Hunger Games, Gary Ross

Murray Close/Lionsgate; Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

What's at stake for The Hunger Games series after director Gary Ross officially dropped out of helming the sequel after wranging over power and money?

Maybe its future.

While movie series from James Bond to Harry Potter famously thrive after changes behind the camera, some infamously do not. The dishonor roll:

1. The Tim Burton-era Batman: What Burton made, Joel Schumacher at first made more successful, with Schumacher's Batman Forever outgrossing Burton's Caped Crusader sequel, Batman Returns. But the wheels came off the Batmobile in Schumacher's—how should we say?—enthusiastic Batman & Robin, and the series was put on ice until Christopher Nolan defrosted it eight years later.

2. The Blair Witch ProjectSo, what happens when you make a sequel that has virtually no connecting link to the original hit—not the directors, not the cast, not the vibe and certainly not the magic? You get Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, not to mention Caddyshack 2, Grease 2, Son of the Mask, and, of course, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd.

3. Airplane!: Surely, studio chiefs wouldn't attempt to follow up one of the funniest movies ever without the writing-directing team who made it so. As the painfully unfunny Airplane II: The Sequel proved, studio chiefs would. (Go ahead and call them Shirley; they deserve it.)

4. American Graffiti: Steven Spielberg was no doubt un-thrilled when Hollywood went ahead and made Jaws movies without him, but at least the imminently watchable Jaws 2 was a hit. More American Graffiti, the well-meaning, but ill-fated George Lucas-less sequel to the cruising classic, was not. 

5. Chinatown: How hard is to live up to an Oscar-winning, Roman Polanski classic? It's impossible. Just ask Jack Nicholson, who returned to star as gumshoe Jake Gittes in The Two Jakes, but who, as director, couldn't make the film anything but a commercial and critical flop.

Other Franchises That Fell Flat After Directing Changes: American Werewolf in London, The Brady Bunch Movie, Get Shorty (followed up by Be Cool), The Ring (the U.S. version) and Wayne's World.      

And Some Franchises Can't Be Stopped...

PHOTOS: Unstoppable Movie Franchises

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