11 Movie Sequels That Fell Flat at the Box Office

Is there anything worse than when the producers of a great movie decide to put out a sequel, only for it to be a complete bust? I’ve never understood how directors and screenwriters could nail a perfect film once, only to have the second one be absolutely horrible. These are some of the worst sequels of all time. 

1. “Grease 2” (1982)

Grease 2 (1982) Michelle Pfeiffer
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Grease was a box office hit. Everyone wanted to see more of the T-Birds and Pink Ladies. In 1982, producers tried to re-capture the magic, with newcomer Michelle Peifer starring in her first major role. Unfortunately, Grease 2 was a tremendous flop. It barely made back its budget of $15 million compared to the original, which made $396 million. 

2. Batman and Robin (1997)

Batman & Robin (1997) George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Not even George Clooney’s charisma and good looks could save this doomed edition of the Caped Crusader. Widely panned by critics and fans, many believed this would bury the franchise. It definitely ended Clooney’s run as the Dark Knight. The movie was so bad that even Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t save it with his witty Dr. Freeze puns. 

3. “Predator 2” (1990)

Predator 2 (1990) Danny Glover
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The original Predator was one of the biggest action flicks of the 80s. The sequel’s producers made the big mistake of bringing in a whole new cast, ignoring the importance of having a star like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The new movie went from the jungle to the streets of Los Angeles. That makes sense. Predators belong in the jungle, and seeing street cops fight these monsters didn’t make sense. 

4. “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” (2000)

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000) Tristine Skyler
Image Credit: Summit Entertainment.

The Blair Witch Project scared the daylights out of everyone who saw it in the theaters. The low-budget horror film was revolutionary for its genre and made almost a quarter billion dollars at the box office. Unfortunately, the sequel got more laughs than gasps, and the film was popular at that year’s Razzies Awards. 

5. “Caddyshack 2” (1988)

Caddyshack II (1988)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Comedies are one of the hardest genres of movies to re-create. When the original came out, it was an instant comedy classic. Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Rodney Dangerfield are comedic icons. The sequel, unfortunately, lacked Murray and Dangerfield. The jokes fell flat, and so did the film. 

6. “Son of The Mask” (2005)

Son of the Mask (2005)
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

If you’re going to make a sequel to a Jim Carrey movie without including Jim Carrey, you might want to reconsider. Carrey was made for the cartoonish comedy that made the original movie a smash hit. Unfortunately, the replacement, Jamie Kennedy, didn’t have half of Carrey’s charisma. The film barely made half its $100 million budget at the box office. 

7. Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The original Speed, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, was a high-speed, action-packed thrill ride that made Reeves and Bullock instant stars. Keanu was smart enough to pass on the sequel, while Sandra hoped to repeat the success. A boat replaced the bus, and everything else went downhill from there. Somehow, a high-speed bus driving through Los Angeles was more exciting than a cruise ship floating in the sea. 

8. “Basic Instinct 2” (2006)

Basic Instinct 2 (2006) David Morrissey
Image Credit: Constantin Film Verleih.

This sequel was off to a good start because it brought back the star from the first movie. Usually, that’s the opposite. Unfortunately, Sharon Stone couldn’t save the sequel, and it only made a dismal $6 million at the box office. The movie swept the Razzies Awards, winning Worst Picture, Actress, Sequel, and Screenplay. The trick with sequels is to get both stars to return since co-star Michael Douglas passed on making the sequel. 

9. “Zoolander 2” (2016)

Zoolander 2 (2016) Ben Stiller
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

The original Zoolander is one of my all-time favorite movies. I have probably seen it more than 20 times, and I was so disappointed when I found out they were making a sequel. I knew it was going to be terrible. I was right. Some 15 years after the original, the same tired parody jokes didn’t land the same way they did the first time around. Not even a plethora of celebrity cameos could save this sequel from being a flop. 

10. “The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter” (1990)

The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990) Clarissa Burt
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

The original was a favorite among children of the 80s, but the return lacked all of the magic of the first installment. While the original was a kid’s movie, critics claimed the sequel was too childish, along with budget special effects and a boring plot. The film only made $17 million compared to its $36 million budget. 

11. “Dumb and Dumber 2” (2014)

Dumb and Dumber To (2014) Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Dumb and Dumber was one of the biggest comedies of the ’90s. Many expected a sequel but did not expect it to be almost two decades later. Jim Carrey was the funniest leading man of the 90s, but the first film was never slated to have a sequel. By the time it got one, the jokes were outdated, and Carreys’s comedy wasn’t accepted by younger filmgoers. Something about men in their 50s being unconventional morons failed to bring in the laughs. The film was so bad I turned it off after about 20 minutes. 



The Usual Suspects
Image Credit: Gramercy Pictures.
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