20 movie franchises that never were
Failed film series include 'Speed Racer,' 'The Shadow,' 'Jonah Hex' and more
Why it got the green light: Based on the eleventh entry in author Clive Cussler's "Dirk Pitt" book series, "Sahara" was seen as a modern-day answer to the "Indiana Jones" trilogy. The big success of the similarly-themed "National Treasure", released just the year before, also boded well for the film's commercial prospects.
Why a franchise never materialized: A-list stars Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz failed to ignite audience interest in "Sahara", which received poor-to-mixed reviews and debuted to only $18 million on opening weekend. With a total estimated production budget of $160 million, the film took in only slightly more than $120 million worldwide and is now seen as one of the biggest box-office failures in movie history. A lawsuit filed by Cussler against the film's producers for breach of contract prior to the film's release certainly didn't help in boosting the film's franchise hopes - though its generic ad campaign probably didn't either. - CE