgets, despite good reviews. After Town & Country massively flopped critically and commercially, grossing $10 million on a $90 million budget with a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes, he took some time off from show business until 2016 when he returned to writer, produce, direct, and star in Rules Don't Apply, which got a mixed critical reception, and had one of the worst openings in domestic box office history.
  • The Sound of Music became known as "the musical that ate Hollywood" for this reason. With the film's success, many lavish, big-budget musicals were put into production for roadshow exhibition. Many of these efforts, such as Doctor Dolittle, Star and Hello, Dolly!, received mixed reception, and the public decided that they didn't want to pay extra for increasingly subpar films.
  • Highlander turned out to be such a strong Cult Classic that it was this for its franchise. In its case, it might have less to do with the film's quality and more to do with the fact that so much of the worldbuilding is deliberately left to mystery, and the final conflict is a very complete resolution to both the main character's development and the world itself. Every attempt to explain the mysteries was underwhelming, and every attempt to expand the characters and world came across as redundant.
  • Any attempt to make a sequel, remake, or reboot to Psycho will forever be in the shadow of Alfred Hitchcock.
    • The original film's three actual sequels are often seen as surprisingly decent, with the first one in particular being singled out for its more cerebral take on the slasher genre, along with its excellent performances. Anthony Perkins returned for all three, and even directed the second, while Vera Miles also returned for the first. The critics' biggest complaint? You guessed it. None of them could compare to the original Psycho.
    • Gus Van Sant's notorious shot-for-shot remake in 1998. While the screenplay was almost exactly the same as the original film, the performances, casting, direction, and cinematography were all singled out as being far inferior to that of the original Psycho. Everyone also questioned the reasoning for even attempting a remake to one of the most iconic films in cinema, let alone a pointless Shot-for-Shot Remake.
    • The Bates Motel TV series on A&E had less of this, since it was intentionally trying to do something fresh with the characters and material. However, it finally caught up with the show in the final season when it came time to retell the story of the original Psycho, and fans wondered how Rihanna's performance as Marion Crane could ever possibly compare to Janet Leigh's. However, the show took everything in a surprisingly different direction, once again allowing it to form its own identity.
    • To a lesser extent, Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga's performances as the younger Norman and Norma Bates had to compete with the well-received performances of Henry Thomas and Olivia Hussey from Psycho IV: The Beginning. Freddie, of course, also had to compete with Anthony Perkins' iconic performance.
  • This trope is a big reason why the announcement of a sequel to Blade Runner was met with either eye-rolling about Hollywood's endless sequel-greed or complete bafflement about its existence. Given that said film is a beloved Cult Classic which pretty much invented the entire subgenre, it's no surprise that people were highly skeptical about its chances. Ultimately, though, the trope was mostly averted when, although doing no better than the original at the box office, Blade Runner 2049 ultimately received spectacular reviews from critics and ended up on multiple lists of the best films of 2017 and the best sequels of all time, with some even going so far as to call it better than the original.
  • Die Hard is one of the most iconic and important action films ever made, responsible for almost single-handedly redefining the whole genre and birthing a whole new subgenre in the process. While the first three sequels each have their fans, none of them even came close to matching the impact of the original. This is most noticeable with its villains, with every villain since living in the shadow of Hans Gruber.
  • Godzilla ran into this for years, in an odd sense. While the 28+ sequels individually have their fans, none of them have ever been able to top the respect the original film earned. The 60s and 70s films were derided as too kiddy, the 80s and 90s films derided for a variety of reasons, and the 00s movies were mocked for simply copying popular anime tropes for a time. It wasn't until 2014 that the franchise came roaring back to the US, with another beloved sequel coming in 2016 in Shin Godzilla.
  • Every sequel to Jaws was seen as worse than the film that came before it, and undoubtedly worse than Steven Spielberg's original. Only Jaws 2 has many fans, and even then, the most common defense it's that it's just a pretty decent shark movie that still pales in comparison to its predecessor. Few will defend Jaws 3D or especially Jaws: The Revenge, the latter of which has a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • The Wachowskis have never been able to duplicate the success of The Matrix. That film was a critical and commercial force that has since become a classic, and remains one of the most influential films in the action genre. The Matrix Reloaded was an even bigger commercial success, but got mixed reviews. The Matrix Revolutions was a critical and commercial disappointment. Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas, and Jupiter Ascending all flopped critically and commercially, settling instead for small cult followings. The Netflix series Sense8 received a positive reception from critics and fans, but again had to settle for a smaller cult following and was canceled after two seasons, though the fans spoke loud enough to give it a finale movie. Their second biggest success is probably V for Vendetta, though they are only credited as screenwriters/producers on that film.
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks has its fans but living up to the success of Mary Poppins proved impossible. Part of this was because it was so blatantly trying to be the next Poppins (Walt Disney originally bought the rights to the novel Bedknob and Broomstick specifically as a backup project in case P.L. Travers wouldn't allow him to adapt Poppins) — it shares crew members, songs by The Sherman Brothers, the live-action/traditional-animation hybrid sequences and actors David Tomlinson and Reginald Owen.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: Apocalypse had to follow up on the beloved X-Men: Days of Future Past and the surprise hit Deadpool (2016). Unfortunately for the movie, it failed to achieve the critical acclaim and financial success of its predecessors; it received mixed reviews and underperformed domestically with only overseas box office ensuring that it made a profit.
    • Dark Phoenix had an especially tough time given its circumstances. Not only did it have to do justice to the Dark Phoenix storyline but it also had to function as a Grand Finale before the characters are rebooted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe due to the Disney-Fox merger. Furthermore, it also had the misfortune of following the critically acclaimed Logan and Deadpool 2 with the former even earning an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Needless to say, Dark Phoenix didn't live up to its lofty expectation with the movie bombing at the box office and receiving the lowest critical score out of all the main X-Men movies.
  • The enormous success of both The Blues Brothers and Wayne's World led to even more films based off Saturday Night Live sketches being greenlit in hopes of replicating their prosperity. Unfortunately, none of them, not even the aforementioned films' sequels, have gotten even close to the critical and commercial success those two had. It's Pat and Stuart Saves His Family are still infamous for their inability to even cross $1 million at the box office.
  • Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army were mild box office hits, but had good reviews and a vocal fanbase. So when Guillermo del Toro couldn't make a third movie and instead the character would be revived with a reboot, that would be plagued with comparisons. And indeed, Hellboy (2019) was a critical and commercial flop that couldn't live up to what was done before.
  • It (2017) was released to critical acclaim, regarded as one of the best adaptions of any of Stephen King's works, and even speculated as an Oscar contender. To that end, there was never any doubt that It: Chapter Two would have difficult shoes to fill. When it came out, while it still received mixed to positive reviews, is regarded to have ultimately failed to match its predecessor because of its lack of scares and three hour runtime.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day was so much of an Even Better Sequel that the franchise never recovered from it. Every movie since then got lower and lower ratings. Terminator: Dark Fate managed to be the most acclaimed film since the second one, but even that is considered to be pale in comparison to the first two films.
  • Critic Drew McWeeny, in his appearance on the Screen Drafts podcast to discuss the David Cronenberg filmography, brings up how for about ten years Fox Searchlight was determined to make a third version of "The Fly" — Cronenberg's version was the second — but ultimately gave up after numerous writers and producers took cracks at it. McWeeny was one of those writers; "I think everybody ran up against the same problem, which is What else do you do?" after Cronenberg's Genre-Busting spectacular. The hosts then add that no new take on the story would find a lead actor capable of escaping the shadow of Jeff Goldblum either, since his physical features and skill set as a performer (from his Verbal Tics to his physical size) were so ideally suited to the character of Seth Brundle that anyone else would be seen as lacking in one aspect or another.


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