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 (bear in mind though, it's in no way a definitive list.)
Number of movies: 9 full-feature movies
At this point, we have gone through almost a quarter of a century of Batman movies produced by Warner Bros., starting with Tim Burton and Michael Keaton's 1989 original, all the way to the recent Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice monster. And the fascination still continues.
After all, what's there not to love about a crime-fighting hero dressed up as a bat?
2. Harry Potter
Number of movies: 8 full-feature movies, with the last book split into two
From the word go, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter 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.' 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.
Clutch on to the last lingering moment from the movie series:
3. Star Wars
Number of movies: 8 full-feature movies
Star Wars 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 installment awakened in all of us earlier this year.
Need a reminder? Here's the epic trailer for the J.J. Abrams blockbuster:
Indeed, the more our love for the franchise burns bright, the more we yearn for another movie. A fact, that thankfully, the studios are very eager to provide.
4. The Twilight Saga
Number of movies: 5 full-feature movies with the last book split into two
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) 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
Number of movies: 25 full-feature movies
Dr. No began our love affair with 007 and decades down the line, there's no end in sight.
Eight James Bonds down the line, and with the recent announcement of Daniel Craig's departure, the movie series is gearing up its 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?
In the meantime, check out Daniel Craig running across tumbling buildings and getting it on with pretty ladies in Spectre:
6. The Lord of the Rings
Number of movies: 3 full-feature (and very long!) movies, excluding the 3 full-feature prequels for the The Hobbit film series.
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 epic adventures in cinematic history, all the while keeping almost wholly in sync with the original text. A great feat, I'm sure you'll agree.
7. The Hunger Games
Number of movies: 4 full-feature films, with the final book split into two
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 Jennifer Lawrence has won all our hearts in her portrayal of Katniss in Suzanne Collins's deadly dystopia.
Watch her becoming the "face of a revolution" in the short clip below:
8. Marvel Cinematic Universe
Number of movies: 22 full-feature films (8 scheduled for 2017 and later!)
When Marvel Studios thrust Iron Man into the world in 2008, it unleashed a colossus like no other. Years later and we are over twenty movies in (with Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, 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 all scheduled for the next few years) and as it stands, there's no end in sight.
Ultimately, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has proven that with a little attention and passion, a superhero movie series can become the biggest franchise of them all.
Number of movies: 4 full-feature movies with Transformers: The Last Knight on its way.
Michael Bay's toy-based franchise sky-rocketed right to the top of the list for the best movie series ever made when it was introduced in 2007, making leading man Shia LeBeouf a household name and Megan Fox the hottest babe in the business.
Undoubtedly, news of the next installment, named Transformers: The Last Knight is sending fans all over into a frenzy. Are you excited?