sequels Long-Awaited Sequels That Were Most Worth the Wait  

Tucker DeSaulnier
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18.1k votes 1.8k voters 24.9k views 25 items

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
679 257
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Mad Max: Fury Road Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Hugh Keays-Byrne


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

Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2015 action film directed by George Miller. In a post apocalyptic desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities, Max Rockatansky (Max Hardy) joins ...more

2
625 235
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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

3
590 240
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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
680 318
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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
204 139
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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
321 376
Men in Black 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
366 295
Monsters University is listed (or ranked) 7 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.

8
294 329
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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

9
244 310
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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

10
257 258
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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

11
76 44
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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

12
271 302
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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

48 Famous Couples with Huge Age Differences

13
263 331
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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

14
291 329
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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

15
225 448
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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

16
166 277
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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

17
170 296
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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

18
109 315
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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
190 348
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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
141 360
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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
132 254
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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
208 449
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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
125 391
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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
77 317
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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
40 229
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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