It can take a while to follow-up a successful movie. True, cheap and cheerful genre franchises can churn movies out on an annual basis - but the bigger the film, the less likely that is to happen.
Look at Black Panther. With a slate of films waiting in the wings, Marvel Studios was too busy to capitalise on the phenomenal success and cultural cache of the picture. By the time the sequel is released next summer it’ll be four years since the first film, and its star has now tragically passed away.
Of course, that’s only four years - maybe Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won’t ride the same wave, but it’s not like the audience has gone anywhere. So, what about those belated follow-ups, sequels and origin stories which arrive so very late that they no longer make any sense?
That doesn’t necessarily mean the follow-up is bad - it could be great. Sometimes a belated addition to a franchise can work wonders and grant a new lease of life to the premise - look at Creed, or Mad Max: Fury Road.
But what if the original audience has long gone, or interest in the film has since abated? Maybe time has not been kind to the returning cast? Perhaps events have overtaken the high concept, or other movies have since arrived that eclipse it, making it redundant in this day and age?
These are the latecomers: tardy beyond belief, the movies that were released far too late to make sense.
10. Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
Released 18 years after The Blues Brothers was the surprise critical and commercial comedy hit of 1980 (and 16 years after the death of its star, John Belushi), even a cynic couldn’t call Blues Brothers 2000 a cash-in.
However, written once again by Dan Ayckroyd and John Landis, directed once again by Landis, with that same cast of musicians (those still living) reprising their roles and an almost identical plot (if you can call it that), the film is clearly an attempt to pull off the same magic trick.
It fell short in every conceivable way. There was no screenwriting trick or casting stunt in place to fill the void Belushi left, and no serious attempt to break new storytelling ground: bringing in a kid is the laziest plot device imaginable.
That plotlessness was fine for the original. The Blues Brothers was an extended skit, filmed wildly over budget and over schedule, held together by a classic playlist of R&B standards and the x-factor: a brimming vat of charisma and chutzpah.
Missing any trace of that x-factor, all that the sequel had to offer was a series of celebrity cameos, a soundtrack that couldn’t measure up to the classics and a car chase only interested in adding extra cars to the original audacious third-act pile-up. Two decades after The Blues Brothers surpassed all expectations, Blues Brothers 2000 failed to meet even one.