2016

October 3, 2016
 

A Look At Five Of The Greatest Movie Franchises

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Written by: Lee Skavydis
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Filmmaking is one of the oldest existing arts today. It is created by the filmmakers to give them a path to let out their creative needs, while it is a form of escapism for many of us that pay our money to see their accomplishments. But where there is art, there is often money to be made. And filmmaking is an industry that is in constant motion to make as many dollars (or whatever currency you pay with) as possible.

One way to achieve this is to create sequels, which often result in franchises from an original concept. While money is one of the main goals, many historical moments in cinema history have been formed from franchises which have been welcomed by popular culture that exists in today’s society.

Let us examine five of the most successful that have touched the many lives of those that have either found inspiration from or those that admire with profound affection.

Star Wars

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What movie franchise in history has the biggest cult following than Star Wars? It is difficult to think of another when you take into account the many conventions dedicated to it as well as other countless kinds of memorabilia, big or small.

The craze all began back in 1978 when George Lucas released Episode IV: A New Hope, an instalment that initiated the telling of its narrative during the middle of it’s tale that is still being continued on screen today. Although fans are often fond of the original in a franchise, the Star Wars saga kept surprising by introducing new plot twists to keep things fresh and exciting. And no matter how many times it is played, it is always a thrill for fans to hear that famous theme with the simplified rolling text that gets fans ready for the spectacle that awaits them.

And do I really have to mention the black masked space rogue, Darth Vadar?

For a man that expected his little movie to flop back in the late 70’s, George Lucas has done rather well, wouldn’t you say?

The Terminator

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Before the Terminator franchise came to fruition, little known director James Cameron made the horrendously cheesy sequel, Piranha 2: The Spawning before showing his true potential when a nightmare about a metal skeleton rising out of flames inspired him to make The Terminator, starring Austrian actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.

Although at a time before CGI became defined the first Terminator movie, about a killer cyborg sent through time to kill a woman who would give birth to a leader of the human resistance against man killing machines, used animatronics and stop motion animation to good effect to match it’s above average tale.

Unlike other low budget movies consisting of killer robots and the like, the first Terminator film had heart, substance and genuine suspense that elevated it above the rest!

Even the trailer for the much loved original Robocop featured the theme from The Terminator! Make of that what you will.

Rocky

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Sylvester Stallone realised he could stop starring in porn movies (yes, it is true!) when he knew he could reach stardom starring in Rocky, which he also sold his dog and wrote the screenplay for.

While the first film was a dramatic piece, the sequels became more action orientated but that did not seem to decline the franchise. At least not right away. In fact, Rocky III and Rocky IV are often seen as instalments that particularly stand out the most to many, thanks to the excellently choreographed fight scenes and memorable villains such as Clubber Lang and the intimidating Russian, Ivan Drago.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

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Most would agree that the first movie is the darkest and scariest in this franchise, but the third film would go on to introduce “comedian Freddy” that future directors elected to go with for their own creative visions.

Shortly after the third instalment, the character of Freddy Krueger went on to become a pop culture icon. Fans cried out for the finger bladed horror villain to clash with Jason Voorhees from the Friday 13th movie series, which eventually became a reality in 2003. A Nightmare on Elm Street also got the reboot treatment in 2010 which failed to start a franchise of its own due to poorer than expected box office returns.

However, it does not look as if Freddy Krueger is dead yet seeing as yet another reboot was announced although there has been no more recent news.

James Bond – 007

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One of the longest film franchises in history, it is difficult to think of another series of films that have had the duration of success that the 007 movies have had since it’s initial run back in 1962.

Die hard fans of the character are quite critical since most of the movies do not contain the literary portrayal of the British secret agent, but it is hard to criticise a franchise that has had so much popular and financial success. With Bond film number 25 soon to be in pre-production, there is no sign of James Bond putting his Walther PPK firmly and permanently in it’s holster any time soon.



About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.



 
 

 

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