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5 film and TV franchises that, frankly, need to die

Some franchises are better, higher-quality and far more entertaining than others. The franchises below, however, are those that are outpaced at every turn. Simply put, they deserve to die, once and for all.

“Terminator”

I think any Magic 8-Ball could have predicted this, but “Terminator: Dark Fate,” the latest installment in the franchise, is projected to lose over $120 million after failing to hold up against competing box office entries like “Joker” and “Zombieland: Double Tap.” Despite Linda Hamilton’s return to portraying heroine Sarah Connor, “Dark Fate” proves that a franchise is only as good as its staying power: The newest addition is not fresh enough of a story to draw in younger audiences who don’t have any sentimental connection to the franchise, and the series’ few hits aren’t strong enough to cover the repeat misses. 

“Star Wars”

Somebody needs to gift Dave Benioff and D.B. Weiss a spa weekend in Napa because I can’t imagine that they aren't both going through midlife crises right now. Initially met with overwhelming excitement from fans diehard and casual alike, the current trilogy of “Star Wars” films has demonstrated an important lesson in the detriment of too much of a good thing, especially when the result is a film too fast-paced and too sloppy for audiences to actually understand what’s going on. 

The series has struggled to appease audiences both in terms of its new characters and its convoluted storylines, and can’t seem to emulate what made the initial trilogy so popular. Perhaps one of very few people to anticipate a negative outcome, Harrison Ford joined first installment “The Force Awakens” in order to have his character Han Solo permanently eliminated from the franchise, which may be one of the smartest retrospective business decisions anyone has ever made. Thankfully, Disney will be tapping the breaks after the current trilogy is completed. With any luck, this “hiatus” will turn into a respectful burial in a lead coffin sealed into the stone wall of a padlocked mausoleum, whose key has been chucked into the Atlantic. 

“Game of Thrones”

See above about putting Benioff and Weiss on the shelf for a little while. HBO seems totally unsure of where to go with the success (and ultimate dissatisfaction) of their George R.R. Martin-adapted “Game of Thrones” series, but if they’d let me in their production room, I’d only say one thing: Please. Move. On. To. Some. Other. Content. 

HBO is a consistent network with a huge slate of impressive series. Why they feel the need to produce a spin-off that will more than likely make audiences groan as loudly as they did when they heard Peter Dinklage say “Bran the Broken” is beyond me. They should be investing in new series with the potential to create large fanbases and huge cultural moments like “Game of Thrones” once did, but investigating as many spin-off options as possible is not the way to go about that when it’s going to be very difficult to impress the show’s now-jaded fans after the chaos that was season 7.

“Harry Potter”

Did anyone go see the second installment of the Eddie Redmayne-fronted “Fantastic Beasts” spinoff? I haven’t been able to find a single person who did, so any and all feedback is appreciated. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald” faced negative criticism and failed to match its predecessor’s profits, but a third installment will begin production in spring 2020. Running full steam ahead, Warner Bros. is planning for five films total, which I can’t even begin to wrap my head around. If only we’d left the Wizarding World alone after “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2,” but apparently, preserving the sanctity of childhood fiction universes means nothing in the face of producing regular holiday-season films that I am sure to get dragged to by my family after Thanksgiving dinner.

“Transformers”

Word on the street (i.e. his IMDB page) is that Michael Bay may be returning for an untitled seventh installment within the “Transformers” universe. Hopefully, this project isn’t riding too much on the success of 2018’s “Bumblebee.” However, as it has been proven time and again, one moderate success does not, by any means, secure the future viability of a franchise that has struggled to find ways to make its installments distinct and intriguing to new audiences.

With any luck, new additions to these franchises may soon be gracing the silver screen for the last time. (Of course, their respective installments will surely be available for streaming on numerous platforms to their fans’ content, for as long as we shall live.)

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