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Movie Franchises That Literally Have One Good Movie & A String Of ‘Averages’

Hollywood has a bad habit of running movie franchises to the ground by milking them till the udders run dry. Movie franchises like these have one good movie but spawn a series of averages.



The Transformers franchise makes the studio a ton of money. But they are critically challenged and panned at every corner. The spin-off Bumblebee franchise aside, Transformers has had a terrible time gaining critical recognition. Many of its movies are just plain bad – there’s no two ways around it. The only movie that felt genuinely good was Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The rest of the Transformers movies suck so bad we hope Michael Bay just stops making them altogether. Movie franchises like Transformers have so much freaking potential that it almost feels like a massacre.



Another great franchise that had so much potential, just like the Transformers films. The gritty, dark and grey world of Underworld pit Werewolves against Vampires in a world where humanity was nothing but sacrificial pawns. Like all movie franchises in this list, the first Underworld movie rocked. The second one, not so much. By the time Underworld 3 came, we were unsure why even go that far. The greatest mistake Underworld did with its sequels was focusing less on substance and more on the style and aesthetics. We mean visuals are important but if you do it at the expense of making a paper thin plot, what else did you expect?


T2: Judgment Day

This could be a very divisive opinion. Some would say the first Terminator movie was the best of the lot. While others would suggest it was Judgment Day. We tend to agree with the later faction. While the first movie was indeed good, it was nowhere near as great as the CGI revolution that was Terminator 2. When compared with T2, the first terminator movie does not hold as much water. We are not even going to talk about the rest of the Terminator movies. Except Terminator 2, the rest of them are utterly average and could never achieve a level of greatness as Judgment Day.

Iron Man

Iron Man (2008)

We love RDJ’s Tony Stark. The MCU would have been rudderless without the guy. But we have to say the Iron Man sub-franchise could have used a little more of the ‘oomph’ factor like the rest of the MCU did. The first Iron Man movie came in 2008 and blew us all away. It had a good plot, a good origin story, a good set of characters, and an epic cinematic universe centric story that set off a chain reaction that gave birth to the MCU. Iron Man 2 and 3 were mere shadows compared to the original movie.



While we all love Shrek, the franchise as a whole has been a letdown. The first Shrek movie was radical its ways. Caricaturing classic fairy tale tropes and putting in a more nuanced story arc that felt genuine and heartfelt was a good way to launch a franchise. In more ways than one, Shrek was a parody of fairy tale movies, but with a twist of its own. The original movie spawned three more sequels, each one being a little worse than its predecessor.


Blade (1998)

The Blade franchise was not here to win awards. It was here to entertain. And entertain, this Wesley Snipes‘ starrer did. The franchise was a trilogy but only one movie stood out from the rest – Blade 2. Blade 1 helped start the day-walker trilogy but seemed lacking. Blade: Trinity seemed like a hit and a miss. The only movie that took risks and had enough entertainment factor that makes it one of the most rewatchable movies of all time was 2002’s Blade 2.

Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

With a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Marketing and Operations, Bibhu found a love for writing, working for many different websites. He joined FandomWire in July 2020 and worked his way to his current position of Content Strategist. Bibhu has been involved in operating and managing FandomWire's team of writers, diversifying into varied, exotic fields of pop culture.