Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Movie Franchise?

Both major new releases this weekend – “Paranormal Activity 4″ and “Alex Cross” – were installments in a pre-existing franchise. They weren’t just sequels to movies, they were third or fourth chapters.

And certainly, we’ve got a lot of Bond talk going on around here lately.

But “Franchise” is the new norm nowadays. From “The Hunger Games” to “The Hobbit”, studios don’t seem to want to just release one movie anymore. They’re all looking for that steady, bankable franchise that will provide them with an annual boost to the bottom line a la Harry Potter. Certainly they’re nothing new, there have been movie franchises as far back as there have been movies. It just seems that now, they’re the rule, and not the exception.

That’s ok though, many of the greatest movies of all time were part of a broader franchise, and if you fall in love with the franchise on the whole, there’s so much for you to look forward to!

Which is your favorite? Do you still stick with “Star Wars” in spite of the prequels? Do you think Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings is the one franchise to rule them all? Maybe you’re a Trekkie, or a horror buff. I know there’s a few people out there who are going to answer with James Bond!

Let’s hear it though, what’s your answer? What’s YOUR Favorite Movie Franchise?

136 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Movie Franchise?

  1. “STAR TREK”…
    …Always AND Forever…
    …”STAR TREK”…
    …Fo SHO!!! :D
    The “MAD MAX” Trilogy AND The “JAMES BOND” Flicks Can Duke-It-Out Over The 2 & 3 Spots. ;)
    Nifty Question, Sir!
    -B.

    • Heh. LOL. I just envisioned Bond and Mad Max having a fist fight.

      A lot of the fans of the first franchise werent that pleased with the slick JJ Abrams “Action Trek”. I take it you had no problems with it though, Brad?

      • Oh I Had Problems With It…
        …Just As I Had Problems With TREKS V, VII, & IX.
        Why Should Trek XI Have Been Any Different! hehehe It’s Always The Odd Ones Ya Gotta Watch-Out-For ;)
        BUT…
        …I Still Love My TREK.
        It Never Gets Old To Me.
        And I Can Re-Watch Those I Have Issues With Almost As Easily As Those I Love Love Love.
        Even When TREK Goes Wrong, All-In-All It’s Still In The RIGHT! :D

  2. Land Before Time! by far the best franchise EVER! haha. jk

    I’m gonna go with Nolan’s BATMAN series. I know, a bit cliche, but it really is the one for me. anytime any of the films are on, I will watch. a solid franchise for me that peaks in the middle but still is great overall.

    that’s more than can be said for The Matrix

    • Alright, ok. I like that “Peaks in the middle” concession. :D I can live with that, even though I’m decidedly not a fan of the third film at this point.

      Hey, a lot of them do (peak in the middle). The first Star Wars trilogy did. But they had a very entertaining finale. I dont bash Jedi. Ewoks be damned, that trilogy had an epic finale.

  3. Evil Dead Trilogy is pretty high up there, probably my favourite, because for me, it’s batting 1.000. I love all three movies, on their own, or part of the trilogy. I can’t think, off the top of my head anyway, of another franchise that does that for me.

    Just thought of another one where I love all three: Back to the Future.

    Marvel’s Phase 1 has only one movie that I didn’t much care for.

    Terminator, Star Wars and X-men all have one movie I just can’t stand.

    There are several franchises with more than one title that disappointed that I would watch a sequel to tomorrow if it came out. Alien, Highlander, Batman and Superman come to mind.

    • Oh, Toy Story is also batting 1.000 for me. Even though I do think they steadily dropped in quality, that bar was set so high in the beginning even the worst (3) is better than so much else out there.

      • Nooooooooo, they didnt DROP in quality! Cmon! Many consider 3 to be the best chapter!

        I think thats a great example of a franchise that held steady and churned out three awesome movies back to back to back

      • Iron Man 2 has some great moments, but for me, it was the weak point in Phase 1. I wouldn’t say I can’t stand it, I just found it lacking. I loved all the other titles.

        I know a lot of people consider Toy Story 3 the best. I humbly disagree. It’s still a good, maybe great, movie. But I preferred 2. And part 1 is a Top Ten all time contender for me. Sliding from 10 to 9 to 8.5 on a scale out of 10 is still a great franchise.

  4. Considering Rocky is my all-time favourite movie since childhood, I should say that franchise, but my heart belongs to LotR. I mean, it’s successful for a reason. It’s just beautiful from first to third, and after seeing the trailer for The Hobbit, I practically exploded into a puddle of geekness. Such is my love.

    The wait between releases is damn hard, but in the case of the above, I find that to be a godsend because there’s nothing i’d want to have seen cut from the original LotR trilogy. On the contrary, those extended dvd releases are golden! Unlike the HP franchise which, although I love dearly, felt to me like it occasionally meandered a little with scenes that could have easily been left out with little effect on the story’s main strands.

    • I know, right? Harry Potter could have been like 5 movies if they cut all the unnecessary crapola. LOL

      AGREED! The extended version of LotR ARE the superior versions of the film, without a doubt. Its one of those rare cases where extra material makes a long movie better. (I think the ultimate cut of Watchmen is better too)

      You teased me there for a second, though! I thought we were going to get a Rocky answer! I love me some Rocky! Cut me, Mick…

      • There’s an ultimate cut of Watchmen?! I didn’t know this. *hangs head in shame*

        Rocky franchise comes close though! Mick! He’s my movie grandpa and the reason why I can never watch Rocky 3 because it breaks my heart into tiny little pieces. But I live for all every Rocky training montage. WINWINWIN.

      • I’ll spare you my written impersonation of Balboa crying over Micky in the training room. Just came out unintelligible garbage. Go figure. LOL.

        Anyways, yes! Ultimate cut of Watchmen incorporates the “Tales of the Black Freighter” and adds in some content that was cut from the theatrical, I believe. It makes it a super long movie, but it works even better, I think. Just feels SUPER dark. REALLY dark. And epic.

  5. Star Wars & Star Trek are my top favorites. Worst: (ones I REFUSE to see) Twilight & the Julia Roberts movies.

    • Well, see, now you’re making exclusions all over the place. The Star Wars franchise includes the prequels, Ck. If we were talking trilogies, then maybe the judges would be more lenient. But the question is definitely franchises.

      The answers are fine, but you have to take the bad with the good. Own up to them or disown them, but theyre a group!

  6. this is going to be unpopular, and though I’m saying this, doesn’t mean these even rank within my favorite films, I’m going with:

    Friday the 13th. Yep most of them are pretty bad. Some are downright terrible (Jason goes to Hell), but they are tied to some really fond memories, when my friends would get together and rent them and marathon them (on vhs no less). They are like the bond of the horror world. Silly but fun, good predictable. Like when a good band releases a new album that is different but familiar. They are what they are, and even if I don’t think they are by any means great or even good movies, it is a franchise that continued to entertain me through almost all their films

    • YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

      Ki ki ki Ma Ma Ma

      Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma

      Dude. No apologies necessary. That’s a cheese-tastic answer right there! :D I’d agree that the awful films outnumber the legitimately good ones. I dont know, maybe its an even split. Depends on if I’m felling generous to 4 or not. 1-4 + 6 being good, with the rest of the ten being some level of dogcrap. LOL

      Oooh! Actually, the recent “reboot” should count, and go on the good side. I really really liked that one. Very enjoyable reboot, IMO.

      • for the reboot, I didn’t hate it like most people, but i still don’t think it was all that good. I didn’t like that they crammed 3 movies into one, just should have been an extension. But I didn’t think it was horseshit like TCM or Freddy reboots

  7. Hmmmmm….
    My first instinct was to go “Star Wars!” but that was not taking into account those annoying prequels. Star Wars might still be my favorite, but if we’re talking about liking the all the films in a franchise equally, I’m not sure what to go with….
    Most franchises seem to have one or two films that I don’t like as much as the rest of the them… (The Godfather part 3, Temple of Doom, Pirates 4, Muppets from Space ect…)
    So for franchises where I pretty much like all the movies equally would be Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, and the Ocean’s movies. Out of those I would probably go with Back to the Future as my favorite.
    AHHH! This is so difficult! Because I still like the original Star Wars and other franchises I’ve mentioned better than Back to the Future, but I would have to ignore some of the movies to make the franchises stronger on the whole.
    Internal crisis…… deliberation… deliberation…..

    Ok: I think I’m actually going to have to go with The Muppets. Not only do they only have one film I don’t like out of like 6 (I think), they also have the tv show which I love, I’ve loved the muppets for my whole life so they’re actually more sentimental to me than Star Wars, and they managed to survive being bought by Disney and making another movie many years after the fact, something which most franchises suck at. Also Yoda was a Muppet, so the Muppets have actually reached into another franchise, which is awesome.

    • LOL! The Muppets represent! :D I love the Star Wars Muppet crossover theory of Muppet superiority. Thats awesome.

      They sure as hell DID make an awesome movie years later. And youre right, there arent a hell of a lot of people that can do it. The Muppets and Sylvester Stallone, and that’s about it!

      Sorry to have caused you such strife in coming up with your answer, Hunter :D But if its any consolation, you chose wisely in terms of denouncing Star Wars because it needs to be taken as a whole. The question before us today IS franchise, thus it Prequels and all!

  8. Fast and the Furious are on the top for me. Even if the 2nd and 3rd sucked, it was acceptable. The 4th and the 5th made up for the crap I had to endure.

    Pirates of the Carribean also have to be there! I loved them all. Although I haven’t seen the 4th one yet. I’m not a huge fan of Penelope Cruz, but I do own it. So the intention to watch it is there. Its just so fun to watch.

    Oh right! AND Resident Evil! Can’t leave that one out! Pure entertainment!

  9. Well, this is a stumper for me, not doubt. Does LotR even count? It’s a literary trilogy, not really a franchise. If it counts it’s #1, based purely on consistent quality and personal preference.

    After that I’d have to say 007 and Star Trek are both high contenders. They both have great films and films that are lacking, both have long histories and huge pop culture impact, although working where I work, I have to say that I think ST’s impact on pop culture and science and everyday life is much more prevalent than Mr. Bond’s. I know of a number of inventions, discoveries, scientists and astronauts who were directly inspired by ST, whereas people who’s choice of professions was inspired by 007 are certainly less public about it, and may or may not be a benefit to society. Also in terms of impact, the number of ST spin-offs, products, fan films, books etc is higher than any other franchise, although I guess Star Wars may be close.

    My final decision: Star Trek. Make it so, Number 1.

  10. My favorite franchise is the ‘Alien’ franchise including Prometheus. The first two are classics. Alien 3 was really good but underrated. I liked Resurrection though it is the bad one out of the bunch.
    A second franchise is the ‘Die Hard’ films.

    • I’m a big fan of Alien, and Aliens is a great flick… I think some of the subsequent installments were a little rough though. We’ve done a lot of dissection on Alien 3 due to a debate I got into with Joel Burman of the Lamb over it, and I still shake out on the side of “Its not that good”.

      Prometheus needs a rewatch for me. I need to see if it has anything to offer now that my disappointment has worn off. I still graded it highly though for pure entertainment value.

      And of course, 1 and 2 can justify this franchise pick all on their own. :D

  11. For me it has to be hands down the Alien franchise. Like Ripley I just can never get away from the Xenomorph! It holds up as Iconic with any other franchise put to film no matter who you compare it to.

    • Wow! Alien representing today! Nice!

      I think it relies on the strength of its first two films more than some of the other franchises being tossed about, but there’s no crime in that.

      Plus, its still going strong. Prometheus was a viable film that potentially is going to have a sequel of its own, so… yeah. Fine choice!

      I’m a HUGE fan of 1.

  12. Good question.

    Inevitably, the director can’t leave them alone and have to add the one film that screws-up the whole series.

    For consistency, “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy. Though I’m expecting Peter Jackson to mess that up with the “Hobbit”, since he broke it up into three films.

    If not for the unfortunately added 4th film, Indy would have this hands-down.

    • Nahhhhhh… I’m betting on Peter Jackson on that one, Victor. I bet we get three more awesome movies. A second trilogy just as good as the first. That’s my bet.

      He’ll find a way.

      That whole “Director returning to an old property” thing sure does have a horrific track record though, doesn’t it? Eesh.

    • Yeah, it’s easy to overlook Godfather III, but if you do, does it still qulify as a franchise? I think a series needs at least three movies, or else its just a movie and a sequel! Still the incredible quality of I and II carry a ton of weight. Two of the most epic films ever.

  13. So many to choose from, but as of right now my top 5 look like this:
    1. Toy Story
    2. Terminator
    3. Lord Of the Rings
    4. Back to the Future
    5. Star Trek
    But can’t forget Hell Boy! (is that a franchise?)

    • I was just saying to Fernando, I think a franchise needs at least three. Hellboy has had two. So right now its stuck in the movie and a sequel zone. Could just be me and my OCD though. :D Woody and Buzz ruling, huh? Nice. I just pictured them all giving Arnold fits with their shennanigans! LOL

      • I’d call a movie and one sequel a franchise, personally. How else would you qualify it?

        Besides, Hellboy has direct-to-video animated additions. That probably should count.

      • Movie and a sequel. I would differentiate the “Franchise” to be three or more. I just rarely… in fact never, hear movies with one sequel referred to as franchises. Hell, even trilogies are more often referred to as trilogies than franchises. But raising the min requirement to 4 seemed… picky. LOL

      • Nah. Trilogy and “movie with a sequel” are subsets of franchises. I hear it all the time, personally, especially if there’s additional product in the franchise — toy lines, a cartoon series, etc. I’m pretty sure Ghostbusters is widely considered a franchise. Hell, from a business perspective, one movie is a franchise, though I agree with not being that lax here.

      • Thanks for the clarification, I kind of knew it would be suspect in this relm, but also agree with Mr. Lewis, a strong showing with longevity could be a franchise. Just not today!

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