Movie Franchise Failures – Originals

Movie Franchise Failures – Originals

Over the last few years, we have seen the overuse of franchise movie. Certain franchises have thrived, from the awards-heavy Lord of the Rings to the box office recording smashing Marvel Universe. The low-budget horrors have made their grand return, with the cheaply made movie turning a massive profit.

But for every success, there is usually a failure along the way. Over this week I am going to be looking at the biggest franchise failures to launch the desired cash machine in the series and why they didn’t work. I have broken this down into ‘Books’, ‘Video Games’, ‘Comic Books’, ‘Originals’ and ‘Reboots’.

I have put together a set of rules to make a film eligible for these lists.

  1. There wasn’t a sequel of any sort connected after the first film.
  2. It can have been remade later, for either film or TV, as long as there isn’t a connection.
  3. Most will be money, but there might be other factors, so talking about money isn’t going to be the only motivation.
  4. I haven’t included any that have rumours of sequels going forward.

Movie Franchise Failures – Originals Ideas

Original movies have always been difficult to turn into franchises, it has become the area where horror is specialised in. a cheaply made horror can always get a sequel if the concept is kept simple enough. Paranormal Activity, Halloween, Friday the 13th and many others have shone here. Other franchises have been launched by an original idea, where we see the DVD player thieves of Fast and Furious saving the world now. Sadly, sometimes these ambitious ideas don’t launch a franchise, today we are going to look at a few.

This isn’t a ranking just a list.

Movie Franchise Failures - Originals

Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland follows a young woman that gets taken to a futuristic world by a former boy-genius. In what is one of Disney’s many attempts to create something massive within the film industry.

Trying to capture the Pirates of the Caribbean magic, using one of the theme park concepts to turn it into a franchise. Sadly, this failed at the box office and with a budget over nearly $200million, it means we won’t be returning to Tomorrowland.

Love and Monsters
Movie Franchise Failures - Originals

Michael Matthews’ Love and Monsters was one of the biggest surprises in recent years. Follow an apocalypse forcing people underground in bunkers. A young man looks to search for his love across a world filled with giant versions of everyday animals.

In what was an amazing creation, taking us to a world that is filled with horrors. The movie grabbed us getting a slow following. This could easily get a sequel because it was one of the most recently made movies but there is plenty more to see in this world.

The Cabin in the Woods
Movie Franchise Failures - Originals

Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods was one of the most popular movies of the year of release. Surprising the audience with the concept of needing to see a group of people sacrificed, with the employees betting on what creature will be unleashed.

The movie does have two problems with any sequel First, the co-writer is Joss Whedon, and people wouldn’t want him getting any credit anymore after his behaviour. The second and spoiler, everyone dies. The movie does explore other locations that do the same ritual around different cultures. It could easily be explored; it is a universe-making franchise here.

Streets of Fire
Movie Franchise Failures - Originals

Walter Hill’s Streets of Fire follows a mercenary Tom Cody who is recruited to help save his ex-girlfriend from a biker gang. The 1980s was always good for kick-starting action franchises.

This does have a cult following but seemed to struggle at the box office, causing the end of the potential trilogy that was planned.

Movie Franchise Failures - Originals

David Ayer’s Bright follows a human detective working with an Orc detective in a world where fantasy creatures live among humans. The pair must put aside their differences to solve a crime that could give a species the upper hand on Earth.

Bright was a very original movie concept, one Netflix a punt on and even planned a sequel to. After a mix of this year’s Oscars event with Will Smith and the MeToo movement talking out against writer Max Landis. It looks like the movie has been put on the shelf for the foreseeable future.

Movie Franchise Failures - Originals

Paul Feig’s Spy is a comedy following a desk-bound CIA analyst who volunteers for an undercover mission in Europe. In the fish out of water situation, the comedy looks to poke fun at the spy genre.

Where other spy movies have dived into comedy before, Johnny English is the one that comes to mind the most. This could easily be a Melissa McCarthy vehicle for an action-comedy, getting in more typical spy actors, and poking fun at themselves.

The Last Witch Hunter
Movie Franchise Failures - Originals

Breck Eisner’s The Last Witch Hunter follows Kaulder as he battles witches through generations, being the only person stopping them from taking over humanity.

Vin Diesel always liked to pick ideas that could give birth to franchises. This is no different and it could easily be a franchise movie with the adventures he goes on against different witches. This was down to more poor reviews to money, as it appears to have made money upon release.

The Final Girls

Todd Strauss-Schulson’s The Final Girls is a horror comedy that follows a group of teenagers who get transported into an 80s slasher that starred one of their mothers. The group must navigate this world if they are to survive.

This is a strange one to never get a sequel because it is left with a giant cliff-hanger. One that could easily bring another movie, using different rules in slashers. A trick which has been used in many others over the years. The original movie is one of the best horror comedies in recent years.

Van Helsing

Stephen Sommers’ Van Helsing follows the legendary vampire hunter clashing with Count Dracula and his attempts to create an undead army. The movie includes many other movie monsters, including Frankenstein and his Monster, werewolves and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Considering Stephen Sommers had just done the highly popular Mummy movies and Hugh Jackman was fresh from the X-Men movies. You would think this could have been huge. Sadly, this fell into box office failure and bad reviews, even though it has gone on to find a new audience over the years.


André Øvredal’s Trollhunter is a fantasy-found footage movie following a group of students who work with a Trollhunter. They come across a range of different trolls that roam the countryside, with each one bringing a different image.

For low-budget found-footage movies, Trollhunter is one of the more unique concepts. In what could have easily followed the likes of ‘{rec}’ and ‘Blair Witch Project’. We could easily have seen more adventures within this world, even with different characters.

Attack the Block

Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block sees a group of London youths come under attack from aliens. In what is widely considered one of the best invasion movies, with amazing alien creations, it feels like only a matter of time before we got a sequel.

There have been rumours for years about a sequel and of the films on this list, it could easily be the one that is most likely to be made. John Boyega’s star power alone could make any sequel massive for an audience draw.


Joe Wright’s Hanna follows a 16-year-old girl who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin. She is unleashed on a mission while being tracked down by a ruthless intelligence agent.

Poor Saoirse Ronan, it is no wonder she doesn’t want to get involved in franchise movies anymore. This is the third time she starred in one that never took off. The material has gone on to become a television series with the reboot getting positive reviews.

Deep Rising

Stephen Sommers’ Deep Rising follows a group of hijackers planning a job on a cruise liner. They find the ship mostly abandoned and exploring the ship discover giant tentacles searching for any survivors. Leading to a race to escape.

Deep Rising was a movie that suffered badly because of the release schedule. Placing this movie next to Titanic which crushed so many films in early 1998. This is the main reason we never got a sequel, despite the movie being left with a massive cliffhanger.


Peter Berg’s Hancock follows an alcoholic superhero that the world has lost faith in. he starts to get a makeover before learning about his true identity on the planet. With another superhero living in the shadows that could cause bigger problems if they get close.

In the world where we get endless superhero movies. This was a fresh approach to the genre and one that could fit in wonderfully now. It is a shame we never got to see another adventure of Hancock as he looked to continue cleaning up his act.


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