A successful film franchise can ensure box office earnings like few other movie offerings can. For this reason, major movie studios are almost certain to follow up a successful blockbuster with at least one sequel. The upcoming release of “Frozen 2” — scheduled for a November 22 release — is testament to this fact.
Producers churn out sequels to capitalize on an initial film’s success — and fan base — and in this way create a franchise for generating future profits. These films expand and further explore cinematic worlds that have already found favor with audiences. Many of the top-grossing films of all time — including “Jurassic World” (2015), “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), and “Return of the Jedi” (1983) — are sequels. These are the top 100 grossing movies of all time.
Of course, some sequels are better than others. 24/7 Tempo has identified the 50 best sequels of all time based on critic and audience ratings on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and Rotten Tomatoes.
In some cases, these sequels are better received than their predecessors. Filmmakers may be given larger budgets to better realize their visions. Other times, new talent is brought in to offer a fresh perspective on a story or set of characters.
In other cases, the original film remains the most critically successful, yet the sequel still does well. These films are still considered wins for movie studios, as they may contribute to audiences’ overall positive view of a franchise. These are the top grossing movie franchises of all time.
To determine the best movie sequels of all time, 24/7 Tempo created an index based on each film’s Rotten Tomatoes average critic rating, Rotten Tomatoes average audience rating, and Internet Movie Database average user rating. To be considered, each film needed to have at least 10,000 total user ratings on both IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, 10 approved Tomatometer critic reviews, and be classified as a sequel by IMDb. Editorial discretion was then used to determine which movies did not fully meet the qualifications of a sequel, such as the case with reboots or film franchises that feature a consistent character but are otherwise unrelated with regards to storyline.