10 Would-Be Franchises That Failed At The First Hurdle
9. The Golden Compass
In the wake of Harry Potter, film studios everywhere scrambled to adapt the next Young Adult hit that had multiple instalments ready for a big screen treatment. Enter New Line Cinema's 2007 feature The Golden Compass. Adapted from the His Dark Materials trilogy of novels, New Line Cinema announced the project was underway in 2002 but the film struggled to come to fruition due to script and director issues. When the film finally saw the light of day, after racking up a budget that made it one of New Line Cinema's most expensive projects to date, it met with mediocre box office and immense controversy over its perceived anti-Catholic themes. The Catholic League called for a boycott of the film, worrying that the movie would encourage children to read the source material, whose anti-religious message had been toned down for the feature. The Golden Compass' failure proved the final nail in New Line Cinema's coffin and the once venerable studio found itself in dire straights, enough so the production company was forced to merge with Warner Bros.