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Top 10 Movie Franchises That Need To End Now

24 August 2017 | Features, Other Lists | by Tom Lorenzo

5. Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four (2015)

3 times out, none of them a charm. How Fox tried a reboot after two failed movies and managed to bungle up the whole thing even worse is so mind boggling. There’s been a fundamental misunderstanding of the characters from day one, and it hasn’t gotten better.

At the least, the two Tim Story helmed entries were at least light and fun. They never took themselves too seriously, and felt like older FF stories. But the execution of that idea was wrong. They had their elements that worked, like Michael Chiklis as The Thing and Chris Evans as the Human Torch, they just failed to ignite any passion on screen or in the audience.

How, in the year of 2015 they managed to think that a dark and gritty reboot of that group would work is weird. But that they figured it out halfway through and chopped the damn movie to an unwatchable mess is just weird. They got sold a pair of goods and then were upset when the goods was delivered. Josh Trank tried to make a Cronenberg version of the movie, and it’s clear that’s the aim.

The movie is heavy and stuffy and boring. Then in the last 30 minutes, the studio mandated superheroism is delivered in fast forward and nothing works. It’s all laughably bad, feeling so disjointed from the movie that came before it.

Obvious reshoots (hello to Kate Mara’s hilarious wig) are bountiful, stars couldn’t care less about what they’re doing, and the editing is just brutal. Nothing builds, there’s no propulsion to anything. Nothing works and it’s just a nightmare. Fox should never tackle the franchise again. Unless they want to make a deal with Marvel, Fantastic Four should stay dead.


4. The Terminator

Terminator Genisys

James Cameron made two great movies in this franchise. Then when he left, the series became a joke. A failed sequel to his classics came and went. Since then, two attempted reboot trilogies have failed. At the very least, those two attempted reboots were better than T3, but that’s no hard line to cross. If that’s the barrier one needs to burst through to justify a movie existing, there would be no stopping bad movies from being bad.

Terminator Salvation tried to give us a glimpse into the actual future war, which isn’t a bad idea. It’s not a bad movie, it just felt too hamstrung by it’s PG13 rating and a director that lacks a clear vision (McG). It never sang and it was forgotten to the sands of time. But at least it built upon what came before, playing into the time travel work of alternate timelines that Cameron inadvertently fell into.

Terminator Genisys is actually a pretty good idea that was just executed horrendously. It’s a bad movie thanks to it’s cheap execution. Doing a Back To The Future 2 with this franchise seems like a no brainer and the idea of straight ahead tackling the complicated time travel nonsense the series has delivered thus far isn’t wrong. But cheap visuals, bad action, bad writing, and bad performances (outside of Arnold) just sink the ship.

As does the annoying current day trend of putting the cart before the horse and having annoying set ups for future movies that just make the current movie feel incomplete, like a pilot presentation for a TV show that isn’t getting made. Cameron himself has said he is gonna personally shepherd a new trilogy, but that’s not really exciting. Cameron has lost alot of allure as a storyteller these days. He also gave his blessing to Genisys, so what the hell does he matter in this context? The series has just become a cheap ploy at making money, a name brand only, and there’s no real reason to keep this going anymore.


3. Alien

How do you solve a problem like Ridley Scott? The Alien franchise was in dire straights way before he came back to the fold, but he is not helping things at all. In many ways he’s making them worse. Cause the movies before he came back didn’t confuse the series and mythology in ways that boggle the mind. His return to the franchise came in the embarrassed to be connected to Alien movie Prometheus. It was a bad movie, but gorgeous to look at. It also makes no god damn sense as a prequel to the series.

Then he came back to continue the threads left open in that movie, but not really, with Alien: Covenant is just frustrating. He doubles down on the lack of connectivity between the movies, as nothing here aligns with what we know of the xenomorphs. That and it’s a badly written mess that doesn’t know what it wants to be, executed with the wrong decision at almost every turn. It looks like a movie, but it doesn’t feel like a movie. It’s hollow pretense. And while the series was limping along after Alien 3, it at least was contented enough to do it’s own thing.

Each new movie could have been handled by a new director to give it it’s own flair. Resurrection was bad, but that didn’t have to damn the whole series. But the xenomorphs were then thrust into the abyss of AvP. So in a way, Ridley helped elevate them back to the public consciousness. But he also ruined them too, as these movies are not well received. They aren’t liked and they aren’t connecting.

Ridley’s weird hijacking of the franchise to chase half assed theological ideas is not fun, it’s not scary and it’s not smart. The series has been given a 9 figure sheen, but it’s brains still haven’t matured past AvP. Although it thinks it does. Hopefully Ridley isn’t allowed to come back to the franchise. Hell, let’s just keep the xeno’s in cryofreeze for good.


2. Pirates Of The Caribbean

Johnny Depp is poison. There’s no getting around it. For the last ten years, the man’s presence in a movie was a death knell. If he was interested in the project, you might as well have given up on it before it started rolling. There is no bigger sign of the drop off in his talent than this damnable series. It’s a shame to even be calling it damnable, as the first movie in the series is a god damn delight, one of the best blockbusters of the decade and a peak for Depp.

The peak led to a might valley almost immediately that could not be crawled out of. The sequels for this just kept coming and each one was precipitously worst then the last. Shooting 2 and 3 back to back was a horrible idea, as it led to 2 being an absolute chore of no consequence that seemingly never ended while 3 ended up being another overlong slog that is just crammed to the gills with nonsense mythology and unclear payoffs. It’s a mess, but that didn’t stop them.

4 came out with a new director at the helm and a whole new crew, minus Depp and Geoffrey Rush. It was abysmal, a nothing of a movie that couldn’t justify it’s own existence. And 5 apparently came out this year, despite all evidence of it being erased from the history books and incepted out of peoples minds almost immediately.

Depp’s career could be mirrored within this god damn series, as he has basically become a shell of himself and a walking clown show of failed promise. He seemingly can’t pull himself out of this tail spin he’s in, becoming a less reputable version of Nic Cage. The series has been sold only on the strength of Depp and nothing else. It certainly wasn’t love of the Disney ride. Depp made and then broke the series, so there’s literally no reason to keep going with it. He’s been sleepwalking through this series now. Davey Jones’ Locker is too good a resting place for this series.


1. Avatar

A franchise that isn’t. For years we have been threatened by Cameron about a never ending stream of sequels to the original blockbuster, but they have yet to materialize. Yet we are apparently closer than ever to getting all 4(!) Avatar sequels in almost consecutive years, with filming being done in an almost Lord Of The Rings style of non stop shooting. But a simple question lingers. Why? Is there any real demand for this?

The first movie made a record breaking haul at the box office, still the top grossing movie ever (inflation not taken into account), yet it has disappeared from the public consciousness almost immediately. No one cared. The initial hype died down, people stopped caring about 3D quickly and the allure of the pretty CGI world dissipated and left everyone with the stink of a bland narrative with no real working parts.

It was all a tech demo for Cameron and nothing more. The world isn’t interesting, and the characters even less so. Going even deeper into the world is not enticing, so the idea of 4 more movies is not some grand carrot at the end of this absurd stick. Cameron could have made so many movies in the interim, smaller and more interesting movies if he wanted to.

Instead of just producing the Terminator sequels, why not focus on those? Maybe focus on getting us full HD Blu ray releases of The Abyss and True Lies instead of the 90th rerelease of Aliens or T2. Make a small little movie that is a return to his Terminator days, or a hard R action picture like he used to make when he was less interested in Awards.

This is a franchise built on shaky foundations, based on box office receipts that didn’t take into account the world wide shrug when the credits rolled. This is an absolute waste of time and it should have stopped before it became a franchise. Because seriously, what was left to be said at the end of that movie? It told a complete story. Nothing is left. Just let sleeping smurf cats lie.

Author Bio: Tom Lorenzo is Long Island, NY’s most preeminent pop culture fanatic. If it’s a western or a horror movie, he wants to see it. No argument is too minuscule or flawed for him to go full force with.



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  • Valeska Solar

    What about Fast & Furious? Honestly, I came here just to see if it was on the list, but it’s not, why?

    • Il Verme Conquistatore

      cars, speed, foreseeable screenplay, spectacular stunts, caducity of life…. why? do you really want to stop this flow? *_*

      • Because it’s a crappy flow of cars, speed, foreseeable screenplay, spectacular stunts and the caducity of life. hehe

  • Ted Wolf

    I can’t believe transformers wasn’t number one

    • I know. All of those films sucked ass. Seriously.

      • They literally just become longer and louder and move down great movies on the box office list.

        • And have contributed to the stupidity of the world. It is among the reasons why I believe Michael Bay is the worst filmmaker working today.

  • Criticus

    What about: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers, etc.?

    • Seriously? All the above comes under the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe. MCU movies will eventually end in a few years as planned, some of them are already over.
      You should probably be more concerned about DCEU.

      BTW, Capt America is one of the best trilogies!

      • Criticus

        Captain America deserved one movie, certainly not a trilogy. There’s not enough matter for it.

        • Nope. Infinity war is the sole purpose MCU started for. Every movie connects and accounts for it. Winter Soldier and Civil war had so much material than the whole DCEU has right now.

          • Criticus
          • Bergkamp

            When the time comes, and infinity war gets released, no one except the nerdy marvel fans will remember what the hell is the plot about. Every single movie it’s a giant two hour trailer for their next movie, it’s product placement for their own products, instead of caring about the movie we’re seeing in that moment. You need to be able to connect the dots between every single cameo, post credit scene and sub plot that get introduced in the middle of your current movie, just so they can “set the events for the future of the shared universe”…

            That’s it, as long as the fans see the “continuity going” and the word; SHARED UNIVERSE in the description, they will thing, oh!!.. that was a great movie, what a great Easter eggs!!.. could you catch the references???.. is just one giant movie split in 14 pieces, so you need to see every little shit so you can enjoy the whole experience by the time they reach the “climax” in infinity war. Wtf is that??

  • The Fast and the Furious?
    X Men had it’s successful run, Apocalypse was a miss hit;
    and fans are still waiting for a good Alien movie after Aliens, there is more to their origin than you think.

  • Lucas Corsi

    Fast & Furious

  • Mortimer

    Every superhero franchise needs to die immediately. Movie world will be a better place without them.

    • Bergkamp

      They don’t care about the past and current movies, as long as they see the “outstanding finale” on infinity war. That’s the marvel way of tricking their fans, they have been building all the hype for infinity war, and that what counts for them, as long as they see that highly promised battle vs thanos, they don’t care about each single movie, you know, the only thing they care is if: “everything it’s connected”. that’s it. the introduction of new characters for their next movies, the sub plot for their new movies, it’s all about what comes next, their next movies, for the next 5 years or so, that’s more important for them the “setup” for the future, instead of the quality of the single movie they’re seeing in the present,

      Every time I go to see a movie, I care about that single movie I’m watching in the moment, not the future, not if this movie follows correctly the events from the previous 10 movies that lead to the events of the one I’m watching. I care about living the moment, the present movie. That’s what I care. But you see, with marvel fans don’t see movies that way.

    • I am not a fan of the superhero movies (I think Marvel is pretty meh) but lately they’ve come up with great stuff. Deadpool, Spiderman Homecoming, Logan and Wonder Woman were pretty good. They also make tons of money, meaning that they keep the movie theater going experience, so that is good.

      • Also I don’t know if you included this one, but I am actually hyped over the Unbreakable/Split universe

      • Mortimer

        I get your point but I’d be more happy if some original, intelligent, really good indie gems make lot of money at the box-office instead of this kind of movies. But it won’t happen soon – mainstream audiences usually rejects everything which isn’t escapism.

  • Mortimer

    Oh please ! Alien: Covenant it’s not perfect installment in the series but it’s better and more intelligent than most superhero garbage that comes out today. Many respected critics loved it. I’m certainly looking forward to the new (final) Ridley film in this mini-franchise.
    Stop begging for that stupid Blomkamp fan-fiction sequel with Ripley and Hicks as pensioners. That would be really a shithole from which franchise would never have recovered.

  • Criticus

    Besides box-office scores, what will be remembered of all these interchangeable “superhero” movies?

    In 10 years, who’ll be able to seriously explain the differences between Iron-Man 2 and Iron-Man 3?

  • Il Verme Conquistatore

    I cant understand the meaning of these lists. In most of these sagas I can find funny movies … why censor them? TOC , please, be focused on the positive lists 😛 thanks

    • Ricardo Correia

      Your favorite film is probably The Dark Knight

  • Wyatt W.B

    So negative. Just let people watch the movies they want to watch!

  • Jacob Lyon Goddard

    this is a forum for film lovers, why on earth would you waste time and energy telling all of us stuff we already know?

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    The mostly execrable Saw series is apparently being revived. I would suggest that this is a bad idea.

  • Douglas Kolacki

    What’s sad about Fantastic Four is that it’s not even a franchise, but repeated failed attempts to start one. Here’s hoping they get it right next time, if there is a next time.
    I too am surprised not to see Fast & Furious on this list. And Transformers.

  • grootrm

    “A franchise that isn’t.”

    A coherent writer who isn’t

  • Hal Jordan

    Avatar isn’t even a franchise yet to be criticized with just one movie that isn’t great, but has potential and a whole universe to expand. What about the f*cking Transformers? TRANSFORMERS. And the f*cking Fast and Furious? Absolute garbage this article.

  • Parham Sedaghat


  • Jules Maregiano

    I dare you to make a top 10 list of franchises that should NOT stop!

  • I would take out the “Alien” franchise and replace it with Fast & Furious. This is just an opinion though, because I love the Alien franchise and I hate that Fast & Furious keeps getting so much money and getting out the same bs they do every year. Alien Covenant and Prometheus were really good imo, don’t get why so many people hated them.