When an excellent film resonates with an audience it can be a great experience for movie-goers. Oftentimes in the 100+ year history of motion pictures, studios would chase box office sales with wave after wave of terrible sequels. While our team is generally very positive and focused on the best of the best, sometimes it can be fun to roast the worst of the worst. We turned to our sources to discover the top five worst movie sequels.
So, how can you determine if a movie is going to do well in theaters? Sometimes box office sales can be influenced by critics. When movie reviews posted by both critics and regular viewers share similar content, it bodes well for box office performance, according to researchers from the University of Notre Dame.
Today, online reviews tend to rule the movie review scape. For example, in 2018 most U.S. adults (63%) said they had a “moderate to heavy reliance” on online reviews while deciding what to watch. Earlier studies have explored the impact of online reviews on box office ticket sales, but all of those projects focused primarily on review volume and ratings. Far less is known regarding how similarities in review content among critics and general viewers impact consumers’ decisions.
With summer blockbuster season 2023, box offices will see the release of the latest Indiana Jones sequel. Unfortunately, not everyone can be a winner — especially when negative early reviews influence movie goers. Even the much-anticipated “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” faces an uphill battle thanks to multiple unflattering reviews online. Movie reviews posted by professional critics are usually a fairly accurate predictor of how a movie will fare at the box office, but researchers from the University of California-Davis are surprisingly turning that notion on its head. Their study actually found the exact opposite; bad reviews often predict hits while positive reviews signal a film will flop.
Whether critics predicted it or not, there are many sequels that just did not hit the mark. Grab a tall glass of haterade, it’s time to roast some real stinkers. The worst movie sequels are critical and box-office failures that haven’t improved with age. Let us know which films come to mind for you in the comments below!
The List: Worst Movie Sequels, According to Film Experts
When a groundbreaking film becomes a classic, a sequel is often seen as a way for studios to squeeze more money out of a movie in the hopes of it becoming a series or franchise. “Jaws the Revenge is a movie about a shark getting revenge against the family that has repeatedly murdered it… But in my estimation, Jaws is one of the handful of finest films ever made — making the gulf between it and this horrible follow-up larger than any other in history. By that measure, it has to be the worst sequel ever made,” claims ScreenCrush.
More harsh criticism abounds and even the principle cast members disavow the film, “They were gonna need a bigger boat, and its cast were gonna need a bigger pay cheque. Michael Caine, nominated for a Razzie for his performance in the movie, has since gone on to claim ‘I have never seen it, but by all accounts, it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it was terrific,'” according to Screen Rant.
Complete with a nonsensical plot, “The reasons for that revenge are never entirely clear, and it is a plot point in the movie that the shark will travel to the Bahamas from the coast of Massachusetts to kill its prey. That’s a determined shark. Jaws: The Revenge is utterly ludicrous, and everything that the original Jaws managed to avoid in telling its own shark-infested horror story,” adds Digital Trends.
On the other hand, sometimes a lousy film gets an even worse sequel. “The sequel to 1999’s Baby Geniuses (which doesn’t count on great reviews, also), Superbabies is a kids and family comedy directed by Bob Clark. The movie centers around a group of toddlers who put their special abilities to the test in order to stop a media mogul (played by Jon Voight) to alter the minds of many children,” according to Collider.
Considered a massive flop, “With 45 rotten reviews to zero positive, this comedy that even its audience of toddlers can tell isn’t funny has more negative reviews than any other sequel on this list. There’s simply nothing to salvage it: from the preposterous conceit to the god-awful attempts at humor, 0% feels generous for it,” explains Screen Rant.
The roasts just keep coming with another source writing: “Despite its concerning plot outline, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 is way too silly and unbelievable to take seriously. The film outdid its predecessor in being one of the worst films of all time, as shown in its wooden acting and misplaced dialogue. Furthermore, its action sequences come off as phoney(sic) looking and bizarre. It’s extremely difficult to accept a reality where this film exists,” critiques Far Out.
Sometimes a sequel is announced, and audiences immediately ask why? “Mean Girls stars Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams and was a commercial and critical hit, and would go on to develop a cult following. Its 2011 sequel, simply titled Mean Girls 2, once again tackles the clique warfare concept with far less lucrative results… It may be the epitome of cheap, soulless cinematic cash-grabs,” rants Movie Web.
As a film so terrible it is often forgotten, “This movie was such a blip on the radar that even Lindsay Lohan denies its existence. (Seriously, she’s out here talking about wanting to be in a Mean Girls 2. Is she aware one already exists?!) Just watch the original version for the 500th time or listen to the Broadway soundtrack album if you want that Regina George rush,” writes Glamour.
Even when audiences expect a film to be bad, sometimes a movie exceeds even the worst prospects. “A sequel to such a beloved film is always a risky endeavor, and Mean Girls 2 lives up to a lack of expectations. Mean Girls 2 does nothing new, telling another story of a transfer student caught up in schemes against the ‘Plastics‘ who rule the school. Mean Girls 2 lacks the charm of the original,” writes CBR.
Another entry on our list of the worst, “The plot of Son of the Mask features the mask from the first movie, but besides that, they hardly have anything in common. Somehow, a baby gets born with the powers of the mask, so we get treated to some truly painful CGI baby transformation/dance sequences. Most of the so-called “jokes” in this movie are so painful, film critic, Richard Roeper wanted to walk out halfway through,” adds Tell Tales.
The original film was well loved and earned accolades. “The Mask, starring Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz, cemented its stars as leading powerhouses in the 1990s and was nominated for Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards. However, its ‘son’ failed to outgross its budget, receiving scathing responses from critics and fans. Son of the Mask misconstrues being overwhelming as entertainment, with over-the-top special effects clashing with a weak story,” criticizes Far Out.
As an absolute stinker of a film, “it has been almost twenty years since it came out and I have never, ever heard anyone say a positive word about it. Alan Cumming, Bob Hoskins, what possessed you to sign onto this?! But even they couldn’t save it. Anyway, if you want a movie featuring the god of mischief Loki there are so many better options, and none of them include vomit jokes or a baby fighting a dog,” states The Mary Sue.
Rounding off our list is a poorly received newer release, “Space Jam: A New Legacy”. “The first Space Jam feels like something of a marketing ploy for everyone involved, but it’s got nothing on A New Legacy. The film is crammed with so much Warner Bros. IP that it feels almost absurd, and the movie tries to get around this by having Warner Bros. act as the movie’s meta-villain,” explains Digital Trends.
Considered to be wholly unnecessary, “we could dive into the dull plot about an AI trapping LeBron James and his son in cyberspace, and there’s plenty to pick at. What makes this film so disappointing, however, is that it replaces the innocent wackiness of the original with an onslaught of Warner Bros. branding as relentless as it is shameless,” opines Tell Tales.
Also thought of as an extended commercial for other Warner Brothers properties, “Was Space Jam really a movie that needed a sequel? Really? Well, someone at Warner Bros. thought so and the result is this bizarre brightly-colored fever dream. It’s not really a movie so much as a series of adverts for WB properties—Game of Thrones, Rick and Morty, and even frickin’ A Clockwork Orange are all in there—and it was rightly slaughtered by critics for being so. The original Space Jam isn’t exactly Shakespeare but at least it had charm. The sequel has absolutely none,” posits The Mary Sue.
You might also be interested in:
- Movie Web
- Tell Tales
- Far Out
- The Mary Sue
- Digital Trends
- Screen Crush
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.