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 actually thought Godfather III had potential to be the best of the trilogy. Whilst it was tracing Michaeal’s ageing Corleone with Vincent’s ascension and reckless nature, it was quite compelling stuff. Once it shifted the focus more solely to Michael is when it lost it’s way and really tended to drag a bit.

    I still can’t understand perhaps the greatest myth in movies that Part II is better than Part I. For me there is simply no comparision, Part I had such a greater depth and all roundness in terms of its story and charactewrs. Take away Don’s backstory and Part II is even less of a film and to think it’s running time is actually longer than the first.

    • I disagree, I though the Godfather Part II was at least as good as part I, I just really really love the prequel element/scenes in it with Deniro as the young Vito.

      • That goes with Lebsta’s point, take away the Deniro parts and it is not as good. I disagree because I love the Cuba sequences which actually contain a good political message unlike a lot of cold warrior crap that was produced at the same time.

  2. Wall Street is off by ten years.

  3. Lost Boys (1987) – Lost Boys 2 (2008). 21 Years. How did this not make the worst sequel’s list ever? It was an ok movie, but completely perverted the Lost Boys name by being connected.

    • Lost Boys 2 was straight to video

  4. Paul –
    really gotta fix that Wall Street typo (looks bad for a movie site to be off by a decade on a movie so undeniably 80′s)

    I agree with all of your picks, though I can’t say I’ve seen all of them (many I avoided)

    I haven’t seen any mention Alien 3 (should have been 6 or 7 years bewteen Aliens and Alien 3). Although I actually liked Alien 3 (the rough cut is better), but I know many people think it was a real disappointment

    • Thanks, Panda, I fixed it.

      Annoyed that it went live with that error and that it wasn’t fixed earlier.


    • Alien 3 was very good IMO. It was scary and dark. Everything you´d expect from an Alien move. That´s why the 4th one sucked. It wasn´t dark, it wasn´t scary.

  5. Scream 4? Good to see the franchise catching up with the Scary Movie franchise. By “good,” I actually mean “sad”

  6. dumb and dumberer was by far one of the worst train wrecks in movie history, but I don’t think that Boondock Saints 2 deserves to be on here

  7. What?? Boondock Saints II is a bad sequel? I really disagree on that (but thats just me). IS it as good as the first one? No. Was it ok except up till the end where it was just great? Yes. Did that girl who was William Dafoe’s student, was she really annoying? Hell yes. But even with those 3 things, its still a watchable, enjoyable movie that still kept the spirit of the first film.

    So that’s the end of my rant..


  9. The answer is no.

    I mean, you can list these “disappointments” all you want (and even break your own criteria- someone pointed out ‘Son Of Mask’, I’ll also mention ‘Dirty Dancing’- Patrick Swayze may have cameoed in the film, but his character wasn’t mentioned by name.) but the bottom line is…what is the story, is it any good?

    “Toy Story” is NOT the only exception. “The Color Of Money” came right to my mind, as it is a sequel to “The Hustler”. It continued the story of the Paul Newman character.

    And what about “Rocky Balboa”? (16 years from a dud “V” no less)

  10. Yea I don’t think this author’s opinion on bad sequels is very valid, sorry its what I think. A lot of those sequels you named are actually pretty good and financially succcessful, so I would throw this list in the garbage because it doesn’t reflect the facts you think it seems to portray.

    • JPEG,

      Really. I just looked over the list and I see VERY few sequels that would be considered anything close to good – especially as compared to the original films.


    • @JPEG,

      Couldn’t agree more with you. Paul Young just writes trash.


      Dude, you just make yourself look bad even responding on this Paul Young trash article.

      • Keep slamming one of my authors saying he writes trash and see how that turns out, Paul.

        Disagree all you want, but watch the tone.


  11. Even though it is generaly regarded as terrible now “The Godfather Part 3″ was nominated for best picture the year it was released. So it’s kind of funny in hindsight that so many people hate it now… My picks would be Indiana Jones 4 and the Star Wars Prequels. Those 4 movies ruined my thoughts of the franchises that shaped my childhood.

  12. How about “The neverending story”, or “House”? Both had horrible sequels, that didn’t meet the criteria. “Jason X” for when that came out was slightly ahead of it’s time (in terms of the useage of nanomites), then they destroyed it when they felt the need to remake it. Same way they did “Nightmare on elm street”. I feel that hollywood is trying too hard & in doing so with all the un-necessary ‘remakes’,’reboots’,& ‘sequels’ they lose sight of what makes movies memorable to begin with. There should be rules to doing remakes & sequels….

  13. @Kevin

    Whilst i thought Revenge of the Sith was good, I too agree that both Indy IV, Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones did stain the legacy of their respective trilogies. I still mainatin Lucas should have instead gone with creating new stories after Return Of The Jedi

  14. I would have to disagree with Wall Street 2. I throughly enjoyed that movie. I watched Wall Street the day before watching Wall Street 2 and I nearly fell asleep, it was so boring. However, Wall Street 2 kept me awake the entire time.

    I’ll also disagree with Stayin’ Alive. I haven’t seen Saturday Night Fever, but Stayin’ Alive is one of my favorite movies.

  15. I liked Return to Oz

    • So does almost everyone else. And I am curious to whether the author of this list has actually seen it.

  16. I would definitely put Clerks 2 on here.

    • Clerks II?!, you are one of Mr Young’s people alright.

  17. as always Mr Young hits a sore spot with me with his extremely opinionated writing style.

    I won’t go through all the points I completely fail to agree with, but this one hurt the most.

    Caddyshack II was awesome, WTF Mr Young.

    I should just stop reading his posts ‘cos he writes TRASH!!!

    • Thanks for taking the time to go through my “trash” and then taking the extra time to respond multiple times :) It’s greatly appreciated.

      BTW – The very fact that you think Caddyshack II is a great film negates the rest of your opinion….I’m just saying.

  18. Good list. I am one of the few who like the Star Wars prequels. Why do prequels count anyway?

    Yes the universe is the same but different main characters move the story. For example the Thing 2 is supposed to be a prequel, none of the old characters will be in it only the Norwegians.

    • I honestly don’t think anything is truly a prequel. The prefix “pre” means to come before and since a “prequel” comes AFTER the last film then it’s technically a sequel…make sense?

      Semantics I suppose :)

      • “Semantics I suppose.” I can go with that. Great story Mr. Young.

  19. “Every original movie on this list is a timeless classic that will forever have a stronghold in the movie industry – their sequels, however, are considered to be some of the worst films ever made. George Lucas will never live down Jar Jar…”

    “Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace”

    “The Phantom Menace” was a prequel. Not a sequel. Lol…

    • Oh come on – splitting hairs. The point of the article is new films in a series that followed many years after the original films.


      • He used the word ‘sequel’. Lol… Okay, okay… I get the idea. :)

        • Oh, you’re just a troublemaker! :-P


  20. “The X Files: I Want to Believe” was a pretty good film. Many fans were upset because it was not an X-Files film at its core. Its theme was an X-Files, but it was missing everything else that made the franchise.

  21. “…it would appear that Disney’s $200 million-plus budget TRON: Legacy could fall into the financial failure category – though any verdict should be withheld until the film has run its theatrical course.”
    Even though it may be a financial failure, that does not mean the film failed. The only people I know who hated the movie were online critics. Everyone else who I have spoken to loved the film.

    • totally agreed. mostly film critics are the ones who complained about the film

  22. Re: Godfather 3

    The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Song and Best Picture.

    If a film is going to fail in your eyes, then every film should fail like this.

  23. honestly don’t see what the major complaints are with TRON LEGACY.
    The movie was pretty darn good

  24. I actually liked TRON:Legacy and The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.

    • Tron: Legacy was awesome. I can watch that movie over and over again.

  25. Hey is there a thing called best belated sequels page like toy story 3 for example somewhere

  26. You’re absolutely WRONG about TRON: Legacy being a failure. What is your definition of failure? It may not have been a critical success but it wasn’t a failure at the box office. Unless you call $400 Million at the box office a failure. Clearly, it was a success with audiences.

    • Actually, 4,5 and 6 are not the last three but the middle three. There are a 7,8 and 9. Lucas already said he’d never make those into movies.

    • Lucas had a plot outline but he didnt have the actually story together. Heck he didnt even have the story together for the originals. They went through re-writes and several changes, most notably Darth Vader is Luke’s daddy. Everything he had from the prequels were flashbacks and character history which he attempted to make into a prequel trilohy and failed miserably.

    • 1. No one here is impressed by your knowledge of Star Wars canon.

      2. You are wrong. Most of the details you mentioned were created AFTER the movies. Most appears in comics and novels and a few features appear in the scripts of the prequel trilogy. Some names, such as Mace Windu, originate from scripts of the original films but belonged to different characters (Mace Windu was pretty much Luke).

  27. Return To Oz is my fav movie of all time. It is DARK. It was bound to disappoint anyone who loved the first for its brightness and cheer. I don’t think it is inherently flawed and it really should be judged aside from the original.

  28. Terminator 2 was way better than the original! You don’t know what you are talking about!!!