Sequels are a staple of the Hollywood machine. If a movie is successful and rakes in a pile of money, why wouldnt another? Dupilcating success is always the intention but rarely the case.
We have often talked about the failure rate of sequels, but one of the other effects that is less talked about is killing a franchise. I am not talking about disappearing forever, but sometimes there is a big gap between movies that are effected by sequels so dramatically that they wont even consider making another one until some time has passed and people are ready to forgive.
Lets take a look at some:
Superman Returns It was 19 years before a sequel to this fart at the end of the superman run of films. Even the slapstick third chapter with Richard Pryor was considered a success, but no one was ready to forgive them for Quest for Peace. Of course after the lapse there was a fair amount of fighting over who had the rights to make the film and what story to go with.
Batman Begins It was 8 years before we had the chance to forgive them for Batman and Robin. Even Clooney tries not to admit he was in it. But thankfully we were given a new gritty real take on Batman and got rid of Joel Schumacher’s obsession with nipples and neon.
Highlander This one is on my list because of one reason. There can only be one. All of the sequels were horrible, and although mildly amused by the half decent TV series, every chapter got worse and worse. The sequels were so bad that even THEY were ignoring part 2. And don’t get me started on the remake. We are not ready to forgive this series yet.
Rocky It took 16 years for them to return to the Rocky franchise. Mostly because you couldn’t do Rocky without Stallone, and the fifth movie proved it. The movie wasn’t about Rocky it was about the young upstart that Rocky has to slap around at the end. Such a bad movie. Fortunately Rocky returned with a big show, and we were ready for it.
The Next Karate Kid Rumour has it that we are expecting a remake of Karate Kid by sometime next year, but things went quiet after it was discussed late last year. So it might not happen. Might be a good thing. Its been 13 years since the last chapter that even Ralph Macchio wouldnt be in.
Battle for the Planet of the Apes Mark Wahlberg can usually be counted on to bring us a hit, but with the remake of Planet of the Apes, he just confirmed that the series should have been left alone back in 73 with the weakest of the missing links – Battle for the Planet of the Apes.
Usually the best way to deal with series that has outlived its welcome is to remake it. But even sometimes you have to wait before a remake is considered ok. The only movie that I have seen overlook that acceptable mercy of time has been the Hulk. The original (which I kind of liked) is fast being replaced by this new version coming out this summer. If the tend in those type of films have been taking is any indication, we can have hope.
Perhaps if the Hulk is a Success this will set the pace for remakes altogether. Don’t remake unless you can do it right. Of course anyone who remakes a movie is thinking they are doing it right.