As a rule of thumb, movie spin-offs are a terrible idea. So we hope you’re ready for the era of the spin-off care of Star Wars. Because thanks to the against norm success of Rogue One, everyone from Yoda to Bobba Fett, Han Solo, Obi Wan, and yes, even Jabba the Hutt are now getting their own solo films. Which might all turn out to be a great, but if history has anything to say about it, they’re probably end up dying a pitiful death in some Sarlacc pit of regret and broken dreams. Much like the films comprising this list.
More often than not, spin-offs are poorly planned cash grabs that leave moviegoers questioning their life decisions. So in honor of the impending Disney spin-off implosion and to show Hollywood where it went wrong so as to never let it happen again (spoiler: it will happen again), we’ve compiled the worst of the worst. Ordered according to their scores on Rotten Tomatoes and sticking solely to those that received a theatrical release (otherwise, we’d have a list consisting entirely of American Pie movies), let this be a life lesson that no matter how charismatic The Rock’s smile may be, or how good a superhero might look in a pair of tights, it doesn’t mean they deserve their own movie.
Here are the X Worst Movie Spin-Offs Ever Made (According To Rotten Tomatoes).
15. The Scorpion King (41%)
Did 1999’s The Mummy deserve a sequel? Probably not. But you can’t keep a mediocre Brendan Frasier down, and thus we got The Mummy Returns, and along with it a brief cameo by then full-time professional wrestler The Rock and the disturbing image of his face poorly CGI’ed onto a monster scorpion. Obviously, a horrible spin-off was in order.
The Scorpion King’s biggest claim to fame (other than featuring the touching ballad “I Stand Alone” by Godsmack) was that it was Dwayne Johnson’s first starring role. Thanks to his charismatic smiling and an ability to unabashedly look tough in a mullet, his career not only survived this mess of a film, but flourished. This was most likely due to the fact he wisely chose not to take part in the subsequent three direct-to-TV sequels that followed, each more terrifyingly awful than the next.
14. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (39%)
No one could have predicted how successful 2009’s low-budget found footage Paranormal Activity would be, nor that it would that it would lead to an equally as profitable franchise and subsequently less than stellar spin-off. But there we have Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, sitting at the bottom the dollar bin at Walmart with the rest of the spin-offs that time forgot.
Taking place in the same universe as the other films, The Marked Ones takes a left turn by changing the setting and characters and adding in a dose of humor. While the film has its fans, with some even going so far to say that it rejuvenated the series, Rotten Tomatoes felt it still deserved a tomato in the face for failing “to provide enough consistent thrills to justify a fifth film in the series.”
13. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (38%)
Along with his ever bulging muscles and confusing hair styles, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is undoubtedly the star of the X-Men movie franchise. Which is why a solo film putting his deadly claws front and center only made sense, right? Guess again.
Rotten Tomatoes crucial consensus that X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s “cliche ridden script and familiar narrative” doesn’t even begin to cover why this spin-off was so bad. A pointless appearance by Gambit, plot twists that instantly ruin all that came prior, and a mute (MUTE!) shapeshifting zombie who bore more of a resemblance to Baraka from Mortal Kombat than the Deadpool we have all come to know and love – these were just some of the crimes against humanity this movie committed. The supposed start of a string of similar films to delve into the X-Men beginnings, Wolverine single-handedly chopped off its eye-laser shooting head and buried it in a pile of lost potential.
12. Beauty Shop (37%)
Barbershop was a miraculous movie that elevated beyond mere laughs to present a heartfelt film with a poignant message about the importance of community and good hair cuts. In the complete opposite vein, we have 2005’s Beauty Shop, which swapped out the men for the women and proved that there can be such a thing as a bad movie featuring Kevin Bacon wearing a mop on his head.
This Atlanta-based spin-off attempted to combine raunchy PG-13 humor with topical issues of race, class, and sexuality, while simultaneously allowing Alicia Silverstone to talk with a hick accent that might just go down as the worst in history. Need we say more? Yes we do. The plot also involved Queen Latifah inventing something called “hair crack.”
11. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (37%)
It may be hard to remember now, but there was a time when no one wanted anything to do with The Fast and the Furious franchise, and that time was 2006, when Tokyo Drift side slided its way into theaters. One Vin Diesel cameo away from killing the series entirely, Tokyo Drift ironically is the only film to prominently feature street racing. Alas, appeasing the drifting crowd wasn’t enough to kick this spin-off into high gear, and it was regulated as the black sheep of the franchise.
That is until Fast & Furious 6 came along and blew all our gaskets by tying this third entry into the larger picture. It still remained the ugly step-child of the bunch, but at least now Lucas Black had found the family he so desperately searched for, and there was now a reason to not completely hate Tokyo Drift. A miracle unto itself, considering this film co-starred Lil Bow Bow.
10. US Marshals (27%)
Watching Harrison Ford jump off a dam in 1993’s The Fugitive will never get old. So good was his performance that it won Tommy Lee Jones Best Supporting Actor at that year’s Academy Awards. Sadly, this also resulted in U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard getting his own spin-off film that took everything that made the original exciting and replaced it entirely with Jones’ trademark curmudgeonliness. Because who wouldn’t want to watch a grumpy old man yell at his co-workers for two hours while slowly running after Wesley Snipes?
9. The Chronicles of Riddick (29%)
The Chronicles of Riddick is the story of how one film tried to turn the low-budget sci-fi thriller sleeper hit Pitch Black into an overzealous boisterous space opera where Vin Diesel becomes emperor of the universe in the end, or something. To say the least, it failed miserably on all accounts. Whereas the original used minimalism and tension wrapped in a moralistic play about redemption to build its story, Chronicles used confusion and CGI wrapped around Vin Diesel mumbling a lot.
Thanks to his award-worthy performance as Baby Groot, we all now know Vin can act the hell out of intergalactic space adventures, but The Chronicles of Riddick is a far cry from that. To his credit, his dark performance in Pitch Black so satisfyingly completed Riddick’s story arc as a character, that any spin-off was rendered utterly pointless.
8. Planes (25%)
Why Pixar ever thought it was a good idea to create a spin-off from Cars, their worst reviewed franchise, is beyond us. Oh wait, here’s an educated guess – money. Lots and lots of money. Originally meant to be a direct-to-video release, some finance nerd did the number crunching and realized Disney could make a buttload in merchandising to merit releasing Planes into the mainstream, so here we are.
Created by DisneyToon Studios, Planes hit theaters without the direct involvement of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, and it shows. Planes has gone down in history as one of Disney’s worst films ever, an impressive feat when you consider that this is the same company that once had Vin Diesel play a babysitter in The Pacifier.
7. Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (25%)
Now that Disney has their money grubbing hands on Star Wars, a terrifying number of spin-offs are in the works, but we would all be remiss to forget that turning secondary characters into headliners started in a time far, far away (1984) with Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure. That is unless you count The Star Wars Christmas Special, but the less we say about that the better.
Often regarded as the worst thing to come out of the original trilogy, making a film revolving solely around these deranged, dead-eyed care bears was basically the equivalent of giving Jar Jar Banks his own film. Caravan was made for US television, but amazingly released theatrically in the UK, and was deemed worthy enough to get an equally as horrible sequel, The Battle for Endor. Bad special effects, bad acting, bad writing, and whatever the hell this was all added up to one very, very bad spin-off.
6. Evan Almighty (23%)
Bruce Almighty was a pleasant surprise, satisfyingly blending Jim Carey’s trademark humor with Jennifer Aniston’s sex appeal and Morgan Freeman’s godlike voice. It also allowed up-coming star Steve Carrell to shine by farting and saying things like “doo kaki poo poo pee pee” on the big screen. So when both Aniston and Carey turned down the chance to do a sequel, the studios felt it only logical to do a spin-off with Carrell’s newsman Evan Baxter as the star.
At the time, Evan Almighty was the most expensive comedy ever filmed, making it one of the industry’s most infamous flops after it not surprisingly drowned at the box office. Suffice to say, scene-stealers are best left where they are – a brief few single scenes.
5. Alien vs. Predator (20%)
When Ridley Scott first conceived of little monsters popping out of people in 1979’s Alien, we’re pretty sure he was not thinking about a shared universe. Likewise, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was lathering himself in mud during 1987’s Predator, no one expected his otherworldly dreadlocked adversary to be back. Then came along a sequel in 1990’s Predator 2 with an easter egg of an alien skeleton in the background, which in turn spawned a very popular comic book series and inevitably led to a spin-off twofer pitting both ET’s against one another.
For all intents and purposes, 2004’s Alien vs Predator should have been the ultimate space melee. Instead, it was unforgivably dull and spent more time extrapolating on ancient Antarctic pyramids than it did showing the two most dangerous beings in the universe beating the crap out of one another. Worse still, it was rated PG-13. Tellingly, the film’s tagline “Whoever wins, we lose” could not have been more spot on.
4. Elektra (10%)
When 2003’s Daredevil hit screens, it wasn’t the worst superhero movie ever made, but it certainly did not do much in the way of bolstering the genre. Given its lukewarm reception, understandably, no one felt a sequel was in order. Instead, 20th Century Fox had a much better idea, and that was to make a spin-off starring DD’s boring, sai-wielding girlfriend Elektra Natchios. A particularly surprising choice, given the fact she was murdered at the end of the original film.
With little in the away of an explanation as to how the character was miraculously resurrected, Elektra fell prey to the same pitfalls as its predecessors, and then doubled down on the awful with a particularly bland performance from Jennifer Garner. Overall, it was one of Marvel’s worst performing movies, bested in terribleness only by Punisher: War Zone and Howard the Duck. An impressive feat, considering that last one involved bestiality and a topless female animatronic duck.
3. Supergirl (7%)
The world was flying high on Christopher Reeves’ portrayal of the Man of Steel in Superman I & II, and since it was still managing to turn a sizable profit following the series’ third entry, Tristar decided to expand its horizons. It seemed like a good idea at the time, considering 1984’s Supergirl revolved around a young blonde in a mini-skirt fighting evil with all the powers of Superman. Who could possible hate that? Answer: everyone.
This might just be Supergirl’s worst (and most embarrasing) moment. And that’s saying a lot, considering she once had a romantic relationship with a bisexual horse. Featuring Helen Slater traveling across space-time to fight Faye Dunaway over something called an Omegahedron while simulataneously hooking up with a high school groundskeeper and promoting Popeye’s Fried Chicken, you can get inkling of where Supergirl went awry.
2. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (6%)
The 1994 Jean Claude Van Damme roundhouse kickfest Street Fighter was not exactly the film fans had hoped for from the popular video game series, yet it still managed to find a cult following (a very, very small cult following). But whereas its similarly mediocre foe Mortal Kombat garnered a sequel, Street Fighter fortunately threw in the towel. Or at least it did for 15 years, until 20th Century Fox decided it was time the world finally learned the origin story of Chun-Li, one of the original film’s most forgettable characters.
Starring the Canadian born Kristin Kreuk (aka Lana on Smallville) as the leggy Chinese martial artist, critics were unanimous that The Legend of Chun-Li was the worst thing to happen to the world since Double Dragon. Or as Rotten Tomatoes put it, “a perfectly forgettable video game adaptation.” In the end, the only thing legendary about this spin-off was the incredible performance by Chris Klein. Seriously, that guy is the worst.
1. Son of the Mask (6%)
Thanks to the critically-panned Ace Venture: When Nature Calls, Jim Carrey learned the valuable lesson that sequels usually suck. (A lesson he apparently forgot when Dumb and Dumber To came knocking at his door.) But back in the late ’90s and early ’00s, Mr. Carrey stuck to his guns and balked at any thought of reprising a role. Case in point, his popular turn as Stanely Ipkiss in 1994’s The Mask.
With Carrey out of the picture, New Line Cinema decided to go the spin-off route and replace him with Jamie Kennedy in 2005’s Son of the Mask. As to be expected, the result was pretty terrible, so much so that it ranked atop pretty much every worst of list you can imagine. What’s more, reviewers hated it so much that they felt the need to attack Kennedy on a personal level. That might be going a little too far, but as it stands, Son of the Mask is the absolute worst when it comes to movie spin-offs.
Are these spin-offs really as bad as Rotten Tomatoes says they are? Or are there worse ones we left off? Let us know in the comments.
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!