I used to go to the movies on a regular basis, at least once a week. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen anymore. I wish it did. I'd love to go out and see more than I do. I wanted to go see The X-Files – I Want to Believe this summer, I really, really did. I didn't get there. I did however see The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
They're sequels all. I, sadly, didn't go to the movies once this summer to see something that wasn't a sequel. At least partially that was my fault – all three or four times that I had the opportunity to go to the movies this summer, I opted for a sequel.
It is, however, also partially Hollywood's fault – they threw out sequel after sequel after sequel and so every time I had the opportunity to go see something the theatres were dominated by sequels.
I get where they're coming from – if a movie (or TV show) was a huge success, why not take the property and reuse it? Movies are expensive to make and if you already have something you think people want to see again in a slightly different form, throw it out there again for people to look at once more.
It's a smart tactic and one that certainly gets us to spend our money (just look at the enormous sum that The Dark Knight has raked in). But, too often when the audience is served leaves them cold. If it's a comedy, the jokes are stale. If it's an action film, the set pieces dull. If it's a drama, it is simply a retread of all that came before. All too often, sequels seem to be little more than the original film with a new title and maybe some new hairstyles for the characters.
Take a look at this list from UnSpun by Amazon (where, it is true, I am also a writer). It lists some of the worst film sequels ever released on an unsuspecting public. If you disagree on what's there, feel free to vote or ad your own selection.
In the end, the thing that amazes me, is that so many bad films actually make it onto the big screen. Some of the above were direct-to-DVD releases, but far more of the ones here probably should have been, too.