Audiences Only Want Sequels And Here’s The Proof

By Brian Myers | Published

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A recent study by Fandango revealed that the majority of theater audiences this summer have only one thing on their minds: sequels. The company’s annual Moviegoing Trends & Insights survey was conducted recently, with many of the 6,000 participants buzzing about the upcoming sequels that are going to be big chunks of the upcoming season’s film releases. This should come as little surprise to the industry, however, as originality is a characteristic that has long been dwindling in Hollywood.

Audiences Are Excited About Their Sequels


Among survey participants, the films most talked about were Deadpool & Wolverine, Bad Boys: Ride or Die, and Despicable Me 4. But elsewhere in the survey’s top 10 films lurk three more sequels that fans are excited about. Pixar’s Inside Out 2, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, and John Krazinski’s A Quiet Place: Day One edge out most of the stand-alone entries that will be hitting the big screens this summer.

Last Summer Belonged To Sequels As Well

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This summer will not serve as a statistical anomaly for sequels, either. Four of last year’s top grossing films were sequels, with Fast X, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Mission: Impossible-Dead Reckoning Volume 1, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse combining to rake in nearly $3 billion in box office receipts. Additionally, nearly 30 of the top 50 grossing films of 2023 were either sequels, remakes, or additions to an existing cinematic universe.

Sequels Have Been In Studios’ Toolboxes For A Long Time


Sequels have been a popular gimmick by studios to lure in audiences for decades–some to continue to tell a compelling story arc, others to simply exploit an existing character or plot line until it’s done to death. But movie audiences have long been supportive of studios making movies to bring them more of their favorite characters. It’s easy to lose count of how many times Jason Vorhees has appeared on screen, likewise with Michael Myers, Freddy Kruger, and Jigsaw.

Franchises Are Growing

Sequels that help build a long list of films for a franchise aren’t limited to the horror genre, either. We now have 11 in the Fast and Furious universe, 14 for The Land Before Time, and will have an additional Avatar installment in 2025. With so many films being sequels, prequels, reboots, and total remakes, it does make one wonder whether or not there is any room left in filmmaking for solid original, stand-alone films.

Marvel’s cinematic universe is ever-expanding, both Star Trek and Star Wars fans are rejoicing in the announcements surrounding upcoming films in those respective franchises, and now we know that the Harry Potter films are going to be remade into a lengthy streaming series. At some point, something has to give. But whether or not it will be studios taking a stand and pushing for originality (unlikely) or a new generation of film lovers to insist on it remains to be seen.

Oscars Don’t Love Sequels


The Academy hasn’t been too keen on giving out little gold statues to sequels, which says something about accounting for the taste of the professionals. In the entire history of the Oscars, only two sequels, The Godfather Part II and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, have won Best Picture. But whether or not a film is Oscar worthy will remain a moot point if sequels continue to make giant hauls from the box office.

Sources: Fandango