10 All-Time Great Franchises That Still Had One Bad Movie

Not a lot of franchises have been lucky enough to pull off a 100% success rate.

Thor The Dark World
Marvel Studios

The problem faced by any long-running franchise is how to avoid the law of diminishing returns, with consistency always being the key to keep audiences coming back for more.

These days, it isn't enough to simply rehash everything that worked before but place it in a different context this time around, and one of the main reasons why so many brands keep getting rebooted is that the studios are hoping a fresh coat of paint will cover up a glaring lack of new ideas.

Very few franchises are fortunate enough to have a 100% track record of success, especially once they reach four or more installments, and with the vast majority of Hollywood's box office dollars hailing from their established properties a misstep or two has almost become inevitable at this point.

John Wick, the rebooted Planet of the Apes series and The Lord of the Rings trilogy are some of the very few managed to deliver consistently great follow-ups, but even the most popular and acclaimed franchises in history aren't immune to that one bad movie that undoes a lot of the hard work that went into making them such a success in the first place.

10. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Thor The Dark World
Universal Pictures

Although there are a lot of fans that miss the days when the Fast and Furious franchise was still focused on street racing, the box office numbers would seem to indicate that most people prefer the tonal shift into action-packed blockbuster territory.

This leaves Tokyo Drift as the odd movie out, because not only is it barely connected to the first two installments, but it marked the last movie before the original cast returned to take the series in an entirely new creative direction. Which is probably for the best, because it gave little indication that Justin Lin was only a few years away from establishing himself as one of the best action directors in the business.

Unsurprisingly, Tokyo Drift succeeds when it comes to the driving sequences but manages to fall flat almost everywhere else, not least in trying to convince us that Lucas Black is a high school student. It might be the weakest Fast and Furious movie, but at least it managed to serve a purpose in the long run by bringing both Lin and Sung Kang's Han into the mix.


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