About two months ago, we were blessed with The Lego Batman Movie, the first real successful spinoff film from a previous movie.
And as we’ve had so many successful TV spinoffs including Frasier, A Different World, The Cleveland Show, Pinky & The Brain, as well as the numerous NCIS, CSI, Law & Order, and Chicago spinoffs, film spinoffs are not quite as successful as you make think.
So, that leads to the question, prior to The Lego Batman Movie, was there ever a good film spinoff to a previous movie?
Now, when I mean film spinoffs, the Marvel and DC Extended Universe movies do not count mostly because the Marvel movies were set up before the eventual big movie in The Avengers in which they’d meet up, although Spider-Man: Homecoming, featuring the Spider-Man that debuted in Captain America: Civil War, would be the first spinoff film of the MCU as would Wonder Woman be the first real spinoff for the DC Extended Universe.
Let’s start by looking at the film spinoffs that we’ve gotten that have bad. We’ve been forced with terrible movies like Annabelle, Catwoman, Elektra, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Supergirl, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Red Sonja that try to create their own universe by trying to distance themselves from the movies that they’ve been associated with and the end result are movies that end up being absolutely horrendous in the process, which probably does not mean good things for the Venom spinoff coming up.
You get those mixed ones that try to be something on their own but feel more in spirit with the original source material but overall disappoint many such as the Machete movies, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, the Planes movies, Bruno, Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them.
Then, you get those ones that are decent but nothing spectacular, movies like Get Him To The Greek, The Penguins Of Madagascar, Puss In Boots, This Is 40, U.S. Marshalls, Beauty Shop, and Minions. They are decent movies but they never have anything that makes them stand on the same caliber as their previous movies.
And then, there are those great movies that you forget are actually spinoffs, Creed, for example, is not just a rejuvenation of the Rocky franchise but it’s a spinoff story that takes places years after the last Rocky movie, Rocky Balboa with the son of Apollo Creed. And then there’s Deadpool, which was not only a chance to save the character after he was destroyed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine but was also a spinoff of the X-Men franchise.
I mean, that pretty much answers the question then, we’ve had some good film spinoffs over the years but at the same time, we’ve only had about three great ones. Why is that?
Well, mainly it’s because that when people make spinoffs based off of feature film characters, they are usually only making them to just cash in on a popular franchise, or simply to just be a cashgrab, and thus, the effort is not in there because the automatic assumption is that the movie will make its’ money back regardless of the quality.
But thankfully, we’ve gotten movies such as Creed, Deadpool, and The Lego Batman Movie that actually have the effort and the quality in their films that will not only make them the crowning achievements of film spinoffs but also allow them to stand up on their own in the future to come. Whether or not this means that the future of film spinoffs is looking good is too soon to tell but hopefully, we’re entering an era when great film spinoffs will become the norm.
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