Second is the first loser: Movie sequels fail to capture spirit of originals, few worth watching

The parking lot is full at a local movie theater and lines of people decked in various merchandise stretch around the building, everyone waiting for the same thing: tickets for the newest addition to an acclaimed film series. Millions of dollars were spent on the movie and millions were gained back from the overall franchise of the film. Now, the writers are scrambling to try and search for suitable material to create the shameful sequel. Even when there is no material to base a good story off of, the film companies still crank out more films (no matter how terrible) if it means they will get more money. And we, as dedicated movie-goers, must suffer through the terrible sequels, remakes, and spin-offs that are spit out by film companies.

Most people may know lots of sequels that just should not exist. Movies such as Shreks 2-4, Grease 2, and pretty much every Matrix movie are things that we usually don’t talk about. If a story is finished out in a decent way in the first movie, why even bother with another? And another? And another?

For more times than I can count, I have returned to the movie theater to see just how well or how badly, done sequels are. Needless to say, I have been disappointed many times. The only reason so many people go to see sequels is to watch if they’re good or not, and this is exactly what the producers are trying to do. Once the first movie makes tons of money, it’s time to make another movie because people will go to see it. This, of course, causes the movie to make more money and then the cycle starts all over again.

If you haven’t caught on by now, the whole sequel thing is just a ploy to make lots of money. That’s why, whenever there’s a book series that’s later made into a film series (such as the Harry Potter books, The Hunger Games, and the Divergent series), the last film of the series is usually split into two parts. Most of us who have read the books appreciate this because of the extra time they make so that all of the content of the story can actually be included, but that is sadly not the reason behind the splitting. Dedicated fans of such series will for sure go to see every movie and, along with that, buy almost every piece of merchandise that they can get their hands on. While the fans are spending their time and money, the producers of the films are sitting on big thrones of money.

After the Disney children’s film Frozen came out, it made more on opening night than The Lion King at a whopping $110.6 million worldwide. The film was still going strong and remained in the top ten at the box offices for sixteen consecutive weeks, and the whole franchise made $1.274 billion worldwide. Obviously, this was going to catch the producers’ and writers’ attention, forcing them to write whatever they can for another movie, and many have speculated for the next film to be a flop.

Now, some sequels are worth the production. Cinematic gems like The Dark Knight and Catching Fire obviously surpassed the films before them in quality, writing, and acting. Because of these very few good sequels, there is still a tiny, flickering light of hope that once a sequel is announced, that it will actually be worth watching.

Remember, the next time you go to the movies and witness another ‘roadkill’ of a film, that it’s all about the money.

 

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