Batman. Superman. Captain America. Thor. All of these household superhero names and more have lit up the big screen over the past few decades, raking in the big bucks in the box office and making a lot of people very rich. When it comes to success however, not every superhero flick has been so well-received after hitting movie theaters. In fact, there are quite a few out there that we’d regard as flops. Here are the worst superhero movie sequels so far…
Batman & Robin
When you think of the worst superhero movie sequel flops, the first flick that comes to mind for the majority of people is Batman & Robin. In fact, just this month director Joel Schumacher apologized for making the film, admitting that it was utterly terrible. Despite a fantastic cast and roster of characters to play with, the movie went too far into the campy, unbelievable rhetoric that many thought had made it shine in the past. Dr. Freeze was a messy villain who enjoyed catchphrases more than wreaking havoc, whilst the titular heroes’ outfits were laughable. Why did they need nipples? This film feels more like a parody than an actual entry into the Batman franchise. Shameful.
Unfortunately for those behind the first two brilliant Spider-Man films, studio interference meant that the third – initially meant to be a follow-up from Sam Raimi – became a villain-fest that added so many warring personalities, we never got too close to any of them. Green Goblin returned, alongside Sand-Man and Venom; a trinity that would have comic book fans going weak at the knees, but one that unfortunately weren’t utilized properly. The result was a major big screen mess, with Peter Parker becoming an uninspired hero who was simply there because he had to be.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Nicholas Cage is one of the most talked about stars of the modern day, whether it be for good or bad reason. When it was revealed he’d be a part of reviving the Ghost Rider franchise alongside Columbia Pictures five years after the original film flopped, many wondered if it could be the burst of new energy the series needed or another missed opportunity. Unfortunately for fans of the hero, it proved to be the latter, with a terribly-written script making Spirit of Vengeance shockingly even worse than the original. It was so bad in fact, that Marvel acted after it to take the rights back to the Ghost Rider franchise.
Though he’s not a superhero that jumps immediately to mind when you think of the genre, Blade deserves a place on this list just as much as anybody else. Let’s be honest, the first two Blade films are some of the most exciting and suspenseful on offer, and were real shining gems of their time. Unfortunately for the series, it was all turned on its head with Trinity, when Guillermo del Toro left the series and David S. Goyer got on board. Goyer has some brilliant work in his back catalog, but when he attempted to fill Del Toro’s shoes, he came up short. Despite the addition of WWE Superstar Triple H and the always fantastic Ryan Reynolds, the action embedded throughout Trinity just never lived up to what came before. That’s exactly why this film finds a spot on the list of worst superhero movie flops.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
The Fantastic Four series seems to be cursed, at least when it comes to the big screen. The first one saw Chris Evans – who now plays Captain America – on board along with a roster of other talented actors and whilst it was mediocre at best, a sequel was still brought to those who enjoyed it. Here, Fox introduced iconic Marvel villain Galactus, but represented him in the worst possible way. There was no sense of direction with this movie and the addition of Silver Surfer felt like an after-thought. There was nothing notable about the flick, which is exactly why this was such a terrible release.
Thor: The Dark World
Fun fact: Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins was the first choice to head up Thor: The Dark World, but after going through some creative differences with the higher ups she was replaced. Probably a good thing with all things considered, especially when you look at the success of this year’s Wonder Woman flick. Alan Taylor was her replacement, but the material he had to work with meant that this Thor sequel was boring, bland and one of the most snooze worthy Marvel Cinematic Universe releases of all time.
We go back a few years for this one, but it’s another worthy entry into the list of worst superhero movie sequels. Despite it being quite a success money-wise for Warner Bros. and allowing yet another sequel to follow, Superman III was one of the most uninspired films of its time; more so when you compare it to the two Man of Steel films that came before it. We have Richard Lester to blame for this s**t show. A film not worthy of the Superman mantle, but unfortunately one we all have to live with.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
The original revamped movie wasn’t great, so we weren’t holding out too much hope for the sequel. Despite that, Stephen Amell signed on as Casey Jones, giving a little taste of nostalgia for those who have been fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise for some time. Though he gave a decent performance, it wasn’t enough to make Out of the Shadows a watchable flick. Critics can sometimes get it wrong, but there’s a reason this movie sits at under 40% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
What do you get if you take the first Avengers movie, all of its characters and cast, even its storyline but change the title and the names of the villains a little bit? You get Avengers: Age of Ultron. There’s the old saying ‘don’t try to fix what isn’t broken’, but when it comes to movies, you should always be aiming to do something a little different. Instead, Age of Ultron took its fans for granted and it actually seemed to work, for the most part! It’s not getting by without being placed on this list, however, as it’s certainly one of the worst superhero movie sequels out there!
X-Men: The Last Stand
Let’s not get it twisted; there are a lot of fantastic ideas swirling around in X-Men: The Last Stand. The problem arises when it comes to execution. Fortunately, there’s a new X-Men flick in the works which looks set to explore the Dark Phoenix comic book story arc in a deeper fashion than ever before, which should take some of the pain away from this film’s attempt at bringing it to viewers. Famke Janssen just didn’t do the character justice, and coupling that with the sometimes awkward performance of Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut meant that everybody watching was left cold. Sir Ian McKellen is, of course, brilliant as Magneto, but even his talents aren’t enough to save this one from going down in history as a stain on the franchise. Believe us when we say: avoid at all costs. One of the worst superhero movie sequels ever.