The summer has been full of disappointing movie sequels that have failed to bring audiences into the theater, including the latest "X-Men" movie, "Dark Phoenix," and "Men in Black: International." And the box office is down compared to this time last year — 6% domestically and 4.7% worldwide.
It raises the question: what movie franchises should Hollywood just retire already?
The "X-Men" franchise is in a unique position. After the Disney-Fox merger, the X-Men will eventually get a fresh start in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which dominates the box office with movies like "Captain Marvel" and "Avengers: Endgame."
But not all franchises are as lucky, and some should take a long, long vacation.
Below are seven movie franchises, ranked by how much Hollywood should put an end to them (box-office numbers are domestic and adjusted for inflation based on data from Box Office Mojo):
7. "Indiana Jones"
Number of movies: 4
Highest grossing: "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) — $696 million
Lowest grossing: "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (2008) — $398 million
The "Indiana Jones" franchise has been successful. The last one, "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," made over $780 million worldwide, and nearly $400 million domestically after adjusting for inflation.
But that’s still the lowest-grossing movie in the franchise after inflation. In fact, they have all decreased at the box office since the first movie, "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
That’s not to mention that "Crystal Skull" is the worst movie in the franchise, and left a bad taste in a lot of fans’ and critics’ mouths. Maybe the upcoming fifth movie, set to be released in 2021, can be both a comeback and a fitting end to the character — or at least, we can hope.
6. "Men in Black"
Number of movies: 4
Highest grossing: "Men in Black" (1997) — $492 million
Lowest grossing: "Men in Black: International" (2019) — $37 million (so far)
"International" is pacing to be the franchise’s least-successful movie by a long shot, and shows that audiences have lost interest, especially when original stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones aren’t involved.
But despite the new movie bombing and reports of a troubled production, a Sony executive told The Hollywood Reporter that the franchise "will be revisited again at one point, either as a series, as streaming, or as another movie."
5. J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World
Number of movies: 10
Highest grossing: "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" (2001) — $504 million
Lowest grossing: "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" (2018) — $160 million
Adjusted for inflation, the highest-grossing movie in the Wizarding World — which includes the "Harry Potter" and "Fantastic Beasts" series — is the first one released, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone." The lowest grossing is last year’s "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald."
The "Fantastic Beasts" movies haven’t been received like their "Harry Potter" predecessors. The final movie in the "Harry Potter " series made over $1 billion worldwide. "The Crimes of Grindelwald" struggled in the US and was only helped by international audiences — but it even fell short of the first "Fantastic Beasts" movie in that regard.
There are three more "Fantastic Beasts" movies in the works, and it’s hard to imagine the series’ box office will improve.
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