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…and you know how I feel about sequels…grrr…
By the end of 2011, Hollywood will break their record for most sequels released in a calendar year. According to Box Office Mojo, 27 films released in 2011 will be sequels, up from 24 in 2003. That averages to about one every other week and about one-fifth of total wide releases. It’s almost impressive if you don’t consider the lazy, money hungry thought that had to go into such an exorbitant amount of unoriginal content (and that’s not even counting the innumerable other films based on previously released material). And while there are sequels that audiences are clamoring for more than others (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two vs. Big Momma’s House: Like Father Like Son for example) no matter how you slice it, 2011 is going to be a cinematic repeat of epic proportions. Break down the entire list after the jump.
We’ve gotta thank Box Office Mojo (with a heads up from Cinematical) for doing most of the legwork here.
Here’s how it breaks it down. 27 sequels total. Nine second movies (up from eight in 2010), five third movies (down from seven), five fourth movies, five fifth movies, two seventh movies and one eighth movie. 9+5+5+5+2+1=27.
The second movies are Cars 2, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, The Hangover Part II, Happy Feet 2, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, Johnny English Reborn, Kung Fu Panda 2, Piranha 3DD and Sherlock Holmes: The Book of Shadows.
The third movies are Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Madea’s Big Happy Family, Paranormal Activity 3 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
The fourth movies are Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Scream 4, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part One).
The fifth movies are Fast Five, Final Destination 5, Puss in Boots, X-Men: First Class and Winnie the Pooh.
The seventh movies are The Muppets and Rise of the Apes.
And the eighth movie is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two.
Mojo is also quick to point out that they didn’t count New Year’s Eve or The Thing, which are sort of a sequel and a prequel, but I guess not officially. (However, it sort of evens out because they’re counting films like Puss in Boots and Winnie the Pooh which feel like tangential sequels at best.) They also go down the list and break down many of the major sequels as to why they were made, when it’s being released, etc. It’s a highly recommended read.
Speaking with USA Today, the author of the Mojo article, Brandon Gray, put it perfectly:
Hollywood is dipping into the well of past glory more than ever. It’s truly unfortunate that story is held in such little regard, when that’s what sells the picture more than any other element.
Obviously, audiences flock to sequels and, I have to admit, I’m part of the problem and will be first in line for many of these movies. But how is it possible that one-fifth of the movies released by studios are all almost totally thoughtless? They’re obviously in the business of making money, and everyone likes their jobs to be easier, but I’d hope that film executives would try and take their jobs a bit more seriously and look for new and worthy stories. Stop looking into the past, Hollywood. Show us the future.