Leave a Comment
There's no question that franchises currently dominate Hollywood. Every year sequels, spin-offs, and reboots manage to dominate the box office and bring out audiences in droves. Between the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Fast and Furious series, Star Wars, and several others, being a fan has become a full-time job.
That said, not every franchise is as successful as those aforementioned series. Despite the persistence of studios and filmmakers, some beloved series seem to have simply run out of gas -- except they haven't realized it yet. To make sense of it all, we have compiled a list of six long-running Hollywood franchises that definitely need to be put out to pasture for good. Check out our list, and let us know what you think in the comments section below.
The Terminator Saga
There's no question that The Terminator franchise will go down in the annals of science fiction history as a watershed moment for the genre. That said, it's time to let go of it and move on. The series peaked in 1984 or 1991 (depending on who you ask), and each of the three films that have debuted since Terminator 2: Judgment Day has incrementally chipped away at the franchise's reputation. One could make an easy case that the series has potential to live on in a TV environment, but it's becoming harder and harder to justify the existence of this franchise in the silver screen landscape. 2015's Terminator: Genisys was the final nail in the coffin; it's time to terminate The Terminator.
Pirates of the Caribbean
The numbers do not lie: the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been on a consistent downward spiral from the very earliest days of the series' existence. The Curse of the Black Pearl was generally well-received by fans, but the overall Rotten Tomatoes score of each subsequent installment has fallen in a shockingly linear fashion. Even with the relatively positive early buzz surrounding Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, we must now contend with the very real question of whether or not it's worth keeping this (possibly defunct) series around any longer. Captain Jack Sparrow had his moment, but (like the pirates themselves) his time may have simply come and gone like a tide.
Indiana Jones insiders have already made it clear that they have no intention of recasting the legendary archaeologist, which means that the character lives and dies by the physical ability of Harrison Ford. While the actor is clearly as spry as ever, he's not getting any younger, and we think that they need to seriously consider putting an end to the Indiana Jones franchise before the character's exploits become too ridiculous. The franchise is already on life support after the abysmal fan and critic response to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and it's hard to determine whether or not a new installment will fare much better. After so many years in the field, Dr. Jones may finally belong in a museum.
Credit where credit is due, it is genuinely impressive to see Michael Bay trying to innovate and create a more cohesive universe with the upcoming release of Transformers: The Last Knight. Having said that, the numbers do not lie; the franchise is dying. The Transformers franchise peaked (at least financially) with its second installment, and the series has slowly but steadily seen reduced earnings with each new film. While it is entirely plausible that The Last Knight will reinvigorate the long-running Transformers franchise, a more conservative estimate would dictate that this downward trend could very easily continue with the fifth film in the series. If that happens, then The Last Knight may also need to be the last Transformers movie.
Friday the 13th
Horror has made a serious comeback over the course of the last few years, and the recently announced return to the Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchises seemingly promise a potential return to form for the slasher genre. However, the Friday the 13th series is one horror franchise that seems to have reached its maximum potential -- and now kinda sucks. From the very beginning, Jason Voorhees was built on the flimsiest of concepts (which is saying something in the horror genre), and he has hemorrhaged mystery and mystique with each passing installment. We're currently holding out hope that the genre's newfound renaissance will save a significant number of classic horror franchises, but Friday the 13th and Jason Voorhees belong at the bottom of Crystal Lake.
The very fact that Die Hard ever became a franchise in the first place will forever go down as one of the weirdest moments in pop culture history. The first film is predicated on the idea of an average man finding himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and every installment since then has stretched that idea to its breaking point. With the release of A Good Day to Die Hard in 2013, the promise finally snapped. John McClane is no longer the everyman hero that we once knew and loved, his movies are no longer entertaining action spectacles, and the Die Hard series has lost its ability to entertain. We need to treat this series like Hans Gruber and drop it.