The Seven Deadly Sequel Sins: A Memo on How NOT to Kill Your Film Franchise
To: Newly Promoted President of Production at Major Hollywood Studio
From: The Mainstream Moviegoing Audience of the World
Congratulations on your new job! After years of suffering through labyrinthine lunch orders, death-defying dry cleaning runs and post-orgy organization duty, you’ve climbed to the top of the Hollywood mountain and can greenlight any movie you want!
Sorry about your first day on the job, though. Having the Chairman of your parent company enter your newly feng shuied office, plop an energy drink on your desk and ask, “How can we make this into a five-picture franchise?” is probably not what you had in mind when dreaming of cinematic glory.
But don’t panic. You can still produce your King’s Speeches, Social Networks and Black Swans, first you just need to feed the multi-national corporate beast by stuffing it full of sequels! The good news is that with a record 27 sequels scheduled to open this year (including a unprecedented collection of “Part IV’s”) the beast is hungrier than ever!
The goal of a sequel is primordial in its simplicity: make enough money to make another sequel. Unfortunately, come December 31 many of these 27 titles will most likely have failed to deliver, forcing studios to impatiently wait decades instead of mere years to “reboot” the franchise. Those decision makers who shepherded the ill-begotten cinematic spawn will be forced to live in Hollywood exile, roaming a desolate world of canceled Centurion cards, dollar menu deals and martini’s made with McCormick’s gin instead of Bombay Sapphire.
To help avoid this dark fate, we, the mainstream moviegoing audience of the world, have decided to present you with a reference guide to potentially lethal sequel symptoms. We have also compiled a list of the twelve most deadly sequels of all time. The films below carried the banner of once glorious (or at least financially successful) film franchises straight into bottom rungs of the box office boondocks, ensuring that another roman numeral would never again saddle up to the title.
Best of Luck,
The Mainstream Moviegoing Audience of the World
P.S. Why twelve movies and not just a nice round number like ten? Well, we’re talking about sequels and with sequels enough is never enough…until it’s enough.
CLICK HERE TO DISCOVER THE 12 MOST DEADLY SEQUELS OF ALL-TIME!
Ryan Dixon is the Associate Product Manager of Screenline andScriptShark. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon, Ryan is the co-author of the graphic novel Hell House: The Awakening and a contributing blogumnist to FierceAndNerdy.com. He has worked in development at such companies as Paramount, MGM/UA, World Wrestling Entertainment, IMAX, and Good in a Room.
This article was originally published on Fierce and Nerdy.