Entertain Us (19-4-2017): Greatest movie franchises

THE latest instalment of the Fast and Furious movie franchise opened in Australia to mixed reviews last week.

Fate of the Furious is the eighth movie to grace our screens and prompted me to consider the greatest movie franchises of all time.

I have constructed a list of three, which, ironically enough, does not feature the inspiration for this list.

Excluded are franchises which don’t follow a single storyline; for example, the Marvel comic franchise, and I only considered franchises with more than three movies.

  • 1. James Bond
    There have been 24 official James Bond films, starting with Dr. No in 1962 up to Spectre in 2015, and there will inevitably be more on the way.
    Having grossed slightly more than $2billion thus far it is difficult to argue with the films’ commercial appeal.
    Big budget, action-packed movies appear to get bums on seats, and the tried and tested script of Bond rescuing the damsel in distress from the clutches of evil continues to provide good viewing.
    Imaginative gadgets, captivating opening sequences with Oscar-standard theme songs and exciting cars can be found in every instalment.
    Ian Fleming’s creation is going from strength to strength and can add my award as greatest movie franchise of all time to its plethora of accolades.
  • 2. Harry Potter
    Eight films in 10 years managed to accrue about $8.5b at the box office. There is also a ninth movie if you include Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (which I don’t).
    The adaptation of J. K. Rowling’s literary masterpieces was a massive success with movie goers and launched Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint into superstardom.
    You could mount a strong argument Harry Potter kickstarted the public’s fascination with the supernatural, which has manifested into Twilight and other similar movies and books.
    Any series which kickstarts an entire genre into public consciousness deserves a place on this list.
    It was also great for the British unemployment rate with seemingly every British actor called upon to play a role at some point.
  • 3. Star Wars
    I’m not a massive Star Wars fan myself but I can appreciate how much this series resonated with a lot of people.
    Nine Star Wars movies, including two in the past three years, indicate the staying power this series has with viewers.
    The first movie was released in 1977 and the latest in 2016, with long breaks found between some releases, yet the thirst for more Star Wars never abates.
    Famous actors and actresses have used Star Wars to catapult their careers — Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson and a wide range of others have featured in Star Wars movies during the past 40 years.
    Famous for its revolutionary special effects at its inception, that is still a Star Wars feature with amazing effects used in the modern-day versions.

Honourable mentions should go to The Hunger Games series, Lord of the Rings saga and Jurassic Park. I’d also like to note how apparent it is the best movies come from books, which I rate as pleasing.

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