Many movies are so successful that their creators are motivated to create a sequel or ten. There is a lot of logic behind this decision, a successful film is more likely to be a commercial success than something entirely new, making it less risky and more attractive for investors and studios.
While we may bemoan such motivations, the reality is that these successful films are necessary for studios to fund new and untested ideas that may ultimately end in a financial loss.
But although a sequel may still be a commercial success, they very rarely live up to the high standards that are set by the original. Often, the popularity and success of sequels decrease with each release, for example, the original Home Alone (1990) was a huge hit that remains popular today. It was followed by Home Alone 2 (1992), which also has high viewer and critic ratings. However, Home Alone 3 (1997), 4 (2002), and The Holiday Heist (2012) all have scores below 5/10 on IMDb. The 2021 attempt to reboot the franchise also didn’t sit well with viewers, scoring just 3.6 on IMDb.
Sometimes though, sequels end up being just as good if not even better than the original. Here are some of those great sequels.
Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
Released in 2007, three years after the first sequel, and six after the original, Ocean’s Thirteen chronicles another operation for Danny Ocean and his gang. Just like the other two, it features an ensemble cast that includes George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, and Al Pacino.
Ocean’s Thirteen features in this list of best casino movies compiled by OLBG, and for good reason. It combines most of the elements that made the first film great, including a daring plot that while fanciful sits just on the right side of believable, a fast pace that keeps you engaged throughout, and plenty of humor.
However, unlike Ocean’s Eleven (2001) many other casino movies, this film is less of a heist and more of a cunning plan. The plot is one focused on revenge, resulting in them causing games in a rival’s casino to pay out more than they should, all at the expense of their enemy.
The Dark Knight (2008)
There are dozens of films based on comic books that get released each year. At certain points of the year, it can be difficult to move without bumping into an ad for at least one of these movies, whether it be at a bus stop, on a billboard, or on TV.
Despite so many attempts, few have come close to rivaling the quality of The Dark Knight (2008). Following on from Batman Begins (2005), this sequel was heavily focused on the Joker, despite being about Batman.
It contains one of the most iconic scenes in recent movie history, with the Joker, who is dressed as a nurse, calmly walking away from a hospital as it blows up behind him. The way that the late Heath Ledger plays the Joker in this scene is brilliant and internet rumors have speculated that a problem with the pyrotechnics forced him to improvise a lot as an actual building was blown up behind him. This wasn’t quite true as the delay was intentional to make it safe for him to be inside the building right before it blew up. Nonetheless, it was a brilliant scene that has become an iconic piece of movie history.
James Bond has become one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, with 25 films released so far. The first of these was Dr. No in 1962, which was followed up quickly with From Russia with Love just a year later.
In 1964, Sean Connery returned as 007 for a third time. This time, Bond is sent to investigate gold smuggling by the aptly named Auric Goldfinger. It contains several iconic scenes, including the one where one of his love interests, Jill, dies from “skin suffocation” after being covered in gold paint.
It also features Oddjob, Goldfinger’s henchman who, despite being short, possesses extreme strength and a razor-edged hat that allows him to inflict deadly attacks from afar. He was such an iconic character that he has featured in several Bond video games and several non-Bond films and TV shows.
The budget for Goldfinger was significantly larger than the two preceding productions and helped to shape the franchise into what it is today. It was the first to feature technology and gadgets, a long opening title sequence, and a theme song sung by a famous artist (in this case Shirley Bassey).
To top it all off, Goldfinger was the first Bond movie to win an Oscar and the first to generate more than $100 million at the box office.