5 Long Overdue Comedy Film Sequels

Dumb and Dumber To, the sequel to the Farrelly brothers-directed comedy hit Dumb and Dumber, made its U.S. theatrical debut on November 14. While making a sequel to a commercially successful movie is hardly unusual in Hollywood, the nearly 20-year gap between the original Dumb and Dumber film and its sequel is. Since sequels are typically made in order to capitalize on the popularity of the original movies, for better or for worse, the follow-up films tend to made as soon as possible. However, while the long gap between the two Dumb and Dumber films is unusual, it is not unprecedented.

Long awaited movie sequels include blockbuster hits like 2010’s Tron: Legacy — the follow-up to 1982’s Tron — as well as critically-panned failures like 2006’s Basic Instinct 2 — the follow-up to 1992’s Basic Instinct. While it remains to be seen how Dumb and Dumber To will fare with the critics and audiences, it appears that Hollywood’s record with comedy film sequels that were made long after the original movies is just as mixed as it is with science fiction and erotic thriller film sequels. Excluding direct-to-video releases and animated films, here are five notable comedy films with the longest sequel gaps.

Son of the Mask (2005)

Previous film: Released the same year as Dumb and Dumber, 1994’s The Mask was a blockbuster hit that helped cement Jim Carrey’s status as a bankable comedic actor. According to Box Office Mojo, The Mask was produced at a cost of $23 million and achieved a domestic total gross of almost $120 million. The film has also maintained its popularity over the years and currently has a 77% “Certified Fresh” rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.

Sequel: Over ten years later, New Line Cinema attempted to capitalize on the success of The Mask with a sequel called Son of the Mask, starring Jamie Kennedy in lieu of Jim Carrey. Unfortunately, the sequel bombed at the box office and was panned by the critics. According to Box Office Mojo, Son of the Mask failed to recoup its production budget of $84 million after only making $17 million in domestic gross and $40.5 million overseas. Not only did Son of the Mask earn an unbelievably low 6% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes, the film was even bad enough to attract the attention of the Razzies, which awarded Son of the Mask the dubious honor of Worst Remake or Sequel in 2005.

Clerks II (2006)

Previous film: Released in 1994, Clerks launched Kevin Smith’s career as a writer and director and led to numerous other films featuring some of the same characters. While the film only pulled in $3.1 million in total gross, it was considered a massive financial success since it was made for approximately $27,000, according to Box Office Mojo. Clerks won several film festival awards and currently has an 88% “Certified Fresh” rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.

Sequel: Over 11 years later, Smith wrote and directed a follow-up to his hit debut, appropriately titled Clerks II. While not as highly acclaimed as the original, Clerks II was also a critical and commercial success. According to Box Office Mojo, the film pulled in a total domestic gross of over $24 million on a production budget of just $5 million. Clerks II also has a respectable 63% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001)

Previous film: Actor Paul Hogan gained worldwide fame in the 1980s by playing the fish-out-of-water title character in 1986’s “Crocodile” Dundee and 1988’s “Crocodile” Dundee II. Both films were commercially successful with domestic lifetime grosses of $174.8 million and $109.3 million, respectively, according to Box Office Mojo. However, while the first movie in the series has an 89% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes, “Crocodile” Dundee II has a dismal 11% approval rating.

Sequel: Almost 13 years after “Crocodile” Dundee II, Hogan revived his Mick “Crocodile” Dundee character for a third film titled, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. However, this time “Crocodile” Dundee failed with both audiences and critics alike. According to Box Office Mojo, the film only made $25.6 million in domestic gross, significantly less than either of its predecessors. Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles also maintained the low 11% approval rating that “Crocodile” Dundee II earned from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Like Son of the Mask, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles garnered accolades from the bad movie aficionados at the Razzies, who nominated the film in the Worst Remake or Sequel category in 2001.

Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)

Previous film: Featuring characters that John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd developed on Saturday Night Live, The Blues Brothers was a commercial hit when it was released in 1980 and has since achieved cult film status. The musical comedy film earned $57.2 million in domestic gross and $58 million in overseas gross, according to Box Office Mojo. Thirty-four years later the film has maintained its status as a beloved comedy classic with an 87%“Certified Fresh” rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.

Sequel: Over 17 years after the original film was released, director John Landis helmed a sequel to The Blues Brothers called Blues Brothers 2000. However, since Belushi had passed away during the gap between sequels, Dan Aykroyd was paired with John Goodman instead. Unlike the first film, Blues Brothers 2000 was considered a box office failure with only $14 million in total domestic gross, according to Box Office Mojo. Blues Brothers 2000 also failed to strike a chord with the critics, who only gave the film a 45% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

The Odd Couple II (1998)

Previous film: Starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as a pair of mismatched roommates, 1968’s The Odd Couple was a highly successful film adaptation of Neil Simon’s play of the same name. The film was a critical and commercial success and even spawned a long-running television sitcom series. The Odd Couple garnered two Academy Award nominations when it was released and the film currently has a 100% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes. According to Box Office Mojo, The Odd Couple pulled in over $44.5 million at the box office.

Sequel: When it comes to comedy film sequels, no other franchise made its fans wait longer than The Odd Couple. Almost 30 years after the original film was released, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau paired up to reprise their roles in 1998’s The Odd Couple II. Unfortunately, critics and audiences didn’t seem to think it was worth the wait. The Odd Couple II earned just a 22% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes and with only $18.9 million in total domestic gross, the film made less than half of what the original movie made, according to Box Office Mojo.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS

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