sequels Long-Awaited Sequels That Were Most Worth the Wait  

Tucker DeSaulnier
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List Rules Sequels that arrived at least 10 years late. Vote up the movies that actually lived up to expectations.

A list of cinematic sequels that hit theaters after long stretches of franchise inactivity, with the best and worst ranked by savvy movie buffs. Hollywood sometimes has a hard time continuing a series, even one that sounds like a guaranteed blockbuster. With films that take forever to get made, all those years spent in development hell can heighten hype as well as the potential for spectacular flops. 

Jurassic World arrives more than two decades after the original and just shy of 15 years after the last Jurassic Park, and all that time riding the proverbial bench means outsized expectations like those that accompanied long-delayed chapters like Toy Story 3, Mad Max: Fury Road, and, of course, The Godfather: Part III

This kind of film is like running into an old friend you haven't seen in years: either you're reminded of all the good times you shared or you're embarrassed to have ever been associated with them. So where do these sometimes classic and occasionally notorious movies that really took their sweet time coming to theaters rank when stacked against each other?

Vote up the sequels that were worth the wait, vote down each film that dashed hopes and brought shame to the originals. Your votes will make it clear which franchises aged like fine wines and which sequels arrived way after their expiration dates.
list ordered by

1
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill


Released in 2015, 32 years after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) and 10 years after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a 2015 American epic space opera film directed by J. J. Abrams. Three decades after the Empire's defeat, a new threat arises in the militant First Order. ...more

2
633 237
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Mad Max: Fury Road Charlize Theron, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tom Hardy


Released in 2015, 30 years after Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985).

Mad Max: Fury Road is an upcoming post-apocalyptic action film directed, produced and co-written by George Miller, and the fourth film of Miller's Mad Max franchise. The first film of the ...more

3
551 225
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Toy Story 3 Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Keaton


Released in 2010, 11 years after Toy Story 2 (1999).

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

4
631 301
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Jurassic World Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio


Released in 2015, 14 years after Jurassic Park III (2001).

Jurassic World is an upcoming 2015 American science fiction adventure film directed by Colin Trevorrow. It is the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park film series. The screenplay was ...more

5
173 119
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Finding Dory Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence


Released in 2016, 13 years after Finding Nemo (2003).

Finding Dory is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy adventure film directed by Andrew Stanton, and a sequel to Finding Nemo. The friendly but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory (Ellen ...more

6
231 281
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Rocky Balboa Sylvester Stallone, Milo Ventimiglia, Talia Shire


Released in 2006, 16 years after Rocky V (1990).

Rocky Balboa is the sixth installment in the Rocky franchise, written, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone who reprises his role as the title character. The sixth film in the Rocky ...more

7
277 302
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Rambo Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Graham McTavish


Released in 2008, 20 years after Rambo III.

Rambo is a 2008 American-German independent action film directed, co-written by and starring Sylvester Stallone reprising his famous role as Cold War/Vietnam veteran John Rambo. It is the fourth ...more

8
332 280
Monsters University is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Long-Awaited Sequels That Were Most Worth the Wait
Monsters University Helen Mirren, Kelsey Grammer, Billy Crystal


Released in 2013, 12 years after Monsters Inc (2001).

Monsters University is a 2013 animation adventure comedy film directed by Dan Scanlon.

9
234 241
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The Rescuers Down Under John Candy, Bob Newhart, George C. Scott


Released in 1990, 13 years after The Rescuers (1977).

The Rescuers Down Under is a 1990 American animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on November 16, 1990. Set in the Australian ...more

10
259 279
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Clerks II Ben Affleck, Rosario Dawson, Wanda Sykes


Released in 2006, 12 years after Clerks (1994).

Clerks II is a 2006 American comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith, sequel to his 1994 film Clerks, and his sixth feature film to be set in the View Askewniverse. The film stars Brian ...more

11
296 352
Men in Black 3 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Long-Awaited Sequels That Were Most Worth the Wait
Men in Black 3 Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Will Smith


Released in 2012, 10 years after Men in Black II (2002).

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

12
250 310
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Live Free or Die Hard Bruce Willis, Maggie Q, Mary Elizabeth Winstead


Released in 2007, 12 years after Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995).

Live Free or Die Hard is a 2007 American action film, and the fourth installment in the Die Hard film series. The film was directed by Len Wiseman and stars Bruce Willis as John McClane. The ...more

The Worst Sequels Of All Time

13
276 307
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Tron: Legacy Olivia Wilde, Jeff Bridges, Cillian Murphy


Released in 2010, 28 years after TRON.

Tron: Legacy is a 2010 American science fiction film produced and released by Walt Disney Pictures. A sequel to the 1982 film Tron, it is directed by Joseph Kosinski, produced by Tron director ...more

14
155 255
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Escape from L.A. Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Pam Grier


Released in 1996, 15 years after Escape From New York (1981).

Escape from L.A. is a 1996 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter, co-written and produced by Debra Hill and Kurt Russell, with Russell also ...more

15
157 275
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The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Willem Dafoe, Julie Benz, Judd Nelson


Released in 2009, 10 years after Boondock Saints (1999).

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day is a 2009 American vigilante film written and directed by Troy Duffy. The film serves as a sequel to the 1999 film The Boondock Saints. The film stars Sean ...more

16
54 28
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Blade Runner 2049 Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright

Released in 2017, 35 years after Blade Runner (1982).

Blade Runner 2049 is a 2017 American neo noir science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve, and a sequel to the 1982 film. A young blade runner's (Ryan Gosling) discovery of a long-buried ...more

17
195 424
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Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Natalie Portman, Keira Knightley, Ewan McGregor


Released in 1999, 16 years after Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

(32 Years Before Episode IV) Stranded on the desert planet Tatooine after rescuing young Queen Amidala from the impending invasion of Naboo, Jedi apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi Master ...more

18
102 285
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The Godfather Part III Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Bridget Fonda


Released in 1990, 16 years after The Godfather: Part II (1974).

The Godfather Part III is a 1990 American crime film written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola. It completes the story of Michael Corleone, a Mafia kingpin who ...more

19
179 321
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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines Arnold Schwarzenegger, Claire Danes, Kristanna Loken


Released in 2003, 12 years after Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a 2003 American science fiction action film, directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, and Kristanna Loken. ...more

20
128 333
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Superman Returns Marlon Brando, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth


Released in 2006, 19 years after Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987).

Superman Returns is a 2006 American superhero film directed and produced by Bryan Singer. It is based on the DC Comics character Superman and serves as an homage sequel to the motion pictures ...more

21
125 235
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Fantasia 2000 Steve Martin, Bette Midler, James Earl Jones


Released in 1999, 59 years after Fantasia (1940).

Fantasia 2000 is a 1999 American animated anthology film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 38th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics ...more

22
195 417
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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Cate Blanchett, Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf


Released in 2008, 19 years after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a 2008 American science fiction adventure film. It is the fourth film in the Indiana Jones series created by George Lucas and directed by ...more

23
117 363
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Dumb and Dumber To Jim Carrey, Kathleen Turner, Jeff Daniels


Released in 2014, 20 years after Dumb and Dumber (1994).

Dumb and Dumber To is a 2014 American road buddy comedy film co-written and directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly. It is the third film in the Dumb and Dumber film series and a direct ...more

24
73 288
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Blues Brothers 2000 Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, John Goodman


Released in 1998, 18 years after The Blues Brothers (1980).

Blues Brothers 2000 is a 1998 American musical comedy film that is a sequel to 1980's The Blues Brothers, written and produced by John Landis and Dan Aykroyd. Directed by Landis, the film stars ...more

25
37 210
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The Odd Couple II Jack Lemmon, Christine Baranski, Amy Yasbeck


Released in 1998, 30 years after The Odd Couple (1968).

The Odd Couple II is the 1998 sequel to 1968's The Odd Couple. Written by Neil Simon, the film reunites Jack Lemmon as Felix Unger and Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison in their last film ...more