Hollywood loves its cash cow franchises, milking them for all their worth. For this reason, major movie studios are almost certain to follow up a successful blockbuster with at least one sequel. These films expand and further explore cinematic worlds that have already found favor with audiences. Currently, six of the 10 top-grossing films of all time are sequels.
In some special cases, sequels are even considered to be superior to their predecessor; such as is the case with Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary “The Godfather Part II.” In others, however, producers hoping to capitalize on an initial film’s success, or on a franchise’s succes, put future profits ahead of quality. This ploy rarely goes unnoticed by fans and critics.
24/7 Wall St. has identified the 50 worst movie sequels based on audience and critic ratings. We also included metrics not used in the index, such as domestic box office gross and the talent behind each film.
A majority of worst sequels belong to either the horror or comedy genres. Fans of these types of films may have higher tolerances for “bad” movies and are willing to give sequels a chance if they are in some way tied to a successful earlier film. The 17 horror movies on the list include sequels to “Friday the 13th,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.” The 25 comedies include sequels to beloved films such as “The Mighty Ducks” and “Caddyshack.”
Many of these sequels had a fraction of their predecessors’ production budgets and proceeded to flop in the domestic market. “Piranha 3DD” cost approximately one-fifth of “Piranha 3D” to make. Perhaps, not surprising, it grossed less than $400,000 in the U.S., compared to the earlier film’s $25 million gross.
Other sequels did quite well. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” which was near universally panned by critics, grossed $71 million, almost double its production budget at the domestic box office.