‘Star Wars: Episode VIII,’ Other Sequels Lead List of 2017 Most Anticipated Movies

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As has been the case for a number of years now, movie producers can rely on sequels as much as or more than films that have not used characters or plots before. The upcoming year will be no different, and according to new research, movie goers are more excited about new installments of old franchises than any other genre.

New data from Fandango shows that the most anticipated movie for 2017 is “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” The franchise dates back to 1977. It includes eight movies already, and another four are tentatively scheduled between now and 2020. The worldwide box office total for the installments already released is over $7 billion. The current installment, “Rogue One: A Star War Story,” has brought in over $650 million in two weeks.

Second on the most anticipated list is the next installment of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” appropriately titled “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2.” The first version was released in August 2014, and its box office total reached nearly $800 million.

Third on the list is Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The first version of the movie was based on a novel from the 18th century. Released in 1991, the previous version grossed almost $420 million. It is another example of a successful movie formula. It also is an animated feature.

The next three most-anticipated movies are based on action hero stories. “Justice League” features DC Comic favorite Batman. A movie based on another action hero is on the list. Its title is “Wonder Woman.” And Spider-Man makes another appearance as part of a franchise that dates back to 1978. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” will be released next year.

The Fandango list of the 10 most anticipated movies of 2017, based on a poll of moviegoers:

Star Wars: Episode VIII
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Wonder Woman
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Justice League
The Fate of the Furious
Fifty Shades Darker
Despicable Me 3

Why should studios start from scratch when the odds are high that sequels can be wildly successful?