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Top 5: Worst third sequels in movie history

Arnold and Uma in

Arnold and Uma in "Batman and Robin" Credit: handout

The fourth installment of the “Scream” franchise is hitting theaters on Friday, and the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” — “On Stranger Tides” — is due out next month.

With sequels, as we know well, there are some seriously diminishing returns. They’re usually just never as good as the original — especially by the time the third one rolls around.

With that in mind, amNewYork takes a look at the top 5 worst third sequels in movie history.

5. ‘Terminator: Salvation’
The “Terminator” franchise had a surprisingly good run until director McG got his hands on it. Set in the future, this film shows the world ravaged by Skynet and the rise of the machines. It’s kind of predictable, dull and a mess. Even a cast with Christian Bale and Sam Worthington can’t save it. Dare I say it? What this movie needed might just be a healthy dose of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

4. ‘Jaws: The Revenge’
The fourth “Jaws” movie didn’t so much kill the shark franchise as put it out of its misery. Since I thankfully have never seen this film, I’m going to defer to the opening line from Roger Ebert’s zero-star review: “ ‘Jaws: The Revenge’ is not simply a bad movie, but also a stupid and incompetent one — a rip-off.” What I don’t understand is why the Brody family, after dealing with sharks for three other movies, would live anywhere near the ocean. Move to Nebraska — problem solved.

3. ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace’
I hesitate to say that this prequel destroyed the reputation of the original trilogy, but it certainly tried its hardest. I mean, Jar Jar Binks? Did anyone besides George Lucas think that was a good idea? There are some OK qualities to this film — Darth Maul does look cool — but overall, this is an unwatchable movie and an exceptional failure for the franchise ... except at the box office, where it raked in an undeserved $924 million. Shame on us all — including me twice.

2. ‘Superman IV: The Quest for Peace’
Where to begin? Jon Cryer plays Lex Luthor’s nephew Lenny. A letter from a boy inspires Superman to stop the nuclear threat by collecting all the nuclear weapons in the world and hurling them into the sun. Superman faces off against the stupid-looking Nuclear Man, who has creepy radioactive fingernails. Not even Superman, I suppose, could stop this disaster.

1. ‘Batman & Robin’
Even ignoring the Bat nipples and Robin nipples on the costumes, you’re still left with Governor Freeze. Schwarzenegger killed the franchise with his abysmal portrayal of Mr. Freeze, delivering lines such as “If revenge is a dish best served cold, then put on your Sunday finest,” “Let’s kick some ice!” and (my favorite) “Ice to see you!”

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