8 Bad Movie Franchises And How To Fix Them

Terminator, Alien & more movie franchises are in desperate need of a quick fix.

Paramount Pictures

When a film franchise gets off to a good start, audiences want nothing more than to have a whole meal of them with an extra side of spin-offs, prequels and promise of a TV series.

However to get the ball rolling after the first flick, you need to know what made your franchise appealing in the first place. Fresh stories, established directors, popular actors and a dip in the zeitgeist will only get filmmakers so far - you need to find a niche in a corner of the movie market.

Popular film franchises today isolate and adapt what makes them appealing. The Fast and the Furious leaned into their wackiness, Mission: Impossible focused on practical stunts and bombastic set-pieces, and the MCU could carve out their own niche with multi-genre superhero epics. Whatever the appeal is, if a filmmaker can find it, they can count on a success.

But some franchises aren't so lucky. They have a great source material - an intellectual property just ripe with opportunity - but no matter how hard movie-makers try, they just can't land with critics, audiences or even their fans.

Sure, some franchises will still gross $100 million opening weekend, but it's dirty money if you know folks bought a ticket in anticipation, only to leave the movie screen feeling a little disappointed.

So, let's take a look at eight film franchises that need a jolt of life shot into them, and what that shot might be.

8. Transformers - No More Human Characters

Paramount Pictures

What's The Problem? While there are MANY things wrong with the Transformers film franchise, one of the biggest problems in the series is how the franchise uses its characters.

As the stakes ramp up in each film, the danger our heroes face grow bigger but there aren't any real emotional stakes because the heroes of the film flip so often.

At the start of every interval, new Autobots and Decepticons are introduced with barely any character development besides their name and a zingy catchphrase.

What's The Solution? While "Kill All Humans" isn't the healthiest statement to make, perhaps a film that has zero fleshy characters in it is what's best?

When people pay for tickets to see a two-hour Transformers film, there's a strong possibility they're not there for Josh Duhamel and Mark Wahlberg. Every Transformers film has had massive chunks of the runtime dedicated to meandering, pointless melodrama of human characters - time that could have been spent developing the actual Transformers themselves.

It's been six live-action films since they first debuted, and despite Bumblebee and Optimus Prime appearing in all of them, I could tell you very little about them as characters. But I know every little detail about Cade Yeagar's family dynamic for some reason.


I overthink a lot of things. Will talk about pretty much anything for a great length of time. I'm obsessed with General Slocum from the 2002 Spider-Man film. I have questions that were never answered in that entire trilogy!