From Blockbuster to Flopbuster: 9 Movie Sequels That Tanked Spectacularly
Still, for every "Son of the Mask," there's a "Godfather Part II" waiting in the wings.
1. "The Matrix Revolutions" (2003)
Following the sci-fi triumph of "The Matrix" and the lukewarm reception of "The Matrix Reloaded," the Wachowski siblings attempted to tie up their dystopian narrative with "The Matrix Revolutions." Unfortunately, they ended up with a film that felt like a visual effects-heavy video game cutscene rather than a fitting conclusion to the groundbreaking franchise.
Audiences were left confused and underwhelmed, as evidenced by its meager 35% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Its box office performance was equally disappointing, earning only $139 million domestically against a $150 million budget. Keanu Reeves reportedly shrugged it off like the Zen master he is, but Warner Bros. definitely felt the pinch.
2. "Blues Brothers 2000" (1998)
The original "Blues Brothers" was a riotous blend of comedy, music, and chaos, making it a cult classic. The sequel, unfortunately, was more like listening to a cover band butcher your favorite songs. Despite the efforts of original star Dan Aykroyd and director John Landis, "Blues Brothers 2000" couldn't recreate the magic of the first film.
Critics were not amused, giving it a paltry 45% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film's box office earnings were a dismal $14 million against a budget of $28 million. The audience simply sang the blues and moved on.
3. "Zoolander 2" (2016)
Despite a 15-year gap, fans of the original "Zoolander" film were eager to see Ben Stiller's really, really, ridiculously good-looking model, Derek Zoolander, back in action. However, "Zoolander 2" missed the runway by a wide margin. The sequel was lambasted for its disjointed plot and lackluster humor, earning a 23% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Despite a slew of celebrity cameos, the film only managed to scrape together $28.8 million domestically, barely covering its estimated $50 million budget. The reaction from the cast was as flat as the film's humor, with Stiller conceding that perhaps Derek should have stayed retired.
4. "Speed 2: Cruise Control" (1997)
When "Speed" hit theaters in 1994, it was an adrenaline-fueled success. The concept was simple: keep the bus above 50 mph or it explodes. The sequel, however, substituted a bus for a cruise ship and Keanu Reeves for Jason Patric, effectively sinking the franchise. Critics loathed it, landing it a dismal 4% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film managed a disappointing $48 million domestically against a budget of $110 million. Sandra Bullock confessed to regretting the film, stating she only did it to help fund her passion project, "Hope Floats."
5. "Son of the Mask" (2005)
After the smash success of "The Mask," featuring Jim Carrey's rubber-faced antics, the studio attempted to create a franchise with "Son of the Mask." Sadly, the sequel was about as appealing as day-old guacamole. Without Carrey, the sequel lost its core appeal. The film garnered a terrifying 6% on Rotten Tomatoes and a pitiful domestic gross of $17 million against a budget of $84 million. Jamie Kennedy, the film's star, has since described the project as a "scar" on his career.
6. "Basic Instinct 2" (2006)
The first "Basic Instinct" pushed boundaries with its provocative narrative and made Sharon Stone a household name. Fast forward 14 years later, and we get "Basic Instinct 2," a sequel that promised the same steamy, dangerous allure. However, audiences found it more lukewarm than hot.
Critics weren't much kinder, giving it a chilling 7% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film's domestic gross was a measly $6 million against a budget of $70 million. Sharon Stone later admitted she was "tricked" into doing the sequel, leading to lawsuits and all sorts of behind-the-scenes drama.
7. "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" (2000)
The original "Blair Witch Project" was a masterpiece in low-budget horror, setting a standard for found-footage films. Its sequel, "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2," however, was a poorly received attempt at capitalizing on the success of the first film.
Deviating drastically from the style of its predecessor, the sequel was panned by critics, scraping together a 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. With a domestic gross of $26.4 million against a budget of $15 million, it may not seem like a flop, but considering the original made over $248 million, it's quite a tumble.
8. "Jaws: The Revenge" (1987)
Even the iconic "Jaws" franchise fell prey to the sequel curse. "Jaws: The Revenge," the fourth installment in the series, proved that not even a man-eating shark could save a sinking ship. Critics unanimously panned the film, giving it a shocking 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie grossed $20.8 million domestically against a budget of $23 million. The film's star, Lorraine Gary, never acted in another movie again, and Michael Caine famously missed receiving his Best Supporting Actor Oscar in person because he was shooting this film.
9. "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" (1987)
Christopher Reeve's portrayal of Superman in the '70s and '80s was iconic. However, by the fourth installment, the franchise lost its superpower. Plagued with budget cuts and a confusing plot, "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" ended up a heroic failure. It garnered an 11% on Rotten Tomatoes and managed a less-than-stellar domestic gross of $15.7 million against a budget of $17 million. Reeve expressed his disappointment with the film, marking it as the end of his tenure as the Man of Steel.