If you’re the head of a studio that's lucky enough to produce a movie audiences love, it’s only natural you’d want to bleed that goodwill dry; there’s money to be made, after all. Even the most beloved franchises eventually turn stale, though, and when the box office figures start dropping off, it’s time to bow out with dignity.
The alternative option is to make another sequel, slap the words “Final Chapter” on it, and lure back fans on the promise it will be an epic conclusion. The promise of seeing how it all wraps up will be irresistible to most people, which should help fatten the box office receipts.
Of course, it’s very rare the “final” sequel will truly be the last entry because the series will either reboot or relaunch itself after a resting period. If the studios feel any shame over tricking people into watching the supposed last instalment they keep it to themselves; the makers of the movies on this list certainly didn’t let it stop them.
8. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
New Line Cinema milked the hell out of Freddy once he became an icon; in addition to endless sequels he had a TV show, albums, a video game, and even toys for kids. They turned him from terrifying bogeyman into a mugging joke, so when the box office receipts turned bad they decided to end it with the sixth movie.
Freddy's Dead would not prove to be a fitting end; it was an obnoxious Twin Peaks/John Waters wannabe, with terrible pop culture references – think of the infamous Power Glove gag – and distracting cameos from Johnny Depp and Roseanne. The scene where Freddy taunts a deaf teen was surprisingly creepy, and a gag with an endless map was fun but otherwise, it was a mess.
The studio promised the movie was the definitive end of Freddy...until they brought Wes Craven back to direct another one a few years later. In fairness, New Nightmare is an underrated gem and a perfect commentary on the genre.
Later there was the silly but fun Freddy Vs Jason, and the lamentable A Nightmare On Elm Street remake in 2010.