Some stories and characters are so great they can form the basis for film after film. The plot developments and characterization, the sense of drama and intrigue, and the scope for new narratives give these tales the longevity to run on and on, with film after film being released. But which film franchise is the one that audiences find most addictive? Which characters and stories are the most compelling, and the most successful? Let’s take a look and compare three of the world’s most famous and most admired film franchises of all time.
A perennial favourite, James Bond is the character men want to be and women want to be with. As cool driving at 140mph down a mountainside as he is sipping a martini (shaken, not stirred) in films such as gamblers favorite Casino Royale, this British spy is the definitive movie spy. Based on the novels of Ian Fleming, there are some 26 films about the MI6 secret agent and some seven actors have undertaken the role. In terms of box office success, Skyfall, Daniel Craig’s third foray as the iconic character, is the stand-out Bond film. This movie took $1,110,526,981 at box offices worldwide. The release date of the next Bond film, expected to be called Bond 25, is as yet unknown. However, speculation is already rife about who will be the next actor to take on the part as Daniel Craig is stepping down.
A three-film franchise, Jurassic Park began life in 1993 with a film of the same name. Telling the fun story of cloned dinosaurs on a rampage in a theme park, the film was a huge success, taking more money on its first weekend than any film that had gone before it.
The most recent film in the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World, was released in summer 2015 and it smashed the box office. During its opening weekend, the film broke records both domestically and globally. Jurassic World was the second movie ever to make $200 million in domestic box offices sales alone. Combined with sales from the rest of the world, the figure was higher than $500 million.
Most likely the best known film franchise of all time, Star Wars started life in 1977 and tells the winding saga of intergalactic battles between alien tribes and civilisations. Packed with fantastic characters like Han Solo, Princess Leia, and, more recently scavenger Rey and rebel stormtrooper Finn, each of the eight films transports audiences with ease to a galaxy far, far away. In terms of box office revenue in their native North America, of these three franchises, it is Star Wars that comes out on top with a figure of $1,918 million. However, when it goes to creative value, it’s impossible to say with any objectivity which is the stand-out franchise. Either way, the great thing about franchises is that they can run and run, so we may still be enjoying all three for decades to come.