"Scary Movie 5" opened in theaters this past weekend and if you're like most human beings, you're probably wondering just one thing: Why?
But the fact that Hollywood made yet another "Scary Movie" is really no surprise. After all, most studios believe that while you may not be able to beat a dead horse, you can certainly continue to milk a dead cash cow ... which explains why so many franchises continue to get sequels long after any they've stopped being interesting, fresh or creative. Why make something new when you can make something cheap and derivative instead?
So with that in mind, here's a look at nine more franchises that need to end right now. Because the scariest thing we can think of is the possibility of a "Scary Movie 6."
Okay, so the chances of Paramount ending the "Transformers" franchise any time soon — or ever — is pretty slim given the fact that the first three films earned over $2.6 billion worldwide. And, of course, "Transformers 4" is already in the works, set to crush both minds and expectations on June 27, 2014. But here's a question for you: Can you remember one single thing that happened in the last two movies other than CGI robots punching each other? We know Michael Bay is good at blowing things up, but at this point the only way he can top the mindless cacophony of the first three installments is to cause the sun to go nova. And if we have to sit through "Transformers 5," we might just welcome that.
Speaking of franchises already working on a fifth installment, hey look, it's "Paranormal Activity." Or, rather, don't bother looking, because we've seen all there is to see with this one. Someone sets up a security camera and it captures footage of some scary demon thing terrorizing a family. Got it. Anything else? No? We didn't think so. It's just too bad these things are so darn cheap to make, because until the bottom line actually hits bottom, Paramount will keep churning these out. It's almost enough for us to miss the "Saw" franchise. Almost.
Usually when we think about the apocalypse we think about, you know, the world ending in some terrible cataclysm. Yet thanks to the "Resident Evil" franchise, we now have another way of looking at the end of the world: Mundane, routine tedium. That's what happens when it takes more than a decade for the world to end; it goes from being terrifying to being, you know, just another really bad Tuesday. We get that star Milla Jovovich and husband/director Paul W.S. Anderson enjoy making these films, but we think they've taken the "resident" part of their title just a little too literally. Time for the world to end already.
Look, we're not haters. Tyler Perry deserves all sorts of credit for basically giving the finger to the studio system that ignored him and becoming a self-made, one-man film franchise in his own right. Having said that, seriously, enough with Madea. We get that the character's popularity is what made all of Perry's other projects possible, but now that those projects are possible, isn't it time to move beyond cross-dressing fat jokes? Apparently not: "A Madea Christmas" is set to hit theaters this December, while Perry's newest Madea play debuted earlier this year and will no doubt get a feature treatment as well. C'mon, dude.
'Alvin and the Chipmunks'
One might ask why this franchise continues, but a better question might be why it was allowed to begin in the first place. Still, now that this annoying animated treacle has implanted a squeaky earworm into America's youth, it's apparently impossible to kill. Worse, the disease has spread overseas as well, with more than half of the $343 million gross from 2011's "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" coming from international audiences. Do we all really need what's essentially a two-hour version of the Kia dancing hamsters commercial?
Right off the bat we want to thank the "Step Up" franchise for bringing the world the gift of Channing Tatum. That sort of thing can buy a lot of good will. But with last year's "Step Up Revolution," well, the dance franchise officially jumped both the Sharks and the Jets. Sure, it was a bold move to include a progressive social message in a film about people doing headstands on the hood of a low rider. But on the other hand, what? When you have to stretch your basic premise that far to create a sequel, chances are you're tapped out. Speaking of which ...
The first one was cute and everything, what with all the zoo animals who return to Africa and have culture shock. Cool premise. And then the second one, well, it was okay and everything if a little too samey samey, what with the crew basically just going to a different part of Africa for more culture shock. But "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"? Is that what we've come down to, just throwing our characters into a new random location for each movie? Is the next one going to be "Madagascar 4: Tokyo Drift"? "Madagascar 5: Animals on the Moon"? Hey, Ben Stiller: You made your money. Just ... let it go.
Oy vey. Bill Nighy deserves better. Kate Beckinsale deserves better. And most importantly of all, we deserve better. Look, we enjoy seeing Kate squeeze into an amazingly tight leather jumpsuit as much as anyone else, but all this angsty, gothy, darkly crunchy vampire nonsense is just soooooo last decade. The only way we want to see another one of these long-form Evanescence music videos is if it's called "Blade 4" and it involves Wesley Snipes hunting down all the "Underworld" characters with wooden stakes.
We never thought we'd see the day where we were so totally over John McClane, but sadly, that day arrived on February 14 when "A Good Day to Die Hard" dropped a deuce on our collective consciousness. Finally, after a quarter of a century, Bruce Willis and company have completely run out of steam. And that's fine. It happens to everyone. But it's time to stop taking the title "Die Hard" quite so literally. Because death is a necessary part of the circle of life, and as long as these franchises keep using up money and taking up space, it makes it even harder for new franchises to be born.