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Original movies that were better than their sequels

  • Paramount Pictures
    1/ Paramount Pictures

    Original movies that were better than their sequels

    There's only one thing Hollywood film executives love more than a hit movie: a sequel to a hit movie. Because sequels have built-in audiences who can't wait to see what happens next, they can seem like an easy path to box office success. Four sequels have already earned more than $50 million in gross revenues since the start of 2018, and that figure will only grow—with highly anticipated follow-ups like “Incredibles 2,” “Mission: Impossible—Fallout,” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” all on tap for the summer blockbuster season.

    Although sequels have become a much larger part of the motion picture landscape, conventional wisdom holds that the original is almost always better. To prove that point, Stacker has combed through IMDb data to identify the top film franchises where the original movies were better than their sequels, based on user ratings.

    From children’s tales to chilling horror flicks, read on to see why the trend of lackluster sequels is one that transcends genre.

    RELATED: Find out which movie sequels were better than the original.

  • Walt Disney Pictures
    2/ Walt Disney Pictures

    #50. The Little Mermaid

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.6
    Sequel: "The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea" (5.6)


    When Ariel first sang about thingamabobs and her quest to join the human world in 1989, audiences went wild to the tune of over $84 million in its initial release. Over a decade later, “The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea” gave viewers the next generation of the story as Ariel and Eric’s daughter Melody longs to get back into the water. Without a traditional box office release or the Academy Award-winning score of Alan Menken, “Return to Sea” just wasn’t destined to be part of this world.

  • Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida
    3/ Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida

    #49. Mulan

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.6
    Sequel title: "Mulan II" (5.7)
     

    Disney’s “Mulan” animated the ancient Chinese tale of Hua Mulan, in which a heroic woman disguises herself as a male soldier to spare her elderly father from going to war. “Mulan II” picks up a month later after Mulan’s secret is discovered, as she prepares to marry her true love, General Shang. While much of the cast returned for the sequel, reviews claim that the sequel has none of the charm of the original.

  • Warner Bros
    4/ Warner Bros

    #48. Lethal Weapon

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.6
    Sequel title: "Lethal Weapon 2" (7.2), "Lethal Weapon 3" (6.7), "Lethal Weapon 4" (6.6)
     

    “Lethal Weapon” turned the buddy cop genre on its head by introducing themes like age differences and mental illness. But each subsequent sequel—there have now been four movies in total, with a fifth rumored to be on the way—has failed to match up to the original. 

     

  • Geffen Pictures
    5/ Geffen Pictures

    #47. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.6
    Sequel title: "Queen of the Damned" (5.3)

    “Interview with the Vampire” was destined to be a hit, with an all-star cast (Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt) and a sexy plot—adapted from a mega-popular book—about the process of becoming a vampire. Its sequel “Queen of the Damned” was damned from the beginning, with an entirely new cast and a horror-based storyline that focused on heavy metal stardom.

  • Warner Bros
    6/ Warner Bros

    #46. Batman

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.6
    Sequel title: "Batman Returns" (7.0), "Batman Forever" (5.4), "Batman & Robin" (3.7)

    Tim Burton’s “Batman” gave viewers a darker glimpse into the comic book favorite, as the Caped Crusader fought The Joker’s bid to overtake Gotham. But viewers lost interest as the sequels got more cartoonylike when Arnold Schwarzenegger tries to freeze over Gotham in the low-rated “Batman & Robin.” Things started looking up again in “Batman Begins,” a completely new franchise from director Christopher Nolan, in which the “Dark Knight” sequels actually scored higher than the original.

     

  • Evolution Entertainment
    7/ Evolution Entertainment

    #45. Saw

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.6
    Sequel title: "Saw II" (6.6), "Saw III" (6.2), "Saw IV" (5.9), "Saw V" (5.8), "Saw VI" (6.0), "Saw 3D: The Final Chapter" (5.6)

    People trapped in a room, a mysterious unseen serial killer, and sadistic psychological and physical tests. These are the ingredients of the first “Saw,” which set the stage for a franchise of eight films following a similar formula. Although they’ve collectively earned close to a billion dollars worldwide, they’ve never matched the IMDb rating of the original.

  • DreamWorks Animation
    8/ DreamWorks Animation

    #44. Kung Fu Panda

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.6
    Sequel title: "Kung Fu Panda 2" (7.3), "Kung Fu Panda 3" (7.1)

    When “Kung Fu Panda” came out in 2008, people flocked to see Po the panda as he attempted to become a kung fu master—earning a whopping $60 million its opening weekend. The sequels saw their pudgy hero trying to defeat evil peacocks and spirit warriors, but they couldn’t quite match the popularity of the first film.

  • Am Psycho Productions
    9/ Am Psycho Productions

    #43. American Psycho

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.6
    Sequel title: "American Psycho 2" (3.9)

    Image-obsessed Manhattan businessman by day, grotesque serial killer by night. Christian Bale played the titular “American Psycho” to perfection in this parody of ‘80s materialism, but the response was tepid when Mila Kunis played the lead in its sequel—maybe because it went for full-on horror instead of clever commentary on Huey Lewis and the News.

  • Marv Films
    10/ Marv Films

    #42. Kick-Ass

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.6
    Sequel title: "Kick-Ass 2" (6.6)

    By the time “Kick-Ass” came out in 2010, the world was ready for this out-of-the-box take on the superhero genre—in which a teenager turns himself into a hero with nothing more than a scuba suit. However, the sequel wasn't nearly as successful with fans, and critics seemed to loathe it: Robert Ebert even called “Kick-Ass 2” one of 2013's worst films, asserting that the film's attitude toward women and girls was "insulting." 

  • Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions
    11/ Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions

    #41. The Birds

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.7
    Sequel title: "The Birds II: Land's End" (2.8)

    Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic film of avian attack swarmed movie theaters in 1963—and made such an impact that it was included in the Library of Congress National Film Registry. The made-for-TV follow-up appeared on Showtime in 1994 in an unsuccessful attempt to capitalize on the original’s legendary reputation.

  • Universal Pictures
    12/ Universal Pictures

    #40. Despicable Me

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.7
    Sequel title: "Despicable Me 2" (7.4), "Despicable Me 3" (6.3)

    In addition to introducing the world to Gru, Steve Carell’s super villain with a heart-of-gold, this animated blockbuster marked the first appearance of the ultra-popular Minions. No matter how many gibberish-spewing yellow henchmen the sequels generated, they still couldn’t match the acclaim of the first film.

  • Twentieth Century Fox
    13/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #39. Kingsman: The Secret Service

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.7
    Sequel title: "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" (6.8)

    This action-spy-comedy franchise won over audiences with the “Hogwarts for spies” premise of its first iteration, but its follow-up couldn’t muster the same accolades. Critic David Edelstein summed it up succinctly: “A sequel was de rigueur, of course, but what a mess it is.”

  • Warner Bros
    14/ Warner Bros

    #38. The Hangover

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.7
    Sequel title: "The Hangover Part II" (6.5), "The Hangover Part III" (5.9)

    In the summer of 2009, this tale of a bachelor party gone hilariously wrong became box office gold, soaring to become the #1 R-rated movie of the year. The sequels saw Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and the rest of the Wolfpack getting caught up in more pre-marital debauchery in locales from Mexico to Thailand. The third installment of the franchise was universally panned, garnering only a 21% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer

  • Columbia Pictures Corporation
    15/ Columbia Pictures Corporation

    #37. Ghostbusters

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.8
    Sequel title: "Ghostbusters II" (6.5)

    The first “Ghostbusters” taught the world who to call in case of a ghost emergency and what to do when a giant marshmallow man attacks a major city. “Ghostbusters II,” on the other hand, focused on an evil spirit trapped in a painting. Movie fans clearly preferred the original, although “Ghostbusters II” did manage to beat the 2016 reboot of the franchise, which featured an all-female squad.

  • Warner Bros
    16/ Warner Bros

    #36. Ocean's Eleven

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.8
    Sequel title: "Ocean's 12" (6.5), "Oceans 13" (6.9), "Ocean's Eight" (6.4)

    With a cast featuring talent like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts, it wasn't a surprise that this heist revenge story was a hit with audiences. "Ocean's Eight," which stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and Anne Hathaway—among quite a few other well-known female actresses—was released in theaters in the U.S. on June 8.

     

  • RKO Radio Pictures
    17/ RKO Radio Pictures

    #35. King Kong (1933)

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.9
    Sequel title: "Son of Kong" (5.8)

    When “King Kong” premiered in 1933, it was a marvel of technology. The Variety review from the era raved that it surpassed “anything of its type which has gone before it in commercial film-making.” It’s a shame that the adventure comedy “Son of Kong” couldn’t live up to its predecessor. Interestingly, the “King Kong” title has been re-made three times (1933, 1976, 2005), but the original is still the leader in IMDb rankings.

  • Image Ten
    18/ Image Ten

    #34. Night of the Living Dead

    Original film's IMDb rating: 7.9
    Sequel title: "Dawn of the Dead" (7.3)

    “Night of the Living Dead,” in which zombies attack a rural farmhouse, is a classic of the horror genre. Fittingly, George A. Romero’s “Dead” franchise can’t seem to die, spawning sequel after sequel and remake after remake. Most of these have not lived up to the hype of the original film, except “Dawn of the Dead,” the first sequel with no connection to the original narrative—besides zombies, zombies, and more zombies.

  • APJAC Productions
    19/ APJAC Productions

    #33. Planet of the Apes (1968)

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.0
    Sequel title: "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" (6.1), "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" (6.3), "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" (6.1), "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" (5.5), Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (7.6), "War for the Planet of the Apes" (7.5)

    The original “Planet of the Apes” was a critical and commercial success exploring the premise of ultra-intelligent primates ruling over a planet that just so happens to look a lot like Earth. While those sequels never matched the progenitor, the 2011 franchise reboot with James Franco and Andy Serkis garnered a 7.6, putting it closest to the original’s IMDb user rating. 

     

  • Walt Disney Pictures
    20/ Walt Disney Pictures

    #32. Aladdin

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.0
    Sequel title: "The Return of Jafar" (5.9)

    Disney movies like “Aladdin” have had an unfortunate track record when it comes to sequels. The original is loved, but the sequel suffers from a smaller budget and a direct-to-video release, which limits its appeal. In “The Return of Jafar,” Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson) took over for Robin Williams as Genie, but the sequel couldn’t match the audience satisfaction of the original.

  • Warner Bros
    21/ Warner Bros

    #31. The Exorcist

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.0
    Sequel title: "Exorcist II: The Heretic" (3.7)

    “The Exorcist” is one of the most successful horror movies in history, with close to half a billion dollars in worldwide box office receipts. The other movies in the franchise, beginning with “Exorcist II: The Heretic,” paled in comparison, proving that audiences lose their taste for religious-themed horror movies once the demons have already been exorcised.

  • Zanuck/Brown Productions
    22/ Zanuck/Brown Productions

    #30. Jaws

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.0
    Sequel title: "Jaws 2" (5.7), "Jaws 3-D" (3.6), "Jaws: The Revenge" (2.9)

    “Jaws” was Steven Spielberg’s first big blockbuster, and the film made people everywhere afraid to go into the water. Each film that followed kept the idea of great white sharks terrorizing humans, but the initial shock value was gone—and indeed no sequel took as big of a ratings bite as the first “Jaws.”

  • Paramount Pictures
    23/ Paramount Pictures

    #29. Star Trek (2009)

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8
    Sequel title: "Star Trek: Into Darkness" (7.8), "Star Trek: Beyond" (7.1)

    Since “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” in 1979 there have been a whopping 13 movies in the Star Trek universe. But this “Star Trek” reboot boldly went where no Trek film had gone before: the highest IMDb rating of any incarnation of the franchise. While the follow-ups (“Into Darkness” and “Beyond”) also scored highly, nothing can match the impact of J.J. Abrams’ 2009 masterpiece.

  • Walt Disney Pictures
    24/ Walt Disney Pictures

    #28. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.0
    Sequel title: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" (7.3), "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (7.1), "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (6.6), "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" (6.6)

    In 2003, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” did the unthinkable: it took an amusement park ride and turned it into box office riches. While the treasure-minded sequel “Dead Man’s Chest” made the Pirates franchise the first to have a sequel gross more than $1 billion worldwide, none of the four follow-ups could top the original when it comes to IMDb ratings.

  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
    25/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #27. The Thin Man

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "After the Thin Man" (7.7)
     

    The 1934 comedic mystery classic was Academy Award-nominated for Outstanding Production and the 1936 sequel “After the Thin Man” was nominated for its screenplay. While the original spawned five well-received subsequent films all starring Hollywood royalty William Powell and Myrna Loy, none compared to the first.

     

  • Warner Bros
    26/ Warner Bros

    #26. The Maltese Falcon

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "The Black Bird" (5.4)

    In “The Maltese Falcon,” Humphrey Bogart plays a private detective trying to uncover the mystery behind a jewel-encrusted falcon statue. In its sequel “The Black Bird,” George Segal plays the son of Bogart’s character in a comedic turn that didn’t win over the critics. Lamenting the characters in the sequel, New York Times film critic Richard Eder said that “Humphrey Bogart would have sent them home.”

  • Twentieth Century Fox
    27/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #25. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "Blackthorn" (6.6)

    American Film Institute named the Western classic “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” to its list of the 100 greatest American movies of all time. But “Blackthorn,” which follows Butch Cassidy later in life as he tries to return to America from Bolivia, didn’t even make a million dollars.

  • Hemdale
    28/ Hemdale

    #24. Platoon

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "Born on the Fourth of July" (7.2)

    American audiences loved Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” for its realistic portrayal of the hell that was the Vietnam War. Three years later, critics and audiences alike rooted for Tom Cruise in “Born on the Fourth of July,” which depicted the horrors of returning from war, but the IMDb user rating wasn’t enough to overtake the original.

     

  • Chartoff-Winkler Productions
    29/ Chartoff-Winkler Productions

    #23. Rocky

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "Rocky II" (5.2), "Rocky III" (6.8), "Rocky IV" (6.8), "Rocky V" (5.2), "Rocky Balboa" (7.2)

    For a generation of moviegoers, the name Rocky invokes punching slabs of beef, running up steps in Philadelphia, and “Eye of the Tiger.” The first “Rocky” movie made Sylvester Stallone a star as an up-and-coming boxer; the sequels turn Rocky into a world champion who faces opponents across the globe. While several of the sequels did better commercially, the original still holds the title as the people’s champ.

     

  • DreamWorks Animation
    30/ DreamWorks Animation

    #22. How to Train Your Dragon

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "How to Train Your Dragon 2" (7.8)

    The IMDb user ratings for both “Dragon” movies are incredibly strong—the sequel scored higher than the original "Batman"—and these animated tales of Viking dragon training are so beloved that a third adventure is on the way in 2019. “How to Train Your Dragon 2” is only separated from “How to Train Your Dragon” by .3 points, which underlines how rare and admirable it is to see a movie and its sequel in such close company.

  • Pandora Cinema
    31/ Pandora Cinema

    #21. Donnie Darko

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "S. Darko" (3.6)

    The 2001 story of a teenager with disturbing visions of the apocalypse helped make lead actor Jake Gyllenhaal into a movie star and earned him accolades throughout the film world, including Independent Spirit Awards for Best Male Lead, Best First Feature, and Best First Screenplay for writer and director Richard Kelly. But the unaffiliated 2009 sequel, “S. Darko,” was so hated that “Donnie Darko” director Kelly won’t even acknowledge its existence.

  • Pixar Animation Studios
    32/ Pixar Animation Studios

    #20. Monsters, Inc.

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "Monsters University" (7.3)

    Pixar added another feather to its already impressive cap with the success of “Monsters, Inc.,” the imaginative backstory behind the monsters under kids’ beds. Origin story “Monsters University” is technically a prequel, not a sequel, but Pixar collected another commercial hit with the endeavor—although critics weren’t as enthusiastic

     

  • Universal Pictures
    33/ Universal Pictures

    #19. Jurassic Park

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (6.5), "Jurassic Park III" (5.9), "Jurassic World" (7.0)

    “Jurassic Park” is a feat of filmmaking that ushered in a new era of computer effects—showing audiences realistic dinosaurs that come back to life thanks to cloning technology. Spielberg’s 1993 summer blockbuster is so beloved by fans around the globe that sequels “The Lost World” and “Jurassic Park III”—and even spin-off series “Jurassic World”—can’t come close to the cinematic lizard king.

  • Pixar Animation Studios
    34/ Pixar Animation Studios

    #18. Finding Nemo

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "Finding Dory" (7.3)

    An animated story of a father’s devotion in the aquatic world anchors “Finding Nemo,” and fans ate it up hook, line, and sinker. Thirteen years later, “Finding Dory” did better at the box office than “Nemo”—with the largest-ever opening weekend for an animated movie—but couldn’t quite manage to achieve the same IMDb user rating.

  • Marvel Studios
    35/ Marvel Studios

    #17. Guardians of the Galaxy

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (7.7)

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a cinephile’s dream, with new titles coming out year-round, but the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a gamble—because the characters were relatively unknown outside of the hardcore fanbase. Luckily, the Chris Pratt-led film won over audiences and critics alike. Its sequel performed nearly as well, with just a slight .4 point drop-off between the first and second film.

  • Miramax
    36/ Miramax

    #16. Kill Bill: Vol. 1

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" (8)

    This highly stylized grindhouse story of revenge and martial arts from auteur Quentin Tarantino wowed moviegoers in 2003. “Kill Bill” was originally supposed to be a single movie, but the decision was made to split it into two parts and release both volumes within six months of each other. That may explain why the sequel, essentially a continuation of the first film, scored nearly as high in the user ratings.

  • Marvel Studios
    37/ Marvel Studios

    #15. The Avengers

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.1
    Sequel title: "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (7.4)

    “The Avengers” is the equivalent of an all-star team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the brand’s favorite characters teaming up to stop Thor’s brotherand breaking all sorts of box office records in the process. The sequel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” finds the team of superheroes fighting against artificial intelligence attempting to erase humanity. While still immensely popular, the sequel may have suffered slightly from an oversaturation of Marvel movies.

     

  • Mirisch Company
    38/ Mirisch Company

    #14. The Great Escape

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.2
    Sequel title: "The Great Escape II: The Untold Story" (5.7)

    Audiences loved wartime thriller “The Great Escape”—it was one of the most popular films of 1963. Nearly 25 years later, the made-for-TV sequel “The Great Escape II: The Untold Story” aired on NBC. It treaded mostly the same ground as the original, with some additional time spent on the escape’s post-war investigation and surrounding scandal. 

  • Paramount Pictures
    39/ Paramount Pictures

    #13. Chinatown

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.2
    Sequel title: "The Two Jakes" (6.1)

    Who would have thought a private eye movie about water rights in Los Angeles would turn into such a classic? “Chinatown” is widely regarded as one of the best detective films in American historyAFI named it #2 on their list of best mysteriesbut “The Two Jakes,” which followed the same lead character investigating a different crime, enjoyed neither the critical nor commercial success of its predecessor.

     

  • Ladd Company
    40/ Ladd Company

    #12. Blade Runner

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.2
    Sequel title: "Blade Runner 2049" (8.1)

    Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” didn’t break any box office records in its initial release, but the futuristic science-fiction film earned plenty of fans and set the gold standard of the modern sci-fi era. When “Blade Runner 2049” premiered 35 years later, expectations were extremely high, but the Ryan Gosling-led picture achieved a difficult feat: Many consider it nearly as good as the original, as evidenced by the .1 difference in IMDb user ratings between the first film and the sequel.

  • Twentieth Century Fox
    41/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #11. Die Hard

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.2
    Sequel title: "Die Hard with a Vengeance" (7.6), "Live Free or Die Hard" (7.2)

    While many diehard "Die Hard" fans spend their time arguing whether the film is a Christmas movie or not, hardly anyone argues that the sequels are as good as the original. With Bruce Willis as hard-nosed cop John McClane, the true fans would rather watch their hero save his wife in L.A.’s fictional Nakatomi Plaza than an airport in D.C., or the Federal Reserve in New York City.

  • Zanuck/Brown Productions
    42/ Zanuck/Brown Productions

    #10. The Sting

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.3
    Sequel title: "The Sting II" (5.2)

    Paul Newman and Robert Redford teamed up for the con artist caper classic “The Sting” and the result was seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture in 1974. Sadly, “The Sting II” didn’t fare anywhere close to the original. With an entirely new cast, the sequel holds the dubious distinction of a 0% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
    43/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #9. 2001: A Space Odyssey

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.3
    Sequel title: "2010" (6.8)

    While Stanley Kubrick’s space opus didn’t open to universal critical acclaim, it has risen to legendary status over the years. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for 1984’s “2010,” which was based on the literary sequel to the original “2001: A Space Odyssey” novel by Arthur C. Clarke and didn’t have the advantage of being directed by Kubrick.

  • Universal Pictures
    44/ Universal Pictures

    #8. Psycho

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.5
    Sequel title: "Psycho II" (6.4)

    “Psycho” is another series where the first film was directed by a legendary auteur, in this case Alfred Hitchcock, and the sequel was made years later by a relatively unknown director. “Psycho II” had the benefit of starring Anthony Perkins, the original lead in “Psycho,” but it wasn’t enough to impress critics like Roger Ebert, who wrote, “If you’ve seen ‘Psycho’ a dozen times...’Psycho II’ just isn’t going to do it for you.”

  • Brandywine Productions
    45/ Brandywine Productions

    #7. Alien

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.5
    Sequel title: "Aliens" (8.4), "Alien 3" (6.4), "Alien: Resurrection" (6.2)

    The “Alien” franchise has been associated with some legends of the film industry: Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher, and Joss Whedon to name a few. The original is so highly acclaimed however, that no sequel could ever do it justice. After all, how is anybody supposed to top an alien popping out of John Hurt’s chest?

  • Paramount Pictures
    46/ Paramount Pictures

    #6. Raiders of the Lost Ark

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.5
    Sequel title: "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (8.3), "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (7.6), "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (6.2)
     

    Action, adventure, a race with a giant boulder: “Raiders of the Lost Ark” had everything movie fans want in a Spielberg movie and they couldn’t get enough of Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones. It was the top grossing film of 1981 and a Best Picture nominee at the Oscars. Fans got a big case of Indiana Jones fever, and wound up with three more films and a fourth slated to premiere in 2020 with Ford and Spielberg both attached to return.

  • Walt Disney Pictures
    47/ Walt Disney Pictures

    #5. The Lion King

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.5
    Sequel title: "The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride" (6.2), "The Lion King 1½" (6.6)

    “The Lion King” hasn’t just given birth to movie sequels. There’s also spin-off TV shows, video games, and currently the third-longest running musical in Broadway history. While the direct-to-video sequels, “The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride” and “The Lion King 1½,” haven’t taken the world by storm, the upcoming live-action “Lion King” adaptation in 2019 is poised to challenge the king with cast members including Donald Glover and Beyoncé.

  • Universal Pictures
    48/ Universal Pictures

    #4. Back to the Future

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.5
    Sequel title: "Back to the Future Part II" (7.8), "Back to the Future Part III" (7.4)

    A lot of people consider “Back to the Future” a nearly perfect movie. This Spielberg-directed time travel film has something for everyone, from adventure to comedy, to a disturbingly Oedipal romance. While the version of the future in follow-up “Back to the Future: Part II” is incredibly fun and the Old West setting of “Back to the Future: Part III” is entertaining, they’re not able to eclipse the genius of the first flick.

  • Strong Heart/Demme Production
    49/ Strong Heart/Demme Production

    #3. The Silence of the Lambs

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.6
    Sequel title: "Hannibal" (6.8)

    You know a movie is special when it wins the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director. “The Silence of the Lambs” was one of only three movies in history to sweep those top five categories. Its successor, “Hannibal,” brought Anthony Hopkins back to the lead role with David Mamet writing the script and Ridley Scott directing, but it didn’t come anywhere close to the terrifying original that detailed the relationship between a horrifically creepy serial killer and a female rookie FBI agent.

  • Warner Bros
    50/ Warner Bros

    #2. The Matrix

    Original film's IMDb rating: 8.7
    Sequel title: "The Matrix Reloaded" (7.2), "The Matrix Revolutions" (6.7)

    For anyone who has seen all three “Matrix” movies, there’s a clear truth: “The Matrix” is a masterpiece of filmmaking and the sequels are convoluted disasters. “The Matrix” gave viewers a philosophical meditation on the nature of free will with iconic action sequences and new cinematic technology. “The Matrix Revolutions” and “The Matrix Reloaded” just confused people.

  • Paramount Pictures
    51/ Paramount Pictures

    #1. The Godfather

    Original film's IMDb rating: 9.2
    Sequel title: "The Godfather Part II" (9.0), "The Godfather Part III" (7.6)

    The #1 film on the list also comes with the most controversy because “The Godfather” and “The Godfather: Part II” are arguably two of the greatest films ever made, as seen by IMDb ratings. While “The Godfather” earned an impressive 9.2 IMDb user rating, “Part II” is at 9.0. That’s better than any film on this list besides the first Godfather. Even “The Godfather: Part III” has its fans, racking up a 7.6 user rating that puts it on par with #42–50 of this very list.

    With a franchise as well made as “The Godfather” trilogy, it’s true that the original movie was better than the sequels, but just barely.

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