Why Are There So Many Film Series or Sequels?

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We are not new to the world of film series or sequels, as there have been one or the other ever since the film industry gained a foot hold in the entertainment industry. And many of which have been quite successful, including Harry Potter, Batman, James Bond, Fast and the Furious, etc. Each film series usually have a common theme, whereas each film tells a different story. While these tend to cater to different types of audiences, some exciting and others failing to stimulate our interest.*

Human beings are usually averse to repetition or routine works, but that is not the case with film series or film sequels. Have you ever wondered why there have been so many film series or film sequels preferred over new and original content? When it comes to the world of entertainment, it seems like the rules of repetition seldom work. With more sequels to super hits like How to Train Your Dragon 3, Avatar 2, Pacific Rim: Uprising, and the likes in the anvil, it’s high time to consider the thought processes and wisdom behind creating such sequels.

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Movies in the planning stage can be broadly classified into two on the basis of sequels: either a stand-alone film or a series. Quite often, movies are planned as stand-alone films, but its success leads the owners to make it a series. Success in the box office and a high viewer rating is the sign of acceptability of the theme. This gives credibility to the movie and it is highly likely that any news of a sequel will keep the viewer excited. A predictable theme but an unknown story almost guarantees entertainment for those who are interested in the theme yet lures more viewers, which, in turn, makes the film series profitable for producers. Unless the sequel lets down the audience severely, it usually hits the target. Thus, the reliability and bankability provided by the credibility of the movie are the prime force behind the creation of a successful series. Even if the movie is planned as a series, its initial success plays a huge part in the likelihood of having a sequel to the initial one.

A film series or sequel requires less investment for publicity. It has all the backing of a successful initial phase and audience endorsements. If people already know that something is good, it’s highly likely that they share the news. This helps the publicity reach a wider audience than what a paid advertisement can do. That doesn’t mean that it does not require trailers and other promotions, but it simply means that the effort and investment of a publicity team are minimal as the audience gives the multiplier effect to the news and information regarding the sequels. Apart from all this comes the “suspense” or “thrill” factor that a sequel brings in. A work of fiction that stimulates the curiosity of audience is likely to see greater footfall in the box office as humans love to explore uncertainty. Also, a fictional superhero who is admired by those in low age brackets creates that “push effect” which pressures elders to go to theatres. These are all welcome signs that lead to the profitability of a film series.

Whether it’s a series or a stand-alone, a film should look smart and provide entertainment to people like mental sports such as chess and poker. At the same time, it should also be profitable to the producers. There’s no single factor that makes a film series an all-time favorite for both audiences and producers, but rather a multitude of factors combined. Ultimately, a good film series with a well-developed theme and engaging scripts gives audiences ample excitement and entertainment while still providing producers with their due share of profit. The bottom line, then, is that a good film series is a win-win situation for all and allows for the story to continue.

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