Long-running movie franchises have developed loyal fanbases over the years. These fans will follow their favorite series regardless of whether the latest entry was successful. There are quite a few franchises that have grown progressively worse with each addition, which has led to some distrust among fans when new sequels are released.
Of course, there are also movie franchises that have continually got better with each sequel. Whether it’s through a deeper exploration of characters or an evolution of the franchise’s premise, these franchises continue to draw in and impress fans with additional entries.
10 The Mission: Impossible Franchise Has Gone Bigger With Each Sequel
Tom Cruise stars in the hugely successful Mission: Impossible franchise, which has released six movies since it first hit theaters in 1996 and has more on the way. The spy thriller Mission: Impossible series soon became known for its mind-blowing stunts. These stunts were largely performed by Cruise, and they got bigger with each sequel.
Each sequel has added deeper layers to the secret government organization and its missions. The new installments continue to impress fans with bigger and more death-defying stunts that have left fans waiting patiently for new entries in the series.
9 Star Wars Has Continued To Expand The Universe With Further Sequels
The first entry in the hit Star Wars franchise was released in theaters in 1977 with Episode IV: A New Hope, a middle chapter in what would become the long-running Skywalker Saga. Star Wars released a fan-favorite Original Trilogy which was later followed by the Prequel Trilogy. The Prequel Trilogy created a new generation of fans.
The Sequel Trilogy took place later in the storyline. It featured the return of favorite characters and the introduction of new characters who took the franchise in a different direction to earn yet another wave of fans. Several spin-offs have further explored the Star Wars universe which continues to impress fans and expand upon the original Skywalker Saga.
8 The Alien Franchise Gets Deeper And More Developed With Each Sequel
Many fans would argue that the Alien franchise reached its peak after 1986’s Aliens. However, the franchise continued for decades and further explored the titular extraterrestrial threat while breaking new ground with sequels like 2012’s Prometheus.
The origins of the dangerous Xenomorphs have been explored while also expanding the corporate-controlled future society. Improvements in special effects technology over the years have made the aliens even more terrifying which has continued to drive the Alien series. Alien appears to have no end in the foreseeable future.
7 The Harry Potter Franchise Aged Along With The Heroic Golden Trio
J.K Rowling’s fan-favorite book series was adapted to the big screen in 2001’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone. The Philosopher’s Stone launched the Harry Potter franchise, which followed the Golden Trio as they progressed through wizarding school at Hogwarts.
Harry Potter was initially aimed at a younger audience but was suitable for the whole family. As the Harry Potter series progressed, and the audience aged up alongside the Golden Trio, the films dealt with darker themes. The wizarding world was thrown into a dark war that forced students to fight for survival in an action-packed finale of films. The Harry Potter franchise is highly regarded by fans.
6 James Bond Stars In A Film Series That Continues To Adapt With The Times
There are a few films in the long-running James Bond series of action-packed spy thrillers that some fans may not want to remember. However, the ongoing nature of James Bond and his ability to adapt to the times while preserving his classic character has made the series a continuing hit with each new iteration.
Different generations have their favorite version of the character. Modern takes on James Bond achieved new levels of success, which has helped relaunch interest in a series that has wowed fans since 1962’s Dr. No.
5 The X-Men Franchise United Fans Of Different Eras With New Sequels
Another franchise with trilogies that moved across different eras was the live-action X-Men franchise, which first hit theaters in 2000 with a unique take on Marvel’s mutants. X-Men reached new heights with the first sequel in 2003 with X2: X-Men United, though each new sequel has presented something new and unique for fans.
2014’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past combined the past and future to further build upon the stories that came before while also attempting to clear up timeline issues. While the franchise featured a few missteps and ended on a low note with 2019’s Dark Phoenix, the fanbase still eagerly anticipated each new entry to see what was next for the X-Men.
4 The Star Trek Franchise Has Impressed Fans For Years Despite A Few Misses
While it may be debatable to include Star Trek, which has had just as many hits as misses over the years, there is no denying the longevity and the increasing quality of the Star Trek franchise as it evolved.
The Original Series’ continuity of feature films seemed to release a great movie with every other sequel, which was replicated by The Next Generation‘s cast of characters. Advancements in movie technology made the reboot franchise a visual hit despite some fan complaints. Although, that ultimately ended with less impressive entries in the long-running Star Trek franchise.
3 The MCU Is Filled With Succesful Franchises That Leave Fans Wanting More
The Marvel Cinematic Universe launched in 2008 with the adaptation of Marvel’s Iron Man, which first teased the live-action debut of The Avengers. This led to the ongoing development of a shared universe of hit movies that built the Infinity Saga storyline.
With each new phase of the MCU, the franchise has introduced new heroes and villains to tell a huge story that has captivated fans for over a decade. The culmination of the Infinity Saga has left fans wanting more from the MCU, proving the success of the various franchises that comprise the shared universe.
2 Freddy Krueger Continued To Improve In The Nightmare On Elm Street Franchise
While it’s safe to say that not all of the later sequels from the celebrated horror series impressed fans, there is no denying that A Nightmare On Elm Street‘s Freddy Krueger continued to improve with each sequel. The character found his groove and then slashed through it with his iconic bladed glove.
Krueger’s original nightmarish menace was slowly transformed throughout the franchise into a darkly comedic and creative villain. Krueger liked to toy with his victims in increasingly inventive death scenarios which made the character a huge hit even if the sequels sometimes fell flat.
1 The Fast And Furious Saga Has Evolved Past The Original Fast-Racing Premise
The first trilogy in the Fast & Furious franchise focused on a group of street racers who orchestrated high-risk heists while being investigated by undercover police officers. The franchise later evolved into an action-packed spy thriller that reimagined the high precision drivers as global outlaws before they became high-tech government operatives.
The franchise has released eight sequels since The Fast And The Furious hit theaters in 2001. The characters have grown past the original series to star in the many cinematic spin-offs in the hit franchise.
NEXT: 10 Movie Franchises Where The Second Film Is The Best