26 Cancelled Movie Franchises

As it looks like it’s the end of the line for the Blade Runner franchise, here are 26 other canceled franchises.

In alphabetical order:

Battlefield Earth (2000)

battlefield earth 2000

Battlefield Earth 2?  In a perfect world, it would exist.  Instead, we’re stuck with austerity, war, nightmare weather, and no Battlefield Earth 2.  Read More

Battleship (2012)

battleship 2012

A movie that basically took the shittiest elements of the shitty Transformers movies and upped the idiocy and military fetishism.  Read More

Beautiful Creatures (2013)

Yet another would-be YA franchise that fizzled. Read More

Child 44 (2015)

Child 44 was packaged by Lionsgate and sold around the world to distributors as a potential trilogy.  Instead, it was dumped by almost every distributor. Read More

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009)

Another wannabe vampire franchise, that never made it past the first installment.  Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant also opened a month before the vampire behemoth franchise The Twilight Saga: New Moon — which was directed by Cirque Du Freak helmer Paul Weitz’s brother Chris Weitz.  Read More

Dredd (2012)

dredd 2012

Judge Dredd is one of the biggest stinkers of the 90s.  The majority of the movie-going public either does not know it was based on a series of comics or has any connection to them and the entire Judge Dredd property was associated with that lousy movie.  When it was announced that the series was being rebooted, it was the butt of jokes, and not helping matters was behind the scenes trouble when director Pete Travis was removed from the editing room.

It was one hell of a surprise that the finished product wasn’t actually a disaster, but a damn good movie.  But again, when the property is toxic to the majority of the movie-going world, it’s a hard sell.  Imagine in a few years if they rebooted Gigli and it actually turned out to be a badass movie – good luck selling that.

Dredd was a box office disaster and despite petitions and fanboys frothing at the mouth for a sequel, the movie was financed by pre-sales to dozens of distributors who all lost money on the reboot.  Even with decent home video sales, no company would sign onto a sequel that lost them millions.  Maybe if it was retooled into a series… Read More

Dungeons & Dragons (2000)

A movie as wretched as its reputation, with a crap-tastic performance by Jeremy Irons that is off the charts hammy. Read More

Ender’s Game (2013)

Besides struggling to be anything more than a mediocre movie, its future box office prospects were not helped by the outspoken asshole author Orson Scott Card, who went on numerous racist and homophobic rants leading up to the film’s release.

What is left feels like not even half of a movie that will never continue with future installments.  Read More

Gods Of Egypt (2016)

Good god!  Yes, Lionsgate planned on multiple Gods Of Egypt installments.  Now we’ll never know if they would have the common sense to correct their whitewashing casting controversy in More Gods Of Egypt and Gerard Butler returning for Egypt Has Fallen. Read More

I am Number Four (2011)

I Am Number Four was developed as the start of a franchise with the possibility for at least half a dozen installments.  It was being shaped as Twilight for boys.  I am Number Four was poorly reviewed and certainly underperformed, but was not a flop – but ultimately did not pull in the worldwide numbers it needed to hatch additional installments.

Making matters worse for the murky future of this property was lead actor Alex Pettyfer who was apparently extremely difficult on set and even escalated his awful behavior toward DreamWorks to demand a pay raise midway through filming.

This is just another case of a bad movie barely coming out ahead financially and an asshole actor overvaluing what he contributes to the final product.  It’s a movie that spends almost its entire running time explaining its backstory and setting up future installments that will never happen.

Josie And The Pussycats (2001)

josie and the pussycats 2001

It took six whole hours, and five long days, for this entire franchise to come undone.  Read More

Jumper (2008)

Jumper was developed as a trilogy and while the movie is not a bomb and actually a financial success, its chilly reception and messy production derailed this almost franchise.  Director Doug Liman, who was known for his chaotic sets, was reworking script ideas on set and trying to indulge spontaneous ideas – which is a hell of a way to run a production that takes place in dozens of different countries.  The original cast was teenagers and after filming with them for at least two months, Liman had them replaced with an adult cast.

There were also millions spent on reshoots, including getting Samuel L. Jackson back for close-ups at $50,000 per day.   While Liman is a talented filmmaker, this is not an auteur picture and his effort at pushing actor’s and the crew’s limits to create something special from the madness onset — resulted in a pretty generic and disappointing final product.  The budget was reported as $85 million, but considering the amount of paid overtime, numerous reshoots, and casting changeups mid-way through production, that number should be looked at with suspicion.

Even with $222.2 million at the global box office, financiers FOX and New Regency kept Jumper 2 in development hell.  The fact that they came out ahead on this mess, was probably all the luck they were willing to push in the Jumper business.  There are recent rumblings that Jumper may be retooled into a TV series.

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (2017)

This was to be the first of six films.  It is one of the biggest box office disasters of all time.  Read More

The Last Witch Hunter (2015)

Vin Diesel tried to preemptively announce The Last Witch Hunter 2, that is until Lionsgate announced a $7.2 million write-down on The Last Witch Hunter.  Read More

The Lone Ranger (2013)

Not as bad as its rep, but not much better either.  A textbook example of gross overspending, where reaching a break-even point requires the movie to be one of the biggest ticket sellers of all time.  Read More

Max Steel (2016)

Mattel formed an in-house entertainment division called Playground Productions, where they could develop and maintain creative control for Mattel branded movies and TV series and Max Steel was their first theatrical feature – based on their quality control, let’s see if it’s also their last.  Read More

Monster Trucks (2016)

Monster Trucks was a pet project for Adam Goodman — the former president of Paramount’s Motion Picture Group.

The idea for this derivative kiddie pic came from Goodman’s 4-year-old son, who imagined an actual monster in a monster truck.  Well, to the little fella’s credit, that is no more ridiculous than kids fare about anthropomorphic cars or transforming vehicles hellbent on destruction.  Knowing the finished product was a turkey and would never become a franchise,

Paramount’s parent company Viacom took a $115 million write-down on the movie 4 months before it even opened.  Read More

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

The financier, Constantin was so primed on this property that they began to court buyers for the sequel The Mortal Instruments: City Of Ashes at Cannes, three months before the first installment opened.  That got canceled and eventually retooled into a TV series in 2016.  Read More

Mortdecai (2015)

If you saw the trailer or the movie and said “what the fuck?” you were miles ahead of Lionsgate which greenlit this as the start of a big franchise.  The marketing was a showcase of silly slapstick that looked like a children’s movie but ended up with an R rating.  This was a movie designed for nobody.

In a move that makes even less sense than its mustache-centric promotional material, Lionsgate cut the film down to a PG-13 rating for its video-on-demand release – as if kids would actually want to watch this and/or have any trouble watching an R rated movie on cable.  Fail.  Read More

One For The Money (2012)

This Katherine Heigl vehicle was to kickstart a franchise based on a series of books but instead killed her studio career.   Read More

Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure (2012)

If you actually watched this, your only excuse better be that you have very young children or you were extremely intoxicated.   Read More

Pan (2015)

Pan was envisioned by Warner Bros as a potential franchise akin to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.  Potential blockbusters don’t misfire more than this.  Read More

Pandorum (2009)

Pandorum was envisioned as a trilogy.  Atrocious box office numbers stopped that.  Read More

Push (2009)

Summit seemed more concerned about having a franchise than making sure this is a complete film.  Sure, some of the plot threads and characters end, but the film doesn’t exactly have an end, as it just stops.

You expect a serial ‘to be continued…’ text to appear and after this did middling box office business, a sequel will never materialize.  So, you’re left with some head-scratching questions that will never get answered.  Besides the lack of a real ending, the film has a certain almost incoherent appeal that won me over.  It’s an incredibly disjointed work, that gets so convoluted with people’s abilities, who’s working for who, who’s outwitting who, who’s out drawing who, that you’ll either have submitted to this wacky nonsense or you’ll be watching the screen with a giant question mark stamped onto your face.

Throwing this crazy story into cluttered Hong Kong locations is an inspired choice, as the location feels like only in this place could such superpower shenanigans happen.  Read More

The Rundown (2003)

The Rundown was Dwayne Johnson’s first starring vehicle outside of the Mummy franchise and despite decent reviews, auds just didn’t show up. Read More

Vampire Academy (2014)

Greenlit during the Twilight years, under the misguided assumption that vampire onscreen = profits.  Read More

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