(Photo by Trans World Entertainment /courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail: 20th Century Fox / courtesy Everett Collection.)
The 50 Worst Sequels of All Time
Jaws. The Karate Kid. Speed. Paul Blart: Mall Cop. All classic movies. What’s also binding them together is the fact they’ve all had terrible sequels. These forlorn follow-ups are below 10% on the Tomatometer and we’ve rounded them up, and other movies like them, for our guide to the 50 worst sequels of all time.
Franchises with multiple entries include Atlas Shrugged, Highlander, and Big Momma’s House. If you’re questioning why Police Academy only appears only once despite multiple sequels with a 0% Tomatometer score, it’s because there’s a 10 review minimum, to ensure that each sequel that shows up here has crushed enough critics’ hopes for getting a decent follow-up. And for movies with the same Tomatomter score, we ranked the the ones with more reviews higher up. We used the same ranking method for our list of the 100 worst movies ever.
Now, get ready for some brand name disappointment with the 50 worst sequels of all time!
Critics Consensus: Sloppy, vulgar, and manic, A Haunted House 2 might be worth a chuckle or two, but mostly it's a string of pop culture references and crude gags that fail to hit their intended targets.
Synopsis: After the ordeal he suffered with his now former girlfriend's (Essence Atkins) demonic possession, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) has decided to... [More]
Critics Consensus: While it's almost certainly the movie event of the year for filmgoers passionate about deer urine humor, Grown Ups 2 will bore, annoy, and disgust audiences of nearly every other persuasion.
Synopsis: Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) moves his family back to his hometown to be with his friends, but he finds --... [More]
Critics Consensus: It reunites most of the original cast and rounds them up for a trip to Fort Lauderdale for spring break, but Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise forgets to pack enough jokes or compelling characters to make it through its 89-minute running time.
Synopsis: After triumphing over the jocks in the Alpha Beta fraternity at Adams College, the nerds of Tri-Lamba are headed to... [More]
Critics Consensus:The Next Karate Kid is noteworthy for giving audiences the chance to see a pre-Oscars Hilary Swank, but other than a typically solid performance from Pat Morita, this unnecessary fourth installment in the franchise has very little to offer.
Synopsis: Karate master Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita) goes to Boston to attend a military reunion. There, he visits with Louisa... [More]
Critics Consensus:Speed 2 falls far short of its predecessor, thanks to laughable dialogue, thin characterization, unsurprisingly familiar plot devices, and action sequences that fail to generate any excitement.
Synopsis: Annie (Sandra Bullock) is looking forward to a Caribbean cruise with her cop boyfriend, Alex (Jason Patric), who purchased the... [More]
Critics Consensus: With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat - Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: Every generation, a portal opens up between the Outerworld and Earth. Emperor Shao-Kahn (Brian Thompson), ruler of the mythical Outerworld,... [More]
Critics Consensus: Despite its lush tropical scenery and attractive leads, Return to the Blue Lagoon is as ridiculous as its predecessor, and lacks the prurience and unintentional laughs that might make it a guilty pleasure.
Synopsis: When widow Sarah Hargrave (Lisa Pelikan) washes ashore on a tropical island with her daughter and adopted son, she learns... [More]
This Valentine’s Day, meet the movie romances doomed to be forever single — single-digit on the Tomatometer, precisely! From annoying YouTube people to Paris Hilton, from stalkers to acting bad enough to steam a 1912 Renault: Here’s 24 movies with central romances that got less than 10% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Meanwhile…Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice isn’t the only sequel coming out this week! Nia Vardalos and her Portokalos brood are back with a big family secret in the follow-up to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a word-of-mouth smash that made hundreds of millions of dollars when it was first released. But we’re a long ways away from 2002 now and just how much demand for a sequel was built up in-between? This question inspires this week’s gallery: 24 sequels nobody asked for (and how they turned out)!
Two promising new comedies target different age groups and look to close off a red hot March box office with strong opening weekend sales.
Paramount offers the Will Ferrell pic "Blades of Glory" while Disney goes after the kids with the animated flick "Meet the Robinsons." Together, the pictures should help the marketplace surge and allow the top ten to cross the $100M mark for the fifth consecutive frame. The box office has not seen this kind of streak since last summer. Smaller films entering the multiplexes include the action pic "The Lookout" from Miramax and Universal’s uplifting drama "Peaceful Warrior."
Comedy king Will Ferrell skates into theaters everywhere looking for another gold medal with his newest laugher "Blades of Glory." The PG-13 film finds the funnyman and Jon Heder playing rival figure skaters who must team up as a pair in order to compete again. Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Jenna Fischer, and Craig T. Nelson co-star. "Blades" boasts the two main ingredients to a successful comedy hit – a bankable star and a unique concept. Add in the very funny commercials and trailers and Paramount is well-positioned to score its second number one hit of the year joining fellow star-driven comedy "Norbit." Both pics were produced by DreamWorks.
Ferrell left the competition in the dust last summer with "Talladega Nights" which bowed to a robust $47M on its way to a $148M final. "Blades" doesn’t have as big of a marketing push or the prime summer play period so its opening will not soar as high. But the former "Saturday Night Live" star will again prove that he is a reliable draw. The industry had some doubts in 2005 when both "Bewitched" and "Kicking and Screaming" failed to reach $65M. Ferrell’s 2004 hit "Anchorman" debuted to $28.4M and "Blades" should play out like that one, only bigger. Teens and young adults will be the driving force plus there is plenty of cross-gender appeal. Though the marketplace is crowded with many options, there aren’t too many direct threats. "Wild Hogs," the only major comedy, is getting old as is "300" which most high school and college students have already seen. Spinning into over 3,000 theaters, "Blades of Glory" should finish in first place and win about $37M over the weekend.
Ferrell and Heder in "Blades of Glory."
Disney uses its patented moves to go after the family audience with its latest animated offering "Meet the Robinsons." With most digital toons these days being of the PG variety, "Robinsons" carries a G rating which it hopes will help convince parents to buy tickets for even the youngest of their children. The story follows an orphan boy who befriends a kind family and features the voices of Angela Bassett, Tom Selleck, and Adam West. In the cartoon world, films sell best when they are comedies and feature popular comedians in central roles. "Robinsons" at least has the first factor working for it.
The marketing has been strong and trailers have been funny. But unlike the studio’s last film for kids, "Bridge to Terabithia," this time competition will be a force. "TMNT" and "The Last Mimzy" will only be in their second weekends and are set to steal away about $20M worth of business from the same target audience. Luckily, the weekend’s two other new films will attract different segments of the moviegoing crowd. "Meet the Robinsons" does not have the firepower to reach the heights of Pixar pics. Rather, it may bring out the same size audience as last fall’s "Open Season" which bowed to $23.2M from an ultrawide 3,833 locations. "Meet the Robinsons" bows in roughly 3,200 sites but could exploit its studio’s brand name to deliver a similar gross of about $23M.
Let’s "Meet the Robinsons."
Years after leaving the sitcom world of NBC’s "3rd Rock From the Sun," Joseph Gordon-Levitt anchors the heist thriller "The Lookout." The R-rated Miramax release comes from writer-turned-rookie-director Scott Frank and co-stars Jeff Daniels. Starpower is seriously lacking here and that will hurt its box office prospects. Reviews have been good, but the target audience of young adults have "Blades of Glory," "300," and "Shooter" to choose from and all of them offer more for the money. With only so much marketing and distribution strength behind it, the film will have a tough time just getting an invite to the top ten. "The Lookout" debuts in about 1,000 theaters on Friday and could collect about $4M over three days.
Jeff Daniels and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "The Lookout."
In an unorthodox approach, Universal will be releasing the inspirational drama "Peaceful Warrior" in 615 theaters this weekend but most moviegoers will actually be getting free tickets through a promotion with Best Buy. The PG-13 film starring Nick Nolte was given a limited release last summer and grossed more than $1M from just over 40 theaters. Universal will report box office grosses that include regular paid sales plus full ticket prices for each free admission. With $15M worth of free tickets allocated for opening weekend, it will be unlikely that the paid portion will make up a sizable amount. Film fans who visit the promotional web site can get up to ten complimentary tickets each. However, the studio should get some extra buzz that it could benefit from when the DVD is released a few months down the road.
Nick Nolte and Scott Mechlowicz in "Peaceful Warrior."
The Ninja Turtles ruled the box office last weekend in "TMNT," but will face a formidable foe in Disney’s "Meet the Robinsons" which will play to the same audience. A 40% drop would give the animated actioner $14M for the frame and $43M after ten days. Warner Bros has also been raking in the dough with its stylish war epic 300 which has been holding up surprisingly well. Another 40% fall will put the R-rated battle pic at $12M boosting the cume to $180M after 24 days. Mark Wahlberg‘s "Shooter" could decline by 45% to $8M giving Paramount a ten-day total of $27M.
LAST YEAR: Smashing the March opening weekend record set four years earlier by its predecessor, "Ice Age: The Meltdown" shot straight to number one with a colossal $68M debut. The Fox juggernaut went on to gross $195.3M domestically and a towering $657M worldwide giving the "Ice Age" duo over $1 billion in global grosses. Dropping to second was "Inside Man" with $15.4M. Warner Bros. launched its urban drama "ATL" in third with $11.6M on its way to $21.2M. Rounding out the top five were "Failure to Launch" with $6.5M and "V for Vendetta" with $6.3M. The horror flick "Slither" creeped into eighth place with a $3.9M opening leading to a $7.8M final. Sony claimed the year’s most notorious flop with "Basic Instinct 2" which bowed to $3.2M on its way to a pathetic $5.9M before sweeping the Razzie Awards.
With the arrival of the Oscars comes the stench of the raspberries. The Razzie Awards, of course, which claims to "honor" the very worst of the past year’s films … but really they only focus on three or four turkeys and beat ’em senseless.
Here for your enjoyment are the wonderfully amusing and insightful Razzie Award winners:
Worst Picture: "Basic Instinct 2" — only the Razzie crew calls it "Basically, It Stinks, Too." Cleverrrrr.
Worst Actress: Sharon Stone for "Basic Instinct 2" (and on the press release, they actually re-mention "Basically, It Stinks, Too," as if it’s the pinnacle of wit or something.)
Worst Actor: Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans for "Little Man," which is odd because they’re actually two different actors.
Worst Supporting Actress: Carmen Electra for "Date Movie" and "Scary Movie 4" (The Razzie voters really need to see more movies.)
Worst Supporting Actor: M. Might Shyamalan for "Lady in the Water" (Actually … great pick.)
Worst Director: M. Might Shyamalan for "Lady in the Water" (OK, OK, I can name 50 directors from 2006 that deserved it more than Night did. This is just ‘easy target’ practice at this point.)
Worst Screen Couple: Shawn Wayans and either Kerry Washingtonor Marlon Wayans in "Little Man" (It’s just getting silly by now.)
Worst Remake or Ripoff: "Little Man" (Yes, for stealing from that old Bugs Bunny cartoon.)
Worst Prequel or Sequel: "Basically, It Stinks, Too" (Sorry, that just never gets old.)
Worst Screenplay: "Basic Instinct 2" (Yawn.)
Worst Excuse for Family Entertainment: "RV" (Yay, I had "RV" in my Razzies office pool.)
So basically they trashed three movies: "Little Man," "Lady in the Water," and "Basic Instinct 2," while movies like "BloodRayne," "Material Girls," "Van Wilder 2" and "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector" escape the spotlight. Great.
The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation has issued its annual press release announcing the latest batch of Razzie nominees. In an ever-more-crowded field of bad scripts, bad acting, and all-around bad films, the Foundation has somehow managed to narrow its nominations down to a select few.
So enough with all the Oscar talk already — what’s more important is who’s taking home the most Razzies this year (and who’ll actually show up to collect). Anybody want to start laying odds on the appearance of an enraged Uwe Boll, threatening to fight everyone in the parking lot?
With a new actor in the role of James bond, as well as a grittier, back-to-basics approach for the 007 franchise, "Casino Royale" has been overwhelmingly embraced by the critics, one of whom opined that the movie "is everything you could ask for in a Bond movie, and more." It scores an impressive 95 percent on the Tomatometer. "Die Another Day," Pierce Brosnan final movie as a double O, scores 59 percent in comparison.
New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz with his Golden Tomato trophy for "Wordplay." Photo credit: Kevin Tachman
Dame Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen are perfect in their roles in "The Queen." The movie is near perfect on the Tomatometer as well, scoring 98 percent. Mirren and Sheen anchor a movie that illuminates what goes on behind the scenes in Buckingham Palace at a time when the royals faced a crisis of confidence from the populace. New York Magazine’s David Edelstein calls the film "a small masterpiece."
No puzzle here. RT’s Senh Duong hands writing/directing team Patrick Creadon (left) and Christine O’Malley their well-deserved Golden Tomato trophy for best-reviewed documentary, "Wordplay." Photo credit: Mieke Kramer
Here’s how some of the award recipients responded to their Golden Tomato recognition:
"Critical acclaim is the lifeblood of a quality independent film like ‘The Queen‘ and it is a dream come true to be recognized as the best reviewed film in limited release by Rotten Tomatoes," said Daniel Battsek, president of Miramax Films, which distributed the film. "The award will take pride of place in the Miramax trophy cabinet and will hopefully be joined by many more in the future. Long live ‘The Queen!’ May she be forever fresh."
Guillermo del Toro, writer and director of Foreign Film winner "Pan’s Labyrinth," was equally pleased with his win: "The positive response to ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ has been overwhelming. I can’t tell you how many times I have clicked onto Rotten Tomatoes and been bowled over by our positive rating. Rotten Tomatoes provides a much needed, though nerve-wracking service, to all filmmakers. I am proud and honored to accept this award on behalf of ‘Pan’s Labyrinth.’"
Neil Marshall, writer and director of "The Descent," winner of the Golden Tomato for Horror had this to say about his win, "This is by far the coolest award I’ve been lucky enough to receive!"
Director Michel Gondry cherishes his Golden Tomato trophy, but wishes it was a pen instead. Photo credit: Kevin Tachman
Michel Gondry, writer and director of the Golden Tomato winner for Romance, "The Science of Sleep," demonstrated that he can sling barbs as well as any critic when he said, "I am thrilled by this Rotten recognition of the critics. Although, one of them said I should not be allowed to hold a pen, so I wanted to know if I could be offered a Rotten Tomato pen as a trophy that I would gladly present to this critic to place in a not so romantic location."
The Golden Tomato Awards honor the best-reviewed (as well as worst-reviewed) movies of the previous year by tallying critics’ reviews using a weighted formula to account for the variation in the number of reviews.
Silly Scrat and his "Ice Age" buddies have returned to the multiplexes … and the result was an absolutely mammoth opening weekend frame. Fox’s CG-animated sequel squeezed about $70.5 million from the first-weekend moviegoers, making "Ice Age: The Meltdown" the year’s first bona-fide box office bonanza. (By comparison, the original "Ice Age" made just over $46 million during its own opening weekend.)
Hanging on in second place was Spike Lee‘s bank heist thriller "Inside Man," which added an additional $15.7 million to its $52.8 million grand total. Debuting in third place was WB’s urban skating drama "ATL," which rolled to the tune of $12.5 million from 1,600 theaters.
Fourth and fifth place went to a pair of old pals: Paramount’s "Failure to Launch" exhibited some staying power, netting an additional $6.6 million ($73.2m total), and WB’s "V for Vendetta" commanded another $6.5 million ($56.8m total).
Two other newcomers fared … not as well. Universal’s strongly-reviewed "Slither" was able to scare up only $3.7 million from 1,900 theaters, while Sony’s "Basic Instinct 2" netted an anemic $3.2 million from 1,400.
This week at the movies, we’ve got a pair of sequels that will appeal to widely disparate demographics ("Ice Age 2: The Meltdown," "Basic Instinct 2"), a slimy mix of comedy and horror ("Slither"), and a tale of young ATL-liens coming of age ("ATL"). What do the critics say?
For those of you who like a healthy dose of laughs between scares, there’s a gleefully nasty little piece of business in theaters this week. "Slither," a tale of creepy crawly little beasts that invade Smalltown, USA, is a B-movie through and through. But critics say it’s one of the most enjoyable of its type in years — if you’ve got the stomach for this sort of thing. At 86 percent on the Tomatometer, the Certified Fresh "Slither" may make you squirm — when you’re not busting a gut laughing. And it’s the third best-reviewed film of the year, behind only Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (at 93 percent) and last week’s Inside Man (at 88 percent).
The first "Ice Age" was warmly received. The second? It’s getting a chillier reception. In "Ice Age 2: The Meltdown," Manny the woolly mammoth, Sid the sloth, Diego the saber-toothed tiger, and the cross-species wiseguy Scrat are back, and they confront two major issues: The end of the ice age, and mating. The critics say while "Ice Age 2" may not be red-hot, it’s moderately entertaining. It’s at 59 percent on the Tomatometer, a bit behind its predecessor (78 percent and Certified Fresh).
"ATL" is a movie about the last summer before a group of African American high school students go off into the real world and attempt to navigate potential pratfalls. And critics say the film is at its most involving when it sticks to a smart, laid-back vibe and affectionate portrayals of its young leads; the scribes say that the film is less successful when it starts follow the mechanics of its plot. It’s currently at 61 percent on the Tomatometer.
"Basic Instinct" is something of a recent cinematic touchstone – albeit one many are a bit embarrassed to say they actually enjoy. According to critics, moviegoers may be in an even deeper quandary with the sequel. In "Basic Instinct 2," Sharon Stone is back to play deadly games of cat-and-mouse with spellbound guys. The scribes note that while the original was subversively trashy (and, at 63 percent on the Tomatometer, fresh), this sequel is more in the so-bad-it’s-good category — or perhaps, so-bad-it’s-bad. At 6 percent on the Tomatometer, trust your instincts on this one.
Denzel Washington‘s bank heist thriller "Inside Man" snagged the #1 spot at the weekend box office derby, pulling in an estimated $29 million from about 2,800 theaters — which is good news, because if the big-budget, big-actor flick had debuted behind a Disney horror movie or a Larry the Cable Guy comedy, Universal would have been pretty darn angry.
Last week’s #1 title, WB’s "V for Vendetta," plunged more than 50% and raked in an additional $12.3 million, giving it a grand (domestic) total of about $46.2 million. Third place went to Disney’s PG-13 "horror" movie "Stay Alive," which made $11.2 million from 2,000 screens, while fourth and fifth place went to the rom-com "Failure to Launch" ($10.8 million, $63.9m total) and the kiddie flick "The Shaggy Dog" ($9.1 million, $47.9m total).
We’ve been hearing about the possibility of a "Basic Instinct" sequel for several years now, and the thing’s finally finished with and ready for release. It stars an older, but still plainly sexy, Sharon Stone as femme fatale Catherine Trammell, who is once again suspected of committing a sex-related murder. Click here for the trailer (while wondering why this flick isn’t going direct-to-video).
"Novelist Catherine Tramell is once again in trouble with the law, and Scotland Yard appoints psychiatrist Dr. Andrew Glass to evaluate her. Though, like Detective Nick Curran before him, Glass is entranced by Tramell and lured into a seductive game."
(Interesting to note that the producers were so adamant about letting you know about Ms. Stone’s newest crotch-shot that they included it in the trailer, but only before jamming a huge black box over the offending body region. Movie marketing is a crazy profession, I’m tellin’ ya.)