As we roll into another summer movie season, we are face another onslaught of sequels, prequels, threequels seventh-quels. (Seriously, is there a good quel name for any edition higher than three?) The summer X-Men marks its seventh entry with X-Men: Days of Future Past, Transformers adds a fourth with Transformers: Age of Extinction, and The Expendables moves into trilogy territory with its third film. Then previous hits, 21 Jump Street, How to Train Your Dragon, Sin City, Think Like a Man, return with sequels, putting them in position for franchise territory.
While it’s no surprise that studios push franchise films. They are easy money with a guaranteed audience, almost-certain box office win and tons of merchandising buy-ins. However, it’s always a surprise when a film transitions from a standalone project into a series that runs past its concept or believability. For instance, who would have thought there’d be seven successful The Fast and the Furious entries let alone the original one to hit the big screen? But that series is not Hollywood’s only unexpected long-running franchise.