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. It’s a tough one, especially since you’ve raised the “good with the bad” flag. With that in play, I might just have to go with Back to the Future. But Indiana Jones is way up there (I don’t have a problem with the fourth film; it’s not a 5-star film but it’s far from bad). And so is Star Wars — even with the prequels, the special editions, the Ewok TV movies… that original trilogy still greatly outweighs the rest.

    • LOL. I think you and I must have a different definition of “Far from bad”.

      Meanwhile, I insisted that people take the prequels, too, but I’m still surprised so few people chose Star Wars. The original three are still great, and with the cultural impact etc… I guess the prequels really crushed that Star Wars enthusiasm for folks.

      Back to the Future is a fun choice. I’m well on the record with my feelings there, but at least all three films are at a decent level of quality.

      • When I manage to get my hands on DVDs of the original IJ trilogy (seriously, $8 a pop even at a used place, it’s ridiculous), I’m planning to have an Indiana Jones month with a weekly Favorite Films style post on each film (though only two will be in that category, the others will be in the same in-depth style.) We can really hash it out over Crystal Skull then… but I think a lot of the criticism (not yours, necessarily, but the internet at large) has to do with people thinking it doesn’t fit, when it really does.

      • I’ll reserve my venom til then I guess. My criticism would be skewed towards the general reek of its suckitude. And yeah, how, in that regard, it doesn’t fit.

        Looking forward to reading your attempted defense of it though! Lol

      • Yeah, I’m afraid I gotta back up Fogs here, CO. There a reason the term ‘Jumping the shark’ has been replaced by a reference to this movie, and it has nothing to do with “not fitting”.

      • It has everything to do with it. People who are using the phrase “nuking the fridge” as a replacement for “jumping the shark” never truly understood what type of franchise Indiana Jones really is. I’ll stand by that statement.

      • I gotta back up Fogs, Gelf., & co. – IJ is a tremendous trifecta; number four is a big letdown. I’m not an alien category film fan, but this plot point insertion seems a disservice to both IJ consistency and alien features. I guess the takeaway is don’t wait 19 years to do a sequel.

        Indiana Jones: Archaeology is the search for fact… not truth. If it’s truth you’re looking for, Dr. Tyree’s philosophy class is right down the hall.
        -Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

      • I didnt even mind the Alien stuff! (Although the ending could have been… reworked… LOL) It was all the junk along the way. The Fridge, Shia LaBouef, the monkey swinging freaking scene. Ughghgck. It seemed like every ten minutes I was saying that! Ugghgghck… LOL

        And sequels that far removed are not primed for success. True!

      • I liked the IJ films a lot. I even liked the fourth one. I still swear that I’ve seen that entire fridge sequence someplace else years ago. And the whole crystal skull thing reminded me too much of SG1. But I was just happy to FINALLY get another Indy film. And one that didn’t upset me nearly as much as the first of the SW prequels. So 4 isn’t ruining the franchise for me.

      • No, I mean, definitely. Didnt ruin the franchise for me, either.

        That said though, I think its a terrible movie. There are numerous, serious issues with it. Its easily one of Spielberg’s worst films. :(

        As a franchise though? Indy is still a fine choice. The first movie is an all time great. Should be on the Mount Rushmore of movies. And 2 and 3 are really good, too.

  2. Hi, Fogs and company:

    For overall consistency of story in a franchise before hitting a brick wall or jumping the shark:

    #1: ‘The Man with No Name’ series by Sergio Leone.
    #2: Tie between ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’. Star Wars: IV and ‘Empire Strikes Back’ vs. ‘Raiders of the Lost Arc’ and ‘Last Crusade’. Star Wars hit the wall with episodes 1-3. While Indy hit the wall with ‘Temple of Doom’ and ‘Crystal Skull’.
    #3: ‘Harry Potter’ lost my interest after ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’.
    #4: My namesake, Jack Deth and the ‘Trancers’ franchise. Through many modifications, the franchise never lost it message and overall plot.

    • Never saw Trancers… my bad, huh? I suppose youd recommend I catch up with that one?

      I always thought the Potter movies were of the same quality across the board… decent, but not great. Until the final one, which was such a grand finale I was really impressed by it. They all blend together for me.

      I never hated on Temple of Doom, but I have rewatched recently, I can see why people dislike it so. Its got a lot of flaws. Indeed.

  3. Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite, but I have really enjoyed the Rocky/Rambo franchises too. They both have great movies and some not as good. IJ is one of my heroes. I have adored him my whole life…so that goes without saying. Star Wars lost a lot of zest for me with the first three bombing so bad.

    • Tell me about it. After the prequels I sold my Star Wars collection. LOL.

      Stallone representing! I love it. I still cant believe he came back with two excellent films to end those respective franchises with. They were both fantatstic, especially in comparison to my expectations!

      LotR is still alive and going strong, the Universe adds on this December. Get psyched, it’s gonna be great. Tellin’ you. My money is on seriously awesome. :D

      • It’s gonna be amazing!!! And I’ve heard that we might have one more Rambo movie in the works….so we’ll see. He did do an amazing job with both! :-) And do I ever do anything but support Stallone??? Please say you weren’t surprised!

      • I’ve heard the Rambo 5 rumor, but then Stallone seemed to definitively quash it when I saw him at comic-con. Rambo had the perfect ending! John J walking back down the driveway… it was great. I kind of hope he leaves it as is. He rolled the dice with both of them by reopening them up and came up a huge winner. I hope he stays happy with that as opposed to rolling them again….

  4. Alvin And the Chipmunks!

    Wait… “Favorite” movie franchise! Not “Unfavorite” movie franchise? Got it.

    You know… Once upon a time I would have been the guy to go with Star Wars. Even including the prequels. I just recently saw Return of the Jedi, though, and it registered a bit of a “meh” from me. (This movie was once upon a time my favorite.) During the movie, my wife asked me was which one was nerdier: Star Wars or Star Trek? I had to explain Trek, because you had to keep track of all the TV shows, the alien races, the political allegiances, etc. In Star Wars, though, you only had to worry about the movies. And that noble alien race that’s helping the Alliance are called… the Mon Calamari? Oh, geez.

    It was at that point I realized that Star Wars, even my beloved prequel trilogy, was a little silly. You know, if Lucas wants to insist these movies are for kids, I can live with that. But I’m old now, and maybe I’m a little too cool for some of the baby stuff. Especially in a franchise where there’s a planet called “Naboo” and a villain is named “Count Dooku”.

    (Still love the first two movies, though. Those definitely hold up, no matter what the age.)

    I guess Bond would definitely be my top favorite. I mean, when you can even love the terrible movies — like A View To A Kill and The Man With The Golden Gun — you know you’re a fan.

    The X-Men franchise have been pretty solid. You know what I said about liking even the bad movies? X-Men 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine are both supposed to be bad, but I actually like them both. Mark me as one of those fans who’s crazy for both Days of The Future Past and The Wolverine movies.

    And of course The Avenger movies have been mostly solid. It’s my third, though, since it doesn’t pass the same smell test of either Bond of X-Men. Namely that I really can’t see myself watching The Incredible Hulk movie any time soon.

    • Well, they got a lot sillier with the prequels. One of the things that I loved about the Star Wars movies is that they were fairy tales that appealed to all ages. No one in their right mind would have called those “Kids Movies” until the Ewoks showed up in Jedi, and by then they had so much momentum no one cared.

      With the prequels, right from the get go you had a kid starring, you had Jar Jar stepping in poop and getting his face zapped… it was plain he was aiming low.

      Meanwhile, the X-Men franchise is a nice choice, Im actually kind of shocked it took so long to get brought up! That series has three really solid flicks and a couple of “Hey, I can get into this” ones. LOL

  5. The Muppets. I’ll even take the crappier films because they still have the Muppets in them. The amazing in the franchise overpowers the bad.

    I’ll take Star Wars and Indiana Jones, prequels and Crystals Skulls in all. And Bond, because Connery’s chest hair and toupee can overcome everything. And Mission Impossible has yet to fail me.

    And actually Batman. All of it. Burton, Keaton, Clooney, Nolan, Adam West and the Bat-Shark repellent. It’s Batman

    • Huh. Yeah, I guess Batman IS one singular licensed property, right? So that SHOULD be considered one franchise. I hadnt thought of that.

      Great to see the Muppets getting so much love here today. In all honesty, I wouldnt have thought of them. But its a great answer. This most recent movie surprised the hell out of me, mainly because it showed me just how much I love the Muppets without having had realized it. :D

      I’ll take it easy on everyone and skip the Zardoz pic embed in order to refute the Connery point. LOL

  6. I love Alien franchise, even if some of the movies sucked it was still very suspensful and creepy, or at the very least fun. But my favorite is hands down Harry Potter – the only series where I actually liked every single film.

    • Cool, yeah. I like the Harry Potter movies, and I agree. There isnt a bad one in the bunch. I always enjoyed every one of them. My problem was always that none of them stood out for me. But with the final chapter, I have a favorite to latch on to.

      Alien is a franchise that’s all over the place isnt it? Thankfully, for the most part, in a good way. :D

  7. You know, to make this interesting you should have banned us from choosing Star Wars or LOTR. After those, I would probably have to choose….maybe Batman, since all 3 were very good films.

    • I would have thought that people would have needed that kind of restriction, too, Ian. Honestly.

      But surprisingly, Star Wars has been brought up a lot but hasnt been that many people’s final choice! LotR is getting its due, of course, but I think the prequels really took their toll….

      • Only ONE more? Lol, he should be Wolverine as long as he lives!

        The X-Men movies have always had awesome casting, I even like whatever her name is as Emma Frost in X-Men First Class!

      • :D January Jones? LOL She’s easy on the eyes, I’ll say that, but….

        Meanwhile, Wolverine’s not supposed to age, or at least, he ages super slowly, so they might have trouble there. Although “Old Wolverine” is always fun in comics, so… why not movies? :D

  8. I’m gonna have to go with “Star Wars.” It’s my favorite franchise, and Empire Strikes Back is my all-time favorite movie. I’m not sure if this technically counts as a franchise or not, but I also really like the Marvel superhero films leading up to the Avengers, like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor.

  9. You either pick what endears you to a franchise like Rocky (yo Adrian!) or you go with numbers where, like it or not, Harry Potter takes the cake in both US and World Gross Revenues.

    I lean toward either Bond at over $5B box office sales or LOTR at nearly $3B sales. Even though Bond is less than 25% of LOTR sales per film, James Bond has 22 films in the can with 23 around the corner. I can watch parts of Bond almost anytime whereas LOTR requires a more specific middle-earth state of mind though I appreciate the visual feast from Jackson and WETA as woven into literary classics. BOND wins for me! – on both longevity of franchise and rewatchability.

    Rocky is tied on rewatchability.
    Bourne series should get honorable mention as an engaging franchise too.

    James Bond: You know, you’re cleverer than you look.
    Q: Still, better than looking cleverer than you are.
    -Die Another Day(2002), Pierce Brosnan with JCleese as Q

    • :D That’s a great exchange between those two. I love that comeback. Nice choice.

      Rocky is a series near and dear to my heart, too. But youre right, its hard to argue with Bonds track record of longevity and Box Office success.

      Potter, et al win out Box Office wise due to being released in the modern era. You adjust all those Bond film grosses for inflation, and Bond crushes all. :D Wouldnt even be close.

  10. At this point I have to go with the Star Wars franchise. Two factors sort of force my hand. First off I saw the original trilogy when I was very young and they contributed to my trip to the dark side. The second factor is I need to watch the rest of those Hobbit films before LOTR can possibly over take Star Wars.

    force my hand ;-)

    • LOL. Now’s the time to bid on LotR, while it still has all that promising potential! Buy low, sell high! :D

      I saw Star Wars early too, but the prequels turned me sour.

      Is the Dark Side stronger? No. :D

      • I like to pretend those prequels never happened, like that time my brother and I decided to drink that whole bottle of jack daniels

  11. Knee jerk reaction is Star Wars so I’ll just skip that for the sake of sounding interesting…

    I’ll go with..Death Wish. “Why?” you ask? I’ve got two words that sum my choice up: Charles. Bronson.

  12. Bourne? And LOTR obviously. If they make the other two films, then the Millenium Trilogy for sure. And I know we’ve already bashed these, but the Resident Evils just kept getting more and more watchable for me… heehee :D

    • LOL! The “Hee Hee” is right though… Thats exactly how you have to go into those. I tried to express the fact that I enjoyed Resident Evil 5! Cmon. I gave it the split grade! Cmonnnnn… :D

      I caught 20 minutes or so of “Return of the King” last night on Starz, before turning in. Its been a couple years I think now since Ive watched those beginning to end, and I need to. They are So SO good. I was just amazed at how great it was. I cant wait for the Hobbit!!

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