Friday, May 24, 2013

Examining Franchise Movies and Sequels

Do you remember that time in "Back to the Future II" when Marty McFly travels to 2015 and finds that there are still future incarnations of "Jaws" movies playing in the theater? It was a good joke - and a funny one, mainly because it's true.

Many franchises extend for multiple sequels. Examples include "Indiana Jones" (and its sad attempt at a comeback years later), "Police Academy" (there are seven), and "Pink Panther" (with ten). There seems to be a difference between movies like this and the epic, universe-encompassing franchises such as "Star Wars," "Star Trek," and "Lord of the Rings." However, some movies have made me think about the legitimacy of sequels. Do they exist to tell a story - or just to get more money out of the audience?

"Lord of the Rings" is the perfect example. The original trilogy, complete with its DVD-released additional footage in the director's cut, probably could have been longer, especially the third movie, "Return of the King." (To be clear, I don't think the movie should have been extended, but it could have been made into two films.)

Then I saw "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," and learned that it it is the first in a trilogy. While I loved the movie and enjoyed "The Hobbit" in book form, the book itself is only 320 pages, and we all know how J.R.R. Tolkien is about describing things. Anyway, I think it could have been accomplished in one film.

As I notice the sixth "Fast & Furious" movie coming out, I yearn for something new - but franchises are less risky, once they get rolling - and they bring in the money.

Are you a fan of franchise movies and sequels? Leave your opinion in the comment area below!

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