SURVEY SAYS: What’s Your Favorite Cinematic Sequel?

May 13, 2010 ( - Though my schedule (and pocketbook) don’t always make it easy to get out to see a movie that is still in theaters, this past weekend I actually got out to see Iron Man 2. 

As sequels go, it wasn’t bad – actually, it was pretty good.  But it got me to thinking about movie sequels, and for this week’s bonus question I asked readers to name their favorite movie sequel.

Well, it was close – very close.  But only between #1 and #2.  But, when the dust settled, the most popular movie sequel was….

But before we get there, I also asked readers to share their WORST sequels (one reader even commented “oh, this will be fun”).

There was quite a bit of variety here, but let’s start with those that seemed to fall into the “all” category:

  • All the Rocky sequels.   
  • Any and all of the Saw sequels (just more blood and guts without any point at all).
  • Any of the Pink Panther movies with Steve Martin.  The first one was absolutely horrible, so why a sequel was even made baffles my mind.   
  • Speed 2, any of the sequels to The Crow, and a dozen more that I have mercifully forgotten.
  • Rambo, any of the horror films, (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Saw, etc. etc. etc.)    
  • Star Wars Episodes I, II and III.  
  • Return of the Jedi, and all 3 of the “prequels” to Star Wars are right at the top of my list. The Matrix follow-ups were equally dreadful.  
  • Rocky 83 (or whatever it was)
  • All of the Police Academy sequels
  • Most of the Jason and Freddie movies (editor’s note:  “Most?”)


Beyond that, by my rough count Caddyshack 2, Clerks 2, Grease 2, and Speed 2 seemed to be the top of the bottom (so to speak), with Pirates of the Caribbean 3 just behind.

Other sequel bombs: 

  • Back to the Future II  
  • Batman and Robin,   
  • Beverly Hills Cop 2  
  • Batman Forever   
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  •  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,
  • Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer
  • Free Willy 2.
  • Ghostbusters II!  How HORRID!  What was Howard Ramus thinking?? Did NO ONE realize how awful it was when he or she was reading the script?
  • Godfather III
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
  • Jaws 3 & 4
  • Jaws II
  • Matrix II
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
  • Ocean's 12. (One reader noted, “Just when I didn't think I could dislike Julia Roberts any more than I did”).
  • Oh God, Book 2.
  • Oliver's Story (followup to Love Story)
  • Star Trek V
  • "Weekend at Bernie's II

Now, where were we?  Oh yes, the BEST sequel.  Well, as I said, it was close – very close.  But only between #1 and #2.  But, when the dust settled, the most popular movie sequel was….


The Empire Strikes Back.


That’s right, the Star Wars sequel topped the list, but only just narrowly beating out…



The Godfather Part II


Frankly, after that, things fell off quite a bit.  And I do mean quite a bit.  That said, the (distant) third and fourth place finishers were:

Frankly, after that, things fell off quite a bit.  And I do mean quite a bit.  That said, the (distant) third and fourth place finishers were:

Lord of the Rings – though folks tended to cite the entire trilogy, not either of the two sequels specifically

Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan (one reader noted, “First Star Trek movie was so bad that all following sequels rate higher, but Wrath of Khan was also the movie sequel of an original series episode, Space Seed, giving it double sequel status!”)

After that, things dropped off a bit again, but in this third grouping were:

  • The Bourne movies (unlike Lord of the Rings, people didn’t cite the full trilogy, but fans tended to reference the two sequels interchangeably)  
  • The Dark Knight  
  • Harry Potter   
  • Terminator 2
  • Toy Story 2

Other movies cited (in alphabetical order) were:

  • Aliens
  • Back to the Future
  • Caddy Shack II (one reader explained, “Because it was so bad, it made the first Caddy Shack movie a resounding classic”).
  • Die Hard 3
  • Grumpier Old Men (“The original cast plus Sophia Loren,” noted a reader)
  • Indiana Jones - The Last Crusade
  • Jaws 2
  • Karate Kid II
  • Meet the Fockers (the sequel to Meet the Parents)
  • Miss Congeniality II
  • New Moon
  • Ocean's 12
  • Rocky IV
  • Shrek II. 
  • Star Trek IV   

Now, as one reader noted, “My brain is so fried from thinking about healthcare reform that I'm unable to come up with any movie sequel titles on my own without a list to spark my memory!” 

And sure enough, I usually try to provide something to work with. 

And, of course, there were none of the Spiderman or X-Men sequels on the list, nor did any horror aficionados cite “The Evil Dead 2”, “Dawn of the Dead”, or the “Road Warrior.”  The newest James Bond (“Quantum of Solace”) didn’t show up, nor the one that always tops our favorite holiday movie list, “Christmas Vacation.”  That said, I thought the selections were pretty good.   

Still, this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who noted, “Wish you listed some samples, hard to think of them!  I've just left the stage where I was only viewing kids’ movies; I have to back a few years to Toy Story II....though I'm hoping my weekend plans include Iron Man 2 and it will be my new favorite sequel.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!