It's a dispiriting exercise to think about movie franchises that have been run into the ground. For years now, big Hollywood studios have focused on developing and cultivating franchise properties with worldwide appeal that are dependent more on iconic characters than the actors who play them.
When it works, it's fabulous (Star Trek). When it doesn't, it's awful (Fast & Furious). Even worse than the total misfires, though, are the movies that drag down a franchise into mediocrity, yet still make enough money to justify a sequel from a financial standpoint (X-Men Origins: Wolverine). Box office disasters don't necessarily discourage further installments, but often force a studio to rethink the property (Superman Returns). But good box office earnings despite negative reactions tend to empower executives and filmmakers, who then feel they can safely ignore the warning signs and make another sequel without really considering what could be done to improve the
After two fabulous movies, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines "revived" the franchise, but was barely average as an action picture. The new producers of Terminator: Salvation tried to make it their own by bringing in a new director, new stars, and a new storyline, but the results were disappointing in every way but the bottom line. With total worldwide earnings of $341 million, however, Terminator 5 is on its way, and director McG is talking again about what he wants to do. As for me, I say it's time we kill off the franchises that have become mediocre. Let them lay fallow for a few years or decades. Which franchise would you most like to see put out of its misery? Take our poll and let us know!