Friday, April 5, 2013

The Sequel Edition

How Many times do you hear that there is nothing new in Hollywood? "There are no original ideas" "There are too many sequels" "Everything is based on a book or just a pointless sequel"

I hate to be the one who breaks this to you. Sequels are nothing new. They aren't going to go away anytime soon. They are a fixture in the movie industry. And every single genre has had its big hits and terrible misses by tapping into a well that has been successful.

A perfect example is the horror genre. No one film genre has used the sequel more than the horror genre. Don't believe me? How many times can Freddy Krueger be destroyed and still come back? Apparently the number is 6. That doesn't include the spin-off Freddy vs Jason or the remake. And speaking of Jason, we have seen eight different Friday the 13th movies for him. But that's not all. What about Michael Myers? He is tied with Jason for appearances. And that's just from the original series, not including the sequel to a remake. But it's not just old horror movies that keep finding their way to the theaters. Jigsaw and his partners at Saw had seven different movies. In fact, the slogan for the movie was once something along the lines of "If it is October, it must be Saw". Paranormal Activity has only had four movies, but I am sure there will be a fifth one coming this October.

Then the other side of the spectrum from horror is the kiddie cartoons. Sequels have only been more noticeable in the last few years when it comes to cartoons, but they were always around. Think about how many Disney movie sequels went straight to VHS or DVD. But with Ice Age and Madagascar and now all the Pixar sequels that we have seen recently, you can see animators are hard at work to catch up to their live action counterparts. But then again, you have a movie like the Land Before Time which has an amazing thirteen movies in its series!

Action movies are anything but immune from the sequel treatment. They don't tend to have as many sequels, but again it depends on the series. After all John McClaine has been dying hard for five movies now. Axel Foley has been a cop in both Detroit and Los Angeles three times. Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte made 2 48 Hours movies (96 hours?). You would think Murtagh would have retired after the first Lethal Weapon movie, he was too old for that (stuff) even back then, but we saw three more movies after that! And now the big IT action series is Fast and The Furious. Pre-production for Number 7 has all ready begun.

Again, with comedies we have seen several successful franchises recently. Whether it be the Hangover movies or American Pies. But there are not nearly as many comedy franchises as all the other genres we talked about.

The Godfather is one of the most popular movies of all time. It was made back in 1972. And just two years later, there was a sequel. Then sixteen years later, it became a trilogy. I mean, seriously Hollywood? Isn't it time to revive it? And for the record, I am just kidding!

All this talk about sequels, I decided to do a little research. I started back from 1990 and moved up to 2012. I counted how many movies ended the year in the top ten that were sequels. So out of the 220 movies, 71 of them were sequels of some sorts. I'm honestly surprised that it's less than that. 1/3 of the most successful movies in the last 22 years are sequels. Only four years in that time didn't have any sequels in the top ten of that year. And I have a feeling we will see more of that with so many other sequels coming in the next five years or so!

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