When studios look back at the year-in-cinema for 2016, executives will probably remember the year not for its creative wins, but for its franchise dead-ends. Moviegoers have not made their way through half of the year yet, but they are sending a direct message to studios – “We don’t want your tired franchises.” Out of the 15 major sequels released so far this year, all of them have at least disappointed at the domestic box office in comparison to their predecessors, and many of them have bombed, practically bombed, or been financial disappointments.
With Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows having just released this weekend to only about half of the opening weekend gross of its predecessor, studios are witnessing troubling results for some of their would-be flagship franchises. Barring any surprises, the trend looks to continue this summer as major upcoming sequels The Conjuring 2, Now You See Me 2, Independence Day: Resurgence, Star Trek: Beyond, and Ice Age: Collision Course are all expected to fall below their predecessors in domestic earnings.
What should Hollywood learn from this year of trailing sequels? Let’s take a look at some of the biggest losers at the box office so far. Mind you, we aren’t talking quality necessarily, just out-and-out audience rejection in terms of tickets sold.