Despite an encouraging rebound in the Hollywood theater market in 2021, there is still enormous uncertainty about the future of the industry, especially with many blockbusters suffering catastrophic box office flops.
Over the past year, even the popular franchise has not been a surefire success.
Many branded IPs are struggling to capture the interest of a wider audience, and many moviegoers seem to be getting more picky about what they decide to watch on the big screen.
With the global pandemic still running high, the streaming window has been shortened to a few weeks — or the same day release as HBO Max experimented with in 2021.
So it’s no surprise that over the past 12 months, we’ve seen many big franchises underperform expectations.
Even in exceptional circumstances, studios would be very cautious about greenlighting sequels to films that aren’t profitable.
So it’s almost certain that the 10 commercially failed IPs below are basically dead.
Of course, these movie series will likely be rebooted as TV series, or eventually resurrected on streaming platforms.
But as far as the lucrative treatment of high-profile, big-budget blockbusters is concerned, their days are over…
The “Kingsman” series was indeed very appealing at one time. Matthew Vaughn’s first film in 2015 was a surprise hit, grossing more than $400 million worldwide to rave reviews.
As such, expectations are high for the 2017 sequel, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.”
While the film’s box-office receipts were almost on par with its predecessor, critics and fans alike received mixed reviews.
However, Vaughn did not launch the third installment directly, but made the prequel “The King’s Man”, which is set during the First World War.
The film finished filming in the first half of 2019 and was slated to be released in November of the same year. But it was dubiously delayed multiple times before the outbreak, and it was finally not released until the end of 2021.
As the film lingered in post-production, audience interest in the prequels began to cool, and many began to wonder why Vaughn bothered to make the prequels.
In the face of stiff competition from “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “The Matrix Resurrections,” plus the film’s eve of its release, the publicity campaign hit an all-time low, and “The King’s Man” was not enough of a box office fiasco and mixed reviews. Surprised.
Although Matthew Vaughn insists that “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” sequel “Kingsman: The Blue Blood” will start filming in September, given the poor commercial performance of “The King’s Man”, it’s hard to believe that the third installment will start as planned.
Even though “The King’s Man” is a prequel, it still shows that audiences have largely lost interest in the series.
If the next “Kingsman” does start filming in September, it won’t be released until the end of 2023, which is basically 6 years after the release of “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”, which is too long.
As we’ve seen, the series may be over by now, although it may end up being sold to streamers or getting a reboot because Vaughn has the IP rights.
But with the prequels failing so badly, any potential publisher would have to think twice before taking over.
When “Space Jam: A New Legacy” was announced, many people wondered if “Space Jam” really needed to be a movie franchise.
The 1996 live-action-animation original film “Space Jam” was undoubtedly an iconic sports comedy, and it was a huge commercial success.
But it’s fundamentally a product of that era, and a soft reboot or a standalone sequel isn’t favored by most right now.
Despite starring LeBron James and producing “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler, the hefty $150 million budget led many to believe that Warner Bros. greatly overestimated the appeal of “Space Jam” in popular culture.
Sure, there’s a certain nostalgic “attraction” to older millennials, but younger audiences may not have a crush on the original film.
And frankly, the marketing doesn’t suggest that “Space Jam: A New Legacy” is really just a cynical remake of the original.
That’s what this movie really is, just with a bigger budget, a slicker visual style, and some smart-ass meta-reviews.
While Warner Bros. clearly wanted the film to kick off a new “Space Jam” franchise, it’s a pity that “Space Jam: A New Legacy” grossed just $162.8 million worldwide and received mostly negative reviews.
Even taking into account the impact of the pandemic and the launch of HBO Max on the same day, the response was quite dire.
Although director Malcolm D. Lee expressed interest in making a third film starring Dwayne Johnson, it was only wishful thinking.
Because, this series is definitely over.
Of course, we really hoped that the new “Resident Evil” movie would do well, but it didn’t work out.
Even though Paul Anderson’s older “Resident Evil” movies were pretty much all bad, they didn’t stay true to the game.
But its commercial lifespan was so long that it made 6 films and grossed over $1.2 billion, and it’s still hard to believe!
Just a few months after the release of “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” in 2017, the studio announced a reboot, with the final reboot titled “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.”
The film was billed as a more modest, lower-budget, more faithful adaptation of the game.
Writer-director Johannes Roberts (who directed the “47 Meters Down” series) and his stellar cast seem to be enough to please those who feel that Anderson’s version of the film doesn’t respect the game.
Although some cool scenes and portrayal of Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) in “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” earned the film some critical acclaim.
But the film was slammed by critics for its poor script and lack of basic suspense.
The reaction from fans wasn’t much better either, with the film earning a C+ on CinemaScore and being criticized for its departure from the original and poor production.
Until then, Paul Anderson’s “Resident Evil” movie was making a fortune even with bad reviews.
But this time — perhaps coupled with the pandemic, poor marketing and boredom with the franchise — audiences just didn’t go to the movie.
With a budget of $25 million, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” has so far recovered just $33 million worldwide, making it a box office fiasco.
And it’s almost certain that the planned sequels — which will reportedly be based on “Resident Evil: Afterlife” and “Resident Evil Code: Veronica X” — have fallen through.
Next, the only chance for a live-action version of “Resident Evil” to continue is Netflix’s live-action series.
Paramount did try to make “G.I. Joe” into a movie. But three less popular films over the past 12 years seem to confirm that audiences aren’t too interested in “G.I. Joe.”
The series started with 2009’s “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” which grossed just $300 million on a $175 million budget and received mixed reviews.
After that, the series fell silent for a few years, until 2013 saw a “soft reboot” of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” that shifted the focus to Dwayne Johnson’s Roadblock.
Although the film had a better budget and was more commercially successful – it only grossed $375.7 million compared to its $130-150 million budget. But that’s in line with the box office results Paramount wanted Johnson to star in. Far from it.
In 2018, they released a reboot of the Origins movie “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins”.
After an extremely tepid marketing campaign, the film came out last summer.
Despite starring Henry Golding’s stellar performance, “Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins” was largely dismissed as an ordinary and sloppy action film by critics, and audiences voted with their wallets .
The film, which had an estimated budget of $110 million, grossed just $40.1 million worldwide, causing the planned follow-up to be quietly canceled.
Although a spinoff of Amazon Prime is reportedly in the works, it’s hard to believe they’ll be able to do anything meaningful with the IP anytime soon, considering that previous plans to cross over with Michael Bay’s “Transformers” series fell through. .
At least when it comes to movies, it’s a dead end.
This is really sad. Margot Robbie’s Harleen Quinzel is of course part of the DC Extended Universe, but she already has her own series.
Both “Suicide Squad” movies are inseparable from her, and she even carries more weight than the Joker played by Jared Leto.
Harley Quinn was an undeniably breakthrough role in 2016’s “Suicide Squad” directed by David Iyer.
Robbie’s appearance largely ensured the film’s huge commercial success, so much so that a spin-off film “Birds of Prey” starring Harley Quinn was quickly approved.
However, despite good reviews and a measly $100 million budget, the superhero film was a disappointing commercial, barely breaking $200 million at the global box office.
Analysts have had a hard time pinpointing exactly why “Birds of Prey” failed miserably.
Either because of the awkward original title and restrictive R-rating, they point out, or because Warner Bros. overestimated the desire for a Harley Quinn solo movie.
Still, Warner Bros. decided to give Harley Quinn one more chance, returning her to the squad for James Gunn’s R-rated standalone sequel, “The Suicide Squad.”
While the grotesque entertainment blockbuster garnered the strongest acclaim of any DC movie to date, it ended up failing to recoup even its $185 million budget.
This is due to a number of reasons, including an R-rating, simultaneous release on HBO Max, the pandemic, lack of interest in the DCEU audience, and lack of star power.
Plus, it’s not even clear if the movie will be a sequel or reboot.
With two back-to-back box office flops and rumors that Robbie may no longer play Harley Quinn, it seems unlikely that another DC movie featuring Harley Quinn or Suicide Squad will be made.
With the “Peacemaker” spinoff starring John Cena airing on HBO Max, there’s a good chance Warner Bros. will move some of the more popular characters from “Suicide Squad” to less risky TV shows and stay away from high-budget movies .
We have to accept that the “Home Alone” franchise is gone forever.
Aside from the first two, starring Macaulay Culkin, there are actually other sequel films that many people barely know.
In fact, there are now six films in the lingering series.
“Home Alone 3,” which opened in theaters in 1997, featured a new kid in the lead and was a modest commercial success, but it wasn’t enough for Fox or John Hughes to push for a sequel.
After that, a sequel made for TV, “Home Alone 4,” aired in 2002, was almost universally despised by critics and fans alike, to the point that few paid attention to the next TV movie sequel, “Home Alone: The Holiday Heist”, which was also heavily criticized.
But Disney tried to reuse each IP with its brand appeal in support of Disney+, and “Home Alone” soon got a reboot.
A new version of “Home Alone” was released on the streaming platform late last year.
While not as bad as the fourth and fifth, it’s still an insincere, uninspired film.
The film had little raison d’etre for its existence other than overall brand awareness, so it was slammed by critics.
For streaming exclusives, though, the bar for success is different. If a movie gets enough attention, reviews really don’t matter at all.
However, given that Disney doesn’t publicly release viewership numbers for the movie – compared to when they aggressively release ratings for hits like “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise” – we can safely infer that the movie didn’t what an impact it has on them.
10 movie series ending in 2021
Of course, Disney may also decide to remake it into a TV series to try. I’m afraid we don’t need to ask for it, and they will.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
When “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” came out in the summer of 2017, people didn’t expect much of it, and while it wasn’t quite a blockbuster movie, it was a modest commercial success, despite the positive reviews from audiences. different.
Due to the unprecedented popularity of Ryan Reynolds, Lionsgate decided to take a risk on a sequel, and “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” was released last summer.
Even though Reynolds and Jackson’s chemistry was fun, the character of Salma Hayek was a hit.
But critics and audiences alike were rather lukewarm about the sequel, which barely managed to recover its $70 million budget.
Given that Lionsgate apparently wants “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” to become a franchise, they can make a profit on it as long as it does well at the box office.
So the box office fiasco of the second installment basically meant the end of the series.
Although director Patrick Hughes expressed enthusiasm for the third film, “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” undoubtedly kicked off the third film, but the box office numbers were unsatisfactory, and plans for a sequel were dead.
Like it or not, “Paranormal Activity” is one of the most impressive, unexpected, and successful franchises in the horror genre of the past 20 years.
From 2009 to 2015, the first six films in the series grossed $805.0 million at the box office with a total budget of $28 million, which can be said to be a staggering return on investment.
Although the series ended with its much-maligned 3D finale, “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,” in 2019, Paramount decided that the series should be rebooted.
Although the seventh film, “Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin,” was originally intended for a theatrical release, Paramount ultimately decided to release it directly on the Paramount+ streaming platform.
To be honest, this is obviously a relatively sensible move: after all, pseudo-documentary movies have long fallen out of favor with the mainstream, and considering the impact of the epidemic, such low-definition horror movies feel more suitable for streaming.
But like “Home Alone,” the flood of negative reviews and a lack of public ratings seemed to suggest that “Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin” didn’t reboot the series as quickly as Paramount had hoped.
Since no one has revealed a sequel or hinted at a sequel, we can assume that the IP has been sacrificed on the streaming altar and has gone “dormant” again.
Nearly 20 years after the wildly divisive and under-earned “The Matrix Revolutions” seemed to end the series, “The Matrix Resurrections” is finally here.
And of the major franchises released last year, none has been more disorienting or polarizing than “The Matrix Resurrections.”
Lana Wachowski’s chaotic thoughts are almost everywhere in this promising but unsatisfactory sequel.
It’s a deeply meta-sequel that satirizes the long-overdue idea of a sequel, and Wachowski is also seen in the film taking on Warner Bros.’ attempt to continue the series without their sisters. harsh criticism.
Despite the hype, “The Matrix Resurrections” received mixed reviews and a “B-” on Cinemascore, the lowest audience rating for the series to date.
With tepid word of mouth spreading rapidly, it’s no surprise that the $190 million blockbuster, which opened on HBO Max on the same day, fell well short of expectations and became one of the biggest box-office duds in recent years. .
However, given Wachowski’s insistence that this will be her last “The Matrix” film. Maybe she’s intentionally destroying the IP entirely to make sure Warner Bros. doesn’t go all out on “The Matrix” any time soon.
Maybe the series will eventually be adapted into an HBO Max series, or a full reboot in 15-20 years, but the current franchise with these characters has little promise.
Honestly, this is probably the best outcome.
Last year’s action movie “Infinite” starring Mark Wahlberg was a particularly interesting case.
Because unlike those aforementioned films, “Infinite” is clearly the first in the next big IP franchise that Paramount hopes to create.
This big-budget sci-fi blockbuster blends modern superhero movies, “The Matrix” and “The Bourne Identity”-inspired thrillers, but is nowhere near as entertaining as any of them.
Paramount, however, cast a very clear vote of no confidence in the film, canceling its initial theatrical release — allegedly due to the pandemic — and dumping it on the Paramount+ platform just a month later.
To make matters worse, the movie went live less than two weeks after the first trailer was released, with little or no invite for an early look at the film.
So when they had to watch it on Paramount+ at their own expense, it was no surprise that it was useless.
Obviously, when watching, you get the sense that the film was originally intended to be the first in a new series of hit sci-fi action films.
But given that Paramount left it to fend for itself, and the subsequent lack of ratings coverage, it ended up being just another franchise that had stalled before it took hold.