Top 10 Movies That Revived a Franchise

Script written by Sean Newman These movies breathed life into series that fizzled out years earlier. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 Movies That Revived a Franchise. For this list, we will be considering movies that came out long after their previous installments, as well as those that came shortly after a complete flop in a movie series. Special thanks to our users MikeMJPMUNCH and DarrenZach for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Sean Newman

Top 10 Movies That Revived a Franchise


These movies breathed life into series that fizzled out years earlier. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Movies That Revived a Franchise.

For this list, we will be considering movies that came out long after their previous installments, as well as those that came shortly after a complete flop in a movie series. The films will be judged based upon their critical success, appeal to fans, and their ability to resuscitate a dying, or otherwise dead franchise. Also, we’ve decided to define franchises as a series of two or more previous movies.

#10: “Creed” (2015)

When the original “Rocky” was released in 1976, Balboa’s fighting spirit captured audiences’ hearts around the globe and eventually won an Oscar for best picture. By the fifth movie however, the Italian Stallion didn’t seem to pack as much of apunch anymore. An entertaining sixth installment kept the series alive, but it was this 2015 spin-off/sequel that took the franchise to new heights. In “Creed,” an aged Rocky agrees to train Apollo Creed’s son to take on the world light heavyweight champion. With exceptional fight sequences and a strong emotional core, this remains one of the series’ finest.

#9: “Jurassic World” (2015)

Hey Hollywood, if you want to rake in some serious cash, start making more dinosaur movies! Steven Spielberg captured our imaginations with “Jurassic Park” in 1993, then we were given two so-so sequels followed by practically nothing for 14 years! After what seemed like an eternity, the long-awaited “Jurassic World” was released. This time, the park had been open for business for quite some time. Trouble ensues when a fearsome, genetically altered dinosaur escapes and causes mayhem throughout the park. The magic captured on screen two decades ago was truly alive in this installment and fans were rewarded with bigger and badder dinosaur battles throughout.

#8: “X-Men: First Class” (2011)

Prior to “First Class,” we were given a disappointing end to the original trilogy with “X-Men: The Last Stand”, followed by the total disaster that was “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” A once thriving X-Men franchise had been dealt a deafening blow due to “Origins”’ especially weak script, heavy and clichéd dependence upon Wolverine, and a pitiable live-action debut for Deadpool. As a result, the series was nearly written off by fans. Thankfully, “First Class” reinvigorated the franchise by introducing us to a young Professor X and Magneto. Their distinct and tense differences develop with the Cold War as a backdrop for their dispute, while revitalizing the magic found in the original trilogy.

#7: “Mission: Impossible III” (2006)

We were tempted to go with “Ghost Protocol” as our pick since it’s not every day that a series’ fourth installment out-performs its predecessors in nearly every way. But “Mission: Impossible III” was a significant improvement and return to form following the John Woo-led second flick, which failed to woo many with its focus on style over substance. With J.J. Abrams directing and giving us an action-packed thriller complete with a legendary bad guy performance by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, the third installment reminded us that this franchise is most certainly a mission we would choose to accept time and time again.

#6: “Fast Five” (2011)

The “Fast & Furious” we know and love today thrives off of its tongue-and-cheek approach to over-the-top action. After apopular debut, the franchise fizzled out with three subpar predecessors. We were then graced with this masterpiece about a gang of well-intentioned criminals who are forced into one last job in order to earn their freedom. The film never takes itself too seriously and the action is magnificent. Despite all its insanity, “Fast Five’”s characters still managed to exude warmth and chemistry throughout, ensuring the series’ continued success.

#5: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)

The “Mad Max” franchise was respectfully put to bed in 1985, but made a loud entrance back in theaters in the spring of 2015. This adrenaline-fueled rampage tells the tale of Max and Furiosa’s attempt to find refuge in a post-apocalyptic wasteland controlled by a tyrannical leader known as Immortan Joe. With non-stop, edge-of-your-seat action sequences from start to finish, and an emphasis on practical effects, there’s no sign of the series slowing down in the future. One thing’s for sure: we can’t wait to see what’s hitting theaters next on the Fury Road.

#4: “Batman Begins” (2005)

After Joel Schumacher gave us one of the worst superhero movies of all time, fans of the comic book hero had a bat-sized itch that desperately needed scratching. Thankfully, Christopher Nolan came along and saved the day with a grittier interpretation of the Dark Knight. In “Batman Begins,” we learn the hero’s origin story and see how he went from man to symbol. With a fantastic movie score, legendary bad guys, and breath-taking special effects, the Dark Knight trilogy will surely top people’s list of Batman movies and we have this installment to thank for that.

#3: “Star Trek” (2009)

J.J. Abrams had the near-impossible task of pleasing diehard trekkers and newcomers alike in his 2009 “Star Trek” reboot, especially after mixed reception of “Star Trek: Nemesis.” Thankfully, we were given a re-imagining that was action-packed, funny, and visually brilliant to say the least. The story starts out with a young James Kirk, who is far more apt to partake in bar fights than intergalactic space battles. He eventually sets his life on track and is thrust into battle against vengeful, time-traveling Romulans. A new generation was introduced to the Star Trek fandom thanks to this reboot that will no doubt live long and prosper for years to come.

#2: “Casino Royale” (2006)

After the release of “Die Another Day,” we were all nervous that 007 may have jumped the shark; or in this case, surfed the CGI tidal wave. Thankfully, Daniel Craig decided to hang up the gadgets and give us a more realistic version of the British spy. “Casino Royale” starts off shortly after Bond has received his licence to kill. He wastes no time putting it to good use, as he pursues Le Chiffre, a notorious terrorist financier. It was no easy feat for this film to stand out among the films in the long-standing franchise, but it did just that in a spectacular fashion, and all without needing the cliché elements the series had become known for.

Before we unveil out #1 pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
“Man of Steel” (2013)
“Rambo” (2008)
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014)
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011)

#1: “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” (2015)

After the severe letdown that was the “Star Wars” prequel series, diehard fans expected nothing less than perfection from the next “Star Wars” installment - and boy, did it deliver! An ex-Stormtrooper, a resistance fighter pilot, and a scavenger are all unexpectedly thrust into the middle of a battle between the deadly First Order and the heroic Resistance. Expectations have likely never been higher for a movie and J.J. Abrams once again didn’t disappoint. Moviegoers were treated to a space-epic that remained true to its original ties - some would say almost too much so in fact - while also introducing loveable new characters and exhilarating action.

Do you agree with our list? What movies were a breath of fresh air for your favorite franchise? For more entertaining Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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