Why do we keep making sequels to films that don’t deserve them?

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So, I’ve got a big thing about sequels, and about earning the right to have one.

It frustrates the hell out of me that an average movie (often a superhero one) earns a sequel. It does so through the revenue it makes, and not based on the strength of the film which makes me sad. Revenue is not a stamp of quality, he says, on his high horse in his local cafe.

I remember when Superman Returns was released, and provided it went well a new series of Superman would begin. The film starring Brandon Routh drove a bit of cash, but bombed critically and the restoration of Superman films was quite rightly cut short.

Source: Warner Bros

I actually didn’t mind Brandon Routh as Superman, the problem was in everything else. From the script, to the presence of a child of Superman, and a Kevin Spacey who you kinda suspected knew this movie wasn’t going anywhere. But, the series was killed because the film wasn’t good enough.

So why, if an original film wasn’t great, does it get a sequel?

Nowadays, even if the film is torn to shreds by critics, the big budget movies continue, and why? Because in human nature we have massive FOMO. Audiences keep paying to see them because they can’t miss out on the next conversation starter for the month, whether that’s Captain America, Liam Neeson finding people, or an Alien series that should have stopped after the second one, let alone make it to Prometheus 2, which is bound to be another debacle tainting the universe of two classic films.

Some movie examples of my feelings here…

Source: Universal Studios

The Jaws franchise.

This should have been eaten alive after the sequel to the original. These were marginally better than the Sharknado movies, and they were deliberately trying to be bad. It’s like losing to someone who is being paid to try and lose. Sorry Brody.

Source: TSG Entertainment

Taken 2 and 3 should have both been found, and killed.

The grittiness of the first film, and some of the one-liners throughout were so strong that this warranted a sequel in Taken 2. But by the third film, this was just a classic example of taking a cult hit and dragging it through the mud.

Source: Disney

Pirates of the Caribbean 2,3 and 4, all of which should have been boarded and then blown to bits.

The first film was good, very quirky, and Jonny Depp was brilliant in a role that was made for him. Perhaps on the strength of Mr. Depp a series was deserved, but after a solid second it got worse and worse. I didn’t even tune in for On Stranger Tides.

Source: Hemdale Film Corporation

The Terminator 3,4,5 which you guessed it, should have been terminally terminated.

Terminator 3, I can understand being produced. I mean, Terminator 2 was all kinds of awesome and was almost as good as the first film in my humble opinion.

Source: 20th Century Fox

I can’t be bothered to come up with a play on words for these. The disappointment still hurts me for the Alien series.

We control the revenue these sequels make, right?

We can choose not to watch a movie where the predecessor was poor, or a series where it’s living on its first film.

So please, let’s do that from now on and speak with our wallets. If production companies don’t make money from the 2 bad films following a disappointing one, they won’t produce it. Money talks. If you agree, disagree, or have some thoughts on this I would welcome a discussion on social media with you.

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