12 Beloved Movies That Have Truly Terrible Sequels

12 Beloved Movies That Have Truly Terrible Sequels


As the popular saying goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, it turns out that Hollywood could learn a thing or two from this, as the studios tend to sometimes miss the mark when it comes to crafting juicy sequels to beloved cinematic classics. It’s important to keep in mind that no one sets out to make a “bad movie sequel” — and some of these titles might even be a guilty pleasure for a select few – but somewhere along the way, whether it be during casting, scripting, shooting or editing, something just doesn’t add up, and these sequels to popular movies fall short of their iconic predecessors.

From scary movies like Jaws and The Exorcist to comedy gems like Legally Blonde and Caddyshack, no genre is safe from the occasional lousy sequel. And sure, there are plenty of great movie sequels out there, but as these 12 bad movie sequels prove, sometimes it’s best to leave the original alone.

1 of 12

Legally Blondes (2009)

Following two successful big-screen ventures with Legally Blonde (2001) and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003), Reese Witherspoon retired her pink Prada, and the third Legally Blonde film went the spin-off route. The direct-to-video threequel centered on Elle Woods’ British twin cousins, but without Witherspoon’s charm, the film fell flat. Luckily, a proper Legally Blonde 3 (which will see the return of Witherspoon) is currently in the works.

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2 of 12

Caddyshack II (1988)

The easily forgotten sequel to 1980s slapstick classic Caddyshack is not nearly as beloved as its predecessor. The film saw the return of Chevy Chase from part one, but notably absent this time around are Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield, who anchored the original film’s cast. Part two currently holds a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

3 of 12

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)

The original Blair Witch Project raked in over $248 million at the box office and skyrocketed into popular culture following its release in the summer of 1999, so it’s no surprise that Hollywood rushed to give moviegoers another taste of the Blair Witch. However, what came was an unexpected Blair Witch sequel that ditched the very found footage format that made the first film so original and shocking. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 landed in theaters on October 27, 2000, and made $47 million at the box office. The franchise laid dormant until 2016’s Blair Witch, which is a direct sequel to the original.

4 of 12

The Next Karate Kid (1994)

For the ’80s generation, 1984’s The Karate Kid, and perhaps even its sequels, are classics. However, the attempted franchise reboot, which starred a very young Hilary Swank as the next “Karate Kid,” didn’t land the same way with audiences. The film currently holds a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a far cry from the first film’s 89% approval rating.

5 of 12

Mean Girls 2 (2011)

The high school comedy Mean Girls has garnered cult classic status since the film’s 2004 release, but it’s another story for the 2011 direct-to-video follow-up, Mean Girls 2. The sorta sequel centered on a new group of plastics, but not even a cameo from Tim Meadows reprising his role as the school principal could stop one critic from calling the film “pretty heinous.”

6 of 12

Little Fockers (2010)

Meet the Parents (2000) and Meet the Fockers (2004) are worthy comedy classics, but the third film in the series, Little Fockers, critically falls short. Currently, the star-studded comedy holds a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics referring to the movie as “weak” and “lazy.”.

7 of 12

Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

The first Jaws made people afraid to go in the water, but Jaws 4 made people afraid to go to the theater — at least according to the fourth film’s abysmal zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

8 of 12

Evan Almighty (2007)

The first Almighty movie, Bruce Almighty, starring Jim Carrey, grossed over $484 million and is one of the most successful comedies of all time. But the spin-off/sequel, which put a spin on the story of Noah’s Arc and focused on Steve Carrell’s Evan, was a commercial and critical failure of biblical proportions.

9 of 12

Exorcist 2: The Heretic (1977)

The Exorcist is arguably a certified horror classic. The film has been terrifying audiences for generations, and it earned over $440 million at the box office upon its initial release. But the same can’t be said for the mostly forgotten sequel, Exorcist 2: The Heretic, which attempted to portray the traumatic aftermath that young Regan (Linda Blair) endured following the events in the first film. Upon the sequel’s release, it collected a mere $30 million at the box office, and a third film didn’t follow until 1990.

10 of 12

Basic Instinct 2 (2006)

Sharon Stone turned heads in the first Basic Instinct in 1992, and she even earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role as crime novelist Catherine Tramell. Stone returned to the character 14 years later for Basic Instinct 2, but the sequel failed to spark the same attention a second time around and didn’t fare as well at the box office.

11 of 12

The Godfather Part III (1990)

It’s is safe to say that The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II are very complimentary towards each other, but according to many reviews of the third film, The Godfather Part III made moviegoers an offer they could refuse.

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Rings (2017)

The American remake of The Ring, starring Naomi Watts, was a massive hit when it was released in 2002. The horror thriller brought in nearly $250 million at the box office, and a sequel, The Ring Two, quickly followed. But it was the third film, a meager pseudo-reboot, Rings, that eventually shut the door on the series. Rings was panned by critics and audiences alike upon its release, debuting to poor box office numbers and garnering an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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