Why Sequels are Never as Good

This is a feeling we all know far too well: you watch the first movie, fall in love with it and cannot wait until the sequel, only to have your hopes and dreams shattered by the exact same plot with just a different script. The same holds true for books and television series (anyone who watched season three of House of Cards will vouch for this). Here are the main reasons why.


Money. Often, if a movie generates far more revenue than originally anticipated, companies will rush a sequel into production and force it into theatres as soon as possible in order to earn as much bank as they can off the original movie's success.

Filming on a time crunch. This feeds off the money reason. When you force deadlines for a movie to be filmed and edited, it can cause a lot of small details to go overlooked and will result in a lackluster film.

Expectations. As Stephan Hawking once said: "When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have." This statement couldn't be more true. We often go into something expecting it to blow our minds and then are disappointed if it falls even just barely short.

Characters. When characters become predictable, things tend to get boring. We crave excitement and get an adrenaline rush every time a character does something unexpected. Many sequels try to mirror the original film, book, or TV series and are afraid to develop the character further.

Story. It can be very enticing for writers to revisit their past successes and write accordingly, but that is exactly what causes so many of these sequels to fail. Take Taken 2, for example; the plot is practically the exact same thing as the original Taken movie.

References. References are essential to every film, but repeating them in the sequel and trying to make connections fall into place from events that occurred in the first film is almost certainly going to result in failure. If the story in the sequel cannot stand alone, it will not be successful.

Successful sequels

  • Toy Story 2 (1999)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)

Failed sequels

  • The Sandlot 2 (2005)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
  • The Hangover Part II (2011)
  • Taken 2 (2012)
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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