The superfluous need for sequels to bad movies

It’s a well known fact that the majority of film sequels suck, and a film that succeeds the second film in a series will suck harder.

But critically panned films, such as Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeekal, Pirates and the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Cars 2 gained the most money in 2011, with only one non-sequel film to earn a place in the top ten highest grossing films in the US box office.  This film would be the cinematic highlight called The Smurfs….right.

We’re in a world where it can be hard to actually enjoy a movie because the premise, characters and jokes have been done before.  The culprit?

The aforementioned sequel.

Movie studio bosses have the right idea in thinking that is the best way to a fast buck but surely, more imagination can be injected into a film series before it dies a cold and miserable death.

Take Ghostbusters 3 – a project that has been in the works for over ten years.  Since the second film was released in 1989 to less acclaim to the original 1985 film, computer games and animated series have allowed the franchise to continue. However, a new live-action film for the iPod generation has stopped and stalled due to ‘creative differences’ with the script and notably, the cast – fans of the original film want the original cast to be reunited for this particular outing but this looks unlikely, as Rick Moranis (Louis Tully) is reportedly retired, Bill Murray (Peter Venkman) is unconfirmed and Sigourney Weaver (Dana Barratt) refusing to sign up unless Venkman is in the film.

One of the reasons why Zombieland was my favourite film of 2009.

The need for Murray to be involved may have been revived after his scene-stealing cameo in 2009’s hit Zombieland, but I am not sure if a third film is even needed. Looking at the takings, it seems that a family with X number of kids is the default consumer for many sequels but studios need to bear in mind that no-one will even consider going to see a film if a critic thinks it’s crap.

The average film sequel works if the original cast can be united and if the plot has any sequential relevance to any previous films in the series.

Take the Harry Potter and Fast and the Furious series – same characters with a plotline linking one film to another, making their respective sequels.  The same cannot be said for Cars 2 and The Hangover: Part 2 as they are effectively reworkings of the original films.  It’s bad enough that we’re even aware that a sequel (most likely to be in 3D) is being released but a sequel for a film that wasn’t very good in its own right is too much.

So, my final word for people who think Green Lantern 2 or another Scary Movie is a great idea….think again.

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