The Worst Belated Movie Sequels

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 7th, 2012 at 1:26 pm,

failed movie sequels The Worst Belated Movie Sequels

There is no getting around the fact that sequels to popular movies are a way of life in Hollywood. If a movie has a strong box office showing then, inevitably, a sequel (or two) won’t be too far behind.

A sequel to a film based on a series of books is to be expected: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Twilight Saga, as are films that are usually cheap and easy to produce: Saw, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street. Also films that have a well established mythos: Spider-Man, X-Men, Batman, Superman are almost always expected to have multiple sequels.

Typically, most of these sequels have one thing in common – the amount of time between films is usually no more than roughly three years. With the noted exception of Pixar’s smash follow-up Toy Story 3, which enjoyed eleven years between parts 2 and 3, virtually every franchise that has waited six or more years to release a new sequel is widely considered to be either a critical or financial failure.

With Tron: Legacy set to take a crack at box-office greatness this weekend, we’ve put together a list of every sequel made in the past 70 years which we felt failed as a proper follow-up to the previous film. This isn’t a list designed to merely point out the multitude of bad sequels in existence – that conversation could go on all day. Rather, we sought to look at the correlation between great original films whose belated sequels floundered many years later – as a result of drawn-out release dates longer than the standard three year mark.


To make the list a film must meet a certain criteria:

  • 1. There must be at least six years between the sequel and its predecessor.
  • 2. The sequel must have been released in theaters (no direct-to-video films).
  • 3. The film must continue the story and/or characters from the previous films.
  • 4. The previous film had to be  considered a success.

There is no way to rate which sequel is worse than another because, in most cases, they’re equally terrible – so we’ll just list them, pick the one we feel was the worst of the bunch and let you make your own decisions from there.


Continue to 6 – 10 Years Between Films »


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  1. I also liked Return to Oz. My sister also liked it. A co-worker went out of his way to get it on DVD. Everyone I’ve talked to who’s seen it has liked it.

    Saying a cult film is crap is a bit poor for an article isn’t it? That’s misleading the audience. That’s like saying Rocky Horror Show is crap. Of course it’s crap, and it’s just the sort of crap some people really like.

    You’re trying to turn people off something they might be genuinely interested in.

    • I personally like Return to OZ more than the Wizard of OZ. Let me Rephrase that…I love Return to OZ. Maybe i’m weird, but who cares.

    • Preach, brother!

    • Return to Oz is a strange case; it’s not a true sequel to the movie Wizard of Oz, but to the book Wizard of Oz. It drops the cutesy musical trappings altogether and puts the age of the protagonist back where it was in the books. It’s true to the books, where the first movie was not.

      It’s as if somebody made a sequel to Starship Troopers, and decided instead of satirizing the source novel they would do a faithful adaptation. The fans of the movie would be livid; and the fans of the book would be ecstatic.

  2. And with that. The entire article was null and void

  3. I’d say that the Alien/Aliens franchise falls into that category of each film after those two classics getting progressively worse. Prometheus was just as bad as the last two even if it had a more slick, modern feel, and with a huge span of years between it and Alien.

    Terminator’s fall from grace is the most painful to watch. Like the two Alien films, the others are pale imitations (or obvious cash grabs) of their former near-masterpieces. And now they’re set to do a Terminator 5 with yet another subpar director at the helm. Gaaaaaaaaah!!!!!

    The thing is, if the studios actually put some effort into these sequels, they could be just as good or better than the originals.

  4. Except Tron Legacy ruled. I also have to say while it was by no means anywhere near the original, Boondock Saints 2 was enjoyable.

  5. I, personally thought Boondock Saints 2 was great and I can’t wait for number three.

  6. Now you got A Christmas Story 2.

  7. I didn’t like KotCS when it first came out, but it’s slowly grown on me. It wasn’t as bad as others have made it out to be. (Or even me when I first saw it.)

  8. They remake crappy movies all the time, they even brought out a third men in black, and I don’t know anyone that liked the first one, don’t think I’ve heard anyone say they saw the 2nd one

    • while i agree on most of the the movies in the list, like dumb and dumberer, and son of the mask, it’s all a matter of personal choice, like one person here commented about the Men in Black series, which i personally loved all three movies, i don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Men in Black, while he and his friends doesn’t like them,

      some people might not be into some movies or genres, or some, especially kids and teenagers, just don’t want to try something that other kids aren’t doing, for fear of being cast out of their own society,

      in the list, includes star wars episode 1 : the phantom menace, which i love, simply because it WAS STAR WARS, though i liked the original trilogy’s special effects better, since 1999 made use of CGI, which was a relatively young back in 1999 for a Star Wars film to make use of, however, TRON legacy’s CGI was a great update to the original TRON movie, i don’t think people would have liked the movie if they used the same 1980s special effects for the sequel just so they could remain 100% true to the original movie

  9. I will never understand the hate for The Phantom Menace, I loved it when it came out and I still love it… It has the best race in any movie so far with the pod race, and a great standoff with Darth Maul. Sure Jar Jar can be annoying, but to say that a whole movie sucks because of one character is to harsh.

    If there was one sequal to Indian Jones that should be on this list, it should be Temple of Doom, if you think Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is more silly than this one, then you should not critique movies. I don’t get why people are so angry about the alien aspect, the previous movies had lots of religious nonsense. Aliens are much more realistic than religious nonsense.

    • Temple of Doom wouldn’t have qualified for this list because it only came out three years after the original. Also Return to Oz is not a true sequel. It’s just a different interpretation of the books that just happens to follow books 2 and 3 instead of book 1. Even though it incorporates the ruby slippers, there are WAY too many differences in character appearances and back story to be considered a true sequel. It a sequel to a version of The Wizard of Oz that doesn’t exist, not a sequel to the 1939 musical. If that makes sense. Kind of like how Hook is a sequel to a version of Peter Pan that doesn’t exist.

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  11. Actually the movie considered not only to be the worst sequel, but also the worst movie ever by just about everyone even those that are part of the cult following is Troll 2. Even those that I know that like it say it is so horrible they like it.

  12. In the 1970′s “The Black Bird” was 34 years later sequel to “The Maltese Falcon”….The Sting 2 was made 10 years after the original….32 Years after the original “To Sir With Love 2″ was made ( and is avaiable on dvd as is The Sting 2. )

  13. Actually, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights should not be included on this list based on your criterion. This is because it does not follow the original characters. Yes, Patrick Swayze makes a cameo but he is barely in it and is not central to the story. Also, I loved The Blues Brothers 2000. It was definitely more over the top than the original (sort of in the sense that it was making fun of the original) but it was still a fun movie with great music, a FANTASTIC cast and an entertaining story. I, too am of a similar ilk to other comment posters here in my LOVE of Return to Oz. It’s creepy and engaging and a really fun movie to watch. The only thing that I would change is Dorothy’s age. I found it a bit off-putting that she was returning a few years later, but 10 years younger.

  14. Fail. Return to Oz is not a sequel. Good research! Also it’s a brilliant film not just for dark fantasy but also for psychology majors.

  15. ‘Return to Oz’ was BRILLIANT.

    It followed the dark tones of the original L Frank Baum books far better than the first film did, and had wonderfully dark humor as well (“Your face will be quite pretty someday. I believe I will lock you in the attic until then…” “I believe YOU WILL NOT!!”)

    I adore under appreciated films like this, a shame you saw fit to put it on a list it in no way deserves to be a part of…

  16. Hey lay off! Return to Oz captured Oz’s dark nature a hell of a lot better than the 1939 film or any other Oz film that’s out there did. As one who had grown up with the Oz books and saw it slandered by a musical, I am proud to say that Disney delivered Oz correctly with the cult classic. If you didn’t like it, that’s your problem but you leave Tron Legacy and Return to Oz off of this list. The box office failure has NOTHING to do with how good a movie is. Ever hear of something called a cult? The original Wizard of Oz didn’t even gain it’s fame the first time it got released.

  17. While I can’t comment on how good Return to Oz is because it’s been forever since I’ve seen it, and seeing it as a kid is different than enjoying it now (ex. Krull) it should be pointed out that The Wizard of Oz was made by MGM and Return to Oz was made by Disney, so it’s not technically a sequel any more than Charlie and the Chocolate factory is to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

  18. who ever made this list is not right in the brain. there was no sequel to Independence day That comes out in 2016, and Top Gun 2 has been talked about but hasn’t happened yet either and probably will not happen after the death of director Tony Scott. the thin 2? you mean the prequel? its not called thing 2 and is a prequel not sequil.

    • @Ronald – Um yeah, I wrote this article 4 years ago and at that time, those were the expected release dates of each of those films.

      Paul Young

  19. I’m sorry, but “Godfather 3″ was N-O-T horrible! I felt it held up well, especially after the schizophrenia that was “Godfather 2″ (the “flashback” parts would have made a memorable movie standalone, but in the “modern” part, Michael was OOC throughout the whole thing).

  20. How about “Color of Money” (1986), a sequel to “The Hustler” (1961)? “The Muppets” (2011) follow up to “Muppets Treasure Island” (1996)? Are we including chick flicks too (Before Sunset, nearly 10 years after Before Sunrise)? All those sequels were very well received…

  21. I own and have read the complete collection of OZ books (minus two or three. There are more than thirty books in the series. Return to OZ was based on “The Land of OZ” except that the nightmarish electric shock therapy business was not in, nor intended to be in, the OZ legacy. OZ actually exists. Later in the series Aunt Em and Uncle Henry go to OZ to live out their days with Princess Dorothy.

    The Disney people did an excellent job on the wheelers and Tick-Tok the wind up copper man. Ruggedo the Red was actually the King of the Gnome kingdom and was not a shape-shifter. However, what they did in the movie was done well enough that I easily overlooked that mistake. Eggs are poison to the OZ gnomes so it was good to see Billina from the book lay her egg and have it roll into Ruggedo’s mouth.

    The original story had Dorothy on a ship which sank. She grabbed onto Billina’s wooden cage to keep her afloat. She ends up on the beach with the lunchpail trees and discovers Tick-Tok. The Wheelers claim they own the trees and Tick-Tok picks up two pails and spins around knocking the Wheelers down. Being able to see the Wheelers from the book come to life exactly as pictured by John R. Neil was worth seeing the picture for. They do need to get rid of that crappy and child frightening beginning though.

    Just thinking about this makes me want to take the DVD off the shelf and watch it again. I’ll FF through the beginning.

    • I think they also had some stuff from “Ozma of Oz” in the film, too. It was a great film. I think I will buy it for my kids (and myself) right now.

  22. Agree with all- Except Return to Oz. If you have read the Oz series books, you know that wizard of Oz is the most normal one- Return to Oz is really more in line with the Oz series. On top of that, it was faithfully and brilliantly executed, especially given the lack of CGI at the time. I think people were just expecting more cutesy munchkins and they got frozen people, wheelers and tik-tok. I had read the books as a kid before I went to see this movie and I loved it and understood it then and have loved it ever since.

  23. In addition to being a bit ahead of its time, Return to Oz isn’t a sequel. It’s based on a different book from the original Oz series and, unlike the Wizard of Oz, not a musical.

  24. So glad Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2 didn’t happen. And now it never will.

  25. If you knew anything about the source material you’d know “Return to Oz” is not remotely a sequel. It’s a separate, unrelated adaptation of other books in the series. You can tell by the fact that it actually had some similarities to things that L. Frank Baum wrote, unlike “The Wizard of Oz,” which pretty much stops at the protagonist being named Dorothy, and there being some witches in it.