10 Movie Franchises That Went Off The Rails

The most beloved movie franchises never start off bad – they become successful franchises because the public embraces the first film and wants to see more. A great sequel usually solidifies franchise status, inevitably leading to third, fourth… and sometimes eighth sequels.

But somewhere along the way, these franchises lost the magic that made their original films so beloved. Here are 10 movie franchises that went off the rails and lost their way.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean

The first Pirates is a certified action/adventure classic. Featuring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightley and director Gore Verbinski at their respective peaks, the film was as thrilling as it was hysterical.

The first two sequels expanded the universe’s peculiar mythology in ways that were both exciting and frustrating. Even if they didn’t work as well as the first, they were the kind of ambitious noble failures one has to respect.

But then Verbinski, Bloom and Knightley left and the following two sequels felt like senseless, passionless cash grabs. Disney keeps threatening to make a sixth film, but it’s hard to imagine this series will ever recapture the charisma of The Curse of the Black Pearl.