Well guys, I drew it out for as long as I could, but I guess it’s finally time to let this party come to a close. But not before we get in one last parting shot! You see, amidst all this glorious celebrating, I haven’t quite found the time to celebrate some of my favorite films. Today, this changes. And I’m not just tackling a single film—I’m tackling whole franchises. And what better way to celebrate epic franchises than with a top 10 list? Ready, set, let’s do this!!!
Honorable Mentions: Indiana Jones and The Hunger Games
Surprised to see these two so far down on the list? Well, that should be an indication of just how epic this list truly is. Indiana Jones would actually be much higher on this list if it weren’t for a) how terrible Willie is in Temple of Doom and b) how terrible all of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is. Otherwise, Indy and his adventures are fab. As for The Hunger Games, it would have a higher spot, too, if it were a bit more established. Don’t get me wrong—the films have done a great job of doing justice to the books (especially Catching Fire), but it’s just hard to tell how much of an impression they’re going to leave since the franchise only began a few years ago. Nonetheless, both of these franchises are more than deserving of a place on any film franchise list.
#10: Star Wars
I’m probably gonna get some crap for having this one so low on the list…but it is what it is. As far as a franchise’s cultural impact goes, this one’s is massive. Quite possibly deserving of a number one spot. While I really do like the original Star Wars trilogy a lot (see my geeky texts about them here, here, and here) and am hardcore excited about The Force Awakens, I think the prequels and all the stupid edits George Lucas and co. made to the first films kind of tainted them a bit for me. Less Jar Jar, more Chewie, please. But, hey, I’ll watch that original trilogy any ol’ day. 🙂
#9: Star Trek
Though I’m fairly new to this whole Trekkie thing, I think I appreciate the franchise slightly more than Star Wars not only because it came first and paved the way for basically all of sci-fi, but because I am kind of obsessed with the 2009 remake and its glorious sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. I love the catchphrases. I love the characters. I love the space adventures. I just really enjoy this franchise, and I’m anxious to see more—both future films and past ones (I’ve still only seen The Wrath of Khan, Nemesis, and one episode of the original series). Let’s hope this one continues to live long and prosper. R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy.
I’ll admit it: my faith in this franchise has suffered some hits in the past. After being awed by the greatest of X-Men and X2, The Last Stand happened. And then X-Men Origins: Wolverine happened. And I began to think we’d never see a good X-Men film again. With the arrival of X-Men: First Class, I was never happier to be wrong. It was just the fresh start the franchise needed. I still haven’t seen The Wolverine (which I hear was kind of a step back), but you bet I have seen Days of Future Past, which is basically perfection. I think these films (the good ones, anyway) are a blast, and with a few mutants getting solo films (Deadpool and Gambit) plus a potential tie-in with Fantastic Four on the way, there’s no stopping this franchise. Bring it on, Apocalypse.
#7: Jurassic Park
Between my text conversations with my sister (see here, here, and here) and my review of Jurassic World, I think you guys probably knew this franchise would be popping up on this list. Jurassic Park is easily one of my favorite films of all time, and the second and fourth films are also solidly entertaining and awesome. Let’s just…not talk about that third one. Haha. What Indy did for archaeology, John Hammond and his dinos did for paleontology. I mean, dinosaurs were already cool, but I don’t think anybody realized just how cool they were until we heard that T-Rex triumphantly roar at the end of the first film. I’m glad to see that Jurassic World has been a successful reboot, and I hope for only the best from here on out.
#6: James Bond
I feel a little guilty listing this franchise when I’ve actually only seen a fraction of the films (just the Craig Bond films and Dr. No), but I love what I’ve seen so much that I know I’m going to catch up on the rest one day (and hopefully love them just as much, too). I think what urged me to push this franchise above a few notable others was taking the time to consider the sheer longevity of it. The first of these films hit theaters in 1962, and the franchise has been going strong ever since. You won’t find many things that last that long in the movie world, but suave Mr. Bond has somehow pulled it off. Here’s to you, 007. And hurry up, November, so we can see Spectre!! 😀
My love of the Caped Crusader may be bolstered by forces outside the movie world (namely Batman: The Animated Series, the Arkham games, and the Lego Batman games), but there’s still no denying that this is a franchise to be reckoned with. Whether it’s Michael Keaton’s stoic Bats or Christian Bale’s hardcore Dark Knight, there’s been a big-screen Batman for fans to admire for the past 26 years. Okay, so maybe there aren’t as many fans for Val Kilmer or George Clooney since their films were pretty wretched, but the good Batman films are really good. In fact, Batman films make up a solid 25 percent of my top 20 favorite superhero movies (find the first half of that list here and the second half here), so I guess that’s saying something. Fingers crossed that Batfleck lives up…
#4: The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings franchise was one of the first franchises that I truly, deeply fell in love with, I think. The first film came out when I was in middle school, and I was immediately entranced by everything—the interesting characters, the gorgeous settings, the intricate story, and the thoroughly imagined world. I hadn’t even read the books yet at that point. But don’t worry—I’ve corrected that. Haha. I think the LOTR films are basically perfection. Unfortunately, I found the Hobbit films somewhat flawed (and you can read about why here), but as a whole, I’d still say the films are more good than bad. All together, the six films are pretty magical. I could probably watch LOTR every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of them. Now if only I didn’t have that pesky job keeping me from this… 😉
#3: Harry Potter
There was a lot at stake when I saw the first Harry Potter film. I’d become a hardcore fan of the books, so for me, the films had a LOT to live up to. It’s always tricky business adapting a beloved book series into movies. Lucky for us, Hollywood was up for the challenge. I know some people have their qualms with these films, but you know what? I think they’re fantastic. They took what I read and made the fantastical, thoroughly imagined world that I was hoping for. Some of the places, people, and items look as if they were directly pulled from the image I had in my head, and that’s awesome. The best part about all this? The franchise isn’t even done. J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is becoming a film series as well. The original series may be done, but I think there are all kinds of exciting possibilities for the Wizarding World.
Maybe I’m kind of cheating by just saying “Pixar.” All the other franchises on this list have films that are directly connected via sequels and/or reboots. But not all of the Pixar films are connected. Many of them are simply independent stories. Still, given that they all have the same type of animation and similar themes (not to mention several sly, Easter egg connections between films), I’ma count it. Because Pixar is a pretty impressive franchise. From Toy Story to Inside Out, Pixar has amassed hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 20 years. And that’s not really surprising because almost every single one of the franchise’s 15 films is a gem. Pixar films are vibrant, fun, and hilarious, but they also reach people of all ages on a deeper level, stirring up emotions in even the frostiest folks. Pixar has a good thing going, and I think they’re going to continue that success for many, many years.
Maybe it’s kind of a stretch to proclaim Marvel my number one film franchise. After all, it’s still kind of a youngster in terms of franchises. It only began less than 10 years ago with Iron Man. But there’s no denying that Marvel has done some amazing things in such a short amount of time. Not only has it built up a rabid fan base and rapidly produced sequels for its star superheroes, but it’s also done an incredible thing by merging all of those superheroes into not just one, but two epic Avengers films. They are constantly laying the groundwork in their films for future endeavors. Right now, their plans extend to 2019—and those are just the films we know about. I feel like they have solid plans for the next 10 years or more. And they’ve even begun their television takeover with shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Agent Carter, and Daredevil. But the films themselves are almost always a heap of fun—action-packed, visual treats, and full of wit and hilarity. Frankly, I don’t think there’s any stopping this franchise. Go, Marvel, go!
So there are my franchise faves! Any of your faves on here? What franchises would you include that didn’t make the cut? Anyway, thank you all so much for celebrating this year’s Blogiversary Bash with me! I’m lucky to have so many amazing folks who want to take part in these things and/or faithfully read along. You guys are the best!!! Please collect your party favors on your way out. 😀