10 Movie Franchises That Died In 2021
The Matrix went out in a blaze of insanity.
Though Hollywood enjoyed an encouraging theatrical rebound in 2021, there's still tremendous uncertainty about the future of the industry, especially with so many non-blockbuster films bombing catastrophically at the box office.
Yet even sure-fire brands weren't safe this past year, with numerous name IP struggling to rustle up much interest with punters, many of whom have perhaps become more selective with what they decide to watch on the big screen.
With the pandemic still very much a thing and streaming release windows shrinking down to as little as a few weeks - or, in the case of HBO Max's 2021 experiment, the very same day - it's little surprise that we've seen numerous huge franchise movies drastically underperform over the last 12 months.
Even with special circumstances being accepted, studios are going to be extremely cautious about greenlighting sequels to films that failed to turn a profit. As such, it's damn-near certain that these 10 stumbling IP are dead in the water where movies are concerned.
Now, it's quite possible that these franchises could be revived as TV shows or eventually get resurrected for streaming platforms, but in terms of the splashy mega-budget tentpole treatment, their days are very much done...
The Kingsman franchise sure has had a fascinating journey. Matthew Vaughn's original 2015 entry was a surprise box office smash, grossing over $400 million worldwide amid largely positive reviews.
As such, expectations were high for the 2017 sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which while grossing almost exactly as much as its predecessor received wildly mixed reviews from critics and fans alike.
Rather than follow it up with a direct threequel, however, Vaughn put together The King's Man, a prequel set during World War I.
Despite being filmed in early-to-mid 2019 with the intent of releasing in November of that year, it ultimately didn't hit cinemas until the very end of 2021, having suffered several suspicious delays before the pandemic even took hold.
As the film lingered in post-production limbo audience interest in the prequel began to cool, with many ultimately coming to wonder why Vaughn bothered with a prequel at all.
With hype at an all-time low on the eve of release in addition to the rise of the Omicron variant and stiff competition from Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Matrix Resurrections, it's little surprise that The King's Man was a catastrophic financial failure alongside mixed reviews.
Though Matthew Vaughn insisted pre-release that a sequel to The Golden Circle, Kingsman: The Blue Blood, is due to begin filming in September, it's incredibly difficult to believe this given the disastrous commercial performance of The King's Man.
Yes it's a prequel, but it's still a damning indication that audiences have basically moved on from the series. If the next Kingsman film did start shooting in September, it wouldn't be out until late 2023, basically six years after The Golden Circle's release which is just far too long of a wait.
The series is now most likely dead as we know it, and while it could end up sold to a streamer or rejuvenated as a series because Vaughn owns the rights to the IP, it's going to be a tough sell to any potential distributor after the prequel flopped so hard.