It has been consistently observed that a successful film franchise can ensure box office earnings like few other movie offerings can as the brand name holds a special attraction for cine-goers. For this reason, major movie studios are almost certain to follow up a successful blockbuster with at least one sequel. Producers churn out sequels to capitalise on an initial film’s success and in this way create a franchise for generating future profits. These films expand and further explore cinematic worlds that have already found favour with audiences. In some cases, these sequels are better received than their predecessors. Filmmakers may be given larger budgets to better realise their visions. In the others, new talent is brought in to offer a fresh perspective on a story or set of characters. These films are still considered wins for movie studios as they may contribute to audiences’ overall positive view of a franchise.
Released just less than 30 years after the original “Die Hard” (1988), “Live Free or Die Hard” still packs a punch as an over-the-top action flick with Bruce Willis in the lead playing Detective John McClane. Numerous critics agree that the sequel may not be quite as much fun for those who are not fans of the action genre, however.
The Bourne Supremacy was the second movie in the Bourne Trilogy sees Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne in a distraught position, being forced to resurrect his role as a trained assassin. Although both critics and fans preferred the original “The Bourne Identity” (2002) just slightly more and most agree that the sequel is a thrilling, worthy successor.
In the second installment of the dystopian Hunger Games trilogy, heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and a compatriot are the targets of the government after their victory in the Hunger Games triggers a revolt. According to the critics, the sequel is “smart” and “smoothly directed.” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” caught fire with filmgoers, as the film grossed $158 million in its opening weekend.
Kill Bill as the second of Quentin Tarantino’s homage to various movie genres such as martial arts films, blaxploitation movies, and spaghetti Westerns, the Bride, played by Uma Thurman, continues her vengeance against her assailants and boss and ex-lover, Bill (David Carradine).
One of the most anticipated films of all time, “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” finally delivered a universally enjoyed Star Wars film, after the prequel trilogy was universally panned. Fans and critics each enjoyed returning to a galaxy far, far away. The film features newcomers like Daisy Ridley and John Boyega as well as stars from the original Star Wars trilogy, like Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.
A worthy companion to the 1982 sci-fi classic that came before, “Blade Runner 2049” hit theaters 35 years after the original “Blade Runner.” Despite terrific reviews from critics and audiences, “Blade Runner 2049” was a box office disappointment. The same could be said of the original, though it has since attained cult status.
In the final film of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, an aging Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is brought out of retirement to face Bane (Tom Hardy) and save Gotham yet again. Nolan assembled an all-star cast, featuring Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman, and more. TW