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Franchise Killers: Movies That Killed Popular ’90s Film Franchises

Sometimes a movie project screams the words “ABORT MISSION!!” at the top of its lungs. But the studios never realize they are creating franchise killers. These franchise killers killed (or almost killed) some popular ’90s franchises.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Gremlins 2

The urban critters came back to the big screens after 6 years. Director Joe Dante wanted to further the franchise and make it a money minting machine. But the movie’s post-modernism stance killed what could have been a billion dollar cash cow. Gremlins 2 was a mere shadow compared to the original movie that won our hearts and minds. The movie was such an abomination that even Joe Dante was against releasing it in theaters.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

New Nightmare

Wes Craven came back to give his seventh horror (and third Nightmare) flick with Wes Craven’s New Nightmare in 1994. Much like Gremlins 2, Craven tried to push the movie into post-modernism. Freddy Krueger returns to the land of the living from the movies and this time he goes up against Heather Langenkamp. The movie had some potential but it’s radical take left the franchise with very little leg-space later on.

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Granted the original Mortal Kombat film was not made to win awards. But the movie still remains a cult-classic and people all over the world watch it to relive the glorious ’90s era cinema. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation tried to up the ante with better animation and more characters. But the result was a clumsy, cluttered mess. The franchise never came back from that setback. The new MK movie does not give it any more brownie points either.

The Rescuers Down Under

The Rescuers Down Under

In the ’90s, Disney was all about taking risks and creating masterpieces. The Lion King and Aladdin are perfect examples. The Mouse House tried to rework its magic on The Rescuers franchise. The Rescuers Down Under was based on a premise set in the Land Down Under. Sadly the movie’s stunning animation and story could not give it enough box office returns. We all would like to see another Rescuers movie but the debacle that was Down Under has halted all plans.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3

In the Eighties and Nineties, the people all over the world knew who the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were. That is how popular the four mutant heroes were. In 1993, TMNT 3 came but this time there was no Shredder or Krang. It was a totally new story arc not many ardent fans of the franchise could get behind. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 is seen as one of the greatest franchise killers ever.

Police Academy 7: Mission To Moscow

Police Academy 7

We would not blame you if you never even knew that was a seventh Police Academy movie. This one was THAT forgettable. Police Academy 7 saw new actors take the center-stage (the familiar faces have long bowed out of the Police Academy movies). The action takes place in Russia and believe it or not, Christopher Lee plays a Russian in the movie. As far as Franchise Killers go, Police Academy 7 remains a stain on the cult-classic franchise’s legacy.

Naked Gun 33 1/3

Naked Gun 33 1/3

The Naked Gun franchise enjoyed some moderate success with its first two films. But the third Naked Gun movie – Naked Gun 33 1/3 was so disastrous that it was termed the ultimate of all franchise killers. The movie was nominated for multiple Golden Raspberry awards. Both O.J Simpson and Anna Nicole Smith won a Golden Raspberry. The studio considered making a fourth Naked Gun movie. But fortunately, that project never came to fruition.