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5 Greatest Extended Movie Franchises That Will Be Making Movies for Decades to Come

Updated on September 8, 2017
Is Marvel the Greatest Studio for Bringing Audiences Extended Universes, Most Prominently in the Form of Marvel and Star Wars. Two of the Biggest Franchises/Forces in Film History
Is Marvel the Greatest Studio for Bringing Audiences Extended Universes, Most Prominently in the Form of Marvel and Star Wars. Two of the Biggest Franchises/Forces in Film History

Marvel Universe vs. DC Comics Universe vs. Aliens and Predators Universe vs. Avatar Universe vs. James Bond Universe

This is the first wave of blockbuster movie franchises that have been changing the industry expectations since the spawn of their first title release into cinemas around the world, a defining moment in cinematic history.

These five franchises have all made billions of dollars at the global box office, and will serve of franchises that will likely have sequels, prequels, spin-offs and the eventual reboots for the beginning of what will hope to bring the world back to good standing at the box office.

Superhero movies were bound to make their way onto this list, and you can expect to see them at the forefront of this battle as they take the punches like a true Hollywood movie franchise. Historians in the future to come will look back at these superhero movies like a redefining moment in movie history when the world of entertainment turned to a higher force to show them the way.

Superhero movies can now do the impossible, all of the things that superhero flicks could not do back in the 80s are now doing seamlessly through the use of special effects, CGI and technological advancements that is making history happen in the movies.

We could not have done this battle without including the sci-fi genre in some way that brings the nightmares to the dream land. The superhero movies all but too well fill that spot of bringing young minds dreams to life on the big screen, so we wanted these franchises to feel the terror of the horror-borderline sic-fi franchise, Aliens and Predators. Ridley Scott and James Cameron made Hollywood history when they released Alien back in the 70s.

Defying what the people tell you is impossible is the route to a franchise more successful than any one generation, which is why we took an oddball direction away from family-friendly superhero movie titles, straight down the sic-fi path to the continual development of the Alien and Predator universe.

James Cameron is Hollywood genius, as it is his mind which is behind yet another franchise competing for the title here in this face off of 5 franchise giants, the newly created Avatar franchise. The first was to be the highest grossing movie ever made, making worldwide revenue of more than $2 billion.

What could we have chosen for the final franchise to have shaken up the decades, and this honestly took us some time to decide upon. The final franchise that is going to change up the movie industry within the spy, thriller, action genre is James Bond. At first, how is this a franchise that comes up against superhero movies. Well, it is the future that will make this viable, as there will almost certainly be a Jane Bond, or something to the equivalent.

Marvel Universe - The Studio Behind Such Character/Movies as The Avengers, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America
Marvel Universe - The Studio Behind Such Character/Movies as The Avengers, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America

1. Marvel's Universe

Marvel has to be the biggest franchise to have ever existed on the face of big blockbuster titles, as they have cycled through numerous years of title releases that have quickly made it to the tops of the box office worldwide records listings.

Marvel was making a run for the big time early in the twenty-first century as they starting releasing an array of superhero flicks, Spider-Man's doing commercially well having two sequels starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man.

The release of Hulk in 2003 was one that many fans took to the cinemas to support, but the movie simply lacked the technology in CGI advancements and ultimately had a lacklustre green transformed Hulk, commercially and critically failing to impress.

Hulk would later get a reboot in 2008 when Marvel was rethinking their franchise that was not taking risks as they pumped a lot of money into the CGI effects for Hulk that would not fail to impress. Even though the movie was not the best Marvel movie, it was far from a bad movie, leaving critical and commercial acceptance behind as the movie passes into the history books.

Iron Man would ultimately be the driving force behind Marvel's rethinking of the franchise, and Tony Stark/Iron Man played by Robert Downey, Jr. was an interesting choice, but one that would ultimately pay off. To give some insight into the success that Iron Man (1,2 and 3) have had in their progression into a cinematic cycle, the character has earned Downey, Jr. more than $300 million.

Iron Man 2 would wind up being a success commercially, however critically it did not do so well as fans and critics both agreed that there were some inconsistencies with the changing of the colonel character last minute, and a less-than-life criminal as the villain made the movie seem like a satire for the original Iron Man movie.

Iron Man 3 was released in 2013 and had some reworking done to the storyline and direction of the movie as there was a new director sat in the foldaway chair, Shane Black. His comedic approach was different to Jon Favreau's, but this overall worked well, and the action was relentless throughout making for a progressional Iron Man movie that would have lots of memorable moments.

However, critically, although it was well received, Iron Man 3 once again forget about having a well-written villain that could flaunt Tony Stark's plans for world peace. The villain was too difficult to find common grounds with, also lacking in screen presence Guy Pearce has always left fans wanting more from his character portrayals.

There have been so many movies released by Marvel now that the universe spreads around the block, and that is only what we can see and know about. They rebooted Spider-Man in 2012 with the newly starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. What a movie. But, then came the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014, the studio heads knew they made a mistake, the villain was dreadful and Andrew Garfield was definitely a tad too old to be the friendly (teenage) Spider-Man.

For some reason Marvel decided that after two cycles of releasing older than teen Peter Parker/Spider-Man's that this was the final straw. Fans of the character series want an actual teenager to portray the Spider-Man character.

Marvel's most successful and biggest box office earner of recent times is The Avengers (2012), a grand spectacle for the Marvel superheroes that saw the ultimate mankind defenders come together to fight outer space aliens and baddies. The team includes Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America as the superheroes to make up the most part of the team. At least, the characters fans actually care about.

Now, enters Spider-Man, not the older than life Andrew Garfield, an actor that arguably may one day win an Oscar for his talents on the big screen, but instead Tom Holland, the new face of Spider-Man, as his first movie hits the theatres worldwide, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

This will be the youngest entry superhero to prepare their super-suit for world defending alongside the Avengers team. However, we imagine Spidey will be sitting out the more dangerous fight sequences, and instead used for clearing up the mess that was left behind. Teen safety measures, for sure.

Yeah, all of the Avengers superheroes have had their own movie title releases in a side-segment of goody fighting the baddy series. This bagged Marvel Studios a bag ton of cash for each superhero spin-off from The Avengers, and this was only the beginning.

Marvel's The Avengers, released in 2012, was to become the biggest spectacle that we have ever seen in superhero movies, to date. The first was a family-friendly showcase that saw to capitalise on the popularity of such characters as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Thor and The Incredible Hulk's Hulk. Plus, there were some quippy moments with tension between Thor and Hulk, definitely giving the movie an A for effort.

What would become of this new soon-to-be trilogy amongst The Avengers alliance as the sequel roles in from around the bend. We got Avengers: Age of Ultron, the ultimate sequel to The Avengers, bringing a true Cybernet-type-of baddy into the centre focus of the latest Avengers instalment. Gotta love/hate robot super technology.

It will, however, be Avengers: Infinity War that is going to blow the franchise out of the ocean and redefine the Avengers movies as a trilogy. No pressure for Marvel, as fans will ultimately decide whether or not the franchise is worth supporting further from the feedback of this one movie. If this is a bad movie, then all of the instalments in their spin-off titles will be scripturally bad since they all connect in the Marvel Universe.

The Conclusion Batman Fans Had Been Itching to See Since The Dark Knight, in the Third and Final Instalment of Christopher Nolan's Suspense Driven, The Dark Knight Rises
The Conclusion Batman Fans Had Been Itching to See Since The Dark Knight, in the Third and Final Instalment of Christopher Nolan's Suspense Driven, The Dark Knight Rises

2. DC Comics Universe

DC Comics Universe is growing dramatically into the 2010s as we set a new standard for the darker side to superhero movies.

Where better to start than The Dark Knight trilogy that stars Christian Bale as Batman. This was the defining role for Bale that set a new standard for darker superhero movies, and ever since we have only seen DC Comics take a look at the darker side to a superheroes life.

Throughout The Dark Knight trilogy we saw Batman grow into the man that would later take on villains like The Joker and Bane. This was arguably the greatest series to tap into the darkness of the superhero world. DC Comics have had it tough living up to the fans expectations.

Where have we had problems?: The first issue Warner Bros. Studios have had with the continuation for DC Comics universe is keeping fans amazed by the abilities of the directors, producers and cast for these movies. Cue Ben Affleck, the actor to take over the infamous role as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that just did not cut it for many fans.

Batman went from being the James Bond with the performances from Christian Bale and Heath Ledger in the greatest of the Batman movies, The Dark Knight, to a more bloated, less talented performance in Batman v Superman starring Ben Affleck as the lead attempting to take on the superpowers of Superman. Then, Superman, in the movie was more what fans were expecting as we saw the starring performance of Henry Cavill in The Man of Steal. So, not a complete dissapointment.

What would follow was the much anticipated Suicide Squad, released in 2016. This movie is the equivalence of Marvel's Avengers (If the superheroes were super-villians), and the entire world is on the verge of collapsing. Earth's favourite government, the US, have decided that we cannot trust the DC Comics superheroes, more appropriately Superman, so they needed to arrange a team of super-villains, that could quote, "do some good".

What was wrong with Suicide Squad?: What, this was a great movie, and had a whole new take on earths greatest defenders from the super-problems that come with having now inhabiting the superhero, Superman. This was a major budget production, and why... it stars Will Smith.

The direction for Suicide Squad was good, better said, uniform for what we have come to expect of the DC Comics universe title releases. David Ayer is the director behind the production of Suicide Squad and brought fans closer to the evil behind the scenes, most importantly the lives of The Joker and Harley Quinn (now a female lead, played by Margot Robbie).

Now the issues with Suicide Squad: We liked Will Smith as dead-shot, we doubt any other A-list actor could have done a better job, even if we put forward a name like Jake Gyllenhaal. We liked Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn since it works better for the style of movie that they were making, especially since it offers up more of an insane love story for The Joker, his weak spot being his love for the villainess, Quinn.

However, we did not like many of the other members of the Suicide Squad team as they lacked distinct characteristics that could give them solo screen presence without the rest of the gang. This was most concerning with the re-cast of The Joker, as Jared Letto left fans wishing for so much more from the character. Jared Letto delivered the performance as The Joker like a ghetto gangster, whereas Heath Ledger took on the role with a very serious villainous nature that could not be repeated on the big screen, ever.

There is a scary level of pre-productions and announcements for the DC Comics extended universe, and we imagine these movies will follow a similar theme to Suicide Squad. However, fans of the franchise are hoping for more of a mix-up, some focusing on the humour, whereas others focusing on a serious light that could bring back some of the glory from The Dark Knight trilogy. They need directors who know how to work suspense and thriller darkness into their movies.

Aliens and Predators Combined Comes Together to Make Aliens vs. Predator. This is a reboot That Would Get Fans Itching to See More Fearsome "Aliens", and Hunter-Built "Predators"
Aliens and Predators Combined Comes Together to Make Aliens vs. Predator. This is a reboot That Would Get Fans Itching to See More Fearsome "Aliens", and Hunter-Built "Predators"

3. Aliens and Predators Universe

Looking at the cycle for Aliens movies, from the first to the current. In addition to the Aliens series, we also have the Predator movies that tie in to the works of Aliens, through the making of Aliens vs. Predator.

Aliens came first with the 1979 release of Ridley Scott's Alien. This movie was fobbed-off by 20th Century Fox, the studio behind the (now) franchise, as being a movie that would only ever find use in funding new projects. With James Cameron and Ridley Scott behind the making of the Aliens franchise, 20th Century Fox simply left them to it. And, we are glad they did, as this would later become one of 20th Century Fox's biggest franchises at their disposal.

Aliens followed in 1986, this time directed by James Cameron, and was differentiated from Scott's work on 1979's Alien because of Cameron's approach towards action in the movie. The formula used for Alien is ever so different from the formula used in Aliens, so this made for an even bigger success than the first. Fans love the sounds of the "aliens"as they get torn to pieces by gunfire.

Alien 3 was the next, and this time it had the thriller genius David Fincher in the directors chair. Many found the story behind Alien 3 to be inadequate when compared to the previous two titles, as the acting and direction behind the movie would have to be some of Fincher's best.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet is the director behind Alien: Resurrection, the fourth instalment for the series. This has to be the worst of the Aliens movies, but it had its "alien" charms, and also saw the return of Sigourney Weaver as Ripley.

The issue that differentiates the first and second Aliens movies from the third and fourth Aliens movies, is the stories that were thought up, as fans felt that the third and fourth simply lacked the right stories.

This would be the full stop where we see the stories following Ripley around Alien inhabited spaceships come to a close. Or, so we thought.

But, first we have to tie in the Predator series with that of the Aliens series, as Alien vs. Predator brings the two series' together to make an extended franchise between the two.

Alien vs. Predator was not exceptionally well received by fans, but was somewhat commercially successful, and without even thinking about it there was a sequel released in 2007 titled AVPR: Alien vs. Predator - Requiem. This was not a good movie, but still found a reasonable level of support for the theatrical release that kept the movie in the green, and commercially a success.

It would be in 2012 that Ridley Scott would take another stab at the Aliens universe, making an Aliens origins movie. The movie was somewhat of a spectacle to watch, giving fans of the Aliens series a reason to get excited. In this movie there are no Aliens creatures, but we get to put together the mystery pieces to see how the creatures might have come to be.

Alien: Covenant would be the follow-up to Prometheus that would finally introduce the Aliens creatures for the first time. In the wake of the movie fans were excited about the potential of where the Aliens series could be taken, but in truth many fans for the series found Alien: Covenant to be a 3 star experience, with expectations of a 4-5 star experience going into the screening.

Now, onto the Predator series, a series that started decades ago in 1987 in an Arnold Schwarzenegger led action flick. The movie would later get a sequel that removes Schwarzenegger from the equation, taking the sequel into urban space with the cast being led by Danny Glover, in the 1990 release of Predator 2.

The Predator franchise would at this point be laid out to rest, until the series awakening when the tie-in deal was made to bring Aliens together with Predator in 2004's Aliens vs. Predator.

It would be another 3 years in 2007 that we officially got the sequel to AVP in AVPR: Alien vs. Predator - Requiem. The studio was clearly not impressed by ticket sails, as it would be another 3 years in 2010 when we would see another Predator solo movie, in Predators.

Predators was a commercial success making way more money back than the movies budget. When another cynical approach would be taken by the studio in putting the solo Predator (or, any Predator movie) on the back-burner.

Cue the red carpet, as we have received an announcement for a Shane Black directed "The Predator", set for a release date in 2018. The movie is set between the events of Predator 2 and Predators.

To rap up, there is also plans in the works for a separate Aliens movie that would assumably be titled Alien 5, bringing the return of Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, following on from the events that took place in Alien: Resurrection.The project has been rumoured to have Neil Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium, Chappie) as the director.

If Alien 5 was to happen then fans of Prometheus and Alien: Covenant can remain calm as the two series are rumoured to be kept separate as they are both working in two different time eras.

Impossible for the latest Ridley Scott Aliens movies (Prometheus, Alien: Covenant) to crossover with the Alien 5 movie given that scripting would need to be altered. No Ripley.

This would essentially require removing Ripley, the iconic character from the original 4 Aliens movies, due to her character not being alive in the events that took place in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. Basically... We want Ripley!

Avatar (2009, the first) Got James Cameron (Creator of Original Movie Ideas, Characters, Stories, Worlds) Fans Going Crazy for the Blue Alien Avatar Species on an Unknown Planet. Where Will James Cameron Take Avatar, Perhaps onto a New Planet...
Avatar (2009, the first) Got James Cameron (Creator of Original Movie Ideas, Characters, Stories, Worlds) Fans Going Crazy for the Blue Alien Avatar Species on an Unknown Planet. Where Will James Cameron Take Avatar, Perhaps onto a New Planet...

4. Avatar Universe

James Cameron returns for an all new otherworldly story creation, so original and exciting that it grossed a worldwide box office return of more than 2 billion for the first Avatar movie release.

Is Avatar a franchise?: This is the burning question in the back of fans throats at this point, but it can be expected to become a franchise reasonably soon as we see the return of the blue alien "avatars" in Avatar 2 in 2020.

This has to be some of the most exciting pre-production movie work that we have ever seen in Hollywood history, as it will be the studios aim to drive the Avatar movie sequels into the frontline of their marketing efforts.

Hell, Avatar 2 could go onto to gross $3 billion worldwide, so they need to get everything perfect, even if it means waiting two years for technology to improve. This does at times happen, although its mostly typically so that the production can improve budget investments.

James Bond Has Currently Got in the Works their 25th Instalment for the Series, a Movie that Will See Daniel Craig Reprise His Role as James Bond. Although, "Bond 25" is Set to Have an All New Director. Set for a Release Date in 2019.
James Bond Has Currently Got in the Works their 25th Instalment for the Series, a Movie that Will See Daniel Craig Reprise His Role as James Bond. Although, "Bond 25" is Set to Have an All New Director. Set for a Release Date in 2019.

5. James Bond/007 Universe

The British favourites when going into the movie selections of choice for theatrical big-screen releases, and small screen home entertainment, many Brits would gladly start up talks about James Bond movies.

The James Bond franchise has come a long way since the days of Sean Connery in 1962's Dr. No. The catchiest vocal performance of James Bond's speech would have to go to Connery.

It was in 2006 when James Bond would be brought into the modernist world of box office movie making, in a movie titled Casino Royale. This was Daniel Craig's first performance as James Bond, and it would be through Craig's performance as the swerve, sophisticated British super-spy that James Bond would become one of the most well-known and recognised series in the movie industry.

The follow-up to Casino Royale would bring with it an all new director, story-approach and villain in Marc Forster's 2008 release titled Quantum of Solace. The movie was a commercial success, but did not agree with fans of the franchise, having a predictable storyline and a terrible villain.

It would be the 2012 release of Sam Mendes's Skyfall that would ultimately win fans for having a good storyline, brilliant villain and momentous progress in seeing who Bond is away from his line of work. Certainly made the movie feel more original, subtle, and dark.

Given the outstanding work done by director, Sam Mendes in Skyfall, fans were pleased to welcome back the movie maker for the return of Daniel Craig's James Bond performance in 2015's title release, Spectre. Another great villain story, but they underused the villain, Blofeld, played by Christoph Waltz, and opted to do more digging into the background behind the secret organisation named "Spectre".

The future for James Bond: We are excited for the future of James Bond as we have recent announcements that have gone public that Daniel Craig will be reprising his role as James Bond in the untitled 2019 James Bond release.

It is however, the Jane Bond rumours that have been circling around the Bond online community that have attracted a lot of attention. The idea that there could perhaps be a twist on the James Bond series, although perhaps better to use a separate name for the lead female character that takes any relevance that they have to James Bond away from the footing as a lead in a British spy movie, is rather exciting.

The rumours and talk of a female lead in a James Bond franchise title seem to be dying down as fans settle in for the Daniel Craig Bond sequel. Although, it is our hope that Sony's studios do a twist on the double-o secret spy world, in having a spin-off Bond series that follows a strong female lead. Should be given some considerate thought, as if done properly, they could look to expand on the double-o universe, rather than simply on James Bonds character.

Movie Universe For Me!

Which movie franchise/universe is your favourite?

See results

Which Movie Universe is Best: Marvel, DC Comics, Aliens and Predator, or James Bond/00

It could be said that they are equally as entertaining as far as movie series, prequels and spin-offs go in terms of providing an everlasting universe of franchise movies.

Our personal favourite of the movie universe/franchises competing here today, is Aliens and Predator, as alone these movie franchises have the ability to be great, but it is the togetherness for these two movie franchises that truly creates a movie universe.

Our imagination takes us into the direction that once/if the Aliens movies being made today are at a steady pace picking up new fans every time a new release for the franchise is made, that in similar times the studio will make equally as enticing Predator franchise movies.

Then, the powerhouse franchise couple can happen in the form of Aliens vs. Predator, and maybe this time play it safe with a director that has a track record for outperforming in the genre of science-fiction.

On the other hand, if we were to give an answer on which is the best franchise/universe from a simple number algorithm of which receives the most fan support from audiences, our top pick would be Marvel.

Marvel is Disney's golden egg that simply just keeps hatching; new ideas, new projects, new superheroes, new superhero team tie-ins, etc. If Disney produce it, then the people will come. Marvel would ultimately win when it comes down to the numbers game, as people have been long supporting Disney productions since their childhood days.

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