Movie Franchise Failures – Reboots
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.
- There wasn’t a sequel of any sort connected after the first film.
- It can have been remade later, for either film or TV, as long as there isn’t a connection.
- Most will be money, but there might be other factors, so talking about money isn’t going to be the only motivation.
- I haven’t included any that have rumours of sequels going forward.
Movie Franchise Failures – Reboots Missing the Mark
Reboots have become a massive part of Hollywood. In recent years we have seen franchises that worked before, be it Film, or TV getting a new lick of paint and thrown back out to the audience. Sometimes they can work, other times well, this list below shows some of the major ones which failed.
This isn’t a ranking just a list.
Friday the 13th (2009)
Marcus Nispel’s Friday the 13th tried to reboot the tired franchise. Before this movie was released the franchise had been through a string of interesting sequels. Jason in Manhattan and Space, he even battled Freddy Krueger.
This movie does have a mix of reasons why it didn’t get a sequel. First, it is the quality of the film itself, it does feel similar to most remakes. Not enough of the movie makes it stand out from the rest. Second, it has been through the courts for who owns the rights to the movie. This has stopped any sequels or remakes from being made.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Samuel Bayer’s A Nightmare on Elm Street was a remake too, bringing a new perspective of Freddy Krueger. The story plays heavily into the discussion about whether he was innocent or not. It was an interesting idea but never came off the way it was intended.
Losing Robert Englund enraged fans too, turning to the serious tone and trying to recreate the iconic scenes didn’t help either. Despite it making money, the movie had the fans turn on it quickly.
Robin Hood (2018)
Otto Bathurst’s Robin Hood was the latest attempt to bring the legendary figure to life. Potentially being one of the youngest visions of the character, it was given a flashier style than many other versions of the movie.
This does seem to be one that never got going because of the money not attracting the audience. It could have been from the flashy style, that never felt like Robin Hood. There has always been a problem trying to restart this franchise.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword seemed like it was going to be the first of many King Arthur adventures. Using Ritchie’s distinct style to bring the character to life. Introducing the many supporting characters that could be bigger parts of the adventures in the future.
The movie has a much simpler reason for no sequels happening, despite having a 6-film series planned. Box office returns were the biggest problems, placing it the week after ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2’ didn’t help either.
The Mummy (2017)
Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy was intended to be the opening chapter in the ‘Dark Universe’. The story looks to introduce the Mummy character on the first adventure while giving us glimpses of other characters in the universe.
The problem here is clear, they spent more time focusing on the bigger picture. They forgot to bring us an interesting enough story for the character on their first adventure. This is most famous for being the movie that killed the universe franchise. It has seen the characters already start their own new roles in the film world, with ‘The Invisible Man’ getting rave reviews.
Jose Padilha’s Robocop looked to modernise the cyborg cop to a new audience. It seemed like a good idea because technology has changed, and things have moved forward. Though business people are just as corrupt when it comes to the making money factor with ideas that the city would require.
The movie has gone on to gain an audience despite the original being a cult classic. There was potential for a sequel but upon release, the backlash to the lack of violence in the movie didn’t help it happen.
The Karate Kid (2010)
Harald Zwart’s The Karate Kid follows the same concept as the original, which sees a young boy moving to a new location, feeling like an outsider and being taken in by a reluctant fighting teacher.
The main reason this movie didn’t get a sequel, was because it is actually Kung Fu that was being taught. The other reasons include the fact, that the original was still so popular, that it falls into the bracket of the ‘we didn’t need a reboot’. With the failures of this franchise, Cobra Kai TV show was made, which became one of the most popular on TV at the moment.
Charlie’s Angels (2019)
Elizabeth Banks’ Charlie’s Angels is the fourth attempt to do something fresh with the series. After the original TV shows, the short-lived film franchise and another attempted TV run. This movie brings new angels, a new Boz and most importantly, was good.
The movie is entertaining, has a great cast and has fun action. Getting everything, you need from a movie like this is correct. The reviews were mixed and the movie got thrown into a debate about whether male critics should be reviewing female-directed movies before female critics.
Power Rangers (2017)
Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers brought us a brand-new version of the mighty Morphing superheroes. It mixes the superhero storyline with ‘The Breakfast Club’ to bring us an enjoyable action-adventure movie.
Being a TV series, I used to watch as a kid and adult, the cheesy style was a huge draw for me to watch it. This version is a lot of fun, looking like it could easily have launched a franchise. Sadly, to date, nothing has been planned for any sequel and it does feel like the cast would have aged out before we get the same group.
Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters looked to reboot the franchise with an all-female ghostbusters team. It does follow the same concept but did lack the spark the original brought us.
Fans of this movie are divided, some people love it, and others hate the recasting choice. The weakness can be seen in the cast, who are all searching for laughs, rather than the original idea of a team, not all being comical.
The Last Airbender
M Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender was trying to bring to life the ‘Avatar’ anime. The movie follows Aang a young successor of Avatars who must master the four elements to stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the others.
This movie was completely slammed upon release, with the audience turning on the move away from the source material. The die-hard fans branded it horrendous, and the movie was never going to get a sequel.
James Wong’s Dragonball Evolution was the live-action version of the highly popular manga with a massive following that followed the adventures of Goku.
Dragonball Evolution was thrown out and tried to capture the popularity of an anime series, only to receive it horrendously. The creator Akira Toriyama of the original series was horrified with what was created he ended up bringing the series back to life.
Joe Carnahan’s The A-Team was a reimaging of the popular television show. Having an excellent cast, it seemed like the plan had come together for a franchise to be born.
The movie seemed to fall into Box Office failure being the reason we never got enough movies. It is a shame because we had a great cast put together that could easily have carried this, and it could be enjoyable for everyone. In the future this could easily become a new franchise, one everyone gets behind.
Lana Wachowski & Lilly Wachowski’s Speed Racer was bringing the popular animated series to life. It follows the adventures of a young driver Speed who sets off on an adventure to become the greatest racer in the world, while evil cooperation has its own plans.
Speed Racer didn’t perform at the box office, despite gathering a big following. It is one of the movies I enjoy watching because I love watching racing. It looks like the team would have been happy to return to make another movie. Early plans for a live-action television reboot next, so we will wait and see.