We live in a world of sequels – no matter what the film, if it’s remotely successful there’s normally a sequel just around the corner. Yet we very rarely sit back and think whether or not a film is worthy of a follow-up or even if it will outshine the original.
So take a trip back in time as we count down the most influential sequels that have supposed their predecessors both critical and commercially.
Sharknado 2: The Second One
Let’s start off the list with this little diamond in the rough – and odd entry I know, but considering the phenomenal cult following this franchise has managed to amass in such a short space of time, it deserves its place in the list. It also helps that the film surpassed its predecessor in every way. Taking cringe to a whole new level of awesome.
Wesley Snipes could possibly hold the title as the first Marvel franchise hero – the Godfather of a superhero universe that has exploded to heights no-one could have imagined. The first film was an action-horror classic that brought vampire gore to the mainstream, but it’s sequel went to a whole new level. Pure action horror at its finest, Blade 2 also earn more at the worldwide box-office than the first.
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
The classic family Christmas tale of disaster, family, disaster, kidnappings, and more disaster all wrapped into one hilarious movie. Christmas Vacation, starring SNL comedy legend Chevy Chase, has become one of the most loved, and watched, Holiday films in history and far surpassed the original. If for some bizarre reason you have yet to experience the unique family that are the Griswold’s, do so as soon as possible – it will be well worth it.
Mission: Impossible 2
He’s the United States answer to James Bond and one of the greatest action stars to have ever graced the silver-screen – so the list wouldn’t be complete without Mr Tom ‘run everywhere’ Cruise. The first film in the ever-growing Mission: Impossible series was a classic, but the second seemed to blow he first out the water with its insane action scenes. Perhaps the fact that it was directed by Action director John Woo helped it earn the $600 million worldwide gross.
Following on from the phenomenal success of Batman (1989), it wasn’t going to be an easy task for Tim Burton to create a sequel that would out do the original – he did though. Considering Jack Nicholson’s show stealing performance as the Joker in the first, it made sense to bring in three stars for the sequel to boost it that bit further. Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken gave Michael Keaton’s Batman more than enough trouble to ensure the film out did its predecessor.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Technically most fans will argue that this was not a sequel and in fact the three Lord of the Rings films were in fact one giant movie that spanned three years. However, in the eyes of the global box-office, it was a sequel and as such belongs on the list. The film is seen as the best of the trilogy by both fans and critics and earned over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. It also has some of the best fight scenes ever seen in a movie.
British engineering at its finest – James Bond is the UK’s biggest ever film export and the longest running film franchise in history – 24 films in total including the soon-to-be released Spectre. Starring Daniel Craig and directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall became the UK’s highest grossing film of all time, earning over $1.1 billion worldwide ($100 million in the UK alone), and was also nominated for five Academy Awards, winning two including Best Achievement in Music and Best Achievement in Sound.
Back to the Future – Part 2
Purely coincidental but this year is the year of Back to the Future – most fans will remember that the year Marty McFly travels foward to in the sequel is 2015. Although many of the futuristic things are yet to still come true, many already have including just recently, the Hoverboard. Considering the film contains both the past and the future, there’s no doubt it was the better of the three.
Everyone’s favourite Ogre and talking Donkey appeared in a very successful follow up sequel to the 2001 animated family classic Shrek. The Sequel was a triumphant success over its older brother, earning just over $950 million worldwide, more than double what the original pulled in during its release. As the only animated film on the list, Shrek 2 must be regarded as one of the best animated films of all time, perhaps only beaten out by last years mega-release Frozen, which is also due a sequel in the coming years.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
He did say he’d be back – and he did so with spectacularly. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most famous role is that of Machine-turned-hero, the Terminator, in James Cameron’s timeless classic Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Argued as the one of the greatest sequels in history, the film eclipsed the original both critically and commercially, earning over $500 million at the box office and winning four Oscars for its technological prowess at the time. The franchise has since continued strongly with Arnie set to star once again in the role for the upcoming Terminator: Genysis.
The Dark Knight
Another Batman entry – though this time not just one of the greatest sequels, but perhaps one of the greatest films ever made. The Christopher Nolan created epic sits at #4 on IMDb’s all time greatest films list as outperformed its predecessor Batman Begins in every way possible. The film raked in $1.2 billion worldwide and earned 8 Academy Award nominations, winning 2 including Best Supporting Actor for Heath Ledger in a performance regarded as one for the best ever seen. It’s a classic that will remain a classic until the end of time.
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
The daddy of them all – always has been, always will be the greatest sequel triumph in movie history. The Empire Strikes Back received unparalleled critical-acclaim over the first Star Wars release back in the 1970’s. It’s a fan boy classic, and most movie fans will be quick to agree that it remains the greatest movie sequel of all time. Though it’s worth noting, that with J.J. Abrams set to release another trilogy of films with the original cast attached, there could just possibly be some stiff competition for this title in the coming years.