How 9 TV Shows Fared on the Big Screen (PHOTOS)

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Vince and the boys rode into the sunset on TV in 2011, and then the HBO comedy hit the big screen four years later with a cameo-packed continuation film. The movie only earned $49 million around the world, though, and it fared even worse with critics. “The Human Centipede was more sensitively attuned to issues of gender politics,” wrote The Guardian’s Mark Kermode. “And it had better jokes.”

Premiere of Universal Pictures'
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This Joss Whedon show didn’t even get a chance to finish its first season before FOX canceled it in 2002, but the sci-fi western continued on the big screen as 2005’s Serenity. It recouped its $39 million budget worldwide and earned decent reviews from critics. The Chicago Sun-Times’ Roger Ebert, for instance, said Serenity is “made of dubious but energetic special effects, breathless velocity, much imagination, some sly verbal wit, and a little political satire.”

25th Annniversary Of The Muppet Show
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The Muppet Show

After getting their start on this syndicated children’s show in 1976, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie, and the rest of Jim and Jane Henson’s puppet creations starred in eight theatrical releases between 1979 and 2014. And the series’ success is no laughing matter: The films raked $340 million in the U.S., and none of them gets a Tomatometer score lower than 63 percent.


The Simpsons

Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and all the other Springfield residents leaped to the big screen for 2007’s The Simpsons Movie, which gave fans of the FOX animated series “everything [they] could possibly want,” according to The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw. The movie was a box office smash, too, earning $527 million worldwide. (That’s a lot of “d’oh”!) As of August of this year, a sequel is officially in development.

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Star Trek & Star Trek: The Next Generation

By the time J.J. Abrams rebooted the franchise with a new cast in 2009 — while cleverly keeping the previous casts canon — Paramount had already released 10 theatrical Star Trek films with the stars of these two shows, earning nearly a billion dollars worldwide between 1979 and 2002. Reviews varied wildly: 1989’s The Final Frontier bears a 22 percent Tomatometer score, while 1996’s First Contact rocks a 93 percent.

Sex and the City

Sex and the City

Seems like we’ll never get a threequel, but this legendary rom-com at least gave us two blockbuster films, which earned more than $700 worldwide. That said, whatever critical cachet the HBO series had won had been lost by the 2010 sequel film, which The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern dissed as “an almost avant-garde adventure in aimlessness.”

Veronica Mars
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Veronica Mars

Marshmallows were heartbroken when The CW canned this three-season, neo-noir dramedy in 2006 — leaving us on a cliffhanger, no less! — so it’s no surprise those fans funded a 2014 cinematic continuation with a record-breaking Kickstarter. The result certainly didn’t top the box office — only raking in $3.5 million worldwide — but the film did score good reviews, with Vulture’s Margaret Lyons calling it “pretty damn good.”

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny Portrait Session
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The X-Files

This spooky FOX drama hit multiplexes twice: once during its run, and again six years after its 2002 finale. 1998’s The X-Files: Fight the Future earned $189 million worldwide, with Ebert saying it “more or less works.” 2008’s The X-Files: I Want to Believe was less successful, only grossing $68 million and getting dinged by The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis as an “amalgam of trashy thriller clichés.” As Veronica Mars will soon, Mulder and Scully later returned to solve more mysteries on the small screen.

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The world of Breaking Bad is getting a bit bigger.

Even as prequel series Better Call Saul continues airing (and continues earning glowing reviews), creator Vince Gilligan announced he’s developing a Breaking Bad movie that may be released theatrically.

While we rabidly await more Breaking news, we’re considering how successfully nine other TV shows — from Veronica Mars to Star Trek to The X-Files — made the transition to cinemas.

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