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Sequels that outperformed the original at the box office

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Columbia Pictures

Sequels that outperformed the original at the box office

In contemporary Hollywood, the franchise is king. It’s no surprise then that almost every blockbuster of the past four decades has spawned at least one sequel. But the concept itself isn’t solely a modern one. In fact, one of the earliest examples dates back to 1916 with “The Fall of a Nation,” a sequel to D.W. Griffith’s controversial “The Birth of a Nation.”

With studios like Disney continuing to make boatloads of money on various franchises, one can safely assume sequels won’t be going away anytime soon. The good news is that the practice has become far more than a mere formulaic retread; many modern-day sequels expand upon their established foundations, exploring new thematic and stylistic terrain. 

But what are the top sequels to outperform their predecessors at the box office? For the answer, Stacker went straight to Box Office Mojo. Sequels were ranked by their relative increase in domestic gross, as represented by a percentage. In the case of a tie, the sequel that made more money overall ranked higher on the list (i.e. closer to the #1 spot). Stacker did not consider any later installments beyond the first sequel, and only domestic U.S. box office numbers were tallied. For superhero films, an “original” was the first film in which the hero was played by a new person (e.g. “Batman Begins” is the first film in the series as it marks Christian Bale’s debut as Batman). Please also note that box office gross numbers have been adjusted for inflation. Here are the top 50 sequels that outperformed the originals at the box office.

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Touchstone Pictures

#50. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $59.7 million
Original: Ernest Goes to Camp (1987)
Original domestic box office gross: $51.8 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 15%

After going to camp in 1987, Ernest (Jim Varney) saved Christmas the following year. In the film, the lovable goof helps Santa Claus find a successor. This was the most financially successful movie of the Ernest franchise, capitalizing on the character's popularity as it was peaking.

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Pixar Animation Studios

#49. Toy Story 2 (1999)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $369.6 million
Original: Toy Story (1995)
Original domestic box office gross: $315.3 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 17%

A smash hit right out of the gate, 1995's “Toy Story” redefined the possibilities of computer animation while introducing a slew of timeless characters. It's no surprise that the sequel generated even more money at the domestic box office, and further cemented Pixar's status as a champion of family fare. In 2010, a third installment made over $1 billion worldwide.

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Columbia Pictures

#48. The Karate Kid Part II (1986)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $263.1 million
Original: The Karate Kid (1984)
Original domestic box office gross: $219.0 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 20%

The original “The Karate Kid” paved the way for a video game, a short-lived TV series, merchandise, numerous sequels, and a 2010 remake. In the second installment, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) finds romance and rivalry in Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita)'s childhood home of Okinawa, Japan. Like many sequels of its time, this one sticks closely to the original's winning formula.

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My.Te.Pe. Productions

#47. Madea's Family Reunion (2006)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $78.6 million
Original: Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005)
Original domestic box office gross: $64.9 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 21%

Tyler Perry's film career kicked off in 2005 with “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” in which he played a tough and sassy grandma named Mabel "Madea" Simmons. The character was so popular that Perry put her at the center of this 2006 sequel about a family reunion. The proof was in the domestic box office receipts, and numerous Madea films would follow.

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Paramount Pictures

#46. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $136.9 million
Original: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Original domestic box office gross: $113.1 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 21%

Starring Will Ferrell as newsman Ron Burgundy, the original “Anchorman” is one of the most iconic comedies of the modern era. Fans tirelessly clamored for a follow-up, which finally opened in 2013 and gained steam over the course of a few weeks. Set in the 1980s, it follows Burgundy and his crew as they adapt to the 24-hour news cycle and a less chauvinistic workplace environment.

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Davis Films // Impact Pictures

#45. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $67.9 million
Original: Resident Evil (2002)
Original domestic box office gross: $55.9 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 22%

A popular video game leapt onto the big screen with 2002's “Resident Evil,” featuring a commando named Alice (Milla Jovovich) and all sorts of angry zombies. Alice returned for this action-packed sequel, which goes down in Raccoon City and sees her once again squaring off against flesh-eating mutants. Like both its predecessor and a number of its successors, the sequel proved itself to be more or less critic-proof at the box office.

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Universal Pictures

#44. The Mummy Returns (2001)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $285.7 million
Original: The Mummy (1999)
Original domestic box office gross: $233.6 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 22%

The reboot might have been a disaster, but 1999's “The Mummy” was a veritable crowd-pleaser starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. Both stars would reprise their roles for this 2001 follow-up, in which a mummy named Imhotep once again reanimates and wreaks havoc.

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Dreamworks

#43. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $469.6 million
Original: Transformers (2007)
Original domestic box office gross: $385.8 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 22%

The “Transformers” franchise goes big on shape-shifting robots and outlandish action sequences. Proving no exception to the rule was this 2009 sequel, about the ongoing battle between Autobots and Decepticons. Stuck in the middle is a young man named Sam Witwicky, played by Shia LaBeouf.

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Lionsgate Films

#42. The Devil's Rejects (2005)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $21.9 million
Original: House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Original domestic box office gross: $17.2 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 27%

In the early 2000s, hard rocker Rob Zombie put down the microphone and picked up a movie camera. The result was “House of 1000 Corpses,” a grindhouse-style horror flick that earned negative reviews but a respectable cult following. It was followed by “The Devil's Rejects,” which continues the gruesome adventures of three psychopathic characters from the first film.  

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Walt Disney Pictures

#41. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $526.0 million
Original: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Original domestic box office gross: $415.8 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 27%

Based on a popular Disney theme park ride, the original “Pirates of the Caribbean” featured a star-studded cast including Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, and Orlando Bloom. They reunited for this 2006 sequel, which ultimately cracked the $1 billion mark worldwide. It's the most profitable film of the franchise to date. 

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Twentieth Century Fox

#40. Die Hard 2 (1990)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $225.3 million
Original: Die Hard (1988)
Original domestic box office gross: $175.8 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 28%

In this 1990 sequel, John McClane (Bruce Willis) squares off against a rogue military colonel from within Dulles International Airport. Despite its bevy of foul-mouthed antics and explosive violence, the film is the worst installment of the initial trilogy in the eyes of many fans.

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Twentieth Century Fox

#39. X2 (2003)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $292.6 million
Original: X-Men (2000)
Original domestic box office gross: $228.8 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 28%

An early highlight in the “X-Men” franchise, this 2003 sequel pitted the heroic mutants against military forces. Also returning to the fold was Ian McKellen as Magneto. “X2” is a rare sequel for its time, in that it surpassed the original in terms of both critical reception and box office numbers.  

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Universal Pictures

#38. American Pie 2 (2001)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $205.2 million
Original: American Pie (1999)
Original domestic box office gross: $154.2 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 33%

The original “American Pie” captured the comedy zeitgeist—for better or worse—upon its 1999 debut. In the 2001 sequel, Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs) and his peers explore the crazy world of sex and romance against a college backdrop.

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Universal Pictures

#37. The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $76.6 million
Original: Pitch Black (2000)
Original domestic box office gross: $57.1 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 34%

Before starring in “The Fast and the Furious,” Vin Diesel played an ex-convict turned alien slayer in 2000's “Pitch Black.” With Diesel's star power kicking into high gear, he was brought back for this 2004 sequel. Since the film cost much more to make, it's considered a box office flop.

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Produzioni Europee Associate (PEA)

#36. For a Few Dollars More (1965)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $119.3 million
Original: A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
Original domestic box office gross: $88.9 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 34%

True to its name, 1964's “A Fistful of Dollars” earned a nice chunk of change at the domestic box office. The following year, “For a Few Dollars More” made a few dollars more indeed. Both spaghetti westerns star Clint Eastwood as a rugged gunfighter and make up the first two parts of Sergio Leone's famous "Dollars Trilogy."

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Columbia Pictures

#35. 22 Jump Street (2014)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $202.9 million
Original: 21 Jump Street (2012)
Original domestic box office gross: $151.1 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 34%

The year 2012's “21 Jump Street” poked fun at action genre clichés to resoundingly successful effect. It was only natural that “22 Jump Street” follow suit, skewering sequel conventions while simultaneously adhering to them. In the film, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) go undercover as college students to bust another drug ring.

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Universal Pictures

#34. Despicable Me 2 (2013)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $395.7 million
Original: Despicable Me (2010)
Original domestic box office gross: $288.9 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 37%

Before “Despicable Me 3” earned more than $1 billion worldwide, “Despicable Me 2” upstaged the original in terms of box office performance. It finds Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) turning away from his life of diabolical crime to raise his three daughters. When an old supervillain returns, Gru and his beloved minions investigate.

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Universal Pictures

#33. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $233.7 million
Original: The Bourne Identity (2002)
Original domestic box office gross: $169.4 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 38%

With director Paul Greengrass at the helm, 2004's “The Bourne Supremacy” represents a stark departure from its predecessor. Employing a realist style, the sequel delivers quick cuts and taut action from open to close. Matt Damon reprises his role as trained assassin Jason Bourne, who must put his skills to work if he wants to survive.

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Mace Neufeld Productions

#32. Clear and Present Danger (1994)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $206.5 million
Original: Patriot Games (1992)
Original domestic box office gross: $148.8 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 39%

Tom Clancy's pulse-pounding novel “Patriot Games” made for a hit action movie in the early 1990s. It was followed by this 1994 sequel, which made serious bank thanks to its built-in fan base. Harrison Ford stars as Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst who gets embroiled in a fight between the U.S. government and a Colombian drug cartel.

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Marvel Entertainment

#31. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $274.9 million
Original: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Original domestic box office gross: $196.8 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 40%

Released among the first slate of Marvel superhero movies, 2011's “Captain America: The First Avenger” was considered somewhat underwhelming compared with its big-screen brethren. That's in part why this 2014 sequel was such a surprise, upping the ante in every conceivable department. As he struggles to adapt to the modern world, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), does battle against a super-assassin known as the Winter Soldier.

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FilmDistrict

#30. Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $89.9 million
Original: Insidious (2010)
Original domestic box office gross: $62.0 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 45%

Like “Poltergeist” for the modern era, 2010's “Insidious” finds a loving family terrorized by evil spirits at home. In “Chapter 2,” the spirits are back with a vengeance. That's bad news for the Lambert family, but good news for the film's producers and investors.

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Morgan Creek Entertainment

#29. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $178.2 million
Original: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Original domestic box office gross: $122.1 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 46%

Nothing was ever the same for comedic actor Jim Carrey after the unexpected hit “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.” This 1995 sequel follows the oddball detective into the jungles of Africa, where he searches for a missing bat. What ensues is the kind of bizarre hilarity that only Carrey can deliver.

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New Line Cinema

#28. Rush Hour 2 (2001)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $319.9 million
Original: Rush Hour (1998)
Original domestic box office gross: $217.0 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 47%

The original “Rush Hour” turned Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker into one of cinema's most memorable duos. The two talents reunited for this 2001 sequel, which took place primarily in Hong Kong. A critically disappointing third installment followed in 2007.

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Warner Bros.

#27. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $383.3 million
Original: The Matrix (1999)
Original domestic box office gross: $257.8 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 49%

According to numerous fans, this 2003 sequel doesn't come close to matching the brilliance of 1999's “The Matrix.” Nevertheless, it made more money at the domestic box office. Picking up where the first one left off, the sequel follows Neo (Keanu Reeves) and his peers as they lead the Resistance against evil computers.

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Paramount Animation

#26. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $172.3 million
Original: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004)
Original domestic box office gross: $113.3 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 52%

What was first a wildly popular animated TV series became an equally popular movie in 2004. After 11 long years, audiences were finally gifted with a sequel. In the film, SpongeBob must team up with his nemesis to retrieve a missing formula.

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Twisted Pictures

#25. Saw II (2005)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $111.6 million
Original: Saw (2004)
Original domestic box office gross: $73.2 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 53%

Shot for an estimated budget of just $1.2 million, the original “Saw” would go on to make over $100 million worldwide. In the film, a clever psychopath named Jigsaw confronts his victims with a series of brutal torture games. Eager to see what kind of twisted puzzles Jigsaw would enact next, horror fans helped make the 2005 sequel the highest grossing film of the entire franchise.

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Universal Pictures

#24. Meet the Fockers (2004)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $370.3 million
Original: Meet the Parents (2000)
Original domestic box office gross: $241.8 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 53%

In the 2000 hit comedy “Meet the Parents,” a nurse named Gaylord Focker (Ben Stiller) gets put through the ringer while spending time with his soon-to-be in-laws. In the 2004 sequel, audiences are introduced to Gaylord's own family and a range of familiar gags. Playing Mr. and Mrs. Focker are Hollywood veterans Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand.

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Temple Hill Entertainment

#23. The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $346.4 million
Original: Twilight (2008)
Original domestic box office gross: $224.3 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 54%

The big-screen adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's popular “Twilight” series kicked off in 2008 with tons of built-in momentum. Reviews were mixed, but that didn't stop fans from lining up for the movie or its 2009 sequel. Each film in the franchise centers on a girl named Bella (Kristen Stewart), who falls in love with a vampire.

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DreamWorks

#22. Shrek 2 (2004)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $585.1 million
Original: Shrek (2001)
Original domestic box office gross: $378.6 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 55%

Due to its funny appropriation of classic fairy tales, 2001's “Shrek” was both a financial success and cultural milestone. In the sequel, the lovable ogre (voiced by Mike Myers) spends some quality time with his bride's family. As before, the movie serves up catchy music and a host of familiar fairy tale characters.

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Europa Corp

#21. Transporter 2 (2005)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $55.3 million
Original: The Transporter (2002)
Original domestic box office gross: $35.2 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 57%

Starring Jason Statham, the original “Transporter” was more of a cult hit than a full-blown box office success. Nevertheless, the movie paved the way for three sequels. The most profitable among them was “Transporter 2,” in which Statham's character outmaneuvers a range of adversaries in his pursuit of a kidnapped boy.

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Columbia Pictures

#20. Bad Boys II (2003)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $188.7 million
Original: Bad Boys (1995)
Original domestic box office gross: $108.2 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 74%

With rumors of a third installment still swirling, now is the perfect time to visit the original “Bad Boys” and its 2003 sequel. In both films, detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) hilariously butt heads while taking down Miami's worst criminals. Michael Bay directs.

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Walt Disney Pictures

#19. Incredibles 2 (2018)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $608.6 million
Original: The Incredibles (2004)
Original domestic box office gross: $346.7 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 76%

It might have taken 14 years for Brad Bird and Pixar to deliver a sequel to 2004's “The Incredibles,” but for many fans, it was worth the wait. Continuing the adventures of the world's foremost family of secret superheroes, “Incredibles 2” became the seventh animated feature to cross the $1 billion mark worldwide. In the film, Mrs. Incredible is called into action while Mr. Incredible gets stuck at home on parental duty.

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New Line Cinema

#18. Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $44.3 million
Original: Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
Original domestic box office gross: $24.2 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 83%

Considering how hard it was for Harold and Kumar to get to White Castle in 2004, one can only imagine how the two stoners escape from Guantanamo Bay in this 2008 sequel. Featured in the film is a predictable onslaught of crude and outlandish humor. Also returning to the fold is actor Neil Patrick Harris, who famously plays against type.

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New Line Cinema

#17. Next Friday (2000)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $83.4 million
Original: Friday (1995)
Original domestic box office gross: $45.1 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 85%

Powered in part by Chris Tucker's performance as Smokey, the original “Friday” endures as an iconic comedy. Tucker didn't return for the 2000 sequel, but audiences were still curious about what kind of trouble Craig (Ice Cube) and his new friends might get into — so curious that the sequel earned nearly twice as much as its predecessor at the domestic box office.

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Touchstone Pictures

#16. The Color of Money (1986)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $119.5 million
Original: The Hustler (1961)
Original domestic box office gross: $63.7 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 88%

In 1961's “The Hustler,” Paul Newman plays a high-stakes pool shark named Fast Eddie Felson. Released 25 years after the original, “The Color of Money” finds Fast Eddie taking on the role of mentor to an arrogant protégé named Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise). After the two have a falling out, Fast Eddie picks up the pool stick to compete for himself.  

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Delaurentiis Entertainment Group

#15. Evil Dead II (1987)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $13.1 million
Original: The Evil Dead (1981)
Original domestic box office gross: $6.6 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 97%

Reportedly made for just $350,000, Sam Raimi's “The Evil Dead” became a sleeper hit thanks to a strong cult following. Despite its budgetary limitations, the film employed a signature style and copious amounts of gore. Following a similar template, the 1987 sequel likewise endures as a seminal cult classic.

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Summit Entertainment

#14. John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $94.1 million
Original: John Wick (2014)
Original domestic box office gross: $45.5 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 107%

The ultimate modern-day revenge flick, 2014's “John Wick” brings a former hitman (Keanu Reeves) out of retirement after his dog is murdered by home invaders. By the time the sequel opens, a bounty has been put on Wick's head due to his previous actions. To the delight of critics and fans alike, Wick once again goes to work within a thoroughly fleshed-out criminal underworld.

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Warner Bros.

#13. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $297.5 million
Original: Lethal Weapon (1987)
Original domestic box office gross: $143.8 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 107%

More than a buddy cop movie, the original “Lethal Weapon” became a genre-defining landmark for action movies. Starring Mel Gibson as a suicidal cop and Danny Glover as his sensible partner, the film combines sharp humor with epic violence. Held in similarly high regard is the 1989 sequel, in which the two leads square off against international villains with “diplomatic immunity.”

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Davis-Panzer Productions

#12. Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $28.6 million
Original: Highlander (1986)
Original domestic box office gross: $13.5 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 112%

The “Highlander” saga depicts the ongoing adventures of an immortal swordsman named Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert), who battles recurring enemies over the course of centuries. Despite a higher gross, the 1991 sequel is widely considered a disappointment. Time will tell if a rumored remake can bring fans back.

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Kennedy Miller Productions

#11. Mad Max 2 (1981)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $65.2 million
Original: Mad Max (1979)
Original domestic box office gross: $30.2 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 116%

In the 1979 cult hit “Mad Max,” a policeman (Mel Gibson) hunts down the motorcycle gang that murdered his family. “Mad Max 2” (aka “The Road Warrior”) fully realized director George Miller's post-apocalyptic vision with edgy violence and epic action sequences. The movie finds Max protecting a community and its gasoline supply from invading barbarians.

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Walt Disney Pictures

#10. Tron: Legacy (2010)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $197.6 million
Original: Tron (1982)
Original domestic box office gross: $85.7 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 131%

The original “Tron” wasn't a flop as much as it was a disappointment for Disney back in 1982. Along similar lines, the expensive 2010 sequel wasn't the blockbuster Disney was hoping for, even though it made $400 million worldwide. Both films take place largely inside a digital universe, where the outcomes of games have real-life consequences.

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Warner Bros.

#9. The Dark Knight (2008)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $620.5 million
Original: Batman Begins (2005)
Original domestic box office gross: $263.4 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 136%

Christopher Nolan's grim take on the Batman saga kicked off with “Batman Begins” in 2005. That was followed by 2008's “The Dark Knight,” which currently sits at #3 on IMDb's “Top 250” films of all time. It famously stars Heath Ledger as The Joker, who executes a series of twisted terrorist acts upon the city of Gotham.

44/
Columbia Pictures

#8. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $413.3 million
Original: Jumanji (1995)
Original domestic box office gross: $165.2 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 150%

One of 2017's biggest box office surprises was “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” in which a group of game players literally get sucked into the very game they're playing. It's a sequel to the 1995 hit “Jumanji” with Robin Williams, and even contains a callback to Williams' character. Before leaving theaters, the movie made almost $1 billion worldwide on a budget of under $100 million.

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Brownstone Productions

#7. Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $194.0 million
Original: Pitch Perfect (2012)
Original domestic box office gross: $70.9 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 174%

Shining a light on the competitive world of a capella singing, 2012's “Pitch Perfect” generated a massive fan base. Building on that momentum was this 2015 sequel, which likewise features incredible song and dance performances. In addition to healthy box office numbers, both films yielded wildly popular soundtracks.

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Estudios Churubuscu Azteca S.A.

#6. Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $350.2 million
Original: First Blood (1982)
Original domestic box office gross: $111.0 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 216%

The “Rambo” franchise kicked off in 1982 with “First Blood,” which pits former Green Beret John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) against a small town sheriff (Brian Dennehy) and his deputies. The result was an action movie that emphasizes Rambo's survival instincts as much it does his battle skills. For the second installment, Rambo heads into the jungles of Vietnam for a showdown of much bigger and louder proportions.  

47/
New Line Cinema

#5. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $309.8 million
Original: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Original domestic box office gross: $84.1 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 268%

Skewering the Hollywood spy genre, “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” delivers an endless supply of memorable gags and classic characters. The 1999 sequel mostly adheres to the original's formula, while throwing in a time-travel plot device and a new character named Mini-Me (Verne Troyer). It came out when Austin Powers fever was sky high, hence the substantial box office boost.

48/
Carolco Pictures

#4. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $376.7 million
Original: The Terminator (1984)
Original domestic box office gross: $92.5 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 307%

Inspired by one of James Cameron's own nightmares, 1984's “The Terminator” sends a robot (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time to murder the mother (Linda Hamilton) of a future resistance leader. For the 1991 sequel, Schwarzenegger returns as one of the good guys. While the first film was a sci-fi cult hit, the second was a groundbreaking milestone that critics still love today.

49/
The Weinstein Company

#3. Clerks II (2006)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $30.0 million
Original: Clerks (1994)
Original domestic box office gross: $5.3 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 463%

With a paltry budget of about $27,000, filmmaker Kevin Smith released “Clerks” in 1994 and became an overnight indie darling. Bringing back a number of characters from the original, the 2006 sequel takes place at a fast-food establishment called Mooby's. The budget was much higher, and so too was the domestic gross.

50/
Columbia Pictures

#2. Desperado (1995)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $41.8 million
Original: El Mariachi (1992)
Original domestic box office gross: $3.6 million
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 1,046%

Before 1995's “Desperado” turned Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek into household names, there came its low-budget predecessor from director Robert Rodriguez. Reportedly shot for a mere $7,000, the film “El Mariachi” follows a musician (Carlos Gallardo) as he evades capture from a ruthless gang. By the time the sequel rolls around, the musician (now played by Banderas) is primarily on the offensive.

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Apparition

#1. The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009)

Sequel domestic box office gross: $12.0 million
Original: The Boondock Saints (1999)
Original domestic box office gross: $45,816
Sequel vs. original box office increase: 26,086%

Pitting two Irish vigilante brothers against Boston's criminal underworld, 1999's “The Boondock Saints” draws from a variety of violent influences. Despite poor reviews and a notoriously troubled release, the film eventually earned a loyal cult following on DVD. That paved the way for an over-the-top sequel, which targeted its fan base.

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