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Successful sequels no one asked for

Overcoming apathy.

Sequels are an accepted and in many cases, expected, part of Hollywood. If audiences like a movie, the question immediately asked is, “Will there be another one?” In today’s franchise driven film industry, most scripts are written with multiple installments in mind. That does not mean that every sequel is wanted. For every Top Gun: Maverick there is Kindergarten Cop 2 or Boo 2! A Madea Halloween. Here are the ones that succeeded even when no one wanted them.

Annabelle: Creation

Horror sequels are a funny thing. There is an expectation that not only will they not be as good as the original, but they may be downright awful. But what happens when the series is not that great to begin with? As Final Destination has proven time and time again, a mediocre at best franchise can go on for a while. Annabelle was affected by having to follow the awesome The Conjuring, but is a generic movie even when judged on its own merits. When it was announced a prequel was arriving, it seemed like it would be more goofy nonsense. It remains one of the best entries in The Conjuring universe.

Halloween (2018)

With a reach that goes beyond the horror community, Michael Myers is so popular that every new Halloween movie is going to garner some interest. Even Rob Zombie’s two awful remakes could not entirely kill the franchise. Still, when another entry was announced, it did not set the world on fire. Sure, it was neat that it was a direct sequel to the original that would ignore all other installments, but we already got that with Halloween H2O. It turned out to be a return to form that restored people’s faith in the franchise – which would soon be butchered by the following two sequels.

Mad Max: Fury Road

The first two Mad Max movies wrote the template for what post-apocalyptic stories should look like. Horror movies, anime, and music videos are just some of the things that have looked to the films for inspiration. Mad Max Beyond Thuderdome was not so much bad as it was disappointing. It seemed like all magic of the original stories was gone. Fury Road shocked everyone by providing an exciting and action packed story. It went on to win six Academy Awards.

Prey

Few franchises have fallen as far as the Predator movies. The first one was an amazing sci-fi adventure that still holds up thirty-five years later. During those three and a half decades, fans have been treated to some awful sequels. When it was announced that another movie would be coming to Hulu, it was met with a resounding “Meh”. Prey is one of the year’s most pleasant surprises. Arguably the first installment to live up to the high standards of the 1987 original, the prequel is filled with great performances and action.

Rocky Balboa

The Rocky franchise got off to a great start. The first movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture and is filled with iconic moments. The sequels fare just as well, giving audiences “Yo, Adrian, I did it!”, ‘Eye of the Tiger’, and the greatest training montage of all time. Then came Rocky V. Widely considered the worst film in series, Sylvester Stallone later expressed regret over it. It was so bad, it was almost twenty years before the next movie. Even then, few wanted to see it. Rocky Balboa corrected the wrongs of the previous movie and led to the successful Creed movies.

Thor: Ragnarök

The Thor movies were the black sheep of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It would not be entirely correct to say they were awful, but they lacked the charm of the rest of the MCU. For many, they were the worst movies of the bunch. With director Taika Waititi, Ragnarök brings the fun and whimsy that had been lacking. The soundtrack and characters are awesome. Thor has since become one of the most popular heroes in the MCU.

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