Every year, millions of movie enthusiasts venture off to their local cinema to feast their eyes on the latest offerings from the cinematic world. And the fact of the matter is, a large proportion of the films on our radar are part of some sort of movie series.
However, what is it that actually makes the cut for compiled lists of some of the best movie series? In our opinion, a franchise shouldn't just rake in the dollar in ticket sales or simply appease adoring fans — it has to do both to become wildly successful. Below is a compilation of some of the best movie series and franchises of all time.
Note: The list below is in no particular order.
11. The Fast And The Furious
Movies: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious.
The Fast and the Furious series has been on a pretty long ride since it first collided with our cinema screens back in 2001, and much to our delight, the colossal franchise continues to delight audiences all around the world.
Largely concerned with illegal street racing and heists, it's not exactly the most thought-provoking series but rather provides us with the adrenaline-pumping action scenes we crave. These days — following the huge release of #Fast8 — Universal's biggest money-maker boasts a combined gross of over $5 billion and still has muscle-man Vin Diesel in it, meaning there's really no reason not to get involved.
10. Pirates Of The Caribbean
Movies: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
When Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl washed up on our shores back in 2003, we fell in love with Orlando Bloom's Will Turner and Johnny Depp's rum-soaked Captain Jack Sparrow, who became a pop culture icon in his own right.
Five movies on, and ahead of the release of the latest instalment in May 2017, the film franchise has already grossed $3.73 billion worldwide and stands proud as the eleventh highest-grossing film series of all-time.
Movies: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Prometheus, Alien: Covenant.
Ever since the first Alien was released back in 1986, starring Tom Skerritt and Sigourney Weaver, hardcore sci-fi fans have been longing after new additions to the various storylines focusing on aggressive extraterrestrial creatures that stalk human prey.
And now, with the release of #AlienCovenant in May 2017 — the eight movie in the Alien franchise — the thrilling horror continues to envelop audiences in what has become one of the most beloved sci-fi film series ever made.
8. Harry Potter
Movies: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.
From the word go, J.K. Rowling's #HarryPotter books were always going to manifest themselves into one of the best movie series of all time. Eight movies later and millions of dollars down the line and Warner Bros.'s faith in our favorite Boy Wizard has definitely paid off.
Incorporating a slew of legendary actors into its cast, alongside a menagerie of fresh faces, the wizarding world was first brought to the Muggle world in 2001. And now that the box office behemoth has laid to rest its tired head, we will undoubtedly keep returning to one of the best movie series of all time to quench our thirst for all things Potter.
7. Star Wars
Movies: Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
#StarWars has ruled the roost since 1977 and it's cultural impact is unprecedented. So much so, that for years, it has served us as one of the best movie series of all time. Point proven by the deafening hysteria that the latest instalment awakened in all of us when The Force Awakens came out, as well as Rogue One at the end of 2016.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set to appear in cinemas in December 2017.
6. The Twilight Saga
Movies: Twilight, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
When Stephanie Meyer's teen vamp book series came out, it quickly fathomed a huge cult following among young adults, illustrating to movie studios that this demographic was simply crying out for a movie franchise aimed at them. Years down the line, and we have one of the best movie series of all time (adapted by a slew of various directors) and brought to life by a fantastic cast of sparkly bloodsuckers and morphing werewolves.
Although not to everyone's tastes, clearly the romantic love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob pulled at fan heartstrings all over the world, catapulting the stars to stratospheric fame that they know today.
5. James Bond
Movies: A current total of 24 full-feature movies.
Dr. No began our love affair with MI6 agent James Bond ("007"), and decades down the line, there's no end in sight to where the British series of spy films will take us next.
24 James Bond instalments down the line and a combined gross of over $7 billion to date, the franchise remains one of the longest continually-running film series in cinematic history. And now with Daniel Craig's imminent departure, audiences all over the world are gearing up their imagined Aston Martin engines for the next chapter.
The question still remains though, who is brave enough to step into that perfectly-fitted tux and do impeccable justice to one of the best movies series in recent decades? Watch this space.
4. The Lord of the Rings
Movies: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
It was only a matter of time before someone brought J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings to the big screen and director Peter Jackson certainly did a stellar job of giving life to Middle Earth. Frodo's quest from the comfort of The Shire to Mount Doom in a bid to destroy The Ring took us on one of the most exhilarating adventures in cinematic history, all the while keeping almost wholly in sync with the original text.
3. The Hunger Games
Movies: The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
Considering the first book only came out in 2008, The Hunger Games has done pretty well in shaping pop culture and bringing us one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood into the limelight.
Today, the movie series is one of the best and actress #JenniferLawrence has won all our hearts in her portrayal of Katniss in Suzanne Collins's deadly dystopia.
2. Marvel Cinematic Universe
Movies: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel's The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
When #Marvel Studios thrust Iron Man into the world in 2008, it unleashed a colossus like no other. Years later and dozens of movies in, there's no end in sight. And in the next couple of years alone, we can expect to see the following movies rake in some serious dollar: Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel and Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2.
Movies: Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Transformers: The Last Knight.
Michael Bay's toy-based #Transformers franchise sky-rocketed garnered an enormous fan base when it was introduced in 2007 and has so far brought in $3.7 billion worldwide, making it the 10th highest grossing movie franchise of all time.
And five movies on, with the imminent release of Transformers: The Last Knight finally upon us in June 2017, it appears that there's no stopping this engine-revving jugger-naught — recently Bay even teased the fact that a potential further 14 spin-off movies on the horizon.
Which movie series should have made this list but didn't?