A movie is created. It hits theatres. It is a success in both the box office and critical reception. It goes on to receive many nominations and awards. When the stars align and all of these things happen, the inevitable follows: Hollywood decides it needs a sequel. What's so infuriating about this aspect of the film industry is the fact that... well, there are some movies that just don't warrant a follow-up.
Many movies were only ever intended to stand alone, so they tied up all the loose ends and told a satisfying story in about ninety minutes. The sequel phenomenon is one that exists under the guise of continuing a story, but is actually nothing more than a distasteful attempt to grab some more cash at the box office. Most, if not all, of these unnecessary sequels do not tend to do well with critics, but they unfortunately end up fulfilling their goal at the box office - which is why there are still way too many unwanted sequels being created today. Let's take a look at just a few of them.
10 AMERICAN PSYCHO II: ALL AMERICAN GIRL (2002)
When it was released in 2000, American Psycho bewildered, terrified, compelled, and captivated audiences. Directed by Mary Harron and starring Hollywood icons such as Christian Bale, Chloe Sevigny, and Willem Dafoe, the complex, mind-bending film was a big success.
And then came the sequel. In 2002, director Morgan J. Freeman (no, not the Morgan Freeman you're thinking of), created American Psycho II: All American Girl for Lionsgate Films. This movie is marketed as a black comedy, but the acting, characters, writing, and directing definitely don't do that genre justice. In fact, the entire film just works to taint the memory of its inspiration.
9 BASIC INSTINCT 2 (2006)
The 1992 film Basic Instinct is still very famous to this day. It was a drama that starred Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas and was directed by Paul Verhoeven. The movie received mixed reviews from critics, but managed to pull in a notable $352.9 million at the box office.
In 2006, director Michael Caton-Jones used the original film and story for an unnecessary - and quite unwanted - sequel, creatively titled Basic Instinct 2. As expected, this sequel was a massive failure, and today it holds an embarrassing 7% on Rotten Tomatoes.
8 LADY AND THE TRAMP II: SCAMP'S ADVENTURE (2001)
Disney's first ever film to be shot in CinemaScope was their 1955 masterpiece, Lady and the Tramp. Inspired by Ward Greene's short story, "Happy Dan, The Cynical Dog", this film was beautifully animated in whimsical, pastel colours, and featured the voice talents of Peggy Lee and Larry Roberts.
Lady and the Tramp touched the hearts of many and became an instant classic. Because of this, it's understandable that Disney would think that a sequel would be a success. No-one was asking for another Lady and the Tramp movie - because it had been released over forty years ago - but to Disney Studios, the idea of Lady and the Tramp's only son going on some mischievous adventures probably seemed like a good one at the time.
7 KINDERGARTEN COP 2
In 1990, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in Kindergarten Cop, a fairly decent, family-friendly comedy about an undercover cop who is assigned to work as a kindergarten teacher (discovering he actually has a passion for teaching children during his mission).
The movie was okay. It didn't do very well in the box office or the critical reception department, but it's a funny enough film to watch once or twice with the family. By no means was Kindergarten Cop some hugely successful classic that warranted a sequel, and by no means was anyone asking for a sequel of this completely average movie (especially considering that this sequel was released twenty-six years after the first). The sequel to Kindergarten Cop starred Dolph Lundgren as a Schwarzenegger knock-off and was a bit of a mess all around.
6 THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 (2019)
Released in 2016, The Secret Life of Pets was decent. It was no masterpiece, there wasn't anything that special about it that would set it apart from other animated movies about talking pets, and there was certainly no need to give it a sequel.
But The Secret Life of Pets ended up grossing $875.5 million at the box office, so that automatically meant that it would be followed up with a sequel at some point down the road. The Secret Life of Pets 2 is in theatres now, and while it's doing fine, the fact that it exists is just very unnecessary.
5 RINGS (2017)
Japanese horror movies are both thrilling and terrifying, and the 1998 film, Ringu, was no exception. It was the start of a significant legacy in the horror genre, one that still lives on today. Ringu was the original inspiration for The Ring (and a vast number of other remakes).
In 2017, Johnny Galecki starred in one of these many, many retellings/sequels, this one called Rings. It had the same story as basically all the other movies on the subject, and there was absolutely nothing original about it. Since there were already countless sequels and remakes that followed the exact same story, no-one wanted yet another mediocre, predictable horror movie to add to the heap.
4 PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 - 6 (2010 - 2015)
Paranormal Activity was one of the most popular and successful independent films ever made. It had a tiny, modest budget of only $11,000, was filmed in found-footage style, and went on to earn a massive $193.4 million once it was released in theatres.
This little independent horror flick was the start of a rather large franchise, which included multiple sequels and prequels. Sadly, none of these follow-ups would live up to the original, and the new versions just seemed to get worse as they went on.
3 CINDERELLA II: DREAMS COME TRUE (2002)
Disney never shy away from a sequel. Nowadays, they're finding it very lucrative to update their original masterpieces with live-action versions. When a Disney film is a success, then, it's an inevitable fact that there will eventually be a sequel and/or remake.
Cinderella was one of Disney's earliest animated princess films. Released in 1950, the reimagining of the Brothers Grimm classic fairytale became an instant masterpiece. In 2002, Disney attempted a Cinderella sequel that no one asked for, then one more in 2007, and then, of course, the 2015 live-action remake.
2 PSYCHO 2 (1983)
Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 mystery slasher, Psycho, was one of the most successful movies ever made. It was the beginning of one of the most famous figures in horror movie history, Norman Bates, and the start of one of the most well-known stories ever to hit the big screen.
Since its initial release, Psycho has spawned countless remakes and sequels, and was even the inspiration for the 2013 drama series, Bates Motel. Psycho was an awesome movie, but it had wrapped up all of its loose ends by the end of the first film. That's why the 1983 sequel (and frankly, every sequel that would follow) felt utterly unnecessary.
1 MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL (2019)
In recent years, Disney remakes have become a fad and the company is giving the live-action treatment to just about every film in sight. Sleeping Beauty was released in 1959, and was Disney's 16th animated film, and one of their most beloved classics.
In 2014, Sleeping Beauty was remade, but with a twist; Disney retold the story in a different light and from and different perspective - that of the villain, Maleficent. Maleficent was a decent movie, but not one that left the viewers asking, "when will we get a sequel?" Regardless, Disney decided to come through with a sequel anyway, which will hit theatres this October.