The Playlist

25 Blockbuster Threequels: Did They Sink Or Save Their Franchises?

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 2, 2013 3:04 PM
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  • 35 Comments
A lot's been written over the years about sequels -- when they go right and bring us a welcome return to characters and themes we'd flocked to see the first time out and, more often, when they do not, and instead deliver diminishing returns in everything except box office terms. But what of the second sequel, the so-called "threequel"? It's a franchise entry that presents its own specific challenges -- is it the conclusion to a trilogy (like "The Dark Knight Rises") or just the continuation of a franchise (such as "Die Hard With A Vengeance")? Does it have lost ground to make up after a disappointing second entry ("Mission: Impossible 3") or are expectations at an all-time high following a mark II triumph ("Return of the Jedi")? This weekend, we all get to see whether "Iron Man 3" rises to or sinks beneath its particular set of challenges -- you can read our judgement here -- but it's a situation with pitfalls Marvel head Kevin Feige, for one, was fully aware of.

Adam Sandler Earns Record Breaking 11 Razzie Nominations; 'The Hangover Part II' Nominated For Worst Sequel & Remake

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 26, 2012 11:43 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Usually held one day before the Academy Awards, this year the Razzies are changing the game a bit, choosing instead to unveil their nominations this weekend, with the ceremony to take place on April 1st -- that's right, April Fools Day. So who earned the distinction in 2011 of the best at being the worst? Adam Sandler.

The Amazing Race: Why 'Transformers 3' & 'W.E.' Deserve Their Oscar Nominations

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 10, 2012 3:02 PM
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  • 2 Comments
This week, we want to deal with something that's been bugging us a little, not just this year, but for the last few years. Every January, a familiar, but slightly different mantra is repeated around the internet: "I can't believe [insert critically-reviled blockbuster] has got an Oscar nomination, and [insert cinephile favorite] doesn't have any!" And it's understandable. It's hard to feel good about the process when, like this year, "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon ," "W.E," "Real Steel" and "Anonymous" can all count themselves as Oscar-nominated films, and "Shame," "Rampart," "We Need To Talk About Kevin," "Melancholia," "Young Adult" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene" missed out entirely.

A Very Candid Terry Gilliam Unloads On 'Transformers 3,' 'Tintin,' 'The Dark Knight' & John Williams

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 5, 2011 1:38 PM
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  • 36 Comments
If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that Terry Gilliam is really, really grumpy. And or at least, very hilariously candid. Maybe it's the fact that he's constantly marginalized, besides having the oversized imagination and actor loyalty that would (you'd think) make him a big time Hollywood asset, or that every movie he's involved in seems to be an anguished, never-ending process that results in films as lackluster as "The Brothers Grimm" and "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" (oof). While we haven't been able to depend on quality films (or indeed films at all) from him in the last couple of years, we can at least count on Gilliam shooting his mouth off about big time films and famous filmmakers, because, really, what can the establishment possibly do to him at this point?

Who Were The Winners And Losers Of The Summer Of 2011?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 30, 2011 4:08 AM
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  • 24 Comments
As the summer winds die down with a flat and uninspired whimper, the realization sets in: the summer of 2011 was for the birds. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was the last major tent-pole to open, followed by sleeper hits like "The Help" and the not-so-successful R-rated action comedy, "30 Minutes or Less." Many had forecast that the overstuffed summer would prove disastrous, with Jon Favreau predicting that, "There’s not a weekend where there won’t be teeth on the floor," but ironically it's Favreau's film that proved to be one of the biggest box-office disappointments. Financially, films did very well with three billion-dollar blockbusters – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”-- helping the industry set a summer box-office record and nearly rebound from a horrible start to 2011 (Currently, 2011 revenue is running only 4 percent behind 2010, but in March, things were looking grim – 19% lower than the year previous).

'Transformers' Wants More Money, 'Dark Of The Moon' Returns For 2 Week IMAX Re-Release

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 23, 2011 2:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment
So the dust is beginning to settle on the summer movie season and for better or worse, the world has voted with its dollars, and made "Transformers: The Dark The Of The Moon" a $1.1 billion success. [Slow clap]. Way to go everybody. But apparently, there is even more money to milked out of the movie so get ready, the Autobots and Decepticons are coming back and getting ready to rumble.

Weekend Box Office: 'Captain America' Is Number One, Because That's Just How America Does It

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 24, 2011 3:44 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Marvel is doing the right thing with their superhero productions. They wisely didn’t break the bank after “Iron Man” did a little under $100 million in its opening weekend, instead opting for future adventures within their universe for around the same cost every time. Even with “The Avengers,” said to be the big kahuna in Marvel’s strategy, they kept costs down thanks to cheap multi-film contracts and economic micromanaging.

Weekend Box Office: Boy Wizard Trumps Batman As 'Deathly Hallows Pt. 2' Has All-Time Biggest Opening

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 17, 2011 5:19 AM
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  • 8 Comments
And so we have box office history.

Weekend Box Office: ‘Transformers 3’ Dominates Again, Now Highest Grossing Domestic Film Of 2011

  • By The Playlist
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  • July 10, 2011 5:51 AM
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  • 5 Comments
'Horrible Bosses' & 'Zookeeper' Start Out StrongTwo weeks ago, Paramount Pictures announced that it had crossed the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office, making it the first studio to accomplish the milestone this year. This was the Wednesday that "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" was released, so suffice to say Paramount are going to have a hell of a year. To little surprise, Michael Bay's thunderous monstrosity of a picture dominated the box-office once more this weekend, adding a not-too-shabby $47 million dollar haul to its total despite a 51.9% drop-off. And that drop-off is lighter than "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," suggesting this picture could have some killer legs. Having reached the $261 million mark domestically, 'Dark Of The Moon,' has become the top grossing films of the year in the U.S. so far. Having sucked up $645 million worldwide, it is currently the second highest grossing film of the year worldwide, but it still has to reach the $1.01 billion accumulated by "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" so far if it wants the top slot. But with over $500 million worldwide in two weeks, "Transformers 3" hitting the one billion mark seems like an inevitability.

'Transformers' Producer Don Murphy Says Franchise Won't Get Reboot, But New Trilogy & You'll Hate It

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 8, 2011 2:40 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Even though Shia LaBeouf has poured cold water on the idea of returning for another "Transfomers" movie and Michael Bay looks likely to finally get to his low budget crime pic "Pain & Gain" next, the future of the franchise is a bit of a question mark right now, but don't say the word "reboot" to producer Don Murphy.

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