In no particular order, here are the seven best movie franchises, measured in both monetary gains and longevity. Long gone is the time of fresh IPs, new ideas, and risk-taking cinema in the world of Hollywood and beyond. These days it’s all about pushing out films linked to franchises, knowing the clout of previous entries is free marketing, and the fans will always want to go to see the latest entry to see where their favorite characters are headed.
Based on the television series Impossible Missions Force from 1966, the Mission Impossible franchise semi-reinvented itself for the big screen with the initial entry in the Tom Cruise starring 1996 film Mission Impossible. Spawning multiple sequels, with an ever-expanding main cast, the franchise shows no sign of slowing down, arguably with each entry being bigger and better than the last; hence the $4 billion-plus gross so far.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
The most obvious entry in the seven best movie franchises list, the Marvel Cinematic Universe started way back in 2008 with Iron Man and some fourteen years later, has publicly been planned out as far as 2025’s Avengers: Secret Wars. Ramping up production to a massive scale, there are multiple film and television entries per year, and it’s now a worldwide phenomenon, with even the most anti-comic filmgoer having seen at least one entry.
The book series of the same name took the 90s by storm, giving many children a completely new, fleshed-out, and interesting world to lose themselves in. This was even more prevalent when in 2001, the first of eight films released under the Harry Potter brand. Now we’ve moved on from Harry Potter, and we’re onto a spin-off yet linked franchise of Fantastic Beasts, which itself is three films deep, with at least another two coming.
Another franchise starting as a series of books, this time by Ian Fleming back in the fifties, you’d struggle to find anyone that hadn’t seen a single film centered around the titular spy. Multiple actors over the years have taken the role, the latest being Daniel Craig, and after his fifth and final film No Time to Die, we’re now waiting for the news of who the next James Bond shall be.
Another obvious entry in the seven best movie franchises list, and the first to be mostly based on an original idea. Conceived from the mind of George Lucas back in the 70s, we’re now nine movies, multiple television shows, and tens of books related to the sci-fi phenomenon.
Where do you start with the most bankable DC superhero? Multiple actors in the cowl, countless villains over the years, and billions of dollars later, we’re all still waiting on opening night for the next Batman film. Oh, and we can’t forget the fact we actually got a Batsuit with nipples.
The Lord of the Rings
The last entry in the seven best movie franchises, and another obvious one. Based on J.R.R Tolkien’s books from decades ago, we’ve had the incredible trilogy of the Lord of the Rings, which broke records at the time for Oscars and box office numbers, and the less critically successful Hobbit series. Next up is Amazon’s premium show The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
What franchise would you be adding to the seven best movie franchises?