Its safe to say that movie franchises are starting to become the back bone of the cinema industry, where the most well establish franchises can produce a billion dollar film with each entry. There have been a wide range of film franchised that have been released over the decades, we now present to you our Top 10 Film Franchises.
10. John Wick
Once every 10 years or so there releases a film that changes the rules of a respective genre; when it comes to the action genre, ‘John Wick’ is the most recent addition – a film and now franchise that has set the standard for “how to properly shoot an action scene”. The influence of ‘John Wick’ has perhaps set a standard for action films to reach when filming gun fights, fist fights, and… well, any fight. 6 years later and this single film has become a franchise that is soon to span 5 films and even a TV series. This franchise is the single most important change to the action film genre in the past decade and we’re certain its influence will continue to impact action films of the future.
9. Pirates of the Caribbean
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise may not rise to the quality of other franchises nor be nearly as consistent in its quality as it has essentially decreased in quality with each sequel. However, one can not argue it’s influence on the modern blockbuster as they were the first taste of how grand and large scale films can be. The Pirates franchise introduced us to blockbusters having insanely large budgets as they have two of the top five largest budgets including the #1 spot. While we can present a strong argument regarding the storytelling of the franchise, we can make a strong case for how fun these films are. Johnny Depp anchors the entire franchise – honestly, this franchise doesn’t work without his performance as the iconic Captain Jack Sparrow.
8. James Bond
With 26 movies spanning over 50 years, James Bond has become one of the most exciting action franchises to ever be made with each installment being much anticipated as the next. With seven actors portraying the 007 agent, each bringing a different take and spin to the character. With an iconic hero comes iconic villains, each villain is just as iconic as the next as they try to defeat Bond. Lets not forget about the iconic Jame Bond theme score that perfectly fits the cool spy tone of this character. With the cars, girls, gadgets and suits, James Bond is the type of character that every girl would swoon for and every guy would like to be.
7. The Lord of the Rings
While The Hobbit Trilogy has received a generally mixed response from fans and critics alike, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy stands as perhaps cinemas greatest film trilogy – the cultural impact this trilogy has had on cinema is incalculable, inspiring studios and directors to aim for cinematic heights that many believed impossible. While The Hobbit most certainly isn’t a stain on the franchise, it does sully what many would regard as a perfect 3 film streak.
6. The Planet of the Apes
Matt Reeves Planet of the Apes trilogy might just be one of the best/underrated trilogies ever made, with each installment surpassing the next. We follow Caesar’s from childhood to fatherhood and his influence within the rising ape community. Unlike most films, the human characters are strong throughout this film series and their interaction with the apes seem genuine.
5. Toy Story
Undoubtedly, the Toy Story franchise is the heart of the Pixar studio. It paved the way for Pixar to emerge as the elite, top tier animation studio. In addition, Toy Story was the first entirely computer-animated film and immediately defined itself amongst animated classics. Let’s not forget the incredible story of Toy Story 2 with the film almost accidentally deleted on the file servers to initially being planned as a direct-to-video release. Toy Story 2 went on to become the third highest grossing animated film at the time. Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4 were adored by most and the franchise has continued to find a way to justify its prolonged existence. Despite the common consensus – we are open to more Toy Story adventures if they are treated with the same amount of care and tenderness as the first four films.
4. Star Wars
What would the world be like, without the phenomenon that is Star Wars. By far one of the most popular franchises of all time has amassed a huge following of fans over the years. The iconic original trilogy gave us so many iconic pop culture moments along with one of the biggest twists we have seen in cinema. The prequel trilogy why it may not have reached the heights of the original it still delivered many memeable moments. The sequel trilogy may have its fair share of haters; it still manages to wrap up over 40 years of storytelling nicely giving a fitting end to an iconic franchise.
3. Harry Potter
The Harry Potter franchise is one of the most iconic franchises in pop culture – alongside the likes of The Lord of the Rings & Star Wars. Please note, Harry Potter does not include the horrid Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films. Perhaps the best feature of this franchise is its consistency, as you always know what you are going to get from any given film. The Harry Potter franchise casted a spell on its audience in 2001 and didn’t let us go until 2011 with its fantastic and magical finale. Daniel Radicliffe, Emma Watson & Rupert Grint are perfectly casted and consistently grow, and mature into their roles. This franchise is a huge cinematic achievement and unlikely to be replicated for a long time. An almost perfect franchise that captured the heart of millions – we hope to see some magical extensions to this world in the future.
2. The Dark Knight Trilogy
What more could we say that hasn’t already been said about The Dark Knight Trilogy? It’s the franchise that saved Batman from the cheesy campiness of its predecessors, by utilising a more darker, grounded environment for its three films. The casting over the three films is possibly one of the greatest of any franchise with nonperformance being flat. The utilisation of excellent villains gave Batman a formidable foe throughout the trilogy. To top this franchise off it gave us the greatest comic book movie of all time in The Dark Knight with everything about that movie being iconic, it will really take something special to top this franchise.
1. Marvel Cinematic Universe
The MCU may not contain a singular movie in it that is better than ‘The Dark Knight’ and it may not have a best finale like The Lord of the Rings – but this list is NOT a best trilogy list and it is NOT a best film list either, it’s a best franchise list. What is a franchise and how do we judge that? Well, we believe it’s the whole damn thing, not just the best parts – from beginning to end, the whole picture. The Lord of the Rings franchise lets us down with the Hobbit trilogy, The Dark Knight franchise lets us down with a questionable third film, Toy Story extends itself beyond its lifespan and doesn’t have a scope comparable to the larger franchises, and Harry Potter (while close to perfection) misses its mark on a couple of its films. The MCU tops this list not because it is faultless, but because it’s consistent. Even its faults aren’t hard hitting enough to ruffle the narrative. Each character has a story with build-up toward something, each film can be watched as its own story so wide in scope that it’s hard not to admire it.