Everyone in Hollywood loves a cash cow, that certain something that you always know will be there to save your bottom when nothing else works. Unfortunately for Hollywood cash cows are not easy to create and for every Lord of the Rings there’s a Golden Compass. Here we’ll take a look at 5 movies that really wanted but never could turn into future franchises.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, $200 million budget and $337 million worldwide made at the box office. This had all the makings of the next Pirates of the Caribbean, Jerry Bruckheimer, talented cast, good director, Disney and lots and lots of money thrown at it. The upsides is that it was based on a video game, but ultimately the finish product was so far from the source material that said upside becomes almost mute. So what really happened? Well first there were the various script rewrites (even during filming), then there was Disney overestimating the potential franchise value of this series and overspending on things that could have been done at half the price. Finally, while a good director, Mike Newell was just not the man for the job.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, $150 million budget and $215 million worldwide made at the box office. Yet another Jerry Bruckheimer movie failing at living up to expectations. With National Treasure‘s John Turtletaub directing and Nicholas Cage starring, many saw this doomed from the start but Disney certainly had other plans for this when they invested $150 million in it.
Robin Hood, $200 million budget and $321 million worldwide made at the box office. Ridley Scott directing and Russell Crowe starring, what could possibly go wrong, after all this is team Gladiator we are talking about. Well it did and while at first this might seem like a standalone picture, it was actually planned as a trilogy by Ridley Scott. I guess another overestimation of the franchise potential of an old hero like Mr. Hood, not to mention he has been done to death (just take a look here). Oh but wait, the Wachowskis are working on yet another adaption of Robin Hood, simply titled Hood.
The Last Airbender, $150 million budget and $319 million worldwide made at the box office. While this technically doubled its budget (sometimes considered the point where a movie breaks even), it was so bad and left such a bad taste in just about everyone’s mouth that none would touch a second movie, at least not as long as M. Night Shyamalan is behind it, not to mention it would probably make half as much money if they made it, now that people know what to expect.
The A-Team, $110 million budget and $177 million worldwide made at the box office. What the hell happened here? Did Fox overestimate the popularity of the show or do people just not give a damn about it anymore? Either way The A-Team was a failed attempt at bringing back an old (and most would say DEAD) series. On the other hand The Green Hornet (much older, deader and a lot higher on the “don’t give a damn” scale) seems to be doing just fine, so maybe it was just the damn movie sucking.
This year we have another batch of potential future cash cows that could fail just as bad if not worse then the titles above. So with that being said, I’m looking forward to lots and lots of failed franchise starts, Hollywood oh Hollywood, you have to love the way they just don’t stop believing.