Each year, the Suits in Hollywood fill the release schedule with sequels, reboots, and remakes. While 2014 is no exception, this year word has leaked about some sequels so unexpected they make even the most eager film fanatic pause. Here are the five worst offenders:
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Expected Release: Sometime in 2014
Original Film: Hot Tub Time Machine 2010. Think Back to the Future meets The Hangover.
Four guys go on a ski trip. They are transported to 1983, after a super-charged energy drink is spilled on the titular hot tub. To prevent a time paradox (Snake? Snake!?), the troupe attempts to blend in as their 1983 selves, with predictably poor and comedic results. When that plan fails, they do what anyone else in their position would have done: They create a time paradox (Snaaaaaake!) , but only to make sure their futures turn out better than the one that led them to the tub in the first place.
The original film had a production budget of $36 million, and earned $64 million worldwide.
Why Hollywood is Making It: After publicity costs, $64 million is respectable for a comedy, but not remarkable. I don’t like to throw around the word “cult”, but studios sure as hell do, and Hot Tub Time Machine home release sales convinced the Suits at MGM they had a bona fide “cult” hit on their hands. The gamble is those sales will translate into butts-in-seats for the sequel.
Sequel Prediction: To be fair, the first movie didn’t suck, but it performed poorly because it was competing against other, more well-received, R-rated comedies.
The Hot Tub Time Machine 2 has no set release date. This is probably because there are four other “buddy adventure” comedies slated for release in the first half of 2014. For the sequel to succeed, the studio has to avoid competing against that genre glut, or risk being buried.
The plot? Same plot, except it’s in the future!
Should You See It Anyway?: You should only see it if there is nothing else premiering that weekend, or you are a die-hard Craig Robinson fan. John Cusack fans can skip the sequel — he’s being replaced by Adam Scott from Parks and Recreations. The rest of us are better off waiting for the home release.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes
Expected Release: None set.
Original Film: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones 2013. Think Twilight meets Supernatural.
Clary Fray (Lily Collins) , a teenage New Yorker, discovers the world of demons and the Shadowhunters who fight them.
Her quest is to find the mortal instruments to prevent Valentine (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) from gaining control over the Shadowhunters. If she is successful she will save her mother’s life, the world, and get a hot guy.
The original movie had a production budget of $60 million, and earned $75 million worldwide.
Why Hollywood is Making It: It doesn’t make sense. Movie studios have been scrambling to find the next Twilight saga or the next The Hunger Games. All attempts have been dead on arrival. Until now, they’ve cut their losses after the first film of the franchise bombs.
There is no math imaginable that makes City of Bones anything but a flop, but Constantin Film put the next story in the series into production anyway.
Sequel Prediction: Martin Moszkowicz, head of Film and TV at Constantin Film, claims the company is going to make the sequel suck less. He’s also convinced that poor marketing is the root of the first movie’s utter failure.
Moszkowicz’s faith not withstanding, nothing suggests that City of Ashes will do better than City of Bones. At best, the sequel will win a particularly slow weekend on either side of summer blockbuster season. More likely it follows other young adult franchise hopefuls into the red.
Should You See It Anyway?: You should only see it if you are a fan of the books or the first movie. The studio is designing the sequel specifically with the former in mind.
Then again, why double down on something that didn’t work the first time?
Step Up: All In
Expected Release: July 25, 2014
Original Film: Step Up (2006), Step Up 2: The Streets (2008), Step Up 3D (2010), Step Up: Revolution (2012).Think of every dance movie you’ve ever seen.
A working class young adult makes friends with a dancer trained in more formal, less “urban” styles of dance (I’m poor, and you’re rich. Let’s dance together!). Romance and warm, fuzzy feelings ensue. Beginning with Step Up 3D, the focus moved from the kid at the elite dance school to the kid in the elite dance crew. Less Dirty Dancing, more Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.
The thread of the entire series is held together by the each protagonist having been friends with the previous protagonist.
The most recent installment, 2012’s Step Up: Revolution, made $130 million worldwide on a $33 million production budget.
Why Hollywood is Making it: Step Up was a smash hit, and made a rising star out of Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum. Thereafter, the series’ domestic returns diminished. Step Up: Revolution earned only $33 million domestically. Majority of the grosses came from overseas.
Sequel Prediction: The Step Up franchise is irrelevant in America, and that won’t change with this year’s installment. However, if Dawn of the Apes, Jupiter Ascending, and Hercules (the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson version, mother-fuck Kellan Lutz) all bomb, Step Up:All In might win the last weekend in July. It’s a long shot as all three movies are tracking better than Step Up: All In.
Should You See It Anyway?: Let’s face it, you don’t go to a Step Up movie for the story. You should only see Step Up: All In if you are a dance movie fan (or your girlfriend is). Otherwise, steer clear.
Resident Evil 6
Expected Release: September 14th 2014
Original Film: Resident Evil 2002. No contextual example need: it’s fucking Resident Evil!
Alice (Milla Jovovich) fights hordes of zombies in her ongoing quest to bring down her former employers, the Umbrella Corporation. The Umbrella Corporation is responsible for the T- virus, which turns anyone exposed into a snarling undead monster. Each film in the franchise covers the continued deterioration of planet Earth as the T-virus ravages humanity.
The most recent installment, 2012’s Resident Evil: Retribution, earned $238 million worldwide on a $65 million production budget.
Why Hollywood is Making it: America hasn’t cared about the Resident Evil franchise in years, but foreign market grosses have been amazing. The international grosses of Resident Evil: Retribution were more than four times the domestic grosses.
Money talks, even when it’s not American dollars doing the talking.
Sequel Prediction: Though filming was set to begin in the fall of 2013, IMDB.com never re-listed Resident Evil 6 as in production. Director Paul W.S. Anderson (who wrote all of the Resident Evil movies, and directed the original, Afterlife, and Retribution) indicated the sixth movie will be the last. If the spring release of his next film Pompeii bombs, he may change his mind.
Resident Evil 6 is tracking better than The Green Inferno, an Eli Roth horror-thriller set for release two weeks earlier in September, but previous indifference suggests that still won’t be enough for this sequel to make an impression in the American market.
Should You See It Anyway?: Don’t bother. Each installment has been reviewed worse than the last. Nostalgia may tempt some of you into theaters, especially if this really is the series’ swan song.
A Haunted House 2
Expected Release: March 28th 2014
Original Film: A Haunted House 2013. Scary Movie for the Paranormal Activity era.
Malcolm (Marlon Waynes) and Keisha (Essence Atkins) move into a haunted house in the suburbs. The audience spends the next 86 minutes watching a never ending string of fart, sex, and black people jokes.
The original earned $48 million worldwide on a $2 million production budget.
Why Hollywood is Making it:. A Haunted House has the honors of being the franchise on the list with the fastest turn around (14 months from original movie to sequel), and the only movie on the list to gross less than $50 million worldwide.
The first movie wasn’t a smash hit, but with a budget that small, it really didn’t have to be.
Sequel Prediction: Though A Haunted House was universally panned, it was better than Scary Movie 5 (the similarly themed installment of the dwindling parody franchise released later in 2013).
The profit margin makes A Haunted House 2 a safe bet for the usually barren early spring release schedule, if the sequel can replicate the modest success of the original.
Studios love a sure thing, no matter how crappy it is.
If Divergent (the latest young adult fantasy movie), Noah, and Muppets Most Wanted all bomb, A Haunted House 2 may actually win that weekend’s box office race, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Should You See It Anyway?: Only bother with this sequel if you are a fan of spoof movies. For everyone else, there are plenty of other 2014 R-rated comedy releases to choose from.
By Erin Staley