Franchises That Will Never Stop Despite Being Terrible

Movie sequels are basically a way for Hollywood to print money. They count on a built-in audience looking to revisit beloved characters in a new adventure. The problem is they're usually rushed and bloated with studio notes, so the result is just a tired retread with updated product placement. Here's a list of movie franchises that unfortunately make too much money to ever be put out of their misery.


After Terminator 2: Judgment Day, James Cameron left the director's chair and took all the credibility with him. Nobody even remembers Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. The latest two, Terminator: Genisys, and Terminator: Salvation before it, are actually rated PG-13. The movies about murderous, time-traveling androids now aren't violent enough for an R rating. That's really all the information you need to understand what a cash grab these things are now. Although we did get the Christian Bale on-set freak out from one of those last two, so that one was wasn't totally pointless.

The Fast And The Furious

The Fast and the Furious is partially responsible for continued existence of Vin Diesel. That alone should have been enough to stop these things, but apparently the irresistible drawing power of cars going fast and dialogue like "I live my life a quarter mile at a time" are box office gold. There have now been seven of these, each one exponentially more ridiculous than the last. In fact, Furious Seven had to be completed using CGI to finish Paul Walker's scenes after his tragic death. The star of the movie died, yet somehow the movie and the franchise did not.

Pirates Of The Caribbean

Based on a Disney theme park ride, the first two movies in this series were way better than they had any business being. However, Johnny Depp's inspired lead performance as Captain Jack Sparrow is no longer enough to hold these jumbled, nonsensical narratives together. Oh boy, how's Jack going to get out of this jam? In an impossibly Rube Goldberg-esque fight sequence ending with him landing softly into a barrel of rum? Who'd have ever guessed?

The Expendables

All those guys from those action movies in the '70s, '80s, and '90s got tired of being told they were too old to be action heroes anymore, so they made their own campy action movie where they couldn't stop joking about how old they all were. The first Expendables was guilty, pure popcorn-movie fun. Then they made two more and are planning another—none of which were or will be fun at all. We get it, guys. You're old, but still badasses, okay? Now go do some water aerobics before you slip a disc.


The first Saw movie had a great new concept for the horror genre and a fantastic twist ending that few saw coming. The sequels tried to repeat the same formula, only the audience is already anticipating the twist, making the misdirection increasingly more difficult to pull off. As a result, the plots got more complicated and unbelievable, while the violent gore went well beyond scary and into sickening. But like clockwork, around Halloween every year, they cranked out another, even calling one Saw 3D: The Final Chapter in 2010. Saw VIII is currently in development at the time of this writing.

Step Up

Step Up is a movie about a street-tough doing community service at a dance school that he vandalized. Fortunately, he looks like Channing Tatum, and—you won't believe this—he dances very well! Somehow still riding on the explosive success of Tatum's career (although he only appeared in the first one), the franchise has enjoyed five Step Up movies, with a sixth in development at the time of this writing. That means, as a viewer, you're supposed to believe there have been six scenarios in the world in which a criminal is accidentally discovered to be a wonderfully artistic talent and is given one chance by a beautiful stranger to improve his life. Turn on the house lights and go home Step Up. The dance is over.

Indiana Jones

The first three Indiana Jones movies are classics, which everyone was happy to leave as a solid trilogy, crafted by Steven Spielberg, arguably the best director of all time. Then, almost 20 years later, the studio convinced Spielberg to do another one. With Shia LaBeouf. And aliens. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was bad enough to have left a stain on the entire series, but somehow made enough money on nostalgia that they're going to do another one. Even Harrison Ford doesn't seem to want to do these anymore, but it could be worse. It's only a matter of time before the studios produce a found footage reboot of Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which a bunch of archaeology students try to retrace the adventures of their favorite professor.

Final Destination

Another horror franchise that's worn out its welcome, Final Destination didn't even start out with one good movie. The concept that "death" has a list that needs to be corrected after some people miraculously survive a tragedy is so silly on its face. That premise could easily be wrapped up in about 30 seconds of screen-time with a half-dozen heart attacks. What you get instead are progressively disgusting ways in which people find themselves being eviscerated: things like tanning beds that somehow spontaneously burst into flames. How did this ever make it past the first sequel? What happened to your magic list, Death?