Movie Sequels – The End is Nowhere Near

kemosabeWell, we got what we wanted. We have the summers of our childhood dreams, packed with superheroes, battling robots and cowboys, followed by Norse gods and hobbits to round out the year.

Which kind of reminds me of what we had last year, and the year before that…and clearly what’s going to be happening for many years to come.

Ladies and gentlemen, this summer presents us with 17 sequels—the most, according to Jake Tapper at CNN, we’ve seen in a decade.  And looking ahead at the next 5 years? We’ve got close to fifty sequels coming. From 21 Jump Street 2 to Kung Fu Panda 3 to Fast And Furious 7…we’re going to be seeing a lot of the same thing getting thrown at moviegoers, month after month, year after year.

From a business perspective, you can see why this makes a lot of sense. Why spend money trying to establish new intellectual property (“IP”) when you can just spit out another film with the characters and worlds that audiences are already comfortable with? Especially when someone does try something even moderately new, like when Disney attempted to re-introduce The Lone Ranger this past weekend and is now looking at a possible $150 million loss. Let’s hope Pacific Rim‘s giant robots fare better this week!

Now, it’s pretty easy to blame comics in this regard, and, to some extent, I will have to sigh mightily and agree with my friends, many of whom have told me, “Dude, I know you like comics but I am getting really f’ing tired of all these comic book movies.” I mean, I am pleased that they think I have some kind of influence on this, but I get it — most of the movies getting sequels tend to be “genre” films, and given the average success of recent comic book movies, well, we’re seeing a lot more coming our way.

Sequels are nothing new, of course, but truly sequential sequels…well, with the exception of Godfather II and Star Wars, there weren’t that many movies that followed the same characters in the same universe in a time that followed close behind the previous movie. However, as television audiences began to accept (and even expect) serialized stories — thanks in no small part to services like Netflix and DVRs, which allowed for batch viewing — we’re seeing this happen a lot more in the movie theaters as well.

winter soldier concept

Over the past few years, this has made sense given the demands and expectations of the fans. If a movie does well, give people more of what they want. What has been frustrating (but clearly not surprising) is that the decision to make sequels seems to be getting made more to make more money as opposed to telling richer stories. I mean, do we need a Grown Ups 2? Surely, one exploration into the psyche of those characters, one meditation on the subtle themes described therein was enough for one generation of cinema fans? Dolphin Tale 2? Like, does he get a new nose? Is he bionic now?

So, as tempting as it is to blame comic book movies for this onslaught of sequels, it goes far deeper than wanting to see Chris Hemsworth’s biceps again. This is obviously about more than “just” getting butts in movie theaters — this is about licensing and merchandising. This is about making sure that the people who make the backpacks, bed linens, coloring books, apparel and, yes, comic books can have both consistency and relevance year after year. This way, you can use the same characters introduced in the Ice Age and Rio films each time a movie comes out—the audiences (read: kids) already know the characters and will want to buy stuff featuring those characters pretty much at any given moment, after they see the first film at home, after they see the second film in the car on the way to theater, where they will see the third film—it’s just never-ending. Lynda Obst, author of Hello, He Lied (a must-read before you move to LA) and producer of many films, including Contact, discusses this in her latest book, Sleepless in Hollywood: Tales from the New Abnormal in the Movie Business — Kim Masters talks with Lynda about this sad state of affairs in this episode of KCRW’s The Business as well. Gilbert Cruz over at brought up some of the same points while eviscerating The Lone Ranger.

Given how hard it is to make movies these days, which is an odd statement when you think about it, there’s never been an easier time to actually make a movie. I’ll try again: given how hard it is to finance a film these days, I guess it is understandable that people are terrified to commit to anything truly new. You can see this in all facets of commercial entertainment, by the way, actors are getting fired at table reads (which happen, you know, after you’ve got the job) because people are so insanely scared of losing their jobs by trying to do something different. And yes, there are notable exceptions in cable television (who ever thought we’d be saying that 15 years ago), but when it comes to movies, big studio movies, there are just way too many financial considerations in the mix now. Everyone wants a franchise. Everyone wants IP that can be used across multiple platforms, marketable across a myriad of demographics, with retail, fast food restaurants (sorry, QSR’s) tie-ins, theme park rides, video games…the movies are just a small part of a huge pyramid of commerce. The money behind the bigger budget movies want movies with recognizable characters — and recognizable actors — that appeal to everyone, everywhere—which is leaving us with fewer original movies to look forward to. And even if a movie flops in the US, it doesn’t matter — often those same films do great in the Chinese and other countries, which, even with the Chinese restrictions, represent a huge market for US films.

questWhenever I’m at a party and people start talking asking about my favorite movies, I tend to talk about Barton Fink and Galaxy Quest. The latter is that rare film that had an innovative and laugh-out-loud funny story with a great cast that could have easily been followed up by 2-3 movies but stuck to “just” one. I mean, Star Wars really could have been one movie, but, you know, it was a monster hit and George was in the position to really bring back the serials (that inspired the film in the first place) to modern audiences.

I look at the list of movies below and I while some of them look interesting (Captain America: Winter Solider could be great), I just feel kind of apathetic — which is a feeling I hate. I am usually the optimist, you know? I think there’s a great beauty and elegance to a really well done film, a film that doesn’t need to be propped up prequels or sequels or tie-ins. A single film that truly expresses the sensibilities of a director and a writer…it’s a beautiful thing, and should not be relegated to limited runs in the dead of winter.

I don’t know. Maybe I am just being crabby, but take a look and tell me what you think of them in the comments. I’m really curious to see what you think of this trend.


List Upcoming Sequels (so far)…

July 2013: Smurfs 2, Red 2, Grown Ups 2, Despicable Me 2

August 2013: Kick Ass 2, Machete Kills

September 2013: Paranormal Activity 5

November 2013: Hunger Games : Catching Fire, Thor: Dark World

December 2013: Anchorman: The Legend Continues, Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

January 2014: Amityville Horror : The Lost Tapes (9 years after the first remake)

March 2014: Muppets Most Wanted, 300: Rise of an Empire, A Haunted House 2

April 2014: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Rio 2

May 2014: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past

June 2014: 21 Jump Street 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Think Like a Man Too, Transformers 4

July 2014: Fast and the Furious 7, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

August 2014: Expendables 3, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

September 2014: Dolphin Tale 2

November 2014: Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

December 2014: Minions (Despicable Me 3 ), The Hobbit: There and Back Again

March 2015: The Penguins of Madagascar

 May 2015: Marvel’s The Avengers 2

 June 2015: Terminator Reboot (5th film for franchise)

 July 2015: Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Independence Day 2

 September 2015: Hotel Transylvania 2

 November 2015: Finding Dory (yes, a Finding Nemo sequel)Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

December 2015: Kung Fu Panda 3, Alvin and the Chipmunks 4

Other 2015 Films: Mission Impossible 5, Jurassic Park 4, Star Wars VII

June 2016: How to Train Your Dragon 3, Amazing Spider Man 3

Other 2016: Star Trek 3 (#14?), Bond 24

May 2018: The Amazing Spider Man 4


Mike Romo is an actor in LA. His mission in life is to be in one of the sequels he derided in this article. Email/twitter/facethebook


  1. No Zoolander Twolander? I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    • Molander? I’d see that–they filmed the gas station place near my old work in LA — super awesome.

    • That scene always cracks me up. The Wham! song really amplifies the humor.

      I would be more excited about Anchorman 2, but the preview doesn’t do much for me. Maybe it’s better to go in with low expectations and be pleasantly surprised, than vice versa (e.g. Man of Steel).

      Of the 2013 sequels I’ll try to see Kick Ass (really liked the first one), Hunger Games (primarily for Ms.Lawrence’s performance), Thor (looking forward to Portman playing a bigger role), and The Hobbit (love being able to return to that world).

  2. Its amazing to think that when Mark Twain invented the sequel that we’d still be following the same formula 150 years later.

    • Or if you count The Odyssey, 2800 years later.

    • The Odyssey was quite likely written before The Iliad, so technically what we have there is the first prequel…

    • Ugh, I hated the prequel. Ajax Ajax Binks is the worst character ever created, and what the hell are Myrmidoni-chlorians? Homer totally ruined it for an entire multigeneration of fans.

    • They didn’t even get most of the characters back from the Odyssey. They had to come up with all new characters for the Illiad and then kill them off to justify them not appearing.

      And then they did the Oresteia – inventing not only the Trilogy, but also the revenge story and the modern court-room drama.

  3. This is why I plan on seeing Pacific Rim opening weekend

    • I may even pay $8 for my ticket, it looks so good to me. I’ll try to bring a friend, but it feels like I’m the only guy I know excited for it.

    • My wife is a huge Pan’s Labyrinth so I’m selling her on that pretty hard. So happy to see a cool original/non ip blockbuster back in the theaters from a director that knows what he’s doing.

    • Damn, that’s smart. I shouldve thought of that. I’ll try that strategy with others before seeing it, see if that perks up any interest. I’d also try “This is the same guy who directed both Hellboys”. That’s what got me to see Del Toro’s other films.

    • Yeah he has really been one of the more versatile directors in terms of moving between intellectual property and his own ideas. Also an adaption of his novel’s “The Strain” is coming out on FX this fall.

  4. I can’t wait till this love affair with Comic Book movies goes away. They are like Buddy Cop/Lawyer movies in the 80’s and Gangster/Hitman films in the 90’s. Eventually they will disappear and Hollywood will replace it with some other genre and ram that down our throats. Unfortunately, we’ll probably never get rid of sequels…

    • Whats wrong with good sequels?
      Don’t you like the godfatherpart two, The Dark Knight, Empire Strikes Back, Back to the Future 2, X2 and so on?

      Whats wrong with good superhero movies, if you love the genre? I really don’t get this annoying, naysaying negativity towards this. You like comics, so you like serialized fiction. Thats what a sequel is!

    • My issue is two different things.

      With superhero movies, I think movies generally take away what makes those stories work so well on a comic book page. On a comic page for me they can survive with a lot more freedom and joy (when done well) then what I’ve seen done in their best at the movies. DC certainly is not bringing any joy to their adaptations, getting bogged down in “realism” and gloom. That’s one way to tell those stories, but to me the best superhero stories are not that. The comics at their best for me have an unrestrained joy and exhuberance that films just never go for. The Marvel films come closest, and as comic book movies they are fine, but as a general movie they just aren’t my thing.

      Put it this way – movies are a medium with it’s own challenges and rewards, and the things I love best about movies are not the same things I like about my comics.

      With sequels, it comes down to…do I want to watch the same thing again that I alread liked once? For me, I rarely ever want to see the sequel.

    • DC is just trying to build a brand. Marvel’s core “universe” is all about witty fun, because it’s worked so well in Iron Man, Thor, Cap America, and Avengers (with some minor tweaks for individual flavor). The Dark Knight trilogy made a huge amount of money, so DC knows it works. Now they want their movies to follow a similar formula. It doesn’t work with everything, like “Green Lantern” (one of the MANY problems with that movie). Flash would probably be in the same boat. They can be “serious” but not dark or moody, it wouldn’t work for those characters. Personally I like that strategy, DC can be dramatic action flicks and Marvel can be Witty lighthearted romps. If every movie was like a Marvel film Id get very bored honestly.

      Also, I think movies can improve on some stuff in the books. Not all the time. And there are films that put a fun different spin on the book you know so well.

    • <>

      Oh absolutely. When the superhero movies play to the strength of what the movies can do best, that it’s own special reward. I’m thinking of the comic timing in The Avengers, the too-fast or you’ll miss it fighting in Man of Steel, or New Yorkers standing up for Spidey in the 2nd film. Those are dramatic elements that movies can bring to a life in a different way from comics.

    • RonDev: I’m with you on what I think you are saying which is that a Movie is not capable of providing the serialized context that comics can even if it is part of an ongoing movie franchise. The best movies that I saw this year are Spring Breakers and The Place Beyond the Pines. They work because they focus chiefly on a small group of people in a set period of time even though the scope of those parameters of those two movies are completely different. Superhero stories and most comic book series work because of the many layers of context that the long form serialized style of story telling allows for the medium. I feel like that get’s lost in most of the movies and with that some of the things that make a lot of these characters interesting in the comics ala Wolverine, The Punisher, Daredevil ect.

  5. I’ll make it simple; all the kids movies? They’re gonna suck. HARD. Smurfs 2? Alvin and the chipmunks? Who wanted to see these come back? Who’s seeing them now?

    I’m good with Anchorman, the Hobbit, Marvel sequels. Red 2 might be good for what it is. Other stuff tho? It looks very passable. There was an article on about this, “How Super-Hero movies are ruining cinema” or something, Studios aren’t backing indie guys anymore because of pirating so the indie guys are in tv or elsewhere (taking their unique ideas with them), studios see how much money niche blockbusters can make and try to capture it and manufacture it in the dozens (which curtails creative vision because Studios want guranteed results on used to original). Those are just the bullet points, look it up if you can it’s a great read.

    I barely go to the movies anymore, I go for the comic book movies or sci fi or comedy. Stuff I really want to see, everything else I’ll wait 9 months and get it from the library for free.

    This list doesn’t make me sad, it just confirms what I’ve suspected for awhile; Hollywood needs to stop making movies. It’s out of ideas.

    • I don’t think it’s Superhero movies specifically that are the problem. I think it’s a symptom of the problem that these movies are getting made, but that’s a bit like saying the stuff you cough out when you’ve got a cold is what’s causing the cold.

    • Yeah I botched the title, but the points are the same. Like you said Superhero movies aren’t the problem (and really, we can have a dozen Ron-com movies every year but not 4-5 Superhero movies? COME ON!!!), they’re just a symptom of the problem.

      There’s something to keep in mind about this list tho: it’s not the whole story. These are the Announced sequels, probably for the sake of investors and people devoted to movie news/updates/fans. I’m sure there are plenty of original films that will be playing right beside all of these (not saying they won’t be terrible, look at “Oblivion” and “After Earth”). I stand by what I said before, Hollywood is out of ideas and needs to stop making movies. YES I KNOW WHY THAT CAN’T HAPPEN, but what’s gonna happen to the Auto industry if they keep making cars nobody is buying? Without lowering the price on them?

      I want to amend my earlier post; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes should be sweet. Not cool with a Terminator reboot, or any reboot of an Arnold flick.

    • Eh, I think it’s important to not get worked over something just because it exists. I mean, we know why sequels and reboots happen. I think if we were on the business end of things we would probably be making the same choices- I know you will say you wouldn’t, but I think in our heart of hearts we know it to be true. Let’s face it, we’d all take that paycheck. And why not? It’s not like they’re doing anything really bad, like selling children into slavery or something.

      And for every After Earth may there be a Pacific Rim (assuming it’s awesome, but I think it will be).

    • I’d prefer to think I could maintain my artistic integrity, or even any integrity where I in the movie business. I don’t know, like Peter Bishop said: “We all draw our lines in the sand”.

      I didn’t get worked up when “Total Recall” came out, but I have no desire to see it. Just how I feel.

    • The reason superhero movies and big budget movies in general are changing the market is because of the growth of the overseas market.
      In the past 10-20 years, more and more areas that had virtually no theaters or access to Hollywood features are now gaining that access. Since the people of these areas are just now seeing big budget movies, they are eating it up. Think about when Star Wars came out, or even Avatar, people flocked to the theater to see something they hadn’t seen before.

      Also, have you noticed that more and more movies are being released overseas first? They are trying to minimize on the piracy from English speaking countries, putting more foreign market viewers in theater seats.

    • That’s pretty interesting, I wasn’t aware of that. I know pirating was a big part of the puzzle but the growth of new movie audiences is big. I mean can you imagine all the crap studio execs are cooking up for these people? 3-D, IMAX, 3-D IMAX, extra large popcorn; all the crap we’re sick of here in America.

      It’s also scary from a sociological perspective; I don’t know if you’ve studied that but from what I’ve learned I think we need to stop pushing American ideals in other countries. It doesn’t seem to benefit them very much.

  6. How come we hold up Movies as the apex platform for storytelling? Why do we give so much discussion and thought to what is or isn’t happening in the film industry, why do we care? Here we are on a website dedicated to Sequential Art and we can’t stop talking about Film.

    There is far too much chatter about “Who should play this character I love reading about in the movie version!” or “Hopefully they make a movie version of this book I love!”

    How come I never see… “Man, what an awesome movie, I wonder what artist should draw the comic book series based on it?” or “Wouldn’t this movie make for a fantastic Comic?!”

    Maybe I just enjoy reading (books / comics) far more than I do watching (movies / tv), so I don’t really see the purpose of spending so much energy thinking about movies on a site dedicated to Comics. It feels like it undercuts the validity of our favorite medium to keep harping on the exisiting and potential adaptations of it. For me atleast, comics are not simply a waystation before Movies come in and turn it into something better. Comics are the destination.

    • The problem with comics isn’t the medium of comics itself, but everything surrounding it. I pretty much agree with all your statements. I get more out of most 20 page comics than I do out of most movies. And the kind of stories you can tell have nearly no limit.

      I think a step in the right direction would be to stop making comics just about superheroes. But that’s just me.

    • I agree with you guys, I get more out of my comics usually than movies now.

      But I also enjoy the movie discussion, for better or worse it’s part of the comics medium now (and maybe important in it surviving into the future decades). Also it’s good for websites to have diverse topics, leads to more visits and such.

      For my money though, comic adaptations of movies are terrible/redundant. Exceptions: “Jim Henson’s Tales of Sand”. If you guys can recommend any others cool but I don’t think the list is very long of movie-to-comics that are good.

    • For me the movies are a great way to share my love for certain characters with people who just don’t have any interest in reading a comic. Since the Dark Knight a lot of people who once though I was stupid to like Batman completely turned around and asked if the comics are also that well written and serious. I like that discussion and that situation, because it shows that those characters are bigger than comics. That they are so great that they work in nearly every medium.
      Sure, I love comics, but more than that I love certain characters. Batman for example. I don’t care if its a comic, a novel, a movie or a tv show. I follow that guy wherever and I love that! I love that it can exist in so many mediums.

  7. “Sequels are nothing new, of course, but truly sequential sequels…well, with the exception of Godfather II and Star Wars, there weren’t that many movies that followed the same characters in the same universe in a time that followed close behind the previous movie.”

    What?! Dude, the 80s onward was so many sequels you couldn’t shake a stick at them without causing The Stick II: The Shaking Continues. I was thinking maybe you were talking about Hollywood’s 100+ year history overall but then you used audiences used to batch watching from Netflix as one of your causes for the rise of sequels.

    Sequels were in abundance well before the internet.

    • Well before the 80s. Charlie Chan, Sherlock Holmes, The Thin Man, plus any horror movie that had any success whatsoever. Hollywood has always been ready to beat a herd of horses until there’s nothing left but a few broken hooves.

  8. I really want that Winter Soldier movie to be fantastic.

  9. I think the term “sequel” needs to be examined, too. Does “Empire Strikes Back” count as a “sequel,” or is it a chapter in a larger story? I’d say the same for “Harry Potter,” “Hunger Games” and “The Hobbit.” Those were going to be multiple movies anyway (though the idea of splitting one book into multiple movies definitely is a money issue). I agree that most of the movies on Mike’s list are true “sequels” made mostly for the money, but some of these are continuations of a story that hasn’t finished yet (and I would put many of the Marvel Studios movies into that pile, since there seems to be a through-line across all of these telling an ongoing story).

    Also, ask David Cross how much he minds sitting on that fat “Chipmunks” money.

  10. Superhero films are losing their audience because Hollywood isn’t doing enough to diversify the lineup. 90% of the Superhero films are either generic ACTION/comedies or generic Grim Dark ACTION/dramas. They’re just action movies with a superhero veneer. Change the way the movie looks a bit and a little bit of the dialogue and most Superhero films could just be normal action films with sci-fi/fantasy/war/noir overtones. The only Superhero movie that couldn’t be rejiggered easily would be Man of Steel.

    Hollywood is stuck in the “Audiences aren’t going to our movies… We need to spend MORE!” When really what they need to do is the opposite. Spend less on each film and pump out more films in a wider array of genres. Think about it this way, you could have 1 film make a billion dollars, or you could have 10 films make a billion dollars. Sure the one film is easier but it is also extraordinarily risky (look at John Carter, Water World and the Lone Ranger). Yes the merchandisers don’t like it but when you cast a wider net, you can see which ones stick and then make sequels of the hits ad nauseum. You know what else movie companies could do? Charge less for their movies. I would go to the theater way more often if tickets were half the price that they are now. The current price point just doesn’t make economic sense when I legally have access to all the latest shows and movies from 6 months ago via the internet. I’m already paying for the internet, so a 8 buck Netflix membership is nothing compared to the countless hours of entertainment I get out of it.

    Look at the 5 movies I enjoyed most in the last year – Moonrise Kingdom, Avengers, Life of Pi, Skyfall and Cloud Atlas. Only one of those had a budget over 200 million. Only 2 had a budget over 150 million. Moonrise Kingdom cost just 16 million to make but grossed over 4 times that. Life of Pi was cost just over 100 million to make but made over 600 million. Hell, Life of Pi proves if you have an amazing vision, a solid cast and a great script, you can turn anything into Box Office Gold (i mean come on, I thought the entire premise was stupid until I was dragged kicking and screaming to the film and subsequently astounded).

    As for sequels, well, they are here to stay. When you see something you like, you usually want more of it. People as so used to the serialized format of TV that they are often irked by the lack of the same serialization in film. Do we need a bajillion Ice Age films? I’d contend it was one and done but, to be fair, I really like the dynamic shared between Ray Romano, John Leguizamo and Denis Leary. I want to see more of that, even if I have to suffer through tediously plotted and contrived sequels.

    Speaking of Ice Age films, you know something I like about them? Not one of them costs more than 95 million to make. Even if one of the future sequels is a mondo flop, the company is still likely to make a nice profit. I wish more movies were like that, especially if they were going to go for sequel after sequel after sequel. Make them cheaper, so if one of them is a dud, you can still make more movies with the same characters.

    Sure that isn’t great for diversity but I liked Lone Ranger, I want to see a sequel but we’ll never, ever see one. If the movie had cost 100 million to make, then it wouldn’t have been a flop (or at least a terrible flop) and a sequel might have been a possibility. Which is sad because I think a non-origin Lone Ranger film could be a moderate box office success.

    Having said all of that, Disney can afford big flops because the cost of making films is dwarfed by the amount of money they rake in from everything else Disney owns (ABC, ESPN, Disney TV Channels, Pixar, Marvel, LucasArts, Parks and other films). Unlike most film companies, Disney can afford huge stinkers because they only need a new property to strike gold every once in a while (like Pirates of the Caribbean). They can easily afford the risk and do so because the potential payout is often super lucrative.

    Unfortunately, that does not hold true for most film companies, which are really struggling right now. A change of cocus is really needed to find the new normal in this increasingly specialized, niche and digital world we find ourselves in. Unfortunately, that requires taking risks, which most companies are very adverse to. 🙁

    • Dude Moonrise Kingdom was the shite. And Skyfall. Gan alot of good movies came out last year.

      You’re right, companies need to diversify more. The problem with that? They already have: Comedies, Dramas, Rom Coms, Action, Sci Fi, Horror. We’ve seen these film genres for years. As far as I can tell; Comedies and Action films make the most money. It used to be horror I think, until the 20+ sequels beat the horse dead and people grew bored with it. I think they have records and the studio execs know what films make the most money and thus what to invest in. I could be wrong, I personally think people in Hollywood have no clue what they’re doing half the time (mainly the studio execs). So the real problem is getting good scripts for the various genres. The problem with that is that we’ve seen most of what can be done with Rom Coms, Dramas, Westerns, Action, etc. I’m not sure if there’s any way to reinvent those genres, so all that’s left is to find good scripts for them.

      One last thing, when did Hollywood associate big budget with big returns? I mean you don’t throw that money at everything, it’s unnescesary and irresponsible. Take the Lone Ranger, please! I mean what did all that money go towards? Explosions and Depp’s paycheck? You hear that Hollywood doesn’t like to gamble on films but it seems like they actually do it alot.

    • Comic book movies are losing their audience? Where is the evidence? Avengers, Dark Knight Rises and Iron Man 3 have all made over a billion dollars worldwide. Man Of Steel has gone above expectations (and the sequel, like The Dark Knight will probably be even bigger). Why is it ok for Comics to be continuous but not the movies?

      I agree there have always been bad sequels but there are just as many bad movies in general. Sequel or not there are just a lot of shitty movies.

  11. I don’t get the problem. As a comic fan I love serialized fiction and superheroes, so sequels are a good thing, as long as they are quality.
    Sure, I enjoy a great non sequel non superhero movie as much as the next guy, but I don’t worry about that since those movies aren’t going anywhere.
    The mainstream movie superherohype will continue for maybe another 6 years, then it will fade away again and only the big guns like Batman will stay and thats ok. But until then, I will enjoy this time in hollyood fully and watch almost every superhero movie with glee (when they are quality).

  12. Remember back in the 90’s when the problem was almost all of the comic book movies sucked? Even the worst Marvel film is better than “Batman and Robin” or “Barb Wire.”

    • Exactly! And now we get 3-4 good to great comicbook movies per year and we complain its too much?!?!?!?!
      This is like saying… “No… marvel/DC/image is doing to many great books at the moment”

  13. I understand why they make sequels and all that and it’s fine with me. I rarely watch movies anymore it seems like everything is so watered down and unoriginal. I remember hearing somewhere about music that ” there are only 7 original songs and the rest are just copies.” I’m sure it’s not true but hopefully you get my meaning. Movies try to appeal to such a wide audience that they become formulaic. The only truly outside of the box stories of any genre are in comics and books not movies IMO . It’s true the book is always better.

    • Sounds like you don’t see enough stuff to truly have a qualified opinion on that. I go at least 4 times a month into the cinema, be it smaller art house theaters, or the big multiplexes.
      There is plenty great stuff thats original and mindblowingly great. You just have to search a bit, just like with music, comics and books. Like in any medium, its your own fault if you say you don’t find anything good. There is plenty.

    • One could argue that there are only 2 types of any story…revenge story and coming of age story. Think about it.

    • @Shallbecomeabat I may not go to the cinema 4 times a month but I’m as “qualified”as anyone else to speak on this. We’re not talking about the A-bomb or brain surgery. Movies are watered down and formulaic to appeal to a mass audience. They don’t want to take chances or do anything that might turn off any segment of the viewing public. I know this generally refers to the big studios and not indie studios but theyre the ones running the show.I’m sure there are some gems out there but I don’t want to waste the time wading through the garbage to find them. In my opinion of course 🙂

      @Nationalhill. Yes one could argue that and have very good point. Of course books are able to flesh out a character and story to a much greater and better degree than film-generally-and that is why I prefer books and comics. But yes…good point

  14. This article is true when it comes to big studio movies but kind of ignores the small, independent movies that are being made. Unfortunately, if the studio system is going to continue and big productions are going to continue it won’t be because of movies like Stranger than Paradise. Movie studios do not exist to make experimental films. They exist to make money and exploit their properties. If character driven movies made them money that’s what they would do. You should really blame the audience. Audiences want the familiar and they want more of the same. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with a sequel (and its kind of unfair to call Hunger Games or Harry Potter sequels since they were part of one big story from a pre-existing property) if its done well. For me Star Trek Into Darkness was exactly what I don’t want in a sequel. It was a sequel and essentially a remake at the same time. They had the perfect opportunity to do something different and blew it.

    I love small, original movies but the fact is that if every movie was a Barton Fink, Royal Tennenbaums, or Chasing Amy there wouldn’t be much of a movie industry anymore. Someone needs to put up production costs and movie studios need to recoup there costs somehow…particularly when they buy the rights to these smaller, quirky movies that don’t stand any chance of finding a huge audience.

    I look at it like this…I love punk rock music. I don’t listen to many bands on major labels and, with computer software and the internet, it has never been easier or cheaper to make a sound recording and get your music heard by others. You might not make any money at it but it is an exciting time for musicians and music fans. It’s the same with film. With digital camera’s and computer software you can make a movie. It might not be seen by anyone but you can do it. That is the difference between film and the film industry.

  15. Am I the only one who read this article and all they took away from it was “oh! Kung Fu Pnada 3! SKIDOOSH!”

  16. The DVD/Blu-Ray/streaming revenue streams continue to support these efforts.

    I may have reached the point where I no longer need to go to the movies more than about twice a year now.

  17. I really don’t understand all the negativity here. Marvel and DC ongoings are nothing but a never ending stream of sequels. Batman will never have an end. Spider-Man will go on and on and repeat forever. How can you be a fan of serialized fiction and yet be against sequels. It makes no sense.