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.