Top 5… Movie franchises

Having just seen Mission: Impossible 4 and with Underworld 4 (including the prequel) just out it made sense to do a run down of my favourite movie franchises.

Here are the rules I followed when compiling this list:

  • There must be at least four films in the franchise. Three is just a trilogy. This rules out the Spiderman films, Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, etc.
  • All of the films have to have been released, nothing still in progress. This rules out Bourne and Jurassic Park.
  • Reboots don’t count. So Batman Begins and The Dark Knight do not count towards the original Batman franchise.
  • Prequels are allowed as long as they fit in with the originals.
  • I have to have seen all of the films in the franchise. This rules out a fair few biggies like Rocky, Planet of the Apes and Shrek.

So, with that in place, here we go…

5. Die Hard

The original film still stands as one of the best Christmas films ever (as well as one of the best action films) and while the follow-ups don’t quite live up to it they are still very entertaining films. I’m looking forward to the fifth instalment being filmed now so John McClane must be doing something right!

4. Indiana Jones

Despite an unforgivably bad fourth instalment Indiana “named after the dog” Jones is one of the greatest action heroes in film history and with Spielberg still behind the camera there is always hope for the fifth film if it ever gets made.

3. Star Wars

No franchise in history can cause such a stir as the Star Wars franchise. I’m not a massive fan of the films but appreciate what they achieved and how popular they still are today. With the live action TV series being made at the the moment I don’t think we’ve seen the last from this universe.

2. Harry Potter

No film series has gripped the world, year after year, as consistently as Harry Potter. The films grew up and matured with the titular character and will stand a the best series of “children’s” films for decades to come. It’s a shame it’s all over now but when J K Rowling runs out of money who knows what she might write!

1. Alien (not including AvP)

Most film franchises have a sense of consistency about them. Not the Alien franchise. We were first introduced with Scott’s space thriller, then Cameron wowed us with an action horror, then Fincher came on board with an underrated visual treat. Sadly Jeunet dropped the ball with an (IMHO) appalling fourth film but Scott is back in 2011 to take the franchise back to it’s roots with Prometheus.

Honourable Mentions

  • James Bond – came close to the top 5 but there are too many mediocre films that drag down the franchise.
  • Star Trek – Focus on most of the positive numbers and you’re ok
  • X-Men
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Mission: Impossible
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