Hollywood executives have a working assumption regarding many movies. If the first installment of a film did extremely well, then a sequel would have a chance to do well, too. The argument makes some sense. The first movie builds a brand, and the moviegoing public is already familiar with the characters. What could go wrong?
Apparently, a lot can go wrong. Some movie sequels have bombed entirely. This can happen even when the same actors are used and the plot is an extension of the earlier one. There is no research about how this happens. If there were, producers might save hundreds of millions of dollars a year and some audiences would be sparred a disappointment.
To determine the worst movie sequel, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on several measures from the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes. The index is a composite of the movies’ IMDb rating, Rotten Tomatoes audience score, and Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score.
Only films with at least 20,000 reviews on IMDb and 2,000 audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes were considered. Data was collected mid-March 2021. Supplemental data on domestic box office and production budgets by movie came from industry data site the Numbers.
The worst movie sequel of all time is “Speed 2: Cruise Control,” released in 1997. Here are some details:
> Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, Willem Dafoe
> Directed by: Jan de Bont
> Worldwide box office (adjusted to inflation): $300.2 million
Boasting the acting talent of Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, and Sandra Bullock, “Speed” (1995) has an exceptional 94% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Bullock is the only one who returned for the sequel flop, “Speed 2: Cruise Control” (1997), which was liked by only 4% of critics. The movie replaces the original’s speeding bus with a cruise ship that is similarly forced to maintain a high speed.