We are on the doorsteps of 2015, and for all Hollywood lovers, the coming year is going to hold a lot of nostalgic value. It is the year when franchises will dominate, when movies of the past will be remembered and the love for them rekindled. Movies more than a decade old are also going to find either a reboot or a sequel in the making here. It is 2015, my dear friends, the year of franchises. If you did not get the memo, then have a look at the list again. I have put in as many movies as I could find that are attached to a franchise, and have listed them chronologically as per their announced release dates.
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
This is the sequel to the horror flick The Woman in Black of 2012 whose main attraction was Daniel Radcliffe in his post Harry Potter days. No repeat of that for the sequel, so I doubt as to how many would be much interested.
Liam Neeson seems to have gotten a hefty increase in pay package to bring him on board Taken 3. The original movie of 2008 turned him into an action star, the sequel of 2012 also did great business at the box-office, so Taken 3 seems like a forceful continuation of a hit franchise, though hopefully it will end with this one.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
The Nickelodeon television series SpongeBob SquarePants seems to be big enough to warrant a movie of its own. An animated film had hit the big screens in 2004 and now, this 2015 one is supposed to be a sequel. If you aren’t a fan of the series but are really looking for a reason to watch the movie, then note that Antonio Banderas is voicing one of the characters.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
The 2010 sci-fi comedy film Hot Tub Time Machine was no big hit during its theatrical run, though seems to have done better on the home video market to justify this upcoming sequel. Much of the old cast returns sans John Cusack.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
When the $10 million budgeted film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel of 2012 earned $137 million at the box-office, the studios would have been left with their mouths wide open. So this sequel got the greenlight, and the audience get to travel to India once again. The sequel has roped in Richard Gere as well along with the stars from the previous film like Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
No longer stuck with a Halloween release date, the Paranormal Activity series is rolling faster than one can keep count. The upcoming March 2015 movie is the sixth in the series, in case you wanted to know.
The Divergent Series: Insurgent
This is the sequel to 2014’s Divergent starring Shailene Woodley, based on the science fiction young adult novel series written by Veronica Roth. There are two more movies to follow, as the final book of the trilogy has been broken up into two parts (which is the fashion nowadays!).
The summer of 2015 will start with a bang with the highly anticipated Furious 7. A new director in James Wan, but expect the same old cars and fast races, spiced up with the inclusion of Jason Statham, mellowed down with the sad demise of Paul Walker.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
This is the sequel to the 2009 comedy film which turned out to be a surprise hit. Kevin James is reprising his role as Paul Blart; nonetheless, a six-year gap to release a sequel of such a movie seems an odd choice.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Phase II of the Marvel cinematic universe will come to a dramatic conclusion with Avengers: Age of Ultron and set the ball rolling for Phase III. Director Joss Whedon has a huge task of living upto the expectations he created with the success of 2012’s The Avengers, but in him, we trust!
Mad Max: Fury Road
This is the fourth movie in the Mad Max series but do not chastise yourself if you aren’t aware of the previous ones. There has been a 30-year gap after all! Mad Max first came to the big screens in 1979, followed by sequels in 1981 and 1985, with Mel Gibson playing the titular character in each of the movies. The upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road has Tom Hardy taking over the lead role along with Charlize Theron while George Miller returns to direct his fourth film of the franchise.
Pitch Perfect 2
Pitch Perfect 2 is an upcoming musical comedy film and a sequel to the sleeper hit of 2012. It also marks the directorial debut for actress Elizabeth Banks for a full-length feature film.
Insidious Chapter 3
A hit horror movie always has a sequel, and a hit sequel finds another sequel. So the chain continues in the Insidious Chapter series after the 2011 and 2013 films did tremendously well at the box-office. the third instalment serves as a prequel and the directing duties have been passed on from James Wan to Leigh Whannell.
1993, 1997, 2001, these are the years when big big dinosaurs roamed on the theatrical screens. 14 years later, they have returned. While we would have loved Steven Spielberg to take back the director’s chair for the franchise which we propelled to such stardom, Colin Trevorrow may not be a bad choice either. Along with Chris Pratt, and a new hybrid dinosaur, Jurassic World could relaunch this franchise again.
The Transporter Legacy
The Transporter series has been synonymous with the name of Jason Statham. But the studios are looking at rebooting the series and so Ed Skrein is the new Frank Martin. If things go well, then expect many more in this franchise.
2012’s R-rated comedy Ted, directed by Seth MacFarlane, was a massive box-office success, making it the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy of all time. Now the bromance between Mark Wahlberg and his big talking teddy bear (voiced by MacFarlane) is all set to continue in 2015. Be ready to catch a lot of cameos in this one.
Magic Mike XXL
Many comedy films of 2012 are finding their way back to the theatres through a sequel, and here is another one. No Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike XXL, but Channing Tatum and the others are set to return and rip open their shirts once more.
This one should get you nostalgic. James Cameron directed two sensational movies of this series, in 1984 and then 1991, which made the Terminator franchise one of the greatest sci-fi film series ever. The sequels of 2003 and 2009 may not have matched those standards but they kept the ball rolling. Now we get a reboot with Terminator: Genisys which could take the series in another direction; hopefully, a good one. And of course, we get Arnold Schwarzenegger back!
The minions of the Despicable Me animated movie series get a movie of their own. This movie acts as a spin-off/prequel, taking place before Gru’s days. Should be loads of fun!
The Fantastic Four
One of the few superhero movies which did not really reach great heights in the previous decade was The Fantastic Four series. But renewed efforts by 20th Century Fox could mark this upcoming 2015 reboot as the beginning of a new series.
Nothing new here. The slasher horror film of 2012 earned about 26 times its production budget on the box-office and so now we have Sinister 2.
Hitman: Agent 47
It may not be right to call this a franchise film, but it does have its roots in the Hitman video game series and can be considered to be a reboot of the 2007 movie. Rupert Friend will play the agent 47 in the latest movie which also stars Zachary Quinto.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Another YA film series was launched when The Maze Runner of 2014 became a huge box-office success. The series is based on the young-adult post-apocalyptic trilogy written by James Dashner.
Hotel Transylvania 2
This is a sequel to the successful animated comedy film of 2012 by Sony Pictures Animaton. The sequel will once again carry the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg and Kevin James amongst others.
London Has Fallen
If you have just saved the President of the USA, like Gerard Butler did in Olympus Has Fallen, then you probably have a nice little life set ahead for you. But in Hollywood, you end up risking your life all over again, this time in a new setting, say London.
The Jungle Book
This one is the first of two movies being made on the famous Rudyard Kipling story, again. The Jungle Book will be a live-action movie, directed by Jon Favreau, featuring the likes of Scarlett Johannson, Idris Elba and Ben Kingsley who are lending their voices for the animal folk. (the other movie adaptation is slated for a 2016 release)
The next James Bond movie comes on the heels of 2012’s massive hit Skyfall. No doubt the expectations are sky high! Sam Mendes returns to direct the new Bond film, while Daniel Craig will play agent 007 for the fourth time running. Yipee to that.
Friday the 13th
This is one horror movie series that will never die. What began in 1980 has spanned 12 films so far, and the upcoming 2015 movie will now (eerily!) be the thirteenth. The film had seen a reboot last in 2009 which was in fact successful at the box-office but surprisngly did not lead to any further sequels. The story on the new film has not been revealed, and it may very well be another reboot rather than a sequel.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
The Hunger Games movie series should have ended in 2014, but for the decision to break the final book of the trilogy into two segments. Now 2015 will mark the last time we see Katniss Everdeen on the big screen as the revolution against the Capitol is set for a bloody end.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
The period from 1977 to 1983 marked the era of the original Star Wars trilogy. It was then followed by a prequel trilogy from 1999 to 2005. The movie rights were later taken over by Disney which has set in motion not only a new sequel trilogy but also many spin-offs on our beloved characters. It is going to be another Star Wars era soon, and it all begins in December 2015 with the J.J. Abrams directed Star Wars Episode VII. May the Force be with you!
Alvin and the Chipmunks 4
Astonishingly, Alvin and the Chipmunks series, which began in 2007, has a fourth movie on the way as each of the previous three have been a financial success despite the poor critics’ reviews. While the sequels previously came out within a two-year time frame, the latest one is releasing after four years which might act as a damper.
Mission: Impossible 5
The Mission: Impossible series received a big boost when 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol became the biggest box-office earner of the series. Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and the others now return for yet another fast-paced action thriller, and we will get to see Ethan Hunt’s latest exploits during Christmas of 2015.
There is also Ant-Man releasing in the summer period which is part of the Marvel cinematic universe, though it would be fair to call it a standalone movie for now, introducing a new superhero who has to prove himself in front to the audience. The year would also unravel new franchises, such as Fifty Shades of Grey, which in all likelihood should do well enough at the box-office to result in sequels (in line with the book series). There would be a few more YA (young adult) genre movies released by the studios in the year with the hope that another Twilight-like franchise can be launched. Ignoring those, and a few which might not have a release date announced yet or might have been overlooked by me, I am still counting 32 franchise based movies for 2015! That’s a big figure. There is a franchise war coming… and we, the audience, are bound to be the winners!