The year 2015 had a ‘franchise’ frenzy of sorts. Young and old franchises, all sorts of them made an appearance during the year, right from the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park to the latest cars of the Fast & Furious, the aging Rocky Balboa to a young generation of lightsabre users in Star Wars. In all, more than 30 franchise based movies released in 2015, and a few of them played a massive role in the new domestic and overseas box-office records that Hollywood set in the year. Year 2016 ain’t gonna go easy on the franchise madness. It has its own slate of offerings, most of them quite appealing. So keep an eye out for these ones folks!
Ride Along 2
The sequel to the surprise hit of 2014 has already hit the theatres in North America. Ice Cube makes a return along side the current king of comedy, Kevin Hart, as the duo go chasing criminals one more time.
Kung Fu Panda 3
Po is back with all his awesomeness and craziness! In the latest one in the franchise from DreamWorks Animation, Po will reunite with his panda parents and the panda colony, though also be given the tedious task of training them in the ways of kung fu to fight an imminent danger. Expect this one to be as hilarious as its predecessors.
It’s a spin-off movie from the X-Men franchise, and the first one to be R-rated which has gotten a lot of fans excited. The foul-mouthed Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, has a great chance here to kick-start a separate franchise of his own.
In 2015, we had a lot of old movies being revisited, and with Zoolander 2, we have the first such case for the new year. Zoolander had been released in 2001, and has developed a cult following since then. The sequel is being directed by Ben Stiller, just like the previous movie. Going by the trailers, Derek Zoolander looks as stupid and as adorable as we left him back in 2001!
London Has Fallen
The absurd action movie, Olympus Has Fallen, worked at the box-office back in 2013. So why not do it all again? This time too there is an assassination attempt against world leaders including the US President which Mike Banning, played by Gerard Butler, will try to foil. Any guesses on whether he will succeed or not?
The Divergent Series: Allegiant
The third movie based on the first half of the final book of Veronica Roth’s trilogy, Allegiant will continue Shailene Woodley’s journey in the dystopian world. The movie series ain’t raking in the kind of money brought in by The Hunger Games, but it seems the studio is keen to see this one through.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
A sequel to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, this one is more of a launchpad for the entire DC lineup of superhero movies. Great expectations surround the battle between two superhero giants, but that may not always bode well for a film.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
Writer-actor Nia Vardalos just wrote herself a role. When the first movie, that released in 2002, earned close to 74 times the production budget at the box-office, it would have come as a pleasant shock to all involved with the film. At that time, no one would have bothered too much with a sequel. But now, when movies from the 70s too are dreaming of sequels, then why the heck not!? So here we have it, though whether it will reach the heights of the predecessor is a big question mark.
God’s Not Dead 2
The low-budget faith-based movie of 2014 did great business at the box-office and so, for the reasons I have mentioned above too, we have a sequel.
The Ring of 2002 was a huge success which was followed up with The Ring Two in 2005. When the sequel failed to attract equal attention, the franchise came to a halt. But the franchise has been given a new life now and the sequel The Rings will bring back the cursed videotape. You do know what happens when you watch the tape, don’t you?
Amityville: The Awakening
There have been too many horror movies surrounding the Amityville house to keep count. This one is in fact the fourteenth. But while the recent ones have been moving to DVDs quickly, Amityville: The Awakening would be a little different, as Jason Blum and his team are involved in its marketing. I expect this one to give a good return on investment figure from its theatrical run.
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 2017 release.
The Huntsman Winter’s War
Chris Hemsworth returns as the Huntsman for the prequel / sequel of 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman. No Kristen Stewart this time as the focus shifts onto the Huntsman, but Charlize Theron returns, while Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain are the newcomers.
Captain America: Civil War
The third Captain America movie will be again directed by the Russo brothers. This one looks like a mini-Avengers though, with Iron Man returning to the fold along with Ant-Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and a few more along with newcomers such as Black Panther, and somewhere there’s gonna be Spider-Man too. Phew!
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
2014 R-rated comedy. Hit. Sequel in 2016. Seth Rogen and Zac Efron return.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alice returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland which she first traveled in 2010 in Tim Burton’s movie. Burton is not directing the sequel, though we have familiar faces amongst the actors, most importantly Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. Large, crazy adventure, this one should turn out to be.
After the tremendous success of 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, no one is wasting time to bring out the sequel. Bryan Singer stays on as the director for X-Men: Apocalypse which will bring a gigantic mutant as the nemesis and make things really challenging for the young X-Men.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
The turtles made a big splash in the Michael Bay-produced movie of 2014, and the sequel was announced pretty quickly. Don’t expect it to be a masterpiece, but it will still have its entertainment value.
The Conjuring 2
The Conjuring will be the latest horror series to be milked. The original movie’s tremendous success in 2013 was followed by something similar for the prequel Annabelle in 2014, which pretty much guarantees a movie from this franchise every 1-2 years till the returns start to seriously dip.
Now You See Me 2
A bunch of young and lively magicians won many hearts in 2013, and as we have been seeing for most movies, a sequel even here is out within 3 years. Most of the original cast remains barring Isla Fisher who is replaced with Lizzy Caplan. The interesting new addition is Daniel Radcliffe and that might just get this movie a whole new set of audience.
Pixar too has entered into the world of sequels and franchises, having stayed away from it for quite a long time (barring Toy Story). Nothing wrong as long as they make movies of the quality of Toy Story 2 rather than Cars 2. Finding Dory follows the events of Finding Nemo and will surround the forgetful but cute fish Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres.
Independence Day: Resurgence
We aren’t finding too many of the old movies making a comeback yet, though the sequel to 1996’s Independence Day could make us nostalgic. Roland Emmerich could not bring back Will Smith for this one, though Jeff Goldblum does return along with Bill Pullman while Liam Hemsworth joins the cast. Expect large scale mayhem once again!
The Purge 3
To be fair, they did not release any movie of this horror franchise in 2015. But the third one is out in the summer of 2016, and who can blame the studios if the first two flicks provided such great returns on the investment.
Ghostbusters is one of the most anticipated movies from this list. The name is of course drawn from the classic 1984 movie, but the twist here is, the entire Ghostbusters team consists of females. Director Paul Feig has put together a fantastic cast which includes Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, and also includes Chris Hemsworth who I read will play the secretary to the all-girl team. Way to go!
Ice Age: Collision Course
Blue Sky Studios bring the fifth instalment of the highly successful animated series, and even though they are starting to look repetitive now, it is difficult to stop watching them.
Star Trek Beyond
J.J. Abrams moved to the Star Wars universe and created history there, but his Star Trek reboot hasn’t done too badly either. The third movie of the rebooted series releases on the 50th anniversary of the original TV series, which in itself makes it special for the fans.
Untitled Bourne sequel
The movie does not have a title yet, but that hardly matters to those who thoroughly loved the original trilogy, for it brings back Matt Damon as Jason Bourne and Paul Greengrass in the director’s seat. Wherever Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne goes next, we are eager to follow!
Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop of 2011’s The Mechanic did not necessarily have to return to the big screen, but for some weird reason he does. In this sequel, his girlfriend is kidnapped, and to save her, he is required to kill people. Surprise, surprise!
It had been said that the next movies of the Underworld franchise would concentrate on Theo James’ character who had been introduced in the previous flick. But Kate Beckinsale is still listed amongst the cast members, and hopefully, she has a big role to play in the latest vampire-werewolf saga.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
I can never warm up to the idea of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher no matter how much I admire Cruise as an actor. The only reason I have a hint of excitement for the sequel to 2012’s movie is because of Edward Zwick taking over as director; his list of fantastic movies goes long back, the last one being 2015’s Pawn Sacrifice.
Ouija. 2014. Hit. Surprise. Sequel. 2016.
After The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels & Demons (2015), Tom Hanks is once more playing Robert Langdon in the adaptation of Dan Brown’s latest novel Inferno. There will be a lot of traveling across Europe in this one, and probably uncovering of more secret societies.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
While this movie is the first of a proposed trilogy, it would undoubtedly be marketed as a story coming from the world of Harry Potter. Directed by David Yates and screenplay written by J.K. Rowling herself, we have people here well familiar with the setting. Eddie Redmayne as the lead actor is another reason why this movie could do tremendously well. All in all, a magical movie this one looks to be!
Bad Santa 2
It’s the most bizarre sequel of the year. While 2003’s Bad Santa did reasonable well at the box-office, it was no great success that a sequel after thirteen years would hold any appeal. But it is still being done with Billy Bob Thornton once more in the lead role.
The Strangers 2
Adding to the growing list of horror sequels, The Strangers 2 is a follow-up to 2008’s hit Strangers.
Rogue One: A Star Wars story
The year is bound to end on a high as the spin-off movie from the Star Wars franchise will release in December. The Gareth Edwards directed movie is a prequel to the original Star Wars of 1977, and follows the rebels who have been given the task of acquiring the plans to the Death Star. The euphoria about Star Wars: The Force Awakens hasn’t died down yet, but maybe it is now time to start building the excitement for Rogue One!
Movies such as Doctor Strange from the Marvel Universe, The Gambit from X-Men universe and Suicide Squad from the DC universe are also part of franchises in a way, though can be seen as standalone movies as well. Even excluding them, I count 35 franchise based movies which is a huge percentage. Some dates may get unchanged, though there even might be a few I missed. Ahh, it’s again a franchise war in Hollywood!