The worst third films in the cinematic trilogies

Why is it so difficult to make a good last third of a trilogy? Time and time again, successful and popular films spawn franchises with extremely disappointing conclusions. People talk about the filmmakers’ sophomore fits; with franchises, it is more often the third party that is a turd.

Part of the reason why could simply be a matter of probability. So many things have to go right for a movie to become a success — the script, the director, the cast, the supporting studio executives — that it’s basically a miracle when it does. Getting three miracles in a row, well, it’s like a double rainbow of miracles. It’s almost mathematically impossible.

However, picking the worst final thirds of the movie trilogies is tricky, and not just because there are so many candidates to choose from. In making our list, we decided to limit ourselves to films that legitimately ended a franchise, mainly because that limited us to true cinematic trilogies (as opposed to series containing more than three films). Plus, if a franchise continued after a bad third movie, how awful could it really be? For example, X-Men: The Last Stand is a pretty disappointing third film, and if you want to get really technical about it, it concluded that the first x-men film trilogy. But then Fox did 10 more x-men movies! It wasn’t the end of anything.

With that in mind, here are our picks for the 15 worst film trilogy endings. And before asking, no Spiderman 3 is not on the list. It’s because Spiderman 3 is not a bad movie. (Same The Godfather Part III.) There’s a lot a lot worse third films than these two – see for yourself below.

The worst third films in the cinematic trilogies

For some reason, it’s very hard to nail the finale of a movie trilogy. And here is the proof.

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