Vin Diesel is back on the big screen for his second movie of the year this weekend. And it's another sequel, but the franchise is something far less mainstream. That Riddick is even in theaters is a bit of a surprise, not because the space Western isn't good but becuase the previous two installments starring that titular character -- Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick -- were not what you'd call smash hits at the box office. Someone must like them if there's interest in putting out a third movie after nearly a decade since the last.
Let's not forget that until recently Diesel's other series, The Fast and the Furious, was also not considered a blockbuster-level franchise, and after only two installments it was ready to hit the direct-to-video bin. With a change in tone and ramped up action, it went from being an underrated niche or guilty pleasure to one of the most popular movie brands that's going right now. Maybe with the new movie, Riddick's series too could be raised in status.
What about other underrated franchises? Are there any series you wish would get the kind of refueling that Diesel's have in spite of their low attendance at the multiplex? How about Percy Jackson, which just saw its second movie released ot disappointing ticket sales. Another fantasy franchise you might wish performed better is The Chronicles of Narnia. Have a warm spot for the Ice Age movies? Think the Wimpy Kid series is stronger than it looks? Maybe it's a franchise you think is critically underrated, say Pirates of the Caribbean or Twilight or the Madea movies.
There are plenty of series, both the dead and continuing brands, that we might find deserving of more respect and popularity. What's your pick for the most underrated film franchise?