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. Dumb and DumberER and Son of the mask are really REALLY bad. Considering the first ones are beyond amazing!

    • AHA!

      You have seen some good movies that were made before the year 2000!

      • Ofcourse I have! :D Im a jim carrey fan!

  2. You forgot Ghostbusters 3. Wait… They´re planning a Roger Rabbit Sequel?! I hope they don´t mess up…

  3. 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.

    Does The Phantom Menace meet all these criteria..I thought it was a prequel?

    • Well, I usually count prequels in the same criteria as sequels, so in my view it does.

      • Yeah I just see prequels as sequels they try and make them feel different but they rarly work, so to me there all just sequels

    • Dumb and Dumberer falls into that too, but since the word “Sequel” itself only actually means “a continuation of” without regard for the time sequence of the story itself, then yes it does.
      Just an interesting aside for the word “prequel” from Wiki:
      “According to OED the word prequel first appeared in print in 1958 in an article by Anthony Boucher in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It appears to have first come into general use in the early 1970s, in which its first known, traceable use is in the original press pack for The Godfather Part II,[1] where it is used to describe the sections of the film which take place before the events of The Godfather, which intercuts the further story of the Corleone mafia family under the leadership of Michael Corleone with the story of his father Vito Corleone in his youth.”

  4. I don’t agree with a few of these.

    Star Wars, like them all.

    Wall Street. I liked the sequel very much.

    I enjoyed The X Files sequel too.

    And Indiana Jones, prefered Crystal Skull to Temple Of Dump

    • Crystal Skull over Temple of Doom? What are you smoking and where can i get it?

      • Yeah, I’ll take Shia swinging like a monkey and nuking fridges over Kate Capshaw screaming every 30 seconds anyday.

        • For once, I agree with DrSam — only barely, though.

          • You say that like its a vile thing to agree with me…Sad face.

            • Nah, we just have varying opinions on many things… not a bad thing, just differing tastes — that’s part of what makes these sites so fun :-)

            • By “barely”, I mean that I only liked IJ4 just a tad better than IJ2 — IJ4 had serious issues, but IJ2 was down right annoying.

              • Oh agree Crystal Skull has some serious issues, but it has enough fun stuff for me to still enjoy it. Remove Mutt’s character and give John Hurt something to do, with a slightly more developed polt, it could have been excellent. But I will settle for it just being good.

                • I’ll take a dose of what your smoking as well. Temple of Doom has CLASSIC moments. Crystal Skull has none.


                  Cover your hear Indy!

                  (Monkey Brains)

                  Mine cart Chase


  5. The worst part about there being so many years between films is you get a stuff like Dirty Dancing Havana Nights where there’s no correlation between the films, except the title which is only there because the studio put it there. Why do they do that to themselves? If anything they’re drawing attention to the fact that this remake isn’t as good as the original.

    Or worse you get a lot of cases (Escape from LA for example) where they basically just do a remake with the same core cast and call it a sequel because they kind of changed a couple plot elements.

    • I’m of the opinion that Escape from L.A. is really underrated. It’s a satire. The fact that it’s “sort of a remake” is the point — the movie is making fun of bad, rehash action movies like Another 48 Hrs. I think a lot of people don’t really get that.

  6. I disagree with one thing, I liked Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull!

  7. Return to OZ falls into the same group as Harry Potter, Narnia and Twilight. Possibly Disney was trying to avoid comparisons with the original. The Wizard of OZ wasn’t considered a success at the time of it’s release and probably shouldn’t be on this list anyway. But, I understand, you needed the filler.

    • You’re referring to The Oz Books and since Return to Oz was a culmination of The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz with none of the other 40 books were ever referenced again at any time I don’t consider these two movies to fall into the same category as Harry Potter and other novel based franchises.

      Also, The Wizard of Oz brought in roughly $17.5 million worldwide in 1939 which is the equivalent to about $270 million now – I’d consider that a success plus it’s one of the most beloved movies of all time. I have no idea why you think it wasn’t considered a success.

      • Yes, The Wizard of Oz originally tanked in ’39. Imdb lists the film’s 1939 box office gross at about $3 million, half of which would go back to the studio, while the production budget was near $3 million as well, meaning it lost about $1.5 million, or half of the studio’s initial investment. The current total of over $14 million in domestic revenue comes from the many re-releases that the film has had over the subsequent decades, a good chunk of which comes from the more recent re-releases. The Wizard of Oz is another case of a “beloved family classic” that families originally ignored and really didn’t discover until the television market started to take off (see also “It’s a Wonderful Life”).

  8. Star Wars: Episode 1? Isn’t that a prequel, not a sequel?

    I also disagree with Godfather 3; sure, it wasn’t as good as its predecessors but I still liked it.

    I was surprised to not see Matrix Reloaded until I realized it was only 4 years after the Matrix.

  9. So without giving any personal opinion on the subject, I’d just like to point out the fact that the Godfather: Part III was nominated for 7 Oscars and 7 Golden Globes both of which include a best picture, director and supporting actor nomination. Just saying because people never seem to know that …

    • Yeah and Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie just got nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress for The Tourist…you’re argument is invalid :)lol

      • Ok well for the Globes I’ll definitely give you that but films don’t usually get nominated for 7 Oscars if they don’t at least somewhat deserve it . . . usually it’s limited to 3 or 4 if that’s the case HA

        • Too many politics in these awards shows to give them much merit as an artistic indicator.

  10. F’N A on the boondocks sequel, I found that absolutly gutting to watch, shouldnt have ever been done and that really sucks

    Very Good Article

  11. Return to LA was horrible! They should do a sequel to “Big Trouble in Little China.” LOL

  12. what about The Lost Boys?

    • Both sequels were direct-to-video

  13. I knew that about The GodfatherIII but still doesnt’ mean anything The Toursit is up for a few Golden Globes and im sure the oscar’s will follow that trend but that movies really blows so I dont look to award shows to justify my opinions, The truth is there is a trend here and as much as i like All Saints Day it fails to give us what the original did, Now i have a question did I read right Independence Day2? maybe this why Hollywood does it cuz every now and then they get it right ive been waiting for ID2 for a long time and im sorry but i love all Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies ALL OF THEM (couldve done w/o Jar Jar though) and im sorry but the new Scream movies will rock no doubt in my mind

  14. 2 great movies obliterated by their belated sequels that I’d add to the list are Psycho 2 and The Exorcist 3 (if, like most, we ignore that there ever was an Exorcist 2).

    • Exorcist 3 is very good indeed.

    • That was the only thing that kept Exorcist 3 off the list…just like Terminator 4. The movie before it sucked so all bets were off in that case.

      • Am I the only one who liked Terminator 4?

        • I liked it as a mindless action flick, but the story and acting are ridiculous. It was the first time I was disappointed with Bale’s performance.

          • Yeah, he was kinda stiff in it. But I loved the scene where he said: “Tell ´em I´ll be back.”
            And of course the Guns N´ Roses snippet… It made me smile.

            • In terms of nostalgia for the franchise, they certainly were respectful. I just didn’t feel the script allowed Bale/Connor to have a meaty role compared to the Worthington character.

        • yes

    • “Psycho 2″‘s only sins were one corny death (with ridiculous and unnecessary gore) and the fact that it left the door wide open for two more sequels. Otherwise speaking, it was an exceptionally well-crafted Hitchcockian mystery. I’ll give you “Exorcist 3″ though. Of course, we didn’t need “Exorcist 2″ either (though I’d like to see the original and unproduced script that lured in that amazing cast).

      But, like most everyone else, I don’t think “Return to Oz” belongs on this list. My recollection is that it was promoted it as if it were a true sequel in 1985… because it was produced under the reign of Ron Miller and new Disney head Michael Eisner didn’t know what to do with it. Overlooking the “ruby” slippers (silver in the novel and ruby in most everything since 1939) there’s little to tie them together.

      Sort of a shame that TV movies weren’t included on this list. Then we’d have seen forgotten disasters like “Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby,” “Bates Motel ’87″ (which completely ignored “Psycho 2″ and disposed of Norman Bates in the prologue) and “The Jerk Too.” Glad none of those got picked up as weekly series.

  15. Can I just stick up a bit for The Godfather Part III? It really does suffer from “compared to” syndrome.
    I saw before I’d seen Parts I & II and thought it was a very goos, well made and scripted crime drama. I mentioned this to a fellow film buff at work and he told me to watch the first two. I did…
    Ok, “compared to” (see) the others it isn’t in the same class by a country mile and Sofia Coppolla does ruin it a bit but able to merit it on it’s own terms it’s not a bad film by any means.
    I once read a review about Jurassic Park: The Lost World being a half decent monster film compared to the first one but that a half decent film by Spielberg is still far better than anything other directors could make. Is Scorcese not in the same league as Spielberg?
    That said my girlfriend recently watched all six Star Wars films for the first time. She watched them in timeline order (not release order i.e Episode 1, 2 etc) and I thought this was a good chance to see if the same argument would hold.
    It didn’t. She thought the original trilogy were far superior. Not that anyone needed telling otherwise.

  16. Vegas Vacation was good! It came out 8 years after the next most recent installment of the franchise …

    • I almost bought that tonight for a fiver. I love christmas vacation so much,i’m worried Vegas will be awful. Is it worth the fiver?

      • I thoroughly enjoyed Vegas Vacation. Worth the 5 bucks, IMO.

  17. Son of the Mask is definitely the worst movie on this list

  18. “half a decade” is 5 years….I think you meant almost half a century.

    • Have no idea what you’re talking about *whistles and edits swiftly* :P

  19. I don’t mind “Terminator 3″ so much. I like the previous two better but I didn’t find it horrible. “X-Files” and “Boondock Saints” sequels were both disappointing on such a personal level.

    Where’s “The Brazilian Job” on your coming soon list? Maybe pre-production hell is where it should stay.

    • T3 wasn’t a great movie, but I also enjoyed it. More than T4, actually.

  20. Hope The Goonies many have been clamoring for never gets made — and I hope they don’t try and reboot it — although with the whole Pirates of the Carribean thing having done so well, I’m almost suprised they haven’t tried a One-Eyed Willie movie as a prequel of sorts — huh, just realized that would more likely be the name of a Pirate Porn movie.

    • “Hope the Goonies **sequel** many have been…”

      • A couple of years ago Richard Donner and Geoff Johns pulled a prank where they leaked information about a planned Comic book sequel to the goonies.

        Instead they gave us the Superman: Last Son arc

        Goonies fans weren’t very happy with Donner and Johns after that.

  21. Yup – Tron: Legacy sucked

    • That’s not what theyarticle is saying.

  22. Just a heads up, Wall Street came out 1987. So instead of 13 years it was actually 23 years. The whole Greed is Good is totally 80′s.

  23. the first Tron was panned by critics and is only remembered by a small group of fans that has slowly grown in the past few years.

    Boondock Saints 2 and Wall Street 2 were not as good as the originals but i thought they were pretty good. Godfather 3 was ok, its just not the masterpeice that Godfather 1 and 2 remember and were expecting 3 to be.

    The Mask 2 has no characters from the original so i dont thing that peice of trash should be here, no matter how bad it was.

    and your forgetting the best one… “Jason X”, 9 years after “Jason goes to Hell”

    • Friday the 13th wasn’t part of the criteria.

      • Just curious, what about it didn’t meet the criteria?

        • I think Screenrant was pretending that all of those dreadful sequels (and the horrendous remake) of Friday the 13th never happened.

          Just my opinion.

    • Boondock Saints 2 was horrible, sorry but it wasn’t good at all.

  24. Because Independence Day 2 is a Will Smith film, I don’t expect it to suck too bad. But Who Framed Roger Rabit sequel is useless, except for another glimpes of Jessica Rabbit. Does Top Gun really need a sequel? Is Tom Cruise really that willing?

  25. i havent seen original tron yet

    • I hope you’re kidding. If not you should check it along with The BlackHole and Last Star Fighter.

      What about the sequels to Highlander?

      • That sequel sucked horribly, but it was only 5 years after Highlander.

    • Me neither. I hadn’t even heard of it til a little while ago…

  26. Of the upcoming list, I think a sequel to ROUNDERS could work if done right. It could be interesting to see what ever became of Mike and especially Worm. Not one I think MUST be made, but I’d see it if it came out.

    One belated sequel that I think did work was PSYCHO II. That one worked because it was set in real time and was true to the original themes. Sadly, the sequels that followed were completely pointless.

    • good one! Psycho II IS a really good sequel! A huge exception there. Plus,The Godfather Part III is an excellent film.It just followed I and II. A tall order indeed!

    • Psycho II is fantastic. Agreed.

  27. Sean Penn making a Spicoli spin-off from Fast Times would be awsome. I’d like to see how his character evolved after all this time

    • it would be fascinating to see what he does with it but unfortunately i doubt it would ever happen, doesn’t he hate the fact he was in that movie? i remember hearing something about him saying how much he hated fast times… (he must be the only one)

  28. I can’t believe Terminator 3 is on the list. Was it really considered a failure?

    • This is more of a general rule than an absolute. I thought that the recent Rocky and Rambo sequels were quite good, and while Rocky fared a little better than Rambo as far as the critics were concerned, neither was considered to be awful. Both also did reasonably well at the box office.

      • And “Rocky Balboa” was a far better film than “Rocky V”

        • Agreed. Rocky 5 was horrible, but Rocky Balboa was a very good movie.

        • @ James and Andy S.: That’s because “Rocky Balboa” is “Rocky” 2.0. It’s the practically the same story.

          • Think you need to rewatch Rocky.

            • @ Bob: Down and out semi-boxer gets a chance to make a name for himself in an exhibition match with a champ while putting up with his ass of a “best friend.”

              How is that not the premise of both movies?

              • The title character being Rocky and him fighting a black champion is really all that’s the same. That premise describes Rocky but not Rocky Balboa.

                • @ Bob: I think you need to re-watch “Rocky Balboa.”

  29. I have to disagree with Return to Oz being on this list if it isn’t just because it was a financial flop. I personally loved the Return…Dorothy is a schitzo who develops an alternate personality at the end, Princess Mamba has a hallway of “pretty heads” that she switches her’s for on a whim, the Rollers, the Gimp….That movies crazy…I love it

    • So do I! A ‘kids’movie like that would NEVER be made now! A weird gem.

      • Yeah, I really dig Return to Oz. It didn’t do well at the time of its release, but it now has a somewhat large, very loyal following. My girlfriend adores it. One of her favorite movies as a kid.

    • Wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment that Return to Oz is a great flick, but, BUT, it’s a horrid sequel and thus DOES deserve its place on this list.

      If it had been its own separate adaptation of the Oz books, and not an EXPLICIT sequel to the original, all its weirdness and nightmare fuel could be overlooked. But considering the film was advertised as, and people went in expecting, another bright and cheery family adventure in the same tone as the 1939 flick, I think calling the film a failed sequel is a good fit.

      • Wait, that’s the definition of a failed sequel? It’s different than what audiences expect it to be? That’s weird, because that’s my definition of an awesome sequel, nine times out of time. The Road Warrior, for example, is very, very unlike Mad Max. That’s eighty percent of the reason it’s so awesome.