Planned movie sequels that should be canceled

If there's one thing Hollywood loves, it's a sequel. Even the worst sequels often wind up making a huge chunk of change at the box office, making it one of the most reliable genres—despite the fact that a "sequel" isn't technically a genre of anything. But that doesn't mean that every movie actually deserves one. We've pulled together a list of planned cinematic follow-ups we want to be shelved indefinitely.

We're The Millers 2

Nobody asked for 2013's We're the Millers in the first place, least of all the critics, which is why it's sad that there are plans in place for a sequel. While the original made $150 million at the box office, does anyone actually remember what happened in that movie? On the bright side: there hasn't been much talk of a sequel since it was first announced in 2014, meaning Warner Bros. may have finally fixed the gas leak in the building that prompted the sequel to be greenlit in the first place.

Red 3

RED from 2010 might not have been many people's idea of a classic action flick, but it did give audiences the admittedly cool opportunity to watch a group of veteran stars—including Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren—wipe out bad guys with cool moves and heavy artillery. Sadly, instead of leaving well enough alone, the studio smelled a franchise. And even though 2013's RED 2 was met with scorn and relative indifference, RED 3 entered development almost immediately. Here's hoping it stays in limbo. If this movie does ever materialize, at the very least the filmmakers could choose a different color. Who wouldn't want to see a movie called RED 3: YELLOW? Or maybe just: PERIWINKLE?

National Treasure 3

There are times when Nicolas Cage's unique brand of insanity can be a lot of fun on the big screen. But it's been a long time since we were able to take him seriously as an action hero, and the National Treasure movies haven't exactly improved with age. Disney has roughly 800 million reasons to press Cage back into duty for a third Treasure outing. But chances are good that a decent story isn't one of them.

Bad Boys III and IV

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were great together in the original Bad Boys—so great that people didn't stop clamoring for a sequel until 2003, when Bad Boys II proved (yet again) that some movies really don't need a second installment. Nevertheless, talk of a third chapter has persisted for over a decade, and current plans reportedly call for two more sequels. Great for Smith and Lawrence's bank accounts. Bad for everyone else.

DodgeBall 2

Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn were pretty funny together in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, and it's one of those goofball comedies that always slides past your eyeballs painlessly when there's nothing better on TV. But let's get real: there's no need at all for a sequel. What else needs to be said that the original missed? But this is the rule in Hollywood: when you gross more than $150 million on a reported $20 million budget, you just don't say no. Still, in the wake of the supremely disappointing Zoolander 2, we're hoping Stiller refocuses on original ideas for awhile.

Beverly Hills Cop IV

The Beverly Hills Cop franchise is a study in diminishing returns, both in terms of box office as well as general enjoyment. Yet the original was so great that people just can't let go of the idea that a good sequel might actually happen someday. Bad movie director Brett Ratner has been reported as attached to Beverly Hills Cop IV, and he even got far enough that Paramount Pictures issued an official announcement putting it on the schedule for spring 2016. But it was eventually pulled from the calendar over script concerns. For the sake of what remains of Eddie Murphy's legacy, it needs to stay off forever.

The Equalizer 2

The Equalizer was on TV for a scant four seasons in the '80s, never ranked higher than #36 in the ratings, and starred elderly British actor Edward Woodward as a spy-turned-private detective who is out to "equalize" the score for the little guys…usually with lots of gun violence. It was a perfectly serviceable show, but a forgettable one. So if you watched Denzel Washington's 2014 cop movie The Equalizer and thought it seemed vaguely familiar but couldn't quite pinpoint why, it's because it was based on the show. Washington's Equalizer was also kind of forgettable, but it made $100 million at the box office, because Washington has the kind of talent that can elevate not-great movies. That combination of cash and star power (never mind the pedigree of forgotten television) means the studio has signed off on The Equalizer 2, which is scheduled to arrive in September 2017. Arguably the most interesting element of the whole enterprise: it'll mark the first sequel of Washington's career.

Divergent: Ascendant

With the success of The Hunger Games books and movies came a slew of dystopian young adult books (and subsequent movie adaptations) in which a Teen Who is Not Like the Others shatters a brutal, fascistic government that both rules and categorizes people. Multiplexes have been graced with The Giver, The Maze Runner, and three movies based on Veronica Roth's Divergent series. (Rising star Shailene Woodley plays Tris, this franchise's Teen Who is Not Like the Others.) Like other recent film franchises that squeezed out extra cash and relevance by splitting the final book into two movies—Twilight, Harry Potter, and The Hunger Games all did it to big box office returns—the producers of Divergent planned to double up on its last installment. The only problem is that the third movie (the first half of the third book's adaptation) didn't do as well as the first two. Allegiant made about $66 million, about half as much as its predecessor, Insurgent. Rather than read the writing on the wall and walk away at the right time, producer Lionsgate announced that the fourth and final Divergent film, Ascendant, would debut on TV instead of in the theaters. Stars Woodley, Theo James, and Miles Teller have all expressed doubts about reprising their roles.

Pitch Perfect 3

Pitch Perfect was a small movie and a surprise hit—Hollywood, not for the first time, underestimated the demand for female-driven comedies. It's a crowd pleaser with lots of relatable characters, memorable a cappella musical performances, and ridiculous comic bits. It earned a modest $65 million at the box office, but became a cult hit thanks to endless airings on cable TV and a strong showing on home video. A sequel seemed inevitable if unnecessary, especially since the plot of the first movie was about college singers getting one last shot at glory before moving on. The second movie took great, pained lengths to explain why its cast of 30-year-olds were still in college, but none of those narrative shenanigans put a dent in its $184 million box office haul. That kind of cash means another sequel, of course. But where can the characters even go? The professional a cappella circuit?

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

After two movies and the Japan-set spinoff Tokyo Drift, The Fast and the Furious franchise looked dead by 2006. It was a product of its time: tough guys with tattoos listening to rap-metal while they drove cars real fast. They were full-length Limp Bizkit videos, except starring Vin Diesel instead of Fred Durst. They made Diesel an action star, enabling him to anchor other would-be franchises—like 2002's xXx, an of-its-time extreme sports-meets-secret agent movie. Diesel didn't return for the sequel, handing off starring duty to the eminently likable Ice Cube, and the xXx franchise went away. But then The Fast and the Furious came roaring back with four well-received smash hit sequels in rapid succession (with more on the way). This reignited interest for other things starring Vin Diesel…such as another xXx movie. xXx: Return of Xander Cage—because that is his actual character's name in this actual movie—hits theaters in 2017.

Independence Day 3

Independence Day ushered in the era of the modern mega-blockbuster. The ad campaign told audiences exactly what to expect: aliens callously blowing up landmarks like the White House. That alone was enough to bring in more than $300 million at the box office, a take that would ordinarily automatically trigger a sequel…except that Independence Day ended pretty definitively: The aliens were soundly defeated. A sequel did finally happen, although it took filmmakers 20 years to come up with the premise: The aliens invade…again. (And they're defeated…again.) The plot was repeated, but the success was not: Independence Day: Resurgence just barely made $100 million at the domestic box office. Nevertheless, director Roland Emmerich has big plans for a third movie—they're going into space! He wants Jeff Goldblum's character to headline an "intergalactic journey" in which humans attack those big, bad invading aliens on their home planet.

American Pie 5

American Pie put a modern-day spin on '80s teen sex comedies like Porky's, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and The Last American Virgin. After huge box office grosses, a college-set sequel logically followed the original. Then came the third movie, American Wedding, which wrangled the characters back together (the nerd, the other nerd, that one other nerd, and the girl who did obscene things at band camp) because two of them were getting married. They were stretching it at that point—but the cast and crew were still game for a fourth movie, American Reunion, in 2012. According to Tara Reid, who co-starred in the original American Pie in 1999 (and two of the sequels), a Las Vegas-set fifth installment in the franchise is getting ready to happen. Of course, this is certainly not the first (or last) thoroughly unnecessary comedy about guys pushing 40 and heading to "Vegas, baby!"

Now You See Me 3

The first Now You See Me takes place in a world much like our own, except that magicians are as famous and anti-establishment as British rock bands in the '70s. A ridiculous thriller that overdosed on twists, turns, and secret identities, it made a mint and spawned Now You See Me 2, which tried to up the ante with the villains from the first movie attempting to exact revenge—except with little mystery left to explore, many plot points were explained away with "we did it with magic!" It was also filmed and set almost entirely in the Chinese territory of Macau, which sets up a third installment. In Now You See Me 2, Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou played a magician and magic shop owner named Li, and he's set to be the star of a third film in the Now You See Me series. The spinoff, a co-production of Lionsgate and Chinese film company Leomus Pictures, will be shot entirely in Chinese—and it appears likely to be made alongside yet another English-language Now You See Me sequel, which entered development even before Now You See Me 2 arrived in theaters.