Sequels. Don’t we ever get enough of them? No! No, we don’t. I know. Such a powder keg of a statement, huh? Let me explain.

Far too many films become one-hit wonders. That’s not to say that none of them should. Some films, good or bad, just work better that way and that’s not the purpose of this article. Not all films deserve a sequel.

Now keep in mind, need and deserve are not interchangeable. Not all films that deserve a sequel need one. The films that lie ahead have distinct reasons for being on this list and for their individual chances at landing another shot on the big screen. Join me, in a walk down memory lane as we hope for the future.

1. I am Number Four

John Smith and authority figures don’t mix. [NPR]
Budget: $50,000,000
Outcome: $55,100,437 (domestic); $146,185,195 (worldwide)
Why it deserves a sequel?

Upon initial release, it was either stamped as a forgettable sci-fi thriller or, at best, compared to the Twilight film series. With this, I felt an immeasurable disgust. While Stephanie Meyer’s novels translated to the screen aren’t the worst films of all time, to not only compare Number Four to it, but also claim that the latter is ripping off of the former is a grave offense.

The film had an interesting application of the extraterrestrial genre to the super hero genre. It also ended on a perfect cliffhanger promising much more. Great fighting choreography, a compelling cliffhanger, and a less typical portrayal of special abilities places this film on this list.

Likelihood: Not Likely. As eager as I was for a sequel, the film failed to earn enough to convince Hollywood of a second chance. It also happened to be just another one of those young adult novel adaptations that no one felt was worth their time.

2. Megamind

Blue is the new black. [Movie Quotes and More]
Budget: $130,000,000
Outcome: $148,425,853 (domestic); $321,887,208 (worldwide)
Why it deserves a sequel?

There are few films, especially animated, that take place from the perspective of the big baddie. Megamind was a villain who was more lovable and amusing than the hero he often fought against. A deeper analysis will reveal that the film tackled ideas of privilege, which we all have so you can’t say you don’t regardless of who you are.

Of course, it wasn’t just an opportunity to see the story from a villain’s perspective, but also to explore prejudice, identity, and how we compare our self-perception to the way society sees us. Recently, Zootopia has gained significant acclaim for covering these same topics. So, it was great to see a superhero film do it first.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of films that focus on this theme along with more typical characters. Really, how many times have we seen that from a villain? Not enough in my opinion. Maybe I felt a particular link to this tale because I’m black and it’s hardly a secret of how African-Americans have been portrayed in popular media or perceived by strangers based on nothing other than the hue of their skin.

Likelihood: Not likely. Even though, Megamind performed well financially, it fell far from other Dreamworks films.

3. Mazerunner: The Scorch Trials

I don’t think I packed enough sunscreen. [Moviefone]
Budget: $61,000,000
Outcome: $81,697,192 (domestic);$310,697,192 (worldwide)
Why it deserves a sequel?

Another novel to film adaptation, Scorch Trials was not as successful as the film that preceded it. While the first film conveyed a shroud of mystery and original creature designs, this installment dropped most of the mystery and instead went for something closer to a generic zombie film. Even then, the journey is still an engaging one with fierce action servings to rival those of the first film.

The first film felt claustrophobic to me and constantly dark. Not dark as in grim or sinister, but dark as in I felt like I was struggling to understand what I was looking at for a good length of the film. Scorch Trials is cut from a different cloth and the differences are refreshing, such as the constant chase that leads from one drastically different landscape to another. One could argue that the environments of this film are an inanimate villain just as harsh and punishing to the protagonists as the mysterious organization after them.

Likelihood: Very likely. Filming has already started and a release date for February 17, 2017 was pushed back to January 12, 2018 after the film’s star, Dylan O’Brien, received injuries on-set. As likely as this seems to be, films have found worse fates in better conditions. Its status as a young adult novel adaptation could endanger its completion.

4. Year One

Performance art of the 9th century B.C. [Amazon]
Budget: $60,000,000
Outcome:$43,337,279 (domestic); $57,604,723 (worldwide)
Why it deserves a sequel?

It was funny. Scratch that. It was funny as hell and I am not exaggerating in the least when I say I found myself clutching my sides from laughter-induced soreness from start to finish. Not only is Year One a riotous comedy bouncing Jack Black’s nonsensical humor off of Michael Cera’s awkward humor, but it’s also a satirical examination of religion and takes the two stars through several religious practices of the past. Now I may be a tad biased because I don’t particularly prescribe to any religion, although I’m far from what one would consider an atheist.

Likelihood: Not likely. Simply put, it flopped. It flopped big. The film didn’t even break even and left a lot of producers in the hole.

5. The Croods

A family that preys together stays together… [Kiss My Wonder Woman]
Outcome:$187,168,425 (domestic); $573,068,425 (worldwide)
Why it deserves a sequel? 

The Croods was a touching tale of learning to embrace inevitable change. What it lacked in historical authenticity, it made up for in zeal and warmth. It picked up on the timeless battle between youthful defiance and “domineering” parental guidance. The Croods were a hilarious family whose schemes and adventure were impossible not to root for.

The film also had a very open-ended resolution. Not all open ends are grounds for a continued probe into the story, but it was in this case. If you were a fan of Pixar’s The Incredibles, (and of course you are because why wouldn’t you be? I don’t even know why I asked. Please excuse my absentmindedness.) then Dreamwork’s answer in the form of a family of cavemen is sure to fill that void until we see the Parrs again in 2018. What it comes down to is: would a sequel have an interesting enough plot and the answer is yes.

Likelihood: Not likely. Instead, Netflix is tarnishing their good name with an original animated series that inevitably looks nowhere near as good as the film.

6. Zombieland

Twinkie deficiencies may cause severe inclinations to smash heads.

Budget: $23,600,000
Outcome: $75,590,286 (domestic); $102,236,596 (worldwide)
Why it deserves a sequel?

When it comes to zombies, films and other forms of popular media have been beating the undead horse for years. Countless works have centered around the horrifying creatures, but few reach Hollywood acclaim and for good reason. Yet every once in awhile, something comes along and finds a way to breathe fresh life into the genre. 

Zombieland killed with its commentary on the genre and style of humor we never see applied to zombie flicks other than the classic Shaun of the Dead. Everything about this film was done right. From casting, to dialogue, to performances, to editing, to costuming and overall tone. The star-studded cast sure helped, with big names like Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray, a father of comedy, partnering with newcomers like perpetually stammering Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone.

Likelihood: Very likely. Although the release date has constantly been in the air and definite stands on the projects have not been provided yet, it is undeniably clear that there’s a giant fan base that’s been begging for a sequel since the film’s initial release. Still, the repetitive schedule changes and possible lack of a clear plot-line could leave this project dead in the water.

7. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The IKEA of world creation. [Den of Geek]
Budget: $45,000,000
Outcome: $51,019,112 (domestic); $102,746,214 (worldwide)
Why it deserves a sequel?

This film could have been done so, so much better. Some fans feel it’s almost painful how poorly it was constructed and how much damage it did to the source material. This being considered, it was still a good film on its own and I enjoyed it. When I saw it the first time, I was completely unaware it had been based off of pre-existing material.

Watching the film gifted me with a desire to seek out the material that had inspired it. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I count that as a win for the film: to make a viewer seek more out of sheer enjoyment. Technically, it was not a blockbuster smash, but it still snagged a return for the sort of film it was. A sequel taken on by experienced minds and consumers of the source material could easily erase the memory of this film that many hardcore fans feel failed to compare.

Likelihood: Not likely. 

8. James Cameron’s Avatar

One eye saw what the other could not. [Empire]
Budget: $425,000,000
Outcome: $760,507,625 (domestic);$2,783,918,982 (worldwide)
Why it deserves a sequel?

The film was beautiful, visually speaking. Story-wise, it left something to be desired. I loved it nonetheless. I never get tired of seeing expansionism and colonialism merged with sci-fi or fantasy.

The world presented in Avatar is filled with imaginative wonders, some familiar to the wonders of our world and others bizarre. The film was bigger than life, which is hardly surprising considering it was James Cameron’s most recent brainchild. As you can see, this film performed superbly in the box office, both in domestically and internationally. It’s hardly an argument. In this case, it also comes down to whether there is more to explore in this world and if a sequel could have a plot as well done as the first. The answer is a resounding yes.

Likelihood: Very Likely. Cameron has already confirmed plans for not just an Avatar 2, but also a 3, 4, and 5. Still, there’s a long way to go and these projects could easily fall through, especially due to their astronomical budgets.

9. Green Hornet

Martial Arts, Gadgets and Seth Rogen. Need I say more?[CraveOnline]
Outcome: $98,780,042 (domestic); $229,155,503 (worldwide)
Why it deserves a sequel?

Let’s state the facts. Look at those numbers. Those are great numbers, so the film could easily earn a spot on this list from numbers alone, but that wouldn’t be any fun, would it?

The film came out of nowhere, especially considering that it was a film spin-off of the original Green Hornet tv series from the mid 1960’s. Just a note, the original had Bruce Lee performing as a valet and martial arts expert who partnered with a newspaper publisher to fight crime as the Green Hornet and Kato.

While I did not watch the tv series, talks with fans of the tv series revealed that they enjoyed the film as much as I did, if not more. The film was a darker superhero film where actions, whether for good or bad, had fatal consequences. It also featured ingenious gadgets, creatively orchestrated fight scenes, and very worthwhile comedy. A sequel could rake in mounds of profits with a plot as strong as the first film and laughs just as potent.

Likelihood: Not likely. Seth Rogen, one of the lead stars of the film, stated closer to the film’s initial release that a sequel was something they lacked interest in and fell second to their interest to make cheaper, raunchier films. Not surprising, Rogen’s been in one dirty film after another, to the point where it’d be too challenging to separate the filth from his acting identity.

I enjoyed every one of these films and I would most likely enjoy a sequel just as much, so my opinion is prejudiced. What do you think? Think there’s some films missing from this list or films that shouldn’t be on it? Leave a comment and let us know. We’d love to hear it.

One thought on “9 Films that Deserve a Sequel, but Probably Won’t Get One”

  1. dated list Zombieland got a Sequel in 2019 , The Croods 2 came out in 2020 and Avatar is getting a Sequel in 2022

Leave a Reply