Movie Multipack

Making multiple films together. Normally Hollywood waits until it knows it's got a hit before ordering up a sequel, but that approach has problems. If they're lucky, the original writers will have left Sequel Hooks, but the seams will still be visible, and they've got to get the original cast back together.

It's so much simpler to make the sequel before the first film is released. The stories can be written to fit together smoothly, and none of the cast are going to disappear, or demand more money.

Movie multipacks come in three varieties.

Two sequels for the price of one. Following a hit film with a two-pack of sequels, to complete the trilogy. Examples:

One story in N parts. When the story is too long to fit in just one part it can be split over several films, all but the last typically ending in a Cliffhanger. Examples:
  • The Three Musketeers (1973) (even though this version was shot as one film, it was eventually released as two. This resulted in its director (Richard Lester) getting sued by some of its cast, who had only been paid for one film and felt they should have been paid for two.)
  • Kill Bill
  • Superman; written as a 5-hour epic, shot as two movies, though the second was mostly reshot after its director (Richard Donner) was fired.
  • Death Note
  • The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
  • Avengers: Infinity War was going to be this, but the directors later dropped the "Part I" and "Part II" subtitles, and claimed both films would be complete, standalone movies that had the same running through line.
  • Justice League (2017) was widely rumored to be shot in this way, but currently it isn't planned as such outside the larger scope of the DC Extended Universe.

String of stories. Particularly with book adaptations, the story may naturally come as a multi-volume epic. Each individual film has closure, not a cliffhanger, but together they form a greater whole. As of late, adaptations have also been subjected to the above One story in N parts phenomenon by splitting the final book into two films, essentially doubling down on this trope. Examples:
  • Harry Potter
  • Twilight
  • The Hunger Games
  • Divergent. In this case, adapting the final book Allegiant into two films resulted in disaster when the first part flopped at the box office. Lionsgate currently intends to produce Ascendant as a TV movie and/or miniseries to resolve the cliffhanger, but lead actress Shailene Woodley may not be participating because that wasn't what she was hired to do.

All the varieties are often sold as Boxed Sets.