Sequels Make Bank – The Top Six Films Of The Summer Were All Follow-Ups

Here’s a list of the top six money makers at the American box office this Summer:

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  4. The Hangover Part 2
  5. Fast Five
  6. Cars 2

You’ll also notice that the second-parters come relatively low on the list, and it was the film following in the footsteps of the largest number of prior installments that finished on top.

Other big hitters include Thor, which many following the road to The Avengers would see as part of an ongoing franchise; and prequels X-Men: First Class and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, each of which scored around $150 million for Fox.

Variety, from where I’ve cribbed these numbers, are calling Bridesmaids the sleeper hit of the summer. That one pulled in $168 million without the aid of IMAX or 3D supplements, and was the only original film in the whole top ten, not derived from any previous material.

So does this success mean we’re staring down the barrel of a Bridesmaids 2? Director Paul Feig has repeatedly stated that he’d be on board for one if the studio wanted to pay for it. Of course they will – it’s certain that they’d like the look of that balance sheet.

So I’ve got my fingers in my ears waiting for the inevitable bang. I really do expect to be seeing a Bridesmaids sequel somewhere in the Summer of 2013.

What started as an original idea and blossomed fairly naturally to the great satisfaction of its audiences is now a commodity, and something to be followed up on schedule, its ofspring gestated and birthed with commerical expediency. The whole idea is kind of gross, really.

I suppose we’re just living in a time where the big, popular films are parts of series, an era where not many pictures – not even rom coms, for crying out loud – can be left to rest at a single chapter when theres greenbacks in the breeze. As TV gets bigger in scale and adopts the stars and styles of the big screen more and more, cinema seems set on becoming a serial medium again. I can understand why that works. There are characters I want to see more of, and situations I want to revisit.

Does anybody want to place a bet that we end up seeing TV and the movies crash somehwere in the middle a few years down the line, the boundaries between these two old enemies erased entirely? Shrinking VOD and DVD windows and the quality of giant HD sets won’t slow the pace of change any, and future innovations are very unlikely to pull in the opposite direction.

To be honest, I don’t care of there’s a total splice-up, as long as the well-projected picture on the good sized screen still remains an option, and while artists can still find the space to do things their way.