10 Movie Franchises Saved By A Sequel Or TV Spinoff, According To Reddit

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Some film and TV franchises seem to be on the brink of failure when a particularly popular episode changes everything – reinvigorating interest in the once-missing story. A breath of new life can then enter these franchises, bringing them back into the limelight from which they once strayed.

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The folks at Reddit talked about their favorite personal examples of media franchises being saved as a single installment, in film or TV form. While some of these movies and series sat dormant for a long time, all of them came back strong.

ten Stargate SG-1


The cast of SG-1 posing for a poster

Reddit user accounting compare the original stargate movie with the most popular follow-up series Stargate SG-1, writing: “the original movie was decent, but a bit slow and boring and SG-1 was one of the best [science-fiction] TV series never made.”

Stargate SG-1 ran for ten seasons between 1997 and 2007, to rave reviews from fans and critics. Not only did the series get two more direct-to-DVD movies on top of its already stellar run, but it also led to several spin-off series. Since the end of the series, it has maintained a passionate fanbase, one that the original film struggled to achieve.

9 Cobra Kai


Cobra Kai brought back the Karate Kid large-scale franchise,” writes Redditor animation88, “Karate Kid has always been iconic, but it’s been dormant for a while.” Cobra Kai premiered on YouTube Red in 2018 to fan acclaim and has since migrated to Netflix, where it just aired its fourth season.

Cobra Kai arrived eight years after the previous Karate Kid movie, which had been the most comprehensive reboot starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. When the sequels fell through for the rebooted property, it appeared the franchise had experienced its final days. Cobra KaiThe success of completely changed that, airing four acclaimed seasons. Even now, fans are still left with burning questions as a result Cobra Kaithe fourth season as they eagerly await season 5 next year.


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8 Khan’s Wrath


Kirk shouts Khan's name in iconic but silly scene

SashaTower has strong words regarding the original star trek movies, writing: “Star Trek: The Movie was poor on all levels and there was some doubt if there would be a sequel. Then they did Wrath of Khan. And almost everything worked. It’s called the Citizen Kane of star trek movies.”

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the original star trek the film certainly wasn’t the success the filmmakers had hoped for, with many calling the film too long and rather boring. The 1982 sequel, however, changed things forever for the space franchise and is still considered the best. star trek movie never made. Some might even attribute the existence of the following eleven star trek movies at Khanis success.


seven Fast Five


Rock Vin Diesel Fast Five

Reddit user ForceFive_Podcast suggests that Fast Five invigorated the Fast and furious franchise in a way that would forever change the future of the series: “It was the movie that threw logistics to the wind and made superheroes out of them, and for better or worse, it didn’t has never been the same since.”

Although they originally started the franchise as illegal and criminal street racers, the characters in the Quick Saga have become heroes in their own right over the course of several films. Regardless of their opinions on the merits of the saga, no one can argue with its success, as each film continues to generate strong box office returns.


6 Thor: Ragnarok


Thor welcomes Hulk in Thor Ragnarok.

Even the biggest franchise in movie history isn’t immune to feeling stale at times. The MCU has had a number of hits and misses over the years, a relationship that might best be summed up in the Thor franchise. Editor GobbleGoblinGobble says so in his own words, writing that “Thor 2 was great meh, but Thor: Ragnarok it’s great.”

After average to negative reviews for Thor: The Dark World, Marvel has decided to shake up the God of Thunder’s solo franchise by hiring extremely untraditional filmmaker Taika Waititi to direct the next installment. The final product is arguably the funniest MCU film and earned the franchise a fourth installment, becoming the first solo MCU property to do so.


5 Exorcist 3/TV Series


George C Scott in The Exorcist 3

HardSteelRain suggests that The Exorcist 3 saved the franchise “after the unfortunate [second installment]They’re also throwing some love towards the first season of the 2016 TV series of the same name, which they say “surpassed them both.”

The first sequel to the horror classic The Exorcist indeed met with critical and commercial failure upon its release, which the third installment managed to repair upon its premiere thirteen years later. Since then, other films have joined the franchise, despite a long gap between The Exorcist 3 and the 2010 prequel.


4 mission impossible 3


Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible 3

Editor truck turner5164 note that the third Impossible mission the film was where the franchise really took off, saying they “didn’t think much of the first [film], hated the second, but IM: III was solid as a rock and Ghost protocol was even better.”

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the Impossible mission franchise today is nearly unrecognizable from the original 1996 film. Beginning with the third installment, each film has pushed the boundaries of modern cinema, while delivering a cohesive and enjoyable story along the way. Currently, the franchise has six films, with a seventh and an eighth set to premiere in the coming years, despite rampant production delays due to COVID-19.




3 Casino Royale


James Bond in Casino Royale

FuriousSherman takes a critical look at the 007 franchise, attributing its survival to its 2006 reboot in Casino Royale, which served as Daniel Craig’s first outing as James Bond. They believe that “Casino Royale essentially saved the 007 franchise after the old campy approach finally fizzled out.”

Fans have seen Craig’s Bond change and grow ever since Casino Royale, his story finally ending with no time to die at the end of last year. The grittier, more grounded version of Bond served the franchise well and helped the longtime staple of the action genre survive the death of campy action thrillers in the mid-2000s.


2 Bourne supremacy


Editor staedtler2018 has an opinion that may be controversial for some spy movie fans, stating that “The Bourne Identity was a critical and commercial success, but nothing too special. The sequel, directed by Paul Greengrass, is what really ‘expanded’ the style of the show and made it into a franchise.”

This Reddit user might be right, considering how much the Thick headed the films afterward became the second film in the franchise. Since then, the franchise has spawned three more films, including one where lead character Matt Damon was played by Jeremy Renner. With Damon returning to the role in 2016, the franchise is expected to return once again in the near future.


1 jurassic world


WillBasic6615 comments on jurassic world, stating that it “made the series profitable again and was a good movie in its own right”. The movie was a soft reboot of the classic jurassic park franchise, which was made fourteen years after the previous installment.

While critical reviews of jurassic world and its 2018 sequel were mixed, both were massive box office hits, genuinely breathing new life into the franchise that had become stale after lesser follow-ups to the iconic original film. Both jurassic world the films have grossed over $1 billion each, with the third film due out later this year expected to produce similar numbers.

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