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Data reveals the worst movie sequels of all time, according to reviews

It's like a sequel's unwritten rule: take what worked in the original, sprinkle in some new twists with beloved characters and settings, and voila! You've got a second installment that's bigger, better, and ready to charm audiences all over again. So they say. But like one wise self-proclaimed film geek once said ‘’Sequels suck! By definition alone they’re inferior films’’ (Randy Meeks in 1997’s Scream 2).

As we anticipate the release of ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Bad Boys 4’ to hit theaters, it got us thinking, which movie sequels are the all-time worst? To find out, we scraped over 100,000 reviews on the reputable review site; IMDb. Searching for those that contained keywords such as; ‘disappointing,’ ‘boring,’ and ‘trash’ (to name a few).

Key findings:

  • Transformers: Age of Extinction is ranked as the #1 worst movie sequel, with 55% of its reviews containing negative wording
  • Star Wars Ep. VII: The Last Jedi ranked as the #2 worst movie sequel, with 45%
  • Skyfall, ranked as the #3 worst movie sequel, with 36%
  • Avengers: Endgame is the highest earning on the list, but ranked as the #15 worst movie sequel
The worst movie sequels

For every gem of a sequel, there’s often a heap of duds waiting in the wings. Among those duds, there’s always that one, ultimate flop, making you question if movies were even a good idea in the first place. We’re ranking the 20 highest -earning box office sequels, so grab your popcorn and let’s get into it.

Swooping in and gaining the top spot is Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction. At a lengthy 165 minutes in duration, it gained 55% negative wording in its reviews on IMDb. From plot holes to head-scratching moments, the fourth sequel gained 559 mentions of ‘boring’ and 273 of ‘waste’. One disgruntled reviewer even stated ‘’ It was a total waste of my money and time. I almost feel like suing the production company. Stay at home.’’ Yikes.

In second place, we have the 2017 release of Star Wars Ep. VII: The Last Jedi, totaling 45% negative wording in their reviews. To quote Luke Skywalker “This is not going to go the way you think!” - that certainly rings true for this sequel in the galaxy-spanning franchise, which has got reviewers riled up. Box office earnings may have racked up a staggering $1.3B worldwide, but theatergoers were left dissatisfied, as 735 reviews included the wording ‘terrible’, and a further 800 stated it was a ‘waste'.

In third place, we have Skyfall, coined ‘the most boring Bond movie of all’ by Esquire, although it may have broken ‘new film’ records in its first week, it only broke the hearts of viewers. According to IMDb reviews, 36% contained negative wording such as ‘trash,’ ‘disaster,’ and ‘garbage’. The 2012 action movie gained 195 mentions of ‘boring’, with a 1/10 review even stating ‘So boring I wish I would have seen Twilight instead. I hate Twilight’.

Rounding off the top four, we have another movie from the Transformer franchise. Dark of the Moon gained 34% negative wording in their reviews. That’s right, 2 Transformers movies in the top 4, Michael Bay has some work to do. Dark of the Moon cashed in $1.1B in box office earnings, and whilst it may rank lower than its counterpart, Age of Extinction, it still rubbed some viewers up the wrong way. 92 reviews contained the word ‘terrible,’ and 90 included ‘boring’.

That’s a wrap

Sequels exist for many reasons in the realm of Hollywood, whether it be following a book series, expanding a franchise or simply to milk the cash cow of success (likely to be the latter), Love 'em or hate 'em, sequels are here to stay. So, as we gear up for more potentially disappointing adventures with our favorite characters, let’s keep our popcorn close and our expectations in check. After all, you never know what surprises - or disappointments - might be waiting for us on the big screen!


By using official worldwide box office earnings for movie sequels combined with IMDb reviews, we were able to scrape the 20 most financially successful sequels. We scraped over 100,000 reviews for the most common negative words, which included; ‘rubbish,’ ‘disaster,’ ‘boring,’ ‘garbage,’ ‘terrible,’ ‘disappointment/disappointing,’ ‘trash,’ ‘overrated,’ and ‘waste’. The results were collated, and the percentage of negative wording was compared to the total reviews.

Data was collected March 2024.

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