Top Ten Greatest Movie Franchises
Top Ten Greatest Movie Franchises
Hello and welcome to my top 10 greatest film franchises list! While everyone has their own opinion on what movies are the best, I believe this list contains some of the most popular, commercially successful, and critically acclaimed film franchises of all time.
Star Wars (1977-?)
Perhaps the greatest movie franchise of all time, the original Star Wars trilogy is a classic which created the biggest cult following of any film ever. Star Wars is the perfect blend of sci-fi, adventure, comedy, romance and drama; it is by no means a strictly sci-fi realm. Bringing in almost 3 billion dollars worldwide, Star Wars has captivated viewers all over the world, and remains as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. And that is not even considering the second trilogy, and the 7th Star Wars film set to out in December of 2015.
Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008-?)
I'm kind of cheating with this one as there are a lot of different films within the Marvel Universe and they follow many different characters, but in the end they are all still connected, especially when you look at the two "Avengers" films. This franchise is the only one that can challenge Star Wars for the absolute number 1 spot. The Marvel films have been hugely successful both with fans and with record-breaking box-office numbers, because it seems that we just can't get enough of superheroes.
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
This is personally my favorite on the list. Peter Jackson’s recreation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy masterpiece is in a league of its own when it comes to fantasy films. All 3 movies have incredibly high critic and fan ratings on all major film websites like IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic. The story is epic and moving; the characters unique and greatly-acted; and the beautiful CGI and on-location sets in New Zealand make Lord of the Rings an unforgettable experience.
Indiana Jones (1981-2008)
Indiana Jones is arguably the greatest adventure franchise of all time. Bolstered by a fun, witty and exciting titular character played by the exceptional Harrison Ford, the Indiana Jones films will take you on 4 different journeys which delve into religion, magic, and science-fiction, and showcase some of the best villains of all time.
Batman Trilogy (2005-2012)
Although this franchise actually extends far back, most people tend to exclude the garbage that was produced prior to Christopher Nolan's take on the caped crusader. With amazing performances from star-studded casts, and complex, dark, and compelling plot lines, the newly re-imagined Batman series has earned itself a spot on the list.
James Bond (1962-?)
One the longest running franchises in history, James Bond has captivated audiences for more than 50 years. While this great franchise has seen a lot of weak points (I’m sorry Pierce Brosnan!), Sean Connery and Daniel Craig make it shine. Combine the witty, fearless, troubled and badass character of James Bond, with beautiful women, cool gadgets, and larger-than-life villains, and you have the perfect formula for real movie fun.
Back to the Future Trilogy (1985-1990)
While its 2 sequels were less than perfect, Back to the Future remains one of the most popular movie franchises in history, and has a huge cult following. Fun, imaginative, and romantic, Back to the Future will take you on a wild ride through time, visiting both the past, and the future.
The Godfather Trilogy (1972-1990)
The Godfather is a household name, with its opening film considered one the best of all time, along with other greats like "Citizen Kane" and "Casablanca". This is not a film for the weak or the squeamish; this is the story of powerful crime family, and its consolidation of power in 20th century New York. Raw, violent, complex and highly influential, the Godfather trilogy has established itself as the greatest gangster movie franchise.
Bourne Trilogy (2002-2007)
With an Oscar-worthy performance by Matt Damon in the lead role, the Bourne trilogy undoubtedly reignited the super agent/spy film genre. Recounting the story of secret agent Jason Bourne, the trilogy follows his attempts to figure out who he really is, after suffering amnesia, and why he is being hunted by the government. Intelligent, full of action, thrills, and effective villains, the Bourne Trilogy brings the spy genre back to its roots with realistic action and a compelling hero.
Star Trek (1979-?)
Perhaps the most genre-grounded franchise on this list, Star Trek deservingly keeps its position as one of the most successful and long-running sci-fi stories of all time. While at first it seems to only inspire a small group of fans, its newest 2009 reboot has proven that Star Trek can be enjoyed by anyone; its’ fun characters, powerful action, beautiful visuals and universal humor state for the millionth time that sci-fi is not just the land of geeks and nerds.
Missing one of your favorite franchises? That’s probably because they declined heavily in quality through their sequels. But don’t worry! That’s what we have the honorable mentions for.
The Mummy - relatively fun and commercially successful but not as popular.
Terminator - great first 2 films, but the 3rd and 4th are nowhere near their quality.
Matrix – the first movie was phenomenal, but the 2 sequels leave much to be desired.
Pirates of the Caribbean – although a very fun franchise, PotC suffered from a muddled, poor and overblown plot in its later installments.
Shrek – started out great, imaginative and fun, but Hollywood decided to milk everything they could out if it and as a result killed it.
Harry Potter – While it has remained high quality through its entire run, I just don’t think the Harry Potter franchise is universal enough to make it into the top 10.
X-men – actually had a great run with pretty much all 3 films (if you exclude X-men: Origins), but much like Harry Potter, is too grounded in its genre to be appreciated universally.
Toy Story Trilogy - probably the highest rated Rotten Tomatoes franchise on the list, the Toy Story is nonetheless way too restricted to its "family movie" genre.
Rocky - while Rocky is very popular with the audience, and was a commercial success, its sequels are way too uneven to complete with higher quality franchises.
Spider-Man - 2 strong films, but the last one kind of killed off the entire trilogy. And let's not even discuss the new trilogy...
Think I’m missing something? Let me know in the comments!