The Best and Worst Movie Spin-Offs

This week’s Puss in Boots – spun off from 2004’s Shrek 2 and ultimately based on the 17th century fairy tale of the same name – arrives in theaters with tough odds.

Spin-off movies, even more so than spin-off TV shows, have historically not fared well, to say the least. Here are the worst of the worst, followed by the very few that have worked … somewhat.

Evan Almighty


Spun off from: Bruce Almighty

The most expensive comedy ever made is also one of the cheapest, thanks to the broad gags – the relatively few times gags were even attempted – and the overall made-for-TV feel. And the slightly religious subplot and undertones? Just plain weird.



Spun off from: Daredevil

Jennifer Garner was the high point of this superheroine dud, but that’s not saying much. We usually expect such fare to be mindless, not brainless like Elektra (and almost earnings-less: $24 million at the box office), so it makes sense that the “franchise” ended there – and that director Rob Bowman hasn’t done too much in the world of movies since.

The Scorpion King


Spun off from: The Mummy series

How do you take a really long-haired Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson – at the time making just his second appearance on the big screen – seriously as a “Warrior. Legend. King.”? You simply do not. Cannot. And that’s before even seeing the terrible movie that was The Scorpion King.

U.S. Marshals


Spun off from: The Fugitive

This half spinoff/half sequel to the megahit that was 1993’s The Fugitive show’s Hollywood greed at its worst: assuming audiences will pay to see a much, much worse version of what they’ve already seen. Or: assuming audiences are dumb. Predictably, the substitutions – Wesley Snipes for Harrison Ford; director Stuart Baird for Andrew Davis; suspenseless-ness for suspense – didn’t go over too well.


ALTSpun off from: Batman series

Halle Berry, then hot off her first Oscar and granted a veritable pick of the litter (pun intended), can’t be blamed for choosing a splashy, high-profile role that would seemingly launch the rare, necessary female-driven franchise. But, uh, maybe she should have read the script? More than once? Could’ve saved her the embarrassment of being the face of hands-down the worst spinoff ever made – and possibly one of the worst non-spinoffs ever made.

…and a few that have worked

Get Him to the Greek


Spun off from: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

It’s far from perfect (see: the overlong, underfunny ending), but graded on the spinoff scale, Get Him to the Greek is pretty darn good – the “Jeffrey”-freakout scene is actually kinda memorable – and perhaps reason enough for Hollywood to continue attempting such films. 

Saturday Night Live



The vast majority (i.e., It’s Pat, A Night at the Roxbury, Stuart Saves His Family, Superstar), but it’s safe to say that we all only remember the two great ones: Blues Brothers and Wayne’s World.