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These Movie Franchises Need to End Immediately

Words: Jason Wolf
Photo: Flickr/BagoGames

Seven long-running movie franchises that have been completely sapped of their relevance

Remember when the new Underworld trailer debuted and audiences went crazy with excitment? Of course not! Because our eyes were too glazed over with jadedness to really care about a new Underworld trailer. This is largely because Underworld is one of a bunch of long-running movie franchises that have been completely sapped of their relevance. It’s all thanks to studios endlessly shelling out money for more movies because just enough moviegoers are complicit in watching them to justify one more chapter in the series.

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But they’re only doing the originals and source material an injustice by turning previously killer films into rudderless franchises. It’s time to recognise some of their best years are behind them and put them out to pasture.

Here are seven franchises that need to end immediately.

Pirates Of The Caribbean

Enthusiasm for this series died 10 years ago, but we keep getting progressively worse additions to the Pirates franchise. The first Pirates Of The Caribbean was great fun, so it’s understandable it spawned a franchise. But the black spot on this series is that they just don’t know when to let go. Each new Jack Sparrow adventure keeps trying to wrap up the series just to have its perfectly tied bow unravelled in the next instalment. It’s time for Johnny Depp’s character and the rest of them to officially walk the plank, so our fond memories of the first film don’t completely wash away.

Resident Evil

The sixth and supposedly final film of the Resident Evil series came out some time this year or maybe earlier – we’re not sure, because we didn’t even notice. Despite the first film receiving tepid reviews and barely breaking even, Sony inexplicably picked this as their franchise pony. Let’s hope this really is the final Chapter for this middle-of-the-road action series.

Die Hard

Bruce Willis’s foul-mouthed quips and steely glares aren’t enough to keep fans coming back for more John McClane – not with reviews as harsh as the ones received by A Good Day to Die Hard anyway. In fact, only the first and third movies of the Die Hard series were really any good, and they were both directed by the troubled John McTiernan, which leads us to believe he’s as crucial to the success of the these movies as Bruce Willis. Maybe we’ll get interested in a new Die Hard if McTiernan gets behind the lens again.


Vaunted for their earning power, the Transformers movies perpetuate racial stereotypes, juvenile humour and brainless plotlines. As long as these continue to make money, director Michael Bay won’t mind sticking with a formula that extols flare over substance - which has set a bad precedent for movie studios’ willingness to churn out gratuitous and tactless films. Sure, it’s based on a toy franchise, but can’t these movies at least have some substance? 

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The Fast And The Furious

After the explosively popular release of Fast Five in 2011, this franchise has actually been commended for its self-awareness as a mindless good time. Constantly upping the stakes with cartoonish action sequences involving tanks, submarines and wrecking balls, these movies feel more like a dare as to how ridiculous they can get. The first film was lauded by young audiences because of the slick emersion into the world of street racing, but the studio seemed to think the heist plotline was what people gravitated to, and they’ve been going bigger and badder ever since. These movies are dumb fun, but let’s get out now while we still have some brain cells.


James Cameron had a crafty idea in the 1980s about an unstoppable hitman sent to destroy humanity’s hope for survival that both peaked and concluded with Terminator 2: Judgment Day. But, perhaps due to the original’s increasingly prophetic warnings about autonomous technology taking over our lives, movie studios feel it’s germane to pump out more Terminator movies. Whether they make sequels, prequels or reboots or whether they cast Schwarzenegger or Batman, this well has long been drained and the interest in this series has certifiably diminished. What was once a great idea now has become fatigued and officially needs to be terminated.


They’ve already squeezed a respectable amount of films out of a series that attracts crowds largely due to seeing Kate Beckinsale in skin-tight leather, but stick a stake in this franchise, because it was practically dead on arrival. The first film was stylish but – like Resident Evil – had a minuscule following and nominal financial returns. Vampires are apparently only popular if teenage girls can get into them. 

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