Every year sequels are thrown into theaters as studio executives hunt for more money; 2015 is no different as dozens of films continued stories or rebooted franchises for new audiences. Here are four films that were not only sequels, but brought interest back into some of the greatest franchises ever.
The Jurassic Park Franchise
Before The Force Awakens took theaters by storm, Jurassic World was considered the biggest film of the year. Raking in over $1.6 billion worldwide there is no denying that fans flocked to theaters multiple times to relive the nostalgia of the first film. Critically, the film started off decent, but opinions have since teetered off as people began removing their nostalgia glasses to witness a film that comes off as an incomplete and rather failed tribute to one of the greatest films of all time. The film had an extended amount of hype leading up to the release, but overall it didn’t deliver to the hardcore fans who idolized the original. Though the film wasn’t received well, it still managed to have audiences eager for more.
Re-watch level: Low. This film falls under the Avatar spell – each re-watch makes you hate the film more and more.
The Mad Max Franchise
George Miller returnto the franchise that catapulted his career several decades prior. The initial trailer shown at comic-con 2014 had moviegoers excited, but no one knew the true entertainment power behind the film. Not only does Mad Max: Fury Road have some of the best action sequences in the last few years, but it also features characters with brief yet riveting stories to sell an overall emotional piece of art. Nominated for best picture at the Golden Globes, it’s safe to say that the film is not just a blockbuster, but a critical success.
Re-watch level: High. This non-stop thrill ride seems like it’ll never get old. Who needs a complex story when you have some of the best action in ages?
The Rocky Franchise
Who knew that Sylvester Stallone still had it in him. Thirty-nine years after Rocky and Stallone still has the ability to entertain audiences. His portrayal of a “punchy” former fighter is one of his best performances to date, shaping Stallone as a worthy co-star to the talented Michael B. Jordan in Creed. The story, while following a similar formula to the first film, is just as riveting, but with modern tweaks. The camera work is another great addition to the film, with long takes which truly sell the realism during the boxing sequences. While moviegoers weren’t clamoring for another sequel, it sure made a large impact on those who actually saw the film. Who’s ready for round 2?
Re-watch level: Medium. The story may become tiresome, but the fighting sequences will for sure bring the view count up.
The Star Wars Franchise
Releasing December 18th , Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has already shattered box office records with $247.7 million domestic and $528.9, million worldwide for opening weekend. With these numbers, it wouldn’t be out of the question for it to earn the title as the highest grossing film of all time. Not only did the film revive the series, which was beaten to a pulp by the unforgivable prequels, but it manage to capture the magic and wonder that the original trilogy achieved early on. It is great to see the likes of Han Solo and Chewbacca return to the big screen, however newcomers Rey, Poe, and Finn implement themselves as characters that can carry on the franchise. Star Wars was never in danger of losing interest, but The Force Awakens‘ marketing campaign has made virtually everyday a sighting for Star Wars merchandise and advertising.
Re-watch level: Mildly high. The more you watch, the more you fall back in love with the franchise.