Why Dwayne Johnson’s Movie Franchise Attempts Keep Failing

Dwayne Johnson made his start as a WWE wrestler, but has become one of the biggest movie stars. That said, not all his franchises have gone well.

After his WWE career, Dwayne Johnson started appearing in action movies. He worked his way into well established franchises like Fast & Furious, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and G.I. Joe where he quickly became a favorite character. Over the past few years, Johnson has given his hand at starting his own franchises. However, the films are having a hard time performing well and can’t seem to get sequels. His newest attempt at franchise starter will be the upcoming Red One film, which is set to be released on Prime Video in 2023.

After Johnson exited the Fast & Furious franchise, he went on to star in his own franchises like Jungle Cruise and even got a role in the DCEU as Black Adam. These movies were not considered box office successes and future movies and spinoffs were subsequently dropped. It is fair to say that movie stars go through a rise and fall within their careers, which seems to be the case for Johnson right now. Despite it all, Johnson is not giving up anytime soon and is trying to work his box office charm. So, why does Johnson’s movie franchise attempts keep failing?

DCEU Take-Over Failed with Black Adam

Johnson was fully prepared to take over the DCEU with his latest film Black Adam. The latest DC film featured an antihero, played by Johnson, who in 2600 BC is enslaved by an evil monarch that is searching for an ancient element. Black Adam’s son is a casualty during the search for the element, which forces the anti-hero to destroy the king and all who follow him. The film fast-forwards to the future, where Black Adam has been released, only to find that his people are still being oppressed. He takes it upon himself to stop it without showing any mercy.

Fans of the DC Comics were less than excited about how the new characters were portrayed onscreen. In fact, Looper says most fans felt like the movie was all Johnson while being bombarded with explosions and action sequences. Black Adam is well known within the comics, but most audiences have actually never heard of the anti-hero. However, the studio was hoping that, with Johnson’s name attached, they would get people in seats.

It worked, but unfortunately audiences just saw Johnson in some sort of suit rather than the character he was playing. Not to mention that the story was rushed, making fans feel more disappointed when they left the theater. Needless to say, the film isn’t going to lead Johnson to take over the DCEU now that the franchise itself is being rebooted as the DCU.

Franchise Starters That Never Take Off

No one can say that Johnson hasn’t had a great career. He has stared in many blockbuster hits like Fast & Furious and Jumanji. Over the past few years, Johnson has started appearing in movies that have hopes of becoming a franchise. His “franchise hopefuls” are not performing as he thought they would and most of them rarely ever get a sequel. Films like Black Adam and Red Notice struggled to find success in the box office or on a streaming platform. Johnson is hoping with his latest project, Red One, will finally be the movie that will be his franchise series.

Johnson’s latest movie decisions look to be if he is tactically avoiding box office failures by simply being a part of franchise-starters. His new movie Red One is the latest big-budget franchise-starter that the actor hopes will compete with Fast & Furious franchise. He has been working hard for his new franchise and even for his other attempts, but keeps facing failure despite his best efforts. Since his WWE career, Johnson has been making money on his charm and personality, which he hopes to take advantage of in Red One. It also helps that he has another A-lister, Chris Evans, attached to the film in hopes it will do better with viewers.

Returning to Fast & Furious Franchise

Celebrities have their good days and bad days like the rest of us, and it seems as if Johnson’s career is hitting some hard times lately. His box office charm has been wearing off, but this doesn’t seem to deter Johnson by any means. It seems as if he had to swallow a bit of his pride and ego in an attempt to redeem himself after his failure at the box office with Black Adam. The Fast & Furious franchise, which FandomWire describes as Johnson’s biggest money-maker in his career, and his return to the franchise might be the redemption story he needs to bring his name back to the top of the action star list.

The Fast & Furious return of Luke Hobbs could also lead to more future projects and spinoffs where Johnson would be the lead since his solo movies have been mediocre. It’s hard to tell if this move will return him to his former glory or even give him a major comeback. However, he would need to leave behind any ill feelings he has towards Vin Diesel, which seems like they may be turning a corner in their relationship. Audiences will have to wait and see whether this is a true comeback story for Johnson, or if his time as a top action star is coming to a close.

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