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Film Series

Film series are created when a film becomes a success. Sequels, prequels and spinoffs can turn a group of films into a real Cash Cow Franchise. Sometimes the makers choose not to make another movie based on the success of the first one. This can be due to lack of interest or the knowledge that they will not be able to duplicate everything the original made great.

Many others simply go for the quick buck and mass produce new movies. Though a huge flop or critically panned film can halt the sequel frenzy, there have been cases when sequels continue to be made long after audiences and critics gave up.


  • Abbott and Costello — Comedy series. 35 films since 1940.
  • The Adventures of Antoine Doinel — Drama series. 5 films, although none of them is quite as well-known or critically well received as The 400 Blows.
  • Alien — Horror science fiction series. 4 films since 1979.
  • American Pie — Raunchy teen comedy series, with 7 installments since 1999.
  • The Amityville Horror — Film of the Based on a Great Big Lie book. Somehow got turned into a confusing mess of a franchise since 1979 with numerous official and unofficial installments.
  • Andy Hardy — Romantic comedy series. 16 films between 1937 and 1958.
  • The Ape Woman — Horror film series. 3 films between 1943 and 1945.
  • Astérix — Based off the popular comic strip series. 9 animated film adaptations since 1967 and 4 live-action since 1999.
  • Austin Powers — Comedy series. 3 films since 1997.
  • Back to the Future — Comedy series. 3 films since 1985.
  • Batman — Superhero series. All in all the character's been to the theaters 8 times (with three continuities) and on home video (without going into the DC Universe Animated Original Movies) 4 times, since 1966. One was based on the sixties TV series, and another was an animated theatrical release.
  • Beethoven - Family series about a lovable dog. 8 films since 1992.
  • Betty Boop — 110 animated shorts, all between 1930 and 1939. Though in her earliest appearances she was still unnamed and just a side character, gradually becoming the star.
  • Beverly Hills Cop — Action comedy movie series. Four films since 1984.
  • Blade — Comic book adaptation series about a vampire killer. Three films since 1998.
  • Bring It On — Films centering around cheerleading. 5 made since 2000.
  • Bugs Bunny — Starred in 167 animated shorts from 1940 until 1964. Has appeared in several post-golden age cartoons and TV specials afterwards.
  • Carry On — Hugely popular British comedy film series, with 31 films in their catalogue between 1958 and 1992.
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost — 55 films, a TV series spinoff, and a live-action film since 1946.
  • Charlie Chan — The Chinese detective created by Earl Derr Biggers has been featured in nearly 60 films between 1926 and 1997 — but only four times by an actual Chinese actor, starting in 1989.
  • Cheech And Chong — 6 feature films since 1978 and one animated movie in 2013.
  • Children of the Corn — Another Stephen King short story which was turned into a movie. Spawned a sequel-ridden franchise with 7 films.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick — Action movie based on a comic strip. 3 films, one animated film and a separate video game series.
  • Coffin Joe (aka Zé do Caixão) — Brazilian horror film series. Three films since 1963. Afterwards the character appeared in two more films in a cameo role. A third one, The Strange World of Coffin Joe doesn't have him appear, despite his name being in the title.
  • Conan the Barbarian — Sword and sorcery series based on the novels by Robert E. Howard. Since 1982 three films have been made, the final one a remake. Had an animated TV series and a live-action TV series too.
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon — Horror movie series. 3 films between 1953 and 1956.
  • Crocodile Dundee — Australian comedy series. 3 films since 1986.
  • The Crow — 4 films since 1993 with only two having a theatrical release.
  • Daffy Duck — 131 theatrical animated shorts between 1937 and 1968. Followed by several animated specials and cartoons from 1972 on.
  • DC Cinematic Universe — A joint movie adaptation of the DC comic book setting, with multiple movies/movie series occurring in the same world. 1 film released, one officially in development, six in the planning stages, and more to come, all since 2013.
  • Death Wish — Charles Bronson plays Paul Kersey, who movie after movie loses his loved ones to criminals, which in turn leads to vigilante mayhem. 5 films since 1974.
  • Die Hard — Action movies starring Bruce Willis. 5 films since 1988.
  • Dirty Harry — Police films starring Clint Eastwood. 5 films since 1971.
  • Don Camillo — 5 movies between 1953 and 1965, based on the eponymous novels, and some non-canonical entries afterwards in the seventies and eighties.
  • Donald Duck — 171 theatrical animated shorts between 1934 and 1968.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — Horror series based on the eponymous novel. Since 1908 32 movies have been made.
  • Dracula — Despite the repeated stakings and sunlight baskings, this eponymous vampire count just keeps coming back. 80 films since 1921 and that's just the most mainstream ones.
  • Dr. Kildare — 16 films between 1937 and 1947. Spawned a popular television series in The Sixties.
  • Droopy — 24 animated theatrical cartoons between 1942 and 1958. Followed by several mediocre TV cartoons since.
  • Emmanuelle — Most popular erotic film franchise of all time. 37 official films and various ripoffs by other studios since 1973.
  • Ernest P. Worrell — 9 "Ernest" films have been made until the death of the main actor.
  • The ExorcistReligious Horror movie series about Demonic Possession. 5 films, including two prequels, since 1973.
  • Evil Dead - Horror movie series. Four films since 1982.
  • The Falcon — A once famous, now rather obscure detective character who was the hero of 16 different features made between 1940 and 1949.
  • Fantômas — Crime fiction series based on the eponymous novel character. 5 films between 1913 and 1914, 7 more between 1932 and 1966, bringing a total to 12 official films.
  • The Fast and the Furious — Heist and fast car chase action movie series. 6 films since 2001.
  • Felix the Cat — Oldest and longest running animated cartoons series. 182 animated theatrical shorts since 1919, a 1950s TV series and one 1992 animated feature film.
  • Final Destination — People evade death, only to be killed afterwards by a malignant force. 5 films since 2000.
  • The Fly — Famous tragedy where a testing of a teleporter goes horribly wrong, and the scientist doing it switches his head with a fly. Original series had 3 films between 1958 and 1965. The first installment was remade in 1986 and followed by one sequel.
  • Francis The Talking Mule — Series about a man and his talking donkey, spawned 7 films between 1950 and 1956.
  • Frankenstein — Various adaptations since 1910. 4 official and classic films by Universal between 1931 and 1942. Countless unofficial others since then.
  • Free Willy — 4 films since 1993 and an animated TV series.
  • Friday the 13th — Slasher film series around hockey-masked Jason Voorhees. 10 films since 1980, a crossover with A Nightmare on Elm Street, and a 2009 reboot.
  • Fu Manchu — He has been played in over 40 films (beginning in 1923) by over a dozen different actors, including H. Agar Lyons (an Irishman), Warner Oland (a Swede), Boris Karloff (with Myrna Loy as his daughter, here called Fah Lo), Christopher Lee, and Peter Sellers (three Englishmen) and Nicholas Cage — but never yet by an actual Asian actor.
  • Gamera — The most successful Follow the Leader of Godzilla; 12 films have been made between 1965 and 2006.
  • Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez — Hugely popular comedy series with Louis de Funès. 6 films between 1964 and 1982.
  • Ghostbusters — Comedy series. Three films between 1984 and 2014.
  • Ginger Snaps — Horror werewolf trilogy.
  • Godzilla — Japanese kaiju film series, the longest running film franchise still in production. At a current total of 30 films made over 50 years (1954–2004). Of these, all but the American remake from 1998 were made by Toho Studios, who have made dozens of other films set in the same universe. A Japanese-American co-production was made in 2014.
  • Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies — Ninaja action movies. More than eighty have been made since the 1980s.
  • The Grudge — American horror film series based on the Ju-on films. 3 installments since 2004.
  • Goofy — First a central character in the Mickey Mouse cartoons. Got his own succesful spin-off cartoon series from 1939 until 1965. 50 cartoons in total. Received a 1990s TV cartoon series, two TV specials and two cartoons in 2007 and 2011.
  • The Godfather — Maffia saga. Three films between 1972 and 1990.
  • Halloween — Slasher film debuted in 1980 that inspired countless slasher movies. 10 movies since 1980. Rebooted in 2007.
  • Hammer Horror — Defined vampire and gothic horror cinema of the 1950s and 1960s. Over 40 movies under that name.
  • Harry Potter — Film adaptation of J. K. Rowling's children's/young adults' fantasy novels. 8 films since 2001.note 
  • Hercules — Action adventure series based on the Greek mythological character. 48 films have been made, since 1933. The most famous ones starring Steve Reeves were made from 1957 on in Italy.
  • Highlander — Sword and sorcery series. Five films since 1986, one TV series and animated series spin-off.
  • High School Musical — Teenage musical series. Three films and one spin-off since 2006.
  • Hellraiser — Surreal and gory horror film about extreme S/M enthusiasts from an another dimension. 8 films since 1987.
  • The Howling — Series of 7 werewolf films since 1981.
  • Ice Age — CGI animated films. 4 films since 2002.
  • Indiana Jones — Action adventure films. 4 films since 1981. Inspired a prequel TV series.
  • Ilsa: She Wolf of the SSThe Naziploitation franchise. 4 films since 1974.
  • Inner Sanctum Mysteries — Based on a popular radio horror series. 6 films between 1943 and 1945.
  • The Invisible Man — Based on the classic horror novel. 6 black-and-white films between 1933 and 1951, the final one being a comedy.
  • Iron Eagle — Action film series. 4 films since 1986.
  • James Bond — Spy thriller series, based on Ian Fleming's novels. 28 films since 1954. The first one considered non-canon. Became a succesful series from 1962 on. 20 films in the original continuity since 1962 and since 2002 a reboot series of 3 films (two in the making) with Daniel Craig as Bond, and two 'unofficial' films not produced by Eon/United Artists.
  • Jaws — Killer shark series. Four films since 1975 of whom only the first one was directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • Jay And Silent Bob — Stoner flick series. Have appeared in 5 films since 1994.
  • Jungle Jim — Jungle adventure series. 16 films between 1948 and 1956.
  • Jurassic Park — Dinosaur theme park creates rampage, based on the eponymous novel. Four films since 1993.
  • Ju-on — Japanese horror film series about vengeful ghosts. 7 films since 2000.
  • The Keystone Cops — Slapstick comedy series. Made hundreds of films in the 1910s and 1920s.
  • King Kong — Monster movie series.
  • LassieHeroic Dog series based on the eponymous novel. Spawned 11 live-action movies, a radio series, four TV series and an animated series.
  • Laurel and Hardy — Slapstick comedy series. Made more than 105 comedy films around themselves, both shorts and full length films between 1927 and 1950.
  • Lethal Weapon — Buddy cop movie series. 4 films since 1987.
  • The Little Rascals — Children's comedy series. 220 short films between 1922 and 1944.
  • Looney Tunes — Animated cartoon series. Since 1929 1.004 animated theatrical shorts have been released (counting the Merrie Melodies ones as well). The name Looney Tunes only came in use from 1936 on.
  • MacisteWorld's Strongest Man series, often set in a historical time period. One the oldest and longest running film franchises in existence: since 1914 52 movies have been made.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe — A joint movie adaptation of the Marvel comic book setting, with multiple movies/movie series occurring in the same world. Ten films have been released since 2008, with many more in progress.
  • The Marx Brothers — Comedy series. Starred in 13 films as a group between 1929 and 1949.
  • The Matrix — Sciencefiction action thriller series. 3 live-action theatrical features, a Direct-to-Video collection of short anime films, and three video games (one of which essentially recreates the live-action movies' storyline) since 1999.
  • Men In Black — Sciencefiction comedy series. 3 live-action films since 1997.
  • Mickey Mouse — Animated cartoon series. Starred in about 138 official theatrical cartoons between 1927 and 1953. Made numerous other appearances in TV shows and feature films ever since.
  • Mission: Impossible — Spy action adventure series based on the TV series of the same name. Five films since 1996.
  • Mondo — Numerous films, sometimes from different companies. First one being Mondo Cane (1965).
  • Monty Python — Comedy series inspired by sketch TV series. Spawned 5 theatrical films between 1971 and 1983.
  • The Mummy — 6 black-and-white films between 1932 and 1955, the final one being a comedy. Followed by a remake in 1999 with two sequels.
  • The Muppets — Puppet comedy series, based on the TV series of the same name. 10 theatrical feature films since 1979.
  • The Naked Gun — Comedy series. 3 films since 1988, derived from the TV series Police Squad!
  • Night at the Museum — Comedy series. 3 films since 2006.
  • Night of the Demons — Horror series. Four films since 1988 (an original trilogy and a remake of the first film therein).
  • Night of the Living Dead — George A. Romero's famous zombie film from 1968. The franchise has become rather complex, giving birth to three different in-progress franchises.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street — Horror slasher film series. Nine films since 1984, including a crossover with Friday the 13th, a reboot, plus a TV show.
  • Olsen-banden — Comedy series about a crime gang. 14 movies, the first from 1968 and the last from 1998.
  • The Omen — Horror film series debuted in 1976, inspired 3 theatrical films and 2 TV films.
  • Once Upon a Time in China — Martial arts film series. 6 films since 1991.
  • Phantasm — Horror film series. 4 films since 1979.
  • The Phantom of the Opera — Horror series based on the novel by Gaston Leroux. 8 film adaptations since 1925, not including Phantom of the Paradise.
  • The Pink Panther — Comedy series. 7 films featuring Peter Sellers since 1963, 3 more without, and a two-film reboot with Steve Martin.
  • Piranha3D — Horror film series consisting of 2 installments.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean — Pirate movie series. 4 films since 2003.
  • Planet of the Apes — Science fiction series, based on the eponymous novel. 8 films since 1968, with the first reboot in 2001 and the second in 2011.
  • Pluto — Animated cartoon series. 63 animated theatrical cartoons between 1930 and 1951. Got his own series in 1937.
  • Pokémon — Children's cartoon series. 13 movies and two TV specials.
  • Police Academy — Police comedy series. 7 official films and two TV spinoff series since 1984.
  • Poltergeist — Horror series. 3 films since 1982.
  • Popeye — Based on the already popular comic strip, spawned 109 cartoons between 1933 and 1942 by the Fleishcer Studios, 122 animated theatrical cartoons between 1942 and 1957 by the Famous Studios, bringing a total of 229 cartoons played in theaters. Was followed by several animated TV series and one live-action film in 1980.
  • Predator — Action/Horror series. Three films since 1987.
  • The Prisoner of Zenda — 6 separate versions: 1913, 1915, 1922, 1937, 1952, 1979, and 2 sequels: 1916 and 1923
  • Prom Night (1980) — Series of Slasher Movies which takes their place on the titular celebration. 4 films and 1 remake since 1980.
  • Psycho — Classic psychological proto-slasher horror film by Alfred Hitchcock from 1960. Slasher craze of the '80s turned it into a franchise. Also had an almost shot-for-shot remake in 1998. Brings the total to 6 films. Also had a Prequel TV series in 2013.
  • Rambo — Action/War series. 4 films and an animated film series spinoff since 1982.
  • Resident Evil — Action series based on a video game. 5 films since 2002.
  • REC — Spanish horror series about viral demonic possession. 4 films since 2007.
  • Return of the Living Dead — Second zombie franchise spawned since 1985 from Romero's Night of the Living Dead. 5 films in total.
  • The Ring — Japanese horror series based on the eponymous novel.
  • Rin Tin Tin: Heroic Dog series. 27 films with the original dog between 1922 and 1932. 11 more around his so-called son, 3 after that one's on too, until the film series was terminated in 1947. A TV series was made in the 1950s.
  • The Ritz Brothers: Comedy series. 22 films with the original trio between 1934 and 1956.
  • Road to ... — Comedy musical series. 7 films starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope since 1940 and 1962.
  • Robocop — Action film series. Three films since 1987. One remake in 2014.
  • Rocky — Boxing films. 6 films since 1976.
  • El Santo — Film series built around the iconic Mexican wrestler. It started in 1958, but the first movies didn't make much of an impression. Only from his third film on, in 1961, did sequelmania start to blossom. Since then 52 films were made starring the original wrestler.
  • Saw — Horror series. 7 films since 2004.
  • Scary Movie — Horror parody series. 5 films since 1998.
  • Scream — Horror/Slasher series. 4 films since 1996.
  • Silent Hill — Horror series based on the eponymous video games. 2 films since 2006.
  • Sherlock Holmes — Detective series of which the first film was made as early as 1900. Spawned countless adaptations (some of them true to the original novels, others hardly at all) and, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is the most portrayed movie character of all time.
  • Shrek — 4 films since 2001 and one spinoff film (Puss in Boots).
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night — Horror film series that started out as Christmas-themed Slasher Movies. 5 films since 1984.
  • Sleepaway Camp — Series of Slasher Movies. First film (1983) was a serious offering, the rest are more comedic on their subject matter. 5 films in total.
  • St Trinians — Comedy series based on the popular printed cartoon series by Ronald Searle. An original continuity of 5 movies, since 1954, followed by a reboot series of two more.
  • Starship Troopers — Sciencefiction series based on the eponymous novel. Three movies since 1997.
  • Star Trek — 12 films since 1979, including a semi-sequel-Alternate Universe-Continuity Reboot-Prequel-restart-whatever (and a sequel to that), recasting the cast of the first six films.
  • Star Wars — 6 live-action films divided into two trilogies since 1977, one computer-animated film, with another sequel trilogy (or two) in the works.
  • Superman — Serials starring George Reeves, four films with Christopher Reeve, an alternative "third" movie with Brandon Routh and a reboot with Henry Cavill.
  • Tarzans — Action adventure series. Between 1918 and today more than 200 films have been made, among the most famous with Johnny Weissmuller between 1934 and 1948.
  • Taxi — French film series of 4 movies from 1998 to 2007.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Superhero series based on a comic book series and even more popular animated cartoon series, 5 films since 1990, four live-action, one completely animated in CGI.
  • The Terminator — Action/Science fiction series. 5 films, four with Arnold Schwarzenegger, since 1984.
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre — Horror series. 5 films and a remake series of 2 more since 1974.
  • The Thin Man — 6 mystery dramas from The Thirties and The Forties about a witty, wisecracking detective and his Deadpan Snarker wife.
  • The Three Stooges — Probably the longest comedy film franchise in existence, appeared from 1934 until 1965 in 190 theatrical shorts and had appearances in 25 features.
  • Tomie — Japanese horror series about a vangeful, demon-girl named Tomie. 9 films since 1999.
  • Thumbs — A series of short comedy films using the Thumbation process, created by Steve Oedekirk. 6 official films.
  • Tintin — Based on the popular comic book series. 4 animated films since 1947 and two live-action ones. Also spawned two animated TV series.
  • Tom and Jerry — Animated cartoon series. Between 1940 and 1957 114 official shorts were made by Hanna & Barbera. Followed by hundred more ever since and one full length animated movie.
  • Transformers — Robot action movie series based on a toy line. One animated feature film in 1985, 4 live-action films since 2007.
  • Twilight — Romantic fantasy series based on the eponymous novels. Five films have been made since 2008.
  • Violent ShitNo Budget German gorefest featuring the misadventures of rotting serial killer Karl Berger, aka K. the Butcher Shitter. Four official films, with the character of K. appearing in two other films (Angel of Death 2: The Prison Island Massacre and Unrated: The Movie).
  • Wallace & Gromit — Claymation animated series. Four animated shorts and a full-length movie since 1989.
  • Die wilden Kerle — German series about a kids' team of soccer players. 5 films since 2003.
  • The Wolf Man — Horror series. 4 movies and one remake since 1941.
  • Woody Woodpecker — Animated series. Appeared in 196 animated theatrical shorts between 1940 and 1972.
  • Zatoichi — Samurai series based on the eponymous novel. Blind swordsman fights people. Between 1962 and 1989 26 films were made.
  • Zombi — A really confusingly-titled series. There have many series titled Zombi in different countries. The official Italian series only counts 3 titles, made between 1978 and 1988, with the first one technically being the same film as the American Dawn of the Dead.
  • Zorro — Swashbuckler series. Between 1920 and 2005 more than 40 movies have been made, both in the USA, as well as in Mexico and Europe, with numerous film, TV and literary appearances too.