Entertainment Franchises The Best Third Films In A Movie Series  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
23.8k votes 1.8k voters 48.8k views 94 items

List Rules Only movies that have been released count, not future installments of franchises

Threequel: the third (and often final) movie in a series. A third film that follows the original and the sequel. With the newly released Iron Man 3 tearing up the foreign and domestic box office, it's a good time to look at other movie threequels and see how they stack up against each other. Many of the best movies of all time are part of a series of movies that make up the best movie franchises ever. While many of these are the third installment in a movie trilogy, more still are part of ongoing series or much longer movie series like Harry Potter and Star Wars

Iron Man isn't the only franchise to produce a critically lauded and financially successful third movie, but it is faring particularly well compared to some of the other entries in the third film of the movie franchise. For ever Dark Knight Rises there's a Superman III, Godfather 3, and Spiderman 3. Perish the thought.

What are the best third films ever? What movie series have the best film threequels? This greatest third movie in a series list is here to let movie fans decide which third entries in a movie franchise are the best and the worst movies compared to each other. If your favorite threequel isn't on the list of the best threequels ever, make sure to throw it in the mix. Your third movie in a film franchise can't be much worse than Red Dragon, right? 
list ordered by

1
815 265
The Lord of the Rings: The Ret... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is ...more

2
479 135
Indiana Jones and the Last Cru... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas. It is the third installment in the ...more

3
755 258
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand, and the third and final film in the original Star Wars trilogy. After a daring ...more

4
650 238
Toy Story 3 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Keaton
Toy Story 3 is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated comedy film, and the third film in the Toy Story series. It was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. ...more

5
764 360
The Dark Knight Rises is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman
The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, Batman (Christian Bale), with the ...more

6
476 164
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Clint Eastwood, Viggo Mortensen, Mark Strong
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. The screenplay was written by Age ...more

7
508 205
Harry Potter and the Prisoner ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a 2004 fantasy film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. ...more

8
379 212
The Bourne Ultimatum is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Brian Cox
The Bourne Ultimatum is a 2007 American-German action spy thriller film directed by Paul Greengrass loosely based on the Robert Ludlum novel of the same title. The screenplay was written by Tony ...more

9
311 179
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Garry Marshall
Goldfinger is the third film in the James Bond series and the third to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film ...more

10
401 220
Die Hard with a Vengeance is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irons
This film is a 1995 American action film and the third in the film series. It was produced and directed by John McTiernan, written by Jonathan Hensleigh, and stars Bruce Willis as New York City ...more

11
377 293
Back to the Future Part III is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd
Back to the Future Part III is a 1990 American science fiction Western film. It is the third and final installment of the Back to the Future trilogy. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and ...more

12
281 110
National Lampoon's Christmas V... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
bojanthebest added Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chevy Chase, Juliette Lewis
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a 1989 Christmas comedy film directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik. It is the third installment in National Lampoon's Vacation film series, and was written by ...more

13
432 320
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson
(19 Years before Episode IV) Three years after the onset of the Clone Wars, the noble Jedi Knights have been leading a massive clone army into a galaxy-wide battle against the Separatists. When ...more

14
321 176
Army of Darkness is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Bridget Fonda, Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi
Army of Darkness is a 1992 American dark fantasy action comedy film directed by Sam Raimi. It is the third installment of The Evil Dead franchise. The film was written by Sam Raimi and his ...more

15
263 185
Rocky III is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Rocky III is a 1982 American sports drama film directed by Sylvester Stallone, and the third film in the series. After winning the ultimate title and being the world champion, Rocky (Stallone) ...more

16
239 77
Skyfall is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
ImaadShahrukh added Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem
Skyfall is the twenty-third James Bond film produced by Eon Productions. It features Daniel Craig in his third performance as James Bond, and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the film's villain. It ...more

17
202 204
Lethal Weapon 3 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Mel Gibson, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo
Lethal Weapon 3 is a 1992 American buddy cop action comedy film directed and produced by Richard Donner, and starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo and Stuart Wilson. It is the ...more

18
234 232
Men in Black 3 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Will Smith
Men in Black 3 is a 2012 American 3D comic science fiction-action film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin. It is the third installment in the ...more

19
236 218
Mission: Impossible III is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Maggie Q, Keri Russell, Michelle Monaghan
Mission: Impossible III (stylized as M:i:III) is a 2006 American action spy film directed by J. J. Abrams, and the third film in the Mission: Impossible series. Retired from field work, IMF ...more

20
246 278
Pirates of the Caribbean: At W... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Keith Richards
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is a 2007 American fantasy swashbuckler film and the third film in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. The plot follows Will Turner, Elizabeth ...more

21
288 245
Iron Man 3 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
crsone1 added Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley
Iron Man 3 is a 2013 superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Iron Man, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2008's ...more

22
174 17
Thor: Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Nicholas Borg added Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett
Thor: Ragnarok is a 2017 American superhero film directed by Taika Waititi. Four years after the events of Thor: The Dark World, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must win a gladiatorial duel against an ...more

23
162 178
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: D... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Zsa Zsa Gábor
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a 1987 American slasher fantasy film and the third film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The film was directed by Chuck Russell, written by ...more

24
158 202
Ocean's Thirteen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Al Pacino
Ocean's Thirteen is a 2007 American comedy film directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring an ensemble cast. It is the third and final film in the Soderbergh series following the 2004 sequel ...more

25
132 220
Star Trek III: The Search for ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Third Films In A Movie Series
William Shatner, Christopher Lloyd, Leonard Nimoy
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is a 1984 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. The film is the third feature film of the Star Trek science fiction franchise and is ...more