When a successful film makes the decision to launch a franchise, the results can either ensure a long life for that world and its characters or forever tarnish the legacy of the original film. In very rare cases, that initial sequel not only builds on its predecessor’s connection with audiences, but actually creates a lasting impact on the movie business in the process. Here are 10 movie sequels that have had a profound effect on the industry.
1. The Godfather Part II (1974)
Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary 1972 crime saga, The Godfather is unquestionably among the most revered films in history. So imagine audiences’ surprise when its sequel managed to match or surpass (depending on who you ask) the narrative complexity and emotional impact of the first film. One of only two sequels to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, the film pioneered the concept of a prequel by deftly meshing the backstory of Vito Corleone (played by a pre-Taxi Driver Robert De Niro) in with a proper follow-up to the original film’s story.