Now and again, the pressure of mounting a sequel to match the successes of a popular movie is kind of overwhelming - so much so, in fact, that lots of filmmakers just decide that, um, instead of trying to replicate the same formula for the third of fourth time, they’ll mix things up a bit. As a result, a number of famous movie franchises have completely abandoned the movie genres that made them famous, usually evoking to increase the action and ham up the comedy aspects.

The results, as you’d imagine, have been invariably mixed. Here we take a look at 10 famous movie franchises that decided to take a different route for their first, second or third sequels… the big question, of course: did it pay off?


10. Cars (2006-2011)

Cars 2


The original Cars movie – which based itself around arrogant racecar Lighting McQueen – was all about slowing down, learning to appreciate other people, and taking the time to do a good deed now and again. Life-affirming and funny enough, Cars isn’t Pixar’s best film by any means, but it’s another solid animation feature from John Lasseter, who brought us Toy Story and A Bug’s Life.

So What Changed?

For its sequel, Cars 2, the original’s comforting “slow down to appreciate life” aspect was swapped out for something far more explosion-orientated: that’s to say, Cars 2 saw itself as a spy flick/action movie hybrid. Instead of the good values and homeland-y traits of the original, there were fast-faced driving sequences and characters voiced by Michael Caine.

Did It Pay Off?

Sadly the genre-swap didn’t pay-off this time around, and Cars 2 was – and still is – considered Pixar’s worst film to date. Oops.

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This article was first posted on February 6, 2013