Which Film Franchises Are Way Past Their Prime?

Which Film Franchises Are Way Past Their Prime?

Jul 25, 2013

As last weekend's Comic-Con panels proved, we're all still very crazy for the Avengers franchise. But how long will we remain interested in these movies? How many phases can it go? It helps that it's a megafranchise consisting of multiple franchises under its umbrella. That way, some of theses other series can come and go while the Avengers sequels themselves can go on and on with different concoctions of characters. Of course, the moneymen may never let go of, say, Iron Man, but perhaps Captain America and Thor will really only last for a short, sweet time. For now, anyway. 

Other superhero franchises have seemed to have run their course yet then picked back up with newfound energy and excitement. Consider how we felt with X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine compared to where our anticipation lies for X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Wolverine. And they restarted our interest without even having to completely reboot, a la Spider-Man, Batman and Superman -- characters who will always draw audiences in with their renewed and recast franchises. The James Bond series is very similar.

Now, since everyone is talking specifically of the 2015 slate, let's look at some of the other franchises that will be represented two years from now, alongside Avengers: Age of Ultron, Batman vs. Superman and Bond 24: in addition to a reboot of Fantastic Four, there are new installments of Madagascar, The Smurfs, The Terminator, Pirates of the Caribbean, Independence Day, Hotel Transylvania, Finding Nemo, The Hunger Games, Kung Fu Panda, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Da Vinci Code, Jurassic Park and, of course, Star Wars.

That last franchise is another biggie that we thought was ruined by the 1997 special editions and then dead and buried with the disappointing prequels. But yet we're trying to be optimistic about Episode VII. How long will it take for us to just walk away? Likewise, will we ever learn that the Terminator and Alien and Die Hard and Indiana Jones and Beverly Hills Cop and Child's Play and Vacation franchises will only keep going downhill? None of these will ever have its Batman Begins or Star Trek or Rise of the Planet of the Apes or, to name a couple that didn't need new cast reboots, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol or Fast Five or the upcoming X-Men films. 

Why can't more franchises be like the Back to the Future trilogy, which not counting cartoons and comic books managed to stop while still in its prime (well, close enough to it if you're unlike me and dislike Part III). The other day, Pop Matters posted a list of The 10 Film Franchises That Are Way Past Their Prime, including such series as Ice Age, Paranormal Activity, Transformers and Final Destination, the last of which arguably did circle back around with a bang with the fifth film. I also don't think I'll personally ever get tired of the Resident Evil movies. I've never even disliked a Terminator sequel. 

But if there's one franchise that just has got to stop for me following its past couple embarrassments, it's Die Hard. It seems others are in agreement there, too.


What ongoing film franchise is furthest past its prime?

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