How many sequels is too many?
As any moviegoer knows, there is nothing more riveting than a fan-favorite flic announcing its sequel. However, depending on the movie, this can get boring when it happens the fifth or sixth time.
A movie’s plot is the most essential part of its popularity. When it comes to sequels, the plot must connect to the past movie and introduce a new point of view or new characters. However, when the sequels just reverberate the exact same plot, fans tend to become disenchanted. Take the Alien series. The first was deep, frightening, and popular, but through the years, it seems like the plot has gone stale. The new installment of Alien: Covenant is a great action-horror movie, but it leaves much to be desired plot-wise.
There are no signs of when a movie series could potentially tank, which makes investing in a sequel a slippery slope. On one hand, if a movie has a brilliant original but then has a horrendous sequel, the director’s reputation could be tarnished. On the other hand, a good sequel could be the saving grace for a series that has fans burning their tickets.
The underlying factor that determines success or distress in the movie industry are the fans. A film is useless if fans have no desire to see it. The same is true for its sequels. While this may seem easy, it is hard to appeal to every fan-base out there. If the movie is based on a book, along with its sequels, the plot has to be as similar to the book as possible. As for remakes, the movie must be made tentatively and accurately, with actors and footage that properly embodies and represents the movie being re-made. For almost any other movie, the formula is simple: start with a good movie and use the sequels to explore new ways of viewing the story.
Not all fans want a book-based flick. Some want horror. Some want action. The collective fan-base is so diverse and ever-changing that it would be impossible for one movie to appeal to every single one of them. The best way to make a movie successful is to use the best plot to appeal to the greatest number of fans.
Not all sequels spoil the whole industry, though. Take Star Wars, for example. Originally, they ended with a six-movie series. They hit some rough spots, but eventually it increased in popularity so much that they still made millions of dollars even after they had finished making the original movies. It is one of the most successful movie franchises on Earth, and now that they have two more additions (The Force Awakens and Rogue One), they have somehow gotten even more popular. The moral to this story is that a sequel is a double-edged sword; make the sequel good, and the series will gain wide respect from fans as well as a hefty profit. Make the sequel bad, and the series’ popularity will take a hit.
As long as a director can come up with new thrilling and chilling plots that can keep the fans satisfied, then the series’ survival is ensured.