Sharps Guide To Sequels

3 Rules for Making a Sequel

Ideally, audiences should feel like they’ve barely left the theatre before needing to go back in — how else could you get anyone to see 22 Jump Street? Then there are the follow-ups that arrive long after the original has receded into the mists of movie history (otherwise known as late-night cable TV). The fates of these belated sequels demonstrate how hard it is to recapture that old magic.

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Why Sequels Matter

Earlier this year, American Sniper’s US box office haul pushed past the $337 million mark, making it the highest-grossing film released in 2014. To understand what an anomaly that is, you can round out to top 15 highest-grossing films of last year: all but one is a sequel or a potential sequel with a follow-up already in the works. We find out why.

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