Sometimes Hollywood studios and producers see the potential in something and only think about the bigger picture and more often than not, it leads to box office bombs and people losing their jobs. When planned correctly, We get things like the Marvel Cinematic Cinematic and The Fast and Furious franchise, when horribly rushed, we get things like the 10 franchises listed below

10. The Amazing Spider-man: 1.4 Billion Worldwide

To be completely honest, Sony’s The Amazing Spiderman didnt completely fail from a financial standpoint, as it did rake in a grandtotal globally approximately 1.4 billion dollars. On the other hand, it did rake in the least compared to other Spiderman films.

The damage wasn’t to Sony’s pockets, but it was a bigger impact on the Spiderman intellectual property. After The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the property has lost its luster and it was seen in the drop in the box office from The Amazing Spider-Man to The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Thankfully, Sony smartened up and shelved plans for the Amazing Spider-Man 3 and ultimately an Amazing Spider-Man 4 to come to a partnership with Marvel and Disney to restore the I.P with Tom Holland.

9. Speed Racers: 94 million Worldwide

Speed Racer is a 2008 film written and directed by The imfaous Wachowski Brothers and based on the 1960s Japanese anime and manga series of the same name. Even with gorgeous visuals from the Wachowskis (the filmmaking siblings behind The Matrix), failed to check off all the boxes that needed to be in order to be a successful film.

Five years after the conclusion of the Matrix trilogy, the Wachowskis returned to filmmaking with continuing to embrace the Japanese influences that were so apparent in their previous endeavours. Assembling a talented cast including Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman and Susan Sarandon, the movie was shot futuristic look the directors had intended. Warner Bros clearly thought the film would appeal to all demographics, and went all out and secured lucrative merchandising deals were made with the likes of McDonalds, Target, Mattel and Lego.

So with all the backing the film was receiving it would need to clear atleast 60-80 million at the box office opening weekend.The film opened to a minisucle $18.3m at the domestic box office and closed with only $43.9m. Close enough.

8. The A-Team: $177.2 Million Worldwide

The A-Team always seperated itself as the most cinematic 80’s television show. Despite how cheesy the original show seems having the premise of four war veterans on the run for a crime they didn’t commit always felt intriguing. With a great cast, how hard would it be to turn it into a Mission Impossible-esque/Jason Bourne action franchise. Well clearly really hard.

After years stuck in development hell, the projects wheels started to turn when Joe Carnahan decided to take on his first mainstream blockbuster. Clearly a lot of stars believed in Carnahans vision as Liam Neeson signed on as Hannibal Smith, along with rising star Bradley Cooper as Face and Sharlto Copley as Murdoch. To add o the star power, UFC star Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson completed the central quartet as the seemingly perfect choice for a modern-day BA Baracus.

The movie disappointed with just $26m from its domestic opening weekend and ended up barely breaking even and thats without marketing costs and ticket vendor percentagess. The numbers showed that a movie based on a show that is still inconic three decades on failed miserably in their task. Despite the best efforts of the cast, who are let down by an underwhelming script, The A-Team will live on only as a straight to vod instead of a blockbuster franchise.

7. R.I.P.D: $78 Million Worldwide

Not many people know that 2013’s R.I.P.D is based on the comic book Rest in Peace Department by Peter M. Lenkov. With Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges on board, Universal Studios clearly had a franchise in mind with their July 19th release date. The film was both a critical and commercial failure, grossing a mere $78 million on a $130 million budget.

The film came off as a flea market version of the infamous Men In Black films without any of the comradary, chemistry or the charisma that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones provided.

6. John Carter (2012): $283m Worldwide

John Carter is by no means a bad movie. The world of Barsoom is incredibly detailed and well represented, the visual effects almost flawless and the production design is prestine. But for a $250m budget these are things you need to expect. The story of John Carter is that the film and production company bit off more than they can chew.

John Carter’s opening weekend came in at just $30.2m on its way to only a $73m domestic run. The underwhelming box office performance of John Carter would  end up costing Disney over a total of $100m and lead to the resignation of studio head Rich Ross soon after the release of the film.

5. Fantastic Four(2016): $155m Worldwide

To be completely honest, I was excited for this film. With Chronicle director Josh Trank taking on a hyperrealistic approach to the crown jewel of Fox’s marvel characters. Having a star studded cast led by Micheal B.Jordan and Miles Teller to lead a new iteration of the notorious super group. But this film was a disaster from preproduction to the extensive reshoots that happened. From reports to huge action sets being completely scrapped, Trank clashing with Fox from the beginning and said director’s reported behaviour on set, this film was doomed from the start. Shortly after the release of the film, plans for a sequel were quickly shelved and Trank suddenly dropped out from directing an untitled Star Wars Anthology film.

The film was critically panned and has a staggering 9% on Rotten Tomatoes. By the time of its release, the consensus is that the direction, screenplay, gloomy tone and colour grading, visuals effects and choppy editing, the film was quickly ridiculed. It was also a commerical faliure grossing $168 million worldwide against a production budget of $155 million, excluding reshoots and marketing, causing the studio to lose up to $100 million.

4.The Lone Ranger:$260m Worldwide

With a $225m budget, The Lone Ranger was doomed from the start. The Lone Ranger isn’t as bad as some reviews have made it out to be as it does have some nice cinematography and Armie Hammer is great as the title character. Johnny Depp as Tonto might have killed the franchise potential on this film before it had started. The movie was an uneven from start to beginning and ended and should be seen as a black smudge on everyone involved resume.

3.Green Lantern: $219m Worldwide

DC went all-in to prove that a DC character outside of Superman and Batman could headline a movie. Things didn’t exactly go to plan; Green Lantern became one of the worst comicbook films in history. Director Martin Campbell has history bringing big budget films to fruition as he managed to both update Zorro for modern audiences and reboot James Bond and seemed like a safe choice. Ryan Reynolds was cast as the lead despite the shaky quality of his previous comic book movies (Blade Trinity and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, hi) and surrounded by a a stellar cast that included Peter Sarsgaard, Tim Robbins, Geoffrey Rush and Michael Clarke Duncan. The film failed miserably as it opted to dump on film only CGI to make the film feel more of a video game rather than the beginning of a franchise. The Green Lantern DC franchise started and stopped at one film and was quickly rebooted with Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel.

2. The Last Airbender:$319m Worldwide

Originally envisioned as the first part of a trilogy, plans were soon put on the backburner for the sequels when the overwhelmingly negative reviews came in(and deservingly so). Despite some solid visuals, The Last Airbender suffered from a 3D post conversion that was some of the worst in Hollywood, rendering many of the action scenes blurry.

M. Night Shamylan went from one of the hottest directors in the business and hailed as the next Speilberg after the Sixth Sense, but killed a franchise before it even had started and annoyed and alienated a core fanbase.

1. Universal’s Dark Universe (2017): $409m Worldwide

It’s bad enough when a film ends a franchise, but it’s even worse when a cinematic universe started and stopped at a grand total of one film. Before any films were created, Universal announced the casting of Russell Crowe as Dr.Jekyll, Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s monster, and Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man. They would join Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella, who lead the cast of the remake of The Mummy. With Hollywood’s biggest box office draw and a intellectual property that has worldwide recognition, Universal must have thought they had a goldmine on their hands.

They thought wrong.

The Mummy brought everything beside the horror, and completely neglected what made horror films so iconic. There wasn’t any horror. The Mummy chose to become an action franchise and it quickly turned on the studio as fans quickly realized how forced the film is. With a nonsensical third act and forced cameos, The Mummy stopped Universal’s Dark Universe the second the film finished. It’s gotten to the extent that in which the handlers and “show runners” of the Dark Universe have left and the production on the films have quickly halted. With the fail of The Mummy commercially and critically, Hollywood execs need to be reminded of this failed excpirement before creating a cinematic universe.

 

 

Ananth Para
paramana@mcmaster.ca

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