10 Would-Be Franchises That Failed At The First Hurdle

There’s nothing Hollywood loves more than a successful franchise. Each summer we see more and more monolithic spectacles constructed via…

Travis Earl

Contributor

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There’s nothing Hollywood loves more than a successful franchise. Each summer we see more and more monolithic spectacles constructed via committee to appeal to the widest possible audience. Studios endeavour to hit the worldwide audiences’ sweet spot in the hope that they will birth a new cash cow and get a license to print money.

Often, as with this summer’s The Lone Ranger, Hollywood turns to sure bet properties that have already won over audiences’ hearts. Though early estimates show The Lone Ranger is going to be Disney’s biggest flop since John Carter (it opened to only $10 million on Friday, likely to do well below the estimated $60 million opening weekend).

Sometimes, as with the upcoming Pacific Rim, a studio takes a gamble and rolls the dice on a new premise; unfortunately, in both cases, they often roll snake eyes.

I present to you a list of ten such misfires, movies that tried to leapt the hurdle of audience apathy but face planted instead: 10 would-be franchises that failed.

 

10. Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li

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Hoping to improve on the innumerable mistakes of 1994’s video game adapation Street Fighter, Capcom released a new iteration of the Street Fighter franchise, 2009’s Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Capcom intended Chun-Li to be the first in a series of origin films that filled in the cinematic backstories for characters from the Street Fighter series of video games.

Remarkably, Chun-Li failed to clear the very low bar set by the 1994 Street Fighter and instead produced an arguably worse effort. Audiences and critics alike hated Chun-Li’s solo outing. The critic response to this so-bad-it’s good fiasco landed Chun-Li at number 44 on review aggregator website Rottentomatoes’ list of the 100 Worst Reviewed Movies of the 2000s. Making only $8 million at the box office from an estimated budget of $50 million, Chun-Li’s performance ensured any further origin tales where quashed.