Worst to First: Ranking the Sequels of 1998
We spent a few weeks in January pondering the best movies from twenty years ago. But before you find yourself waxing nostalgic about how they don’t make ’em like they used to, here’s a little reminder that Hollywood made just as much crap thirty years ago as they do today. If you’re looking for bad movies, sequels are usually a pretty good bet. 1998 had its fair share of clunkers with very few bright spots to even the scales. It’s not the worst year in sequels we have seen so far, but it’s still pretty lousy. Let’s relive the mediocrity of the sequels of 1998
13. 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain
Rotten Tomato Score: 0%
Domestic Gross: $375,805
Place in Franchise: 4 of 4
Years Since Last Movie: 3
Actors Replaced: All of the child actors from the first three movies were replaced.
Summary: Unless you were a martial-arts loving youngster in the 90’s, odds are the 3 Ninja movies were never on your radar. Even if you were aware of them, there’s a good chance you forget the franchise ever existed. I know I did. The original movie was about a trio of brothers who are trained by their grandfather to be preteen ninjas. With a gross shy shy of $30 million dollars, it reeled in enough families to earn a sequel.
Two years later, 3 Ninjas Kick Back earned about a third of what the original movie made. You would think that would have been the end of the ninja trio, but as it turns out a third movie had already been made. 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up was filmed back-to-back with the original movie, but following the success of 3 Ninjas it was shelved in favor of making a follow-up with higher production values. As a result, the kids are younger in the third movie than they are in the second one.
The third movie was barely released in theaters. It played for all of one week in just over 50 theaters. It earned back less than half a million dollars, but it must have sold well on video because someone decided it was a good idea to stretch the series beyond a trilogy. The fourth movie, High Noon at Mega Mountain, replaced all the child actors and brought in D-list stars Loni Anderson, Hulk Hogan and Jim Varney to play villains who menace an amusement park.
The business strategy here seemed to be to release Mega Mountain for a week in theaters to prop up sales on home video. But despite playing in twice as many theaters as Knuckle Up, the fourth movie earned even less money. One assumes that the home video sales fell short of expectations based on the lack of a fifth entry in the series.
The 3 Ninja movies never aspired to be anything more than cheap kiddie entertainment. Each successive movie set its sights a little lower than its predecessor. By the time the series reached Magic Mountain, it had attained the rare 0% RT score.
Posted on February 8, 2018, in Movies, sequels, Worst to First and tagged Babe, Bride of Chucky, Halloween, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Lethal Weapon, Major League, Species, Star Trek, The Blues Brothers. Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.