11 Movie Franchises That Would Have Worked Better as TV Shows

The coolness of movies having their ensuing sequels is well-known. We all love longing for that upcoming movie sequel, immaterial if we have to wait for one year, two years or furthermore. Tables do turn sometimes when the gap widens between expectations and reality when we find the movie sequels lacking the penchant they possessed in their predecessors. May be it is because our perceptions are ever-changing or because we’re expecting a lot too much from movie sequels.

As we all know that there have been some great movie franchises which raised the bar of how sequels should be made, few of them just failed miserably, both in terms of their popularity as well as the impact. Even though these movies may have done great at the box office, they could have done even better as a TV series due to factors such as the smaller scale, more concentrated budget, better scope for improvisations and better and more talent coming in as a part of involvement in smaller, niche roles. Because of reasons unknown, many such movie franchises remain as is, successful or otherwise, and till date, there are no plans to chalk them out as a TV series. So, here goes, the list of movie franchises that would have worked better as TV series, as opposed to their existing formats.

Warning: May Contain Spoilers!


1. The Hunger Games (2012-2015)

I completely understand that ‘The Hunger Games’ has been a hot favorite for many of us, but let’s consider the fact that the box office gross collection of the concluding installment was approximately 60% of the first. Like $140 million less. What adds to the rancor is that there were umpteen redundancies and monotonicities in the concluding sequels, which I believe, could’ve been eliminated to an extent if it were filmed as a TV series. Or probably would’ve lost in the length of the series

The first and the second installments were really impressive year-on-year releases, comprising some wonderful visuals and brilliant performances (especially that of Jennifer Lawrence). And as far as the intro goes, these two nailed it.

The final two installments lacked the charm and the intensity to finish off the movie in style. Rather, they constantly reminded us that we were, in fact, watching a movie, not living it. The story was too bland to be split into two, though it could have been made just as one. Regardless, towards the fag end, everything was somewhat satisfactory and way too predictable.

As a TV series, more side quests to the story and a further detailing of the characters can be done such as those of the previous victors who appear in the 75th Hunger Games. Moreover, adding more characters from each District, what each District does and represents in more detail and what led to the formation of these districts, introducing a few more gray-shade characters and some politics could add some flesh to the bone. So, fingers crossed and may the odds be in our favor.


2. Paranormal Activity (2009-2015)

Frankly, there are not many horror genre TV series on air today. Paranormal Activity is perhaps a classic example of a poorly executed movie franchise despite all the fanfare surrounding it, which otherwise could’ve been great as a TV Series.

Only the first installment was decent in general, wherein, it was perhaps the first-of-its-kind in the “Found Footage” horror segment. There were genuine moments of fright and thrill, without any unnecessary fillers.

The following parts, however, reminded us more and more of the same thing, people getting dragged out from their beds, doors closing with brute force, families reviewing their recordings and things flying around in the air, especially in the kitchen and the dining area (Crockeries et. al.).

As a TV series, there’s probably not much to add, except for the split and a resulting increase in the number of installments. Still, I think a few moments of scare can be sustained and cliff-hanged to the following parts, thus maintaining viewership. Moreover,  if the USP is found-footage story itself, there isn’t much variation that can be done apart from carrying it forward as a new story of a new family in every other episode, which can save the now sinking franchise.


3. Final Destination (2000-2011)

Tell me if this sounds familiar – a weird teenager can foresee how s/he and her/his friends die one by one, until the end, due to some horrifying accident because apparently, “death” means business and cannot be cheated, but helps a teenager foresee it.

Mostly, from a post-release collections point of view, all the five movies did fairly well, with fluctuating worldwide collections. The eerie thrill, the visual engineering, and coherence prior to each character’s death are worth an applause.

Probably I’d vouch for a better cast and story for each part. Also, the screenplay is rather dull except for the moments of death and the special effects and gore are not very appealing and looks like they were fitted into the story.

As a TV series, introducing more number of characters looks like an added advantage, meaning more number of deaths, blood, and gore, thus satiating the overall propaganda of the movie. Cliffhangers are something that can be exploited to the series’ advantage, may be by killing a character in every episode, ala Game of Thrones less the Fantasy part. How do you think this sounds?


4. The Hangover (2009-2013)

Perhaps my favorite movie series on this list. And okay, guess what? The Hangover TV series would probably emerge as a kickass venture, just because of its cast. Though the box office collections weren’t very impressive for the third installment of the movie franchise, the future isn’t bleak, for the cast comprises of the likes of very talented Zach Galifianakis and the Academy Award Nominee Bradley Cooper. Although Ed Helms and Justin Bartha too didn’t lag in their performances anywhere, what was lagging was the similar storyline for all three, which I wouldn’t call as unfair given the title of the movie itself.

Things that could be better in the TV series are the aspects such as character-depth and funnier and improvised moments, like a slapstick comedy, which probably was lacking in the later two installments I’d say. Also, introducing a new character every now and then wouldn’t be bad either, apart from the 4-5 series regulars.

One thing I’d love to see in the Hangover TV series would be various kinds of hangovers, apart from only those related to alcohol and substance. The franchise, if made as a TV series, can be culminated in a way that all the four stop getting any hangovers permanently or probably end up in an asylum.


5. Divergent (2014-2016)

With an ever dipping Rotten Tomatoes score and popularity, this Veronica Roth’s Novel-based movie franchise should’ve been made as a TV series in the first place. While the performances were good and the story was about average, the movies lacked good twists and turns and maybe a few edge of the seat moments. Also, too many actors probably spoiled the broth and the resulting movies.

A TV series version can be more compact and concise, focusing on the quests of Tris and Four, and not all the members of all the factions per se. Also, there wasn’t much that was shown as a part of Four’s story (probably that’s what the upcoming final installment is all about), so, it can be carried forward with Tris’ story alongside.

Introducing more powerful antagonists and new milestones in the overall premise (like the ones related to Tris’ mother and Four’s father that were done in the movies) would be thrilling to see and probably also be a driving force to binge watch the whole series.

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