Hollywood has given us some best movie franchises since the beginning. The trend has been going on since the good old days. A few of them have been highly successful. Now it is being followed by every filmmaker. If a movie earns billions at the box office, the production studios announce a sequel a few days after the release of a film. But in order to save time and money, many studios gave us franchise sequels that were shot back to back. Now let’s check the list of such sequels:
1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy
There have been various movies that were shot back-to-back. This has also happened during the 1940s. But The Lord of the Rings is one such franchise that made filmmakers realize that this process is beneficial for them. The complete The Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot together. It took 438 days as revealed by director Peter Jackson. After 10 years, he did the same with the Hobbit trilogy. All three films of The Lord of the Rings trilogy have earned a total of $2.291 billion at the box office.
2. Avatar sequels
The first Avatar was released in 2009 and was a box office success. Director James Cameron immediately announced a sequel. Three more sequels were announced later. Unfortunately, the release dates have been postponed several times. Recently, the release dates were again postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But James Cameron has confirmed that the principal photography of Avatar 2 is complete and Avatar 3 is 95% complete. Apart from that, Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 are being shot back-to-back.
3. The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions
The Lord of the Rings trilogy inspired other production studios to shoot sequels together. Warner Bros. adopted this technique for other films. This was again used for The Matrix. The next two installments were shot together. The third film was released six months later. Wachowski Brothers initially wished to release the third movie one week later after the release of the second movie. Matrix 4 is scheduled to release this year in theaters along with HBO Max.
4. Back to the Future Part II and Back to the Future Part III
Back to the Future franchise was a huge success. There were so many memorable moments in all three films. The makers did not actually plan to make any sequel. But the success of the first film prompted them to do it. The sequels were shot together, although both of them were completely different from each other. Part II was set in the future and Part III was set in the Wild West. All the three films have together earned $975.2 million at the box office.
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Part 2
When a book is adapted into a film, a lot of things need to be looked at. Usually, production studios split a book into two halves if it is too long. This is what happened with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. At first, the film was split into two parts. It was then shot together. Fans wished to see their favorite characters in the film. But that did not happen and the films hardly focused on Hunger Games competitions. So now it looks like splitting the film into two parts was of no use.
6. Kill Bill Vol. I and II
Quentin Tarantino is one of the most brilliant directors we have today. All of his films have been loved by critics as well as audiences. He planned sequels for his previous films, although they did not happen. But in terms of Kill Bill, he made it as one single movie. But the length was around 4 hours long and since no theater would agree to show such a long film, it was split into two parts. A third film was planned but there are no updates about the development.
7. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame
Russo brothers have been very busy since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The film was such a big success for MCU that they hired the directors for Captain America: Civil War. They were then again hired for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Both the films were shot back-to-back. Disney was able to release them one year apart. Both of them were loved by the audience. But Marvel Studios have sworn not to repeat this thing as it increases the pressure for them.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl was a huge success. Disney then immediately announced two sequels. But the first film told one story in one film. But the plot for the next film was a bit different. It was not possible to cover it up in two films. As a result, both the sequels were shot back-to-back. Critical reviews were mixed for the sequels. But they received a positive response from the audience. A fourth film was released in 2011 and the fifth film in 2017.
9. Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed
Despite the negative reviews and controversies, Fifty Shades of Grey was successful at the box office. Two sequels were announced by the production studio. Both the sequels were shot together and were equally successful as the first film. This trilogy is now termed a billion-dollar franchise. The franchise has generated a large number of controversies because of its erotic theme. But the franchise still remains a fan favorite.
10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2
Harry Potter is one such franchise that introduced us to an unbelievable world of magic and fantasy. The films are an adaptation of novels of the same name written by J.K. Rowling. The last novel was split into two parts since it was too long. It had around 200,000 words. The movie was also then split into two parts. The length was finalized to three hours. A few events from the book were also ignored as it has always happened in the previous installments. Both the movies were filmed simultaneously.
So these were the sequels that were shot back to back. Which of these franchises are your favorites? Let us know in the comments.