ByEd Looney, writer at Creators.co
Native TEXAN! Love comics (and their presentations on TV / cinema), sports and my wife and kids. Particularly fond of both Marvel and DC.
Ed Looney

A nod and a hat-tip to Moeed Qurishi for his Top 7 Trilogies list. I disagreed and was about to post a comment in his when I realized... why not make my own? That's what we do here at MoviePilot, after all! And, I've linked back to his (above) so you can check him out, too. He's not wrong - he's just not me. ♪♫ ☻ ♫♪

I have had the good fortune to have seen (almost) all of these trilogies. There are only 35 here (as I haven't really seen any of the foreign ones - there's 15-20 more of them), but, to compensate, I've added a few that will be trilogies, soon enough.

I wish I had the time to extrapolate '60s, 70s, '80s & '90s dollars into current, but I'll just go with the raw numbers.

Starting with my favorite (#1) and going down the list:

1) Back to the Future

Doc?  Can you help?  I need to go 30 years forward.
Doc? Can you help? I need to go 30 years forward.

1985: Back to the Future (96%)
Budget: $19,000,000
Domestic: $210,609,762 | Foreign: $178,444,035 | Worldwide: $389,053,797

1989: Back to the Future, Part II (64%)
Budget: $40,000,000
Domestic: $118,450,002 | Foreign: $213,500,000 | Worldwide: $331,950,002

1990: Back to the Future, Part III (73%)
Budget: $40,000,000
Domestic: $87,727,583 | Foreign $156,800,000 | Worldwide: $244,527,583

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Totals:
Budget: $99,000,000
Domestic: $416,787,347 | Foreign: $548,744,035 | Worldwide: $965,531,382
Rotten Tomatoes average: 77.7%

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Each sequel built, excellently, on what went before it. Imagine, being the younger Doc Brown (1955): You've spent all this effort, energy and brain power to get Marty returned to his time (1985) and you turn around and... HE'S RUNNING UP TO YOU!!!? How cool is that? And, they ended the story when they didn't have anything new to add. Brilliant conclusion. So many brilliant time concepts were introduced in each movie so each remained fresh and exciting even in the context of the one that went before it.

2) Star Wars - The Original Series

The Fahtha of the Space Opera Drama, Luke!
The Fahtha of the Space Opera Drama, Luke!

1977: Episode IV: A New Hope (93%)
Budget: $11,000,000
Domestic: $560,998,007 | Foreign: $314,400,000 | Worldwide: $775,398,007
Worldwide adjusted for inflation (North America only): $1,310,412,745

1980: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (96%)
Budget: $18,000,000
Domestic: $290,475,067 | Foreign: $247,900,000 | Worldwide: $538,375,067
Worldwide adjusted for inflation (North America only): $748,669,279

1983: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (79%)
Budget: $32,500,000
Domestic: $309,306,177 | Foreign: $165,800,000 | Worldwide: $475,106,177
Worldwide adjusted for inflation (North America only): $721,620,583

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Totals:
Budget: $61,500,000
Domestic: $1,060,779,251 | Foreign: $728,100,000 | Worldwide: $1,788,879,251
Worldwide adjusted for inflation (North America only): $2,780,702,607
Rotten Tomatoes avg: 89.3%

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Star Wars established the definition of the "Space Opera" genre and introduced that concept to the world of Block Busters! The cinematographic genius of the films was their hallmark and the plot twists and character development all kept the story alive and the fans eager to see the next offering.

So eager, in fact, that the debacle that was the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy still ended up being an overall success at the Box Office.

3) Lord of the Rings

One Ring... to screw everything up!
One Ring... to screw everything up!

2001: LoTR: The Fellowship of the Ring (91%)
Budget: $93,000,000
Domestic: $315,544,750 | Foreign: $555,985,574 | Worldwide: $871,530,324

2002: LoTR: The Two Towers (96%)
Budget: $94,000,000
Domestic: $342,551,365 | Foreign: $583,495,746 | Worldwide: $926,047,111

2003: LoTR: The Return of the King (95%)
Budget: $94,000,000
Domestic: $377,845,905 | Foreign: $742,083,616 | Worldwide: $1,119,929,521
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Totals:
Budget: $281,000,000
Domestic: $1,035,942,020 | Foreign: $1,881,564,936 | Worldwide: $2,917,506,956
Rotten Tomatoes average: 94%
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Finally! Justice was done for one of the greatest written trilogies of all time. The success of J.R.R. Tolkein's incredible "trilogy" rests in the fact that it is one, continuous story - just spread across 3 books.

This movie set was one for which fans had been clamoring for years and years. A couple of previous attempts (one live action and one animated film) had failed so utterly that it was pretty much assumed that such a vast epic could not successfully be extrapolated into live action. Someone finally had the brilliant idea to break it into 3 separate movies (one for each book) and we got magic. Rarely does the second movie out gross the first and yet the third became only the second movie (after Titanic) to gross over a billion dollars world-wide far surpassing either of its predecessors.

All three movies were shot and produced simultaneously resulting in the resultant similarity of budgets for the 3 films.

4) The Bourne Conspiracy

Who are you and why are you shooting at me?
Who are you and why are you shooting at me?

2002: The Bourne Identity (83%)
Budget: $60,000,000
Domestic: $121,661,683 | Foreign: $92,372,541 | Worldwide: $214,034,224

2004: The Bourne Supremacy (81%)
Budget: $75,000,000
Domestic: $176,241,941 | Foreign: $112,258,276 | Worldwide: $288,500,217

2007: The Bourne Ultimatum (94%)
Budget: $110,000,000
Domestic: $227,471,070 | Foreign: $215,353,068 | Worldwide: $442,824,138

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Totals (excl. Legacy):
Budget: $245,000,000
Domestic: $525,374,694 | Foreign: $419,983,885 | Worldwide: $945,358,579
Rotten Tomatoes average: 86%

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2012: The Bourne Legacy (55%)
Budget: $125,000,000
Domestic: $113,203,870 | Foreign: $162,940,880 | Worldwide: $276,144,750

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Totals (incl. Legacy):
Budget: $370,000,000
Domestic: $638,578,564 | Foreign: $582,924,765 | Worldwide: $1,221,503,329
Rotten Tomatoes average: 78.3%

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I only include Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum as Legacy, although a part of the franchise, wandered off on a complete tangent that bore so little relation to the original story of Jason Bourne, that it won't be included by me as a part of this story line. Couple that with the fact you can buy the Boxed Set of the three Jason Bourne movies and, there ya go. There's a rumor Matt Damon is going to reprise his role as Jason Bourne in a fifth installment of the franchise (fourth in the Jason Bourne story line) but nothing is set. If it does happen, this entry will no longer qualify for this list.

5) Indiana Jones

It's a family thing...
It's a family thing...

1981: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (95%)
Budget: $18,000,000
Domestic: $242,374,454 | Foreign: $141,766,000 | Worldwide: $384,140,454

1984: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (84%)
Budget: $28,000,000
Domestic: $179,870,271 | Foreign: $153,237,000 | Worldwide: $333,107,271

1989: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (89%)
Budget: $48,000,000
Domestic: $197,171,806 | Foreign: $277,000,000 | Worldwide: $474,171,806

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Totals (excl. Crystal Skull):
Budget: $94,000,000
Domestic: $619,416,531 | Foreign: $572,003,000 | Worldwide: $1,191,419,531
Rotten Tomatoes average: 89.3%

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2008: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (78%)
Budget: $185,000,000
Domestic: $317,101,119 | Foreign: $469,534,914 | Worldwide: $786,636,033

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Totals (incl. Crystal Skull):
Budget: $279,000,000
Domestic: $936,517,650 | Foreign: $1,041,537,914 | Worldwide: $1,978,055,564
Rotten Tomatoes average: 86.8%

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OK, ok, ok... I get it. And, I'd much rather have a reason to include a set than to exclude it. I had several respondents insist this one should be included, so I'll include it as the first three movies making a trilogy then a (+1) addendum as so many years had gone by prior to it. But, unlike a lot of you, I really liked the fourth movie - and, I loved that they brought back Karen Allen.

On the heels of the immensely popular Star Wars movies, Indiana Jones exploded across the silver screen and ran through jungles, flew across continents and slunk through lost rivers in such high style and splendor it almost made the world forget about the future. Almost.

6) The Matrix

You can't!  Yes, I can... No... UhOh.
You can't! Yes, I can... No... UhOh.

1999: The Matrix (87%)
Budget: $63,000,000
Domestic: $171,479,930 | Foreign: $292,037,453 | Worldwide: $463,517,383

2003: The Matrix Reloaded (73%)
Budget: $150,000,000
Domestic: $281,576,461 | Foreign: $460,552,000 | Worldwide: $742,128,461

2003: The Matrix Revolutions (36%)
Budget: $150,000,000
Domestic: $139,313,948 | Foreign: $288,029,350 | Worldwide: $427,343,298

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Totals:
Budget: $363,000,000
Domestic: $592,370,339 | Foreign: $1,040,618,803 | Worldwide: $1,632,989,142
Rotten Tomatoes average: 65.3%

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Whoah! Redefined the concept of the dream-in-a-dream misdirect and, cinematographically, was the precursor to today's great superhero movies. The ending of the story, though, was almost like they didn't know how to conclude it and just lopped it off at the end of the third movie. Overall, though, this was an awesome experience and well worth the money just for the new cinematographic concepts alone.

7) Men in Black

Saving the world and preventing bad dreams.
Saving the world and preventing bad dreams.

1997: Men in Black (92%)
Budget: $90,000,000
Domestic: $250,690,529 | Foreign: $338,700,000 | Worldwide: $589,390,539

2002: Men in Black II (39%)
Budget: $140,000,000
Domestic: $190,418,803 | Foreign: $251,400,000 | Worldwide: $441,818,803

2012: Men in Black 3 (70%)
Budget: $225,000,000
Domestic: $179,020,854 | Foreign: $445,005,922 | Worldwide: $624,026,776

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Totals:
Budget: $455,000,000
Domestic: $620,130,186 | Foreign: $1,135,105,922 | Worldwide: $1,655,236,118
Rotten Tomatoes average: 67%

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This one ranks so highly simply because of the impact of the relationship between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. The story line is excellent, the execution of the aliens is great and all... but, Tommy Lee Jones? And, Will Smith? Simple awesomeness. Great rebound on the third movie with the inclusion of time travel and recovering a member of their group (Agent K).

8) Chronicles of Riddick

Doesn't matter who... Riddick's got this.
Doesn't matter who... Riddick's got this.

2000: Pitch Black (57%)
Budget: $23,000,000
Domestic: $39,240,659 | Foreign: $13,947,000 | Worldwide: $53,187,659

2004: Chronicles of Riddick (29%)
Budget: $105,000,000
Domestic: $57,761,012 | Foreign: $58,011,721 | Worldwide: $115,772,733

2013: Riddick (58%)
Budget: $38,000,000
Domestic: $42,025,135 | Foreign: $56,312,160 | Worldwide: $98,337,295

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Totals:
Budget: $166,000,000
Domestic: $139,026,806 | Foreign: $128,270,881 | Worldwide: $267,297,687
Rotten Tomatoes average: 48.0%

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2004: Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (n/a) [animated]
Budget: n/a
Domestic: Direct to Video | Foreign: Direct to Video | Worldwide: Direct to Video

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I don't know why the critics disliked this series so much - it will always be one of my favorites. I hear Vin Diesel can't act, but I think he's great - for the kinds of movies he does... probably just jealousy as he sure does make a lot of money not being good at what he does.

The 2004 30 minutes long animated Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury is included here (as a +1 addendum to the trilogy) because it bridges the story from Pitch Black to 2004's Chronicles of Riddick.

9) Toy Story

Who doesn't love toys?
Who doesn't love toys?

1995: Toy Story (100%)
Budget: $30,000,000
Domestic: $191,796,233 | Foreign: $170,162,503 | Worldwide: $361,958,736

1999: Toy Story 2 (100%)
Budget: $90,000,000
Domestic: $245,852,179 | Foreign: $239,163,000 | Worldwide: $485,015,179

2010: Toy Story 3 (99%)
Budget: $200,000,000
Domestic: $415,004,880 | Foreign: $648,167,031 | Worldwide: $1,063,171,911

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Totals:
Budget: $320,000,000
Domestic: $842,643,292 | Foreign: $1,057,492,534 | Worldwide: $1,910,145,826
Rotten Tomatoes average: 99.7%

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It's a shame that third movie was such a drop-off in the ratings. Thrilling, endearing and, like Back to the Future, each successor built well on its predecessor. If the stories of a fourth (2017) are true, this one will fall off this list. But, for now, I'm happy to be able to include them.

Highest rated trilogy of all time, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

10) Marvel's Iron Man

A Genius. Billionaire. Playboy. Philanthropist.
A Genius. Billionaire. Playboy. Philanthropist.

2008: Iron Man (93%)
Budget: $140,000,000
Domestic: $318,412,101 | Foreign: $266,762,121 | Worldwide: $585,174,222

2010: Iron Man 2 (73%)
Budget: $200,000,000
Domestic: $312,433,331 | Foreign: $311,500,000 | Worldwide: $623,933,331

2013: Iron Man 3 (78%)
Budget: $200,000,000
Domestic: $409,013,994 | Foreign: $806,426,000 | Worldwide: $1,215,439,994

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Totals:
Budget: $540,000,000
Domestic: $1,039,859,426 | Foreign: $1,384,688,121 | Worldwide: $2,424,547,547
Rotten Tomatoes average: 81.3%

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Originally, I had chosen to not include movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as they were all interwoven, interconnected and part of an overall story arc. But, with Robert Downy, Jr, likely not coming back for an Iron Man 4 (if there is an Iron Man 4, it will likely be a hand-off to a new Iron Man (Rhodey?) rather than a reboot, so, technically, it would be a continuation of the series... but, RDJ got in 3 solos so I'm including them. Same with Captain America as Chris Evans likely won't be around for a 4th movie - subsequent Captain America films will be headed by a "replacement Captain America" (The Winter Soldier or the Falcon?) and also be a continuation of that series, but it won't include Chris Evans as the lead character, anymore.

Iron Man set the standard for Marvel Studios and began to define the universe into which all of the properties Marvel Studios still owns (or has recovered over the years) operate. It was an astounding success and, even with the harsh criticism the second movie suffered, the third became one of the highest grossing movies of all time firmly establishing the set as one of the all-time greats.

11) Night at the Museum

R.I.P. Dearest Robin Williams (aka Teddy R.)
R.I.P. Dearest Robin Williams (aka Teddy R.)

2006: Night at the Museum (44%)
Budget: $110,000,000
Domestic: $250,863,268 | Foreign: $323,617,573 | Worldwide: $574,480,841

2009: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (44%)
Budget: $150,000,000
Domestic: $177,243,721 | Foreign: $235,862,449 | Worldwide: $413,106,170

2014: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (47%)
Budget: $127,000,000
Domestic: $111,180,839 | Foreign: $221,600,000 | Worldwide: $332,780,839

* This third entry is still in theaters and the numbers will, undoubtedly, continue to grow adding to the overall numbers for itself and for the trilogy overall.
Numbers updated 2/19/2015
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Totals:
Budget: $387,000,000
Domestic: $539,287,828 | Foreign: $781,080,022 | Worldwide: $1,320,367,850
Rotten Tomatoes average: 45%

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A fun, fantasy-filled evening! This series was well written, well (very well) cast and well directed. It was a hoot from the start and the sequels built sufficiently on the prior offerings without rehashing the same old stuff.

I have no idea why the critics were so down on it. I've watched the first one a dozen times and the second one several as well. That will probably extend on to the third one, too!

12) Star Trek (The Resurrection of Spock Trilogy)

Spock dies. Spock lives. Go get a whale.
Spock dies. Spock lives. Go get a whale.

1982: Star Trek (2): The Wrath of Khan (90%)
Budget: $12,000,000
Domestic: $79,912,963 | Foreign: $16,887,037 | Worldwide: $96,800,000

1984: Star Trek (3): The Search for Spock (78%)
Budget: $18,000,000
Domestic: $76,471,046 | Foreign: $10,528,954 | Worldwide: $87,000,000

1986: Star Trek (4): The Voyage Home (85%)
Budget: $24,000,000
Domestic: $109,713,132 | Foreign: $23,286,868 | Worldwide: $133,000,000

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Totals (trilogy only):
Budget: $54,000,000
Domestic: $266,097,141 | Foreign: $50,702,859 | Worldwide: $316,800,000
Rotten Tomatoes average: 84.3%

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1979: Star Trek (1): The Motion Picture (45%)
Budget: $35,000,000
Domestic: $82,258,456 | Foreign: $56,741,544 | Worldwide: $139,000,000

1989: Star Trek (5): The Final Frontier (21%)
Budget: $30,000,000
Domestic: $52,210,049 | Foreign: $17,989,951 | Worldwide: $70,200,000

1991: Star Trek (6): The Undiscovered Country (83%)
Budget: $27,000,000
Domestic: $74,888,996 | Foreign: $22,011,004 | Worldwide: $96,900,000

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Totals (excl. trilogy):
Budget: $92,000,000
Domestic: $209,357,501 | Foreign: $96,742,499 | Worldwide: $306,100,000
Rotten Tomatoes average: 49.7%

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Totals (entire series):
Budget: $146,000,000
Domestic: $475,454,642 | Foreign: $147,445,358 | Worldwide: $622,900,000
Rotten Tomatoes average: 67%

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Although, this trilogy series is in the middle of a series of six Star Trek Original Series movies, they are a contained trilogy within the overall set: The Wrath of Khan (Spock dies); The Search for Spock; and The Voyage Home (although, Voyage Home basically aborted the Spock story line and the crew went off fishing for whales, it was the concluding movie to the Spock Saga). Thanks to Paul Witwicki for pointing that out.

13) The Hobbit

There.  And, Back Again.
There. And, Back Again.

2012: An Unexpected Journey (64%)
Budget: $200,000,000
Domestic: $303,003,568 | Foreign: $714,000,000 | Worldwide: $1,017,003,568

2013: The Desolation of Smaug (74%)
Budget: $225,000,000
Domestic: $258,366,855 | Foreign: $702,000,000 | Worldwide: $960,366,855

2014: The Battle of Five Armies (60%)
Budget: $250,000,000
Domestic: $253,732,502 | Foreign: $697,600,000 | Worldwide: $951,332,502

* This third entry is still in theaters and the numbers will, undoubtedly, continue to grow adding to the overall numbers for itself and for the trilogy overall.
Box office numbers updated on 2/18/2015.
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Totals:
Budget: $675,000,000
Domestic: $815,102,925 | Foreign: $2,113,600,000 | Worldwide: $2,928,702,925
Rotten Tomatoes average: 66%

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This story is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and would have been higher on this list except its concepts and unique cinematography were already presented in the Lord of the Rings - still, a near-impossible translation from literature to the screen and it was accomplished elegantly, elaborately and most excellently.

Like it's sequel/predecessor, all 3 movies were shot simultaneously, but, because of the delay between the production of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, The Hobbit cost about 2½ times more to produce.

The Hobbit was also shot using many of the same locations, actors and characters as The Lord of the Rings contributing heavily to the continuity enjoyed between these two behemoths.

14) The Mexico Trilogy

Once Upon a Time... In Mexico...
Once Upon a Time... In Mexico...

1992: El Mariachi (93%)
Budget: $7,000
Domestic: $2,040,920 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $2,040,910

1995: Desperado (62%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $25,405,445 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $25,405,445

2003: Once Upon a Time in Mexico (68%)
Budget: $29,000,000
Domestic: $56,359,780 | Foreign: $41,825,802 | Worldwide: $98,185,582

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Totals:
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $83,806,145 | Foreign: $41,825,802 | Worldwide: $125,631,937
Rotten Tomatoes average: 74.3%

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Insanely intense while not being heavy. This franchise introduced humor as a foil for drama and gave us characters that were impossible, yet still made them believable within the context of the story. The first starred Carlos Gallardo as the main character, El Mariachi, and was filmed on a budget of $7,000; entirely in Mexico; with a, mostly, amateur cast; and, unfortunately for us gringos, entirely in Spanish. This was director Robert Rodriguez' first attempt at directing a full length picture and set him squarely into the ranks of the great directors.

Antonio Banderas took over the role for the second and third entries and absolutely blew it out. The second and third are definitely worth watching and, Rotten Tomatoes considers the first even better. If you haven't see the series - Netflix, ya'll! And, hurry!

15) The Dark Knight Trilogy

Bringing fear to evil-doers - except for Joker.
Bringing fear to evil-doers - except for Joker.

2005: Batman Begins (85%)
Budget: $204,000,000
Domestic: $162,831,698 | Foreign: $103,990,656 | Worldwide: $266,822,354

2008: The Dark Knight (94%)
Budget: $185,000,000
Domestic: $534,858,444 | Foreign: $469,700,000 | Worldwide: $1,004,558,444

2012: The Dark Knight Rises (88%)
Budget: $250,000,000
Domestic: $448,139,099 | Foreign: $552,500,000 | Worldwide: $1,084,439,099

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Totals:
Budget: $639,000,000
Domestic: $1,145,829,243 | Foreign: $1,126,190,656 | Worldwide: $2,355,819,897
Rotten Tomatoes average: 89%

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Redefined Batman and gave us the greatest redefinition of a villain in the history of motion pictures: Heath Ledger's brilliant Joker. This offering, though, took the home city of the hero and completely removed it from reality - making it, graphically, dark and blocky with the characters and story taking the focus over any pretense of landscape.

Clearly, director Christopher Nolan figured out what he was doing after the first movie because the 2nd and 3rd were box office smashes.

16) The Dollars Trilogy

Also known as "The Man With No Name" Trilogy.
Also known as "The Man With No Name" Trilogy.

1964: A Fistful of Dollars (98%)
Budget: $200,000 - $225,000
Domestic: $14,500,000 | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: $14,500,000

1965: For a Few Dollars More (94%)
Budget: $600,000
Domestic: $15,000,000 | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: $15,000,000

1966: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (97%)
Budget: $1,200,000
Domestic: $25,100,000 | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: $25,100,000

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Totals:
Budget: $2,000,000 - $2,025,000
Domestic: $54,600,000 | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: $54,600,000
Rotten Tomatoes average: 96.7%

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Established the Spaghetti Western as a force for the '60s & 70's. Musically, Ennio Morricone provided some of the greatest theme songs in movie history. (Update: I had originally noted Hugo Montenegro as the composer, but he just had a cover of the theme from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly that was pretty awesome in its own right. My mistake. Thanks to Aaron Pennington for so courteously pointing this out.) However, when I went back to re-view them, realized they were tragically slow and dull... but, the stories were great and I loved them when I watched them the first time around. I could definitely see remakes; although, how would you ever replace Clint Eastwood?

17) The Godfather Trilogy

I make you an offer... you cannot refuse...
I make you an offer... you cannot refuse...

1972: The Godfather (100%)
Budget: $6,500,000
Domestic: $134,966,411 | Foreign: $110,100,000 | Worldwide: $245,066,411

1974: The Godfather, Part II (99%)
Budget: $13,000,000
Domestic: $57,300,000 | Foreign: $135,700,000 | Worldwide: $193,000,000

1990: The Godfather, Part III (67%)
Budget: $54,000,000
Domestic: $66,666,062 | Foreign: $70,100,000 | Worldwide: $136,766,062

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Totals:
Budget: $73,500,000
Domestic: $258,932,473 | Foreign: $315,900,000 | Worldwide: $574,832,473
Rotten Tomatoes average: 88.7%

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Imagine: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando together - well... not all at the same time - but the same series. Immense talent. Awesome production. Intensity throughout. I tried to keep this one in the Top Ten, but it just didn't fit my tastes. I just don't like violence and pain for the sake of violence and pain. The movies were true to their theme, though - I just didn't care for the theme.

The second movie was excellent, but the third probably should never have been made.

18) Mad Max

Standing up for ... phew!  Run!!
Standing up for ... phew! Run!!

1979: Mad Max (95%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $8,750,000 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $8,750,000

1981: Mad Max: The Road Warrior (100%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $23,667,907 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $23,667,907

1985: Mad Max: Beyond Thunder Dome (81%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $36,230,219 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $36,230,219

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Totals:
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $68,648,126 | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: $68,648,126
Rotten Tomatoes average: 90.3%

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The precursor of all of your "zombie" and "after-the-end-of-civilization" movies, this series establishes the post-apocalyptic action/drama genre as a Block Buster movie concept. This first movie came out of nowhere and splashed Mel Gibson all across the silver screen for years to come. The second and third were able to build, successfully, on their predecessor(s) with the third, Beyond Thunder Dome, being my favorite of the three; although, Rotten Tomatoes differs with my opinion and, that's OK... I still like my opinion.

Yeah, yeah... I know they are currently shooting a 4th entry for the franchise (Fury Road - 2015), but it stars a different actor (not unprecedented in trilogies) and comes 473 years (exaggeration - it's only been 30 years) after the third movie had run its course. So, I'm gonna, for the purposes of my list, close off the Mel Gibson era as a finished trilogy and let this new entry begin the new sequel trilogy (because I doubt the franchise will end with Fury Road and Tom Hardy looks to be able to carry a couple more entries in the series).

19) The Santa Clause Trilogy

Ho-Ho ... er, huh?
Ho-Ho ... er, huh?

1994: The Santa Clause (75%)
Budget: $22,000,000
Domestic: $144,833,357 | Foreign: $44,966,643 | Worldwide: $189,800,000

2002: TSC 2: The Mrs. Clause (55%)
Budget: $65,000,000
Domestic: $139,225,854 | Foreign: $33,600,000 | Worldwide: $172,825,854

2006: TSC 3: The Escape Clause (15%)
Budget: $12,000,000
Domestic: $84,500,122 | Foreign: $23,000,000 | Worldwide: $107,500,122

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Totals:
Budget: $99,000,000
Domestic: $368,559,333 | Foreign: $101,566,643 | Worldwide: $470,125,976
Rotten Tomatoes average: 48.7%

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Again, probably shouldn't have had sequels, but, had each sequel been released without the predecessor(s), each, individually, would have been pretty good. Trouble is, the concept couldn't be updated from one to the next to the last. Still, they're great for the kids to watch as Christmas is approaching. And, they didn't cost that much to produce making it easy to recoup their investment.

20) X-Men (Elder Class)

Bringing it on, Bub
Bringing it on, Bub

2000: X-Men (82%)
Budget: $75,000,000
Domestic: $157,299,717 | Foreign: $139,039,810 | Worldwide: $296,339,527

2003: X2: X-Men United (87%)
Budget: $110,000,000
Domestic: $214,949,695 | Foreign: $192,761,855 | Worldwide: $407,711,549

2006: X-Men: The Last Stand (58%)
Budget: $210,000,000
Domestic: $234,362,462 | Foreign: $224,997,093 | Worldwide: $459,359,555

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Totals (excl. Origins: Wolverine):
Budget: $395,000,000
Domestic: $606,611,884 | Foreign: $556,798,758 | Worldwide: $1,163,410,631
Rotten Tomatoes average: 77.7% (3 films)
_______________________________________________________________________________

2009: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (38%)
Budget: $150,000,000
Domestic: $179,883,157 | Foreign: $193,179,707 | Worldwide: $373,062,864
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (incl. Origins: Wolverine):
Budget: $545,000,000
Domestic: $786,495,041 | Foreign: $749,978,465 | Worldwide: $1,536,473,495
Rotten Tomatoes average: 66.3% (4 films)

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Trilogy (+1). The Origins movie for Wolverine I am considering an addendum to the trilogy rather than an integral part. I had originally rejected the series because of a "fourth entry", but see now that may have been a mistake.
The main actors in the series (Ian McKellen as Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr; Patrick Stewart as Professor X/Charles Xavier; and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett) were so excellently cast they immediately became legends in their new roles in spite of already being clearly established previously.

Unfortunately, the James Marsden enactment of Cyclops/Scott Summers was made almost completely irrelevant by the dynamic of Jackman's Wolverine and was never able to be established as the leader figure as he was in the comics.

This franchise was uniquely reimagined into newer, younger actors without a reboot - the entire concept of the story line was re-originated through time-travel with the "elder" heroes reaching back in time to their younger selves. The story line then continued from those younger selves and added relevance and timeliness to the entire franchise.

This trilogy caps off with the 3rd movie and the "hand-off" event (Days of Future Past) becomes the second entry in the second (incomplete) trilogy.

The solo Wolverine adventure isn't included in either set and is considered, similar to the many-pronged MCU, just another tributary in the stream that is the overarching X-Men Universe. Wolverine, Deadpool, Gambit, X-Force and other spin-off adventures will have to forge their own movie sets.

21) Spiderman

Not the "Amazing" ones... but, good...
Not the "Amazing" ones... but, good...

2002: Spiderman (89%)
Budget: $140,000,000
Domestic: $403,706,375 | Foreign: $418,002,176 | Worldwide: $821,708,551

2004: Spiderman 2 (94%)
Budget: $200,000,000
Domestic: $373,585,825 | Foreign: $410,180,516 | Worldwide: $783,766,341

2007: Spiderman 3 (73%)
Budget: $258,000,000
Domestic: $336,630,303 | Foreign: $554,341,323 | Worldwide: $890,871,626

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Totals:
Budget: $598,000,000
Domestic: $1,113,922,503 | Foreign: $1,382,524,015 | Worldwide: $2,396,346,518
Rotten Tomatoes average: 85.3%

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The first two movies in this series were great... then, something happened to Sony and their Peter Parker parked himself into oblivion. That last movie was Rotten & Very Uncomfortable to Watch (even though it made a ton of money). It was so bad, the entire concept required a reboot to The Amazing Spiderman and featured a new Peter Parker: Andrew Garfield.

If they ever get TASM3 out, it'll join this list, somewhere... depends on how well TASM3 performs.

22) Age of Conan

Swords, sorcery and Ahnold!
Swords, sorcery and Ahnold!

1982: Conan the Barbarian (72%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $39,565,475 | Foreign: $29,286,000 | Worldwide: $68,851,475

1984: Conan the Destroyer (27%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $31,042,035 | Foreign: $69,000,000 | Worldwide: $100,042,035

1985: Red Sonja (18%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $6,948,633 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $6,948,633

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Totals (excl. Momoa's CtB):
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $77,556,143 | Foreign: $98,286,000 | Worldwide: $175,842,143
Rotten Tomatoes average: 39.0%

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2011: Conan the Barbarian (24%)
Budget: $90,000,000
Domestic: $21,295,021 | Foreign: $27,500,000 | Worldwide: $48,795,021

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (incl. Momoa's CtB):
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $98,851,164 | Foreign: $135,786,000 | Worldwide: $224,637,164
Rotten Tomatoes average: 35.3%

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2011's Conan the Barbarian with Jason Momoa isn't included as part of the trilogy as it is a reboot attempt that, really, didn't go very well (it lost $42MM). Jason has moved on to DC to serve as their Aquaman and his iteration of the "franchise" will serve as a footnote to the original franchise.

Red Sonja is included to form the trilogy because it utilized the same world, the same actors (Schwarzenegger as the Conan-like Lord Kalidor, gigantic amazon Brigitte Nielsen as Sonja, etc.) and production team (John Milius directing, Dino De Laurentis Producing and Universal distributing) as in the preceding Conan movies. And, it was a continuation of the World of Conan adventures originally crafted by Robert E. Howard in his literary works. Since Arnold actually portrayed a "different" character, it may be just considered a spin-off, but I'm including it, anyway. (Thanks to Wesley Hermsen for pointing out the name change)

Who doesn't (well, didn't) like Ahnold? Schwarzenegger established / defined the muscular hero with both the Conan and the Terminator series. This set wasn't one of the most brilliant works ever created, but they did what they were intended to do: They entertained. And, they made a small bit of money for the producers.

A 1987 release of Conan the Conqueror never got off the ground after Schwarzenegger was already committed to film Predator and his contractual obligations to this series had expired with the Red Sonja film. Producers were leery of re-entering negotiations to extend the franchise. Arnold then got himself elected governor of California and didn't have time to do any more filming. It never happened.

In 2012, Paramount announced that Schwarzenegger, no longer California's governor, will reprise his role as Conan as an older character in The Legend of Conan. It doesn't yet have a release date and, for the purposes of my list, will serve as an addendum to an already complete trilogy that was put to press in 1985.

23) Blade

Suckin' Blood from Blood Suckers...
Suckin' Blood from Blood Suckers...

1998: Blade (55%)
Budget: $45,000,000
Domestic: $70,087,718 | Foreign: $61,095,812 | Worldwide: $131,183,530

2002: Blade II (59%)
Budget: $54,000,000
Domestic: $82,348,319 | Foreign: $72,661,713 | Worldwide: $155,010,032

2004: Blade: Trinity (26%)
Budget: $65,000,000
Domestic: $52,411,906 | Foreign: $76,493,460 | Worldwide: $128,905,366

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Totals:
Budget: $164,000,000
Domestic: $204,847,943 | Foreign: $210,250,985 | Worldwide: $415,098,928
Rotten Tomatoes average: 46.7%

_______________________________________________________________________________

Missed this one in my list, originally. This update will correct that.

Originally the property of NewLine Cinema, the rights have reverted to Marvel Studios. But, NewLine was able to bring three entries to the series completing the trilogy.

Blade tools around on the occult side of Marvel comics - don't be surprised if he ends up hanging with Dr. Strange in the future. Blade is a half-vampire hunter of vampires. The first entry in this series went over well, but subsequent attempts failed since NewLine really didn't have a cogent idea for how to expand on the character so just rehashed previous themes. The second actually out-grossed the first, but the third just couldn't hold up and the franchise ultimately collapsed back to Marvel.

The original star, Wesley Snipes, is now making noises that he would like to reprise his role as Blade in a new Marvel Studios edition of the franchise. No reports out of Marvel as to whether or not that is doable.

24) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Hey!  Who brought the pizza, man? ...
Hey! Who brought the pizza, man? ...

1990: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie (41%)
Budget: $13,500,000
Domestic: $135,265,915 | Foreign: $66,700,000 | Worldwide: $201,965,915

1991: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (31%)
Budget: $25,000,000
Domestic: $78,656,813 | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: $78,656,813

1993: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (21%)
Budget: $21,000,000
Domestic: $42,273,609 | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: $42,273,609

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Totals:
Budget: $59,500,000
Domestic: $256,196,337 | Foreign: $66,700,000 | Worldwide: $322,896,337
Rotten Tomatoes average: 31.0%

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Completely missed this one in my original list so I'm adding it now as an update. And, I've been a fan of theirs since they first came out in the comics and on TV back in the mid '80s. At first, I thought they were a gross characterization and couldn't understand why anything like them would sell. But, they went all Scooby-Doo and were everywhere by the end of the '80s and on film in the '90s.

Just goes to show that a good story doesn't always require pretty visuals.
A reboot version of the franchise disgorged onto the screen in 2014 starring Megan Fox and Johnny Knoxville and another try is scheduled for 2016. We'll see if that one manages to make a third try and record a second trilogy.

25) The Hangover

Road tripped...
Road tripped...

2009: The Hangover (79%)
Budget: $35,000,000
Domestic: $277,322,503 | Foreign: $190,161,409 | Worldwide: $467,483,912

2011: The Hangover, Part II (34%)
Budget: $80,000,000
Domestic: $254,464,305 | Foreign: $332,300,000 | Worldwide: $586,764,305

2013: The Hangover, Part III (19%)
Budget: $103,000,000
Domestic: $112,200,072 | Foreign: $249,800,000 | Worldwide: $362,000,072

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Totals:
Budget: $218,000,000
Domestic: $643,986,880 | Foreign: $772,261,409 | Worldwide: $1,416,249,287
Rotten Tomatoes average: 44.0%

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Hilarity reigns as these friends end up straying from any semblance of doing good to waking up in Vegas... or, was it Bangkok... sure it was... uh... Vegas... in the classic adult road trip mishap madcap movie. Or, was that madcap mishap tripping road movie. Maybe... moving miscap madhap?

Anyway... I think they all found their ways back home... ?

26) The Punisher

Frank?   Uh... Castle?  Frank?
Frank? Uh... Castle? Frank?

1991: The Punisher (Dolph Lundgren) (24%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: Direct to Video | Foreign: Direct to Video | Worldwide: Direct to Video

2004: The Punisher (Thomas Jane) (29%)
Budget: $33,000,000
Domestic: $33,810,189 | Foreign: $20,890,016 | Worldwide: $54,700,105

2008: Punisher: War Zone (Ray Stevenson) (27%)
Budget: $35,000,000
Domestic: $8,050,977 | Foreign: $2,059,059 | Worldwide: $10,100,036

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals:
Budget: $68,000,000
Domestic: $41,861,166 | Foreign: $22,949,075 | Worldwide: $64,800,141
Rotten Tomatoes average: 26.7%

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I include these even though the story line isn't continuous (reboot after reboot), the actors aren't at all similar and they were 3 distinct attempts to get the story out to the public that all failed. But, combined, they are 3 attempts at getting a story out to the public - that failed.

The Dolph Lundgren edition of The Punisher was roundly bashed as poorly crafted and poorly acted. It was so bad, it didn't even come out in theaters and, instead, went direclty to DVD/Video. Not a good first impression.

I actually thought the Thomas Jane version of the character had a chance to succeed. Jane's portrayal of the character was very good, but the supporting cast failed to embellish the story at all and the sets and direction provided some sets. The third attempt just failed - miserably - in every conceivable fashion.

Now, the character has reverted to Marvel Studios and they are using him, probably, in the best way possible - as a random element of chaos on the side of good whenever they need a random element of chaos on the side of good. It fits the character, so why not?

Actually, the only place we've "seen" him (and, we didn't really see him so much as his handi-work) was in Captain America: Winter Soldier when on 2 occasions, he rammed his yellow Penske truck into the path of the bad guys so the good guys could escape. He's gone dark and we may never see his face, again. But... he's always there...

Always watching...

Always prepared to intervene on behalf of the oppressed.

But, don't even think this is one of my favorite characters... he is... but, don't you even begin to think that he is - if ya know what I mean... on the sly...

27) Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy

Who's a hero... not me, mate.  Well, maybe...
Who's a hero... not me, mate. Well, maybe...

2004: Shaun of the Dead (92%)
Budget: $6,000,000
Domestic: $13,542,874 | Foreign: $16,496,518 | Worldwide: $30,039,392

2007: Hot Fuzz (91%)
Budget: $12,000,000
Domestic: $23,637,265 | Foreign: $56,936,509 | Worldwide: $80,573,774

2013: The World's End (89%)
Budget: $20,000,000
Domestic: $26,004,851 | Foreign: $20,084,436 | Worldwide: $46,089,287

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Totals:
Budget: $38,000,000
Domestic: $63,184,990 | Foreign: $93,507,463 | Worldwide: $156,702,453
Rotten Tomatoes average: 90.7%

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I included this "British" farce collection because it was released in the U.S. and went on to have some success here. Very campy and consistent to the end. I'd rate them higher, but they really don't settle into my tastes very well. And, it is my tastes about which I'm writing.

Plus, it's not a single story line, but they were packaged together into a "trilogy" by the producers because of the inclusion of a single element (Cornetto Ice Cream) throughout the series, so it lands here.

28) Star Wars Prequel Series

How to ruin a great thing...
How to ruin a great thing...

1999: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (57%)
Budget: $115,000,000
Domestic: $474,544,677 | Foreign $552,500,000 | Worldwide: $1,027,044,677
Worldwide adjusted for inflation (North America only): $696,707,375

2002: Episode II: Attack of the Clones (67%)
Budget: $115,000,000
Domestic: $310,676,740 | Foreign $338,721,588 | Worldwide: $649,398,328
Worldwide adjusted for inflation (North America only): $413,458,647

2005: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (80%)
Budget: $113,000,000
Domestic: $380,270,577 | Foreign $468,484,191 | Worldwide: $848,754,768
Worldwide adjusted for inflation (North America only): $459,188,546

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals:
Budget: $343,000,000
Domestic: $1,165,491,994 | Foreign: $1,359,705,779 | Worldwide: $2,525,197,773
Worldwide adjusted for inflation (North America only): $1,569,354,568
Rotten Tomatoes average: 68%

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The concept was great - the execution? Not so much. As a prequel to an incredible original series, this collection didn't really fill in any "holes" in the original trilogy (4-7) and didn't provide much in the way explanations and very little background history (other than Princess Padme ... and the twins ... and the emperor).

29) The Lion King

One awesome movie... and, some spin-offs.
One awesome movie... and, some spin-offs.

1994: The Lion King (90%)
Budget: $45,000,000
Domestic: $422,783,777 | Foreign: $564,700,000 | Worldwide: $987,483,777

1999: The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (33%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: Direct to Video | Foreign: Direct to Video | Worldwide: Direct to Video

2004: The Lion King 1½ (76%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: Direct to Video | Foreign: Direct to Video | Worldwide: Direct to Video

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals:
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $422,783,777 | Foreign: $564,700,000 | Worldwide: $987,483,777
Rotten Tomatoes avg: 69.7%

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The original Lion King was amazing (grossing almost $1B all by itself), but the sequels were just money-grubbing and went straight to DVD.

30) The Expendables / -belles

Next:  The ladies get THEIR turn!
Next: The ladies get THEIR turn!

2010: The Expendables (41%)
Budget: $80,000,000
Domestic: $103,068,524 | Foreign: $171,401,870 | Worldwide: $274,470,394

2012: The Expendables 2 (65%)
Budget: $92,000,000
Domestic: $85,028,192 | Foreign: $220,400,000 | Worldwide: $305,428,192

2014: The Expendables 3 (35%)
Budget: $90,000,000
Domestic: $39,322,544 | Foreign: $166,850,000 | Worldwide: $206,172,544

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Totals:
Budget: $262,000,000

Domestic: $227,419,260 | Foreign: $558,651,870 | Worldwide: $786,071,130
Rotten Tomatoes avg: 47.0%

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2017: The Expendabelles (n/a)

* There is no numbers, yet, for Expendabelles as it is in the early stages of pre-production. The original male stars are being replaced by women who will take up the mantle from the guys who created the original adventure.
_______________________________________________________________________________

A hilarious exercise in testosterone slinging. This concept was created by Sylvester Stallone and gathered together all his action hero buddies so they could all get together and blow away a few bad guys, save a damsel in distress and set off a few explosions - well... a lot of explosions - and, not necessarily in that order.

The first was definitely worth the money, the second... not so much and, if you missed the third, you missed... nothing.

But, the new one coming out, featuring women as the action heroes, has a great deal of promise; however, it will not be part of the original trilogy, but an addendum (+1) to that set.

31) Evil Dead / Army of Darkness

Ash is to Ashes as Dead is to Dark...
Ash is to Ashes as Dead is to Dark...

1978: Evil Dead (96%)
Budget: $375,000
Domestic: $2,400,000 | Foreign: $27,000,000 | Worldwide: $29,400,000

1987: Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn (98%)
Budget: $3,500,000
Domestic: $5,923,044 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $5,923,044

1992: Army of Darkness (Evil Dead III) (70%)
Budget: $11,000,000
Domestic: $11,502,976 | Foreign: $10,000,000 | Worldwide: $21,502,976

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Totals (excl. AoDII):
Budget: $14,875,000
Domestic: $19,826,020 | Foreign: $37,000,000 | Worldwide: $56,826,020
Rotten Tomatoes avg: 88%

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2013: Evil Dead: Army of Darkness II (62%)
Budget: $17,000,000
Domestic: $54,239,856 | Foreign: $43,162,193 | Worldwide: $97,402,049

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (incl. AoDII):
Budget: $31,875,000
Domestic: $74,065,876 | Foreign: $80,162,193 | Worldwide: $154,228,069
Rotten Tomatoes avg: 81.5%

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Ash won't be back. And, he wasn't back in the 4th iteration of the franchise. Couple that with the fact that over 20 years had passed between the conclusion of the franchise's trilogy set and the start of the (+1) ... that now features Mia instead of Ash, and you get the start of another set - or, a very successful (for the franchise) +1 addendum to the trilogy.

Seeing as how I'm, #1, Not a Fan of the horror genre so I didn't know that Army of Darkness was a continuation of the original Evil Dead storyline and, #2, Not a Fan of the genre; therefore, #3, I didn't watch it. But, what I read of it, an horror aficionado would likely have placed this one up, at least, into the Top 15. And, from what has been written about it, I'd probably be surprised it wasn't higher.

Thanks to @Adrian Delgado for pointing out my omission of this collection. Here it is - in my update.

Cheers.

32) Taken

Can't seem to keep his family around...
Can't seem to keep his family around...

2008: Taken (58%)
Budget: $25,000,000
Domestic: $145,000,989 | Foreign: $81,829,579 | Worldwide: $226,830,568

2012: Taken 2 (21%)
Budget: $45,000,000
Domestic: $139,854,287 | Foreign: $236,287,019 | Worldwide: $376,141,306

2015: Tak3n (10%)
Budget: $48,000,000
Domestic: $87,021,466 | Foreign: $190,400,000 | Worldwide: $277,421,466

* This third entry is still in theaters and the numbers will, undoubtedly, continue to grow adding to the overall numbers for itself and for the trilogy overall.
Numbers updated on 2/19/2015.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals:
Budget: $118,000,000
Domestic: $371,876,742 | Foreign: $508,316,598 | Worldwide: $880,393,340
Rotten Tomatoes average: 29.7% (ouch)

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The overwhelming (and surprising) success by the first entry in this series led the producers to try again. But, unlike the Bourne franchise (which would be very similar as an action spy thriller), the second was just a rehashing of the first and the third appears to be failing miserably as well.

33) Darkman

Liam Neesan then... oblivion...
Liam Neesan then... oblivion...

1990: Darkman (82%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $33,878,502 | Foreign: $15,000,000 | Worldwide: $48,878,502

1995: Darkman II: The Return of Durant (29%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: Direct to Video | Foreign: Direct to Video | Worldwide: Direct to Video

1996: Darkman III: Die Darkman, Die (33%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: Direct to Video | Foreign: Direct to Video | Worldwide: Direct to Video

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals:
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $33,878,502 | Foreign: $15,000,000 | Worldwide: $48,878,502
Rotten Tomatoes average: 48.0%

_______________________________________________________________________________

Originally, I had missed this one. I hadn't seen any of them so I didn't grade them. I've gone back, now, and reviewed them, at least, so I have a place for them in my list. The second and third movies of this set went directly to DVD/video so won't be winning any prizes.

The first movie starred Liam Neeson and, apparently, was pretty good. For a guy who has a mostly unflappable appearance, he gets into a lot of action films!

34) Hatchet

Spoofing Horror is horrible!
Spoofing Horror is horrible!

2006: Hatchet (49%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $175,281 | Foreign: $33,269 | Worldwide: $208,550

2010: Hatchet II (36%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $52,604 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $52,604

2013: Hatchet III (55%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: Direct to Video | Foreign: Direct to Video | Worldwide: Direct to Video

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals:
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $227,885 | Foreign: $33,269 | Worldwide: $261,154
Rotten Tomatoes average: 46.7%

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Horror spoof / comedy. Didn't see it and, apparently, judging by the box office numbers, not many others did, either. The Toxic Avenger even did better.

35) The Toxic Avenger

Fell in some ... shit!
Fell in some ... shit!

1984: The Toxic Avenger (65%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: Direct to Video | Foreign: Direct to Video | Worldwide: Direct to Video

1989: The Toxic Avenger, Part II (0%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $792,966 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $792,966

1989: The Toxic Avenger, Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie (0%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $363,561 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $363,561

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (excl. Citizen Toxie):
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $1,156,527 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $1,156,527
Rotten Tomatoes average: 22.7% (heavily bolstered by Citizen Toxie)

_______________________________________________________________________________

2001: Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV (67%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: Direct to Video | Foreign: Direct to Video | Worldwide: Direct to Video

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (incl. Citizen Toxie):
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $1,156,527 | Foreign: $0 | Worldwide: $1,156,527
Rotten Tomatoes average: 33.5% (heavily bolstered by Citizen Toxie)

_______________________________________________________________________________

Another Trilogy (+1). I didn't even bother to watch this one and have no idea what it's about, but it did sell and it did make a trilogy then had an addendum movie to finish out the story. It barely made $1MM worldwide.

They are coming out with a third entry... seriously
They are coming out with a third entry... seriously

NN) Despicable Me / Minions

Evil Genius... attacking evil.  He loves the girls!
Evil Genius... attacking evil. He loves the girls!

2010: Despicable Me (81%)
Budget: $140,000,000
Domestic: $251,513,985 | Foreign: $291,600,000 | Worldwide: $543,113,985

2013: Despicable Me 2 (75%)
Budget: $170,000,000
Domestic: $368,061,265 | Foreign: $602,000,000 | Worldwide: $970,761,885

2017: Despicable Me 3 (n/a)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: n/a | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: n/a

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (2 movies):
Budget: $310,000,000
Domestic: $619,575,250 | Foreign: $893,600,000 | Worldwide: $1,513,175,250
Rotten Tomatoes average: 78.0% (excl. Minions)

_______________________________________________________________________________

2015: Minions (n/a)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: n/a | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: n/a

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (incl. Minions):
Budget: $310,000,000
Domestic: $619,575,250 | Foreign: $893,600,000 | Worldwide: $1,513,175,250
Rotten Tomatoes average: 78.0% (incl. Minions)

_______________________________________________________________________________

A winner in every way imaginable. The two Despicable Me movies were awesome - they were inspired, they were masterfully done, and, when it was all said and done, they just made you feel good.

There a new Despicable Me movie scheduled for 2017, but, in the mean time, we get an addendum (+1) feature with just the Minions coming out this year!

OO) Marvel's Captain America

A man of the Ages...
A man of the Ages...

2011: Captain America: The First Avenger (79%)
Budget: $140,000,000
Domestic: $176,654,505 | Foreign: $193,915,269 | Worldwide: $370,569,774

2014: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (89%)
Budget: $170,000,000
Domestic: $259,766,572 | Foreign: $455,000,000 | Worldwide: $714,766,572

2016: Captain America: Civil War (n/a)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: n/a | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: n/a

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (2 movies):
Budget: $310,000,000
Domestic: $436,421,077 | Foreign: $648,915,269 | Worldwide: $1,085,336,346
Rotten Tomatoes average: 76.0% (excl. Civil War)

_______________________________________________________________________________

This one isn't yet a trilogy, but the 3rd offering in the set is currently in pre-production and the story line has been released.

If Civil War is anywhere near as good as the first two movies (and, anticipation is that it should be even better), it will catapult this set well up in my rankings.

Uniquely, the first was a "period piece" war movie taking place in the 1940s World War II. The second was an action political/spy thriller taking place many years later after Cap (Steve Rogers) is restored from suspended animation / deep freeze after he was found floating in an iceberg in the North Atlantic decades after he had crashed there and was presumed dead.

The first was excellently done (and spun off a popular 8-part mini-series: Marvel's Agent Carter - which is rumored to be considered for a second (full) season). The second was on par with the James Bond: Skyfall movie for thrill and action. The second movie in the set has completely redefine the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. It signaled the collapse and redefining of S.H.I.E.L.D. (currently ongoing in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC-TV series).

The allowance for a "hero's" feeling of being lost and out of place... when his world has been moved by 70-odd years... was an excellent touch and confirmed the hero's humanity.

PP) X-Men (First Class)

A Re-imagining of an Entire Generation of Mutants
A Re-imagining of an Entire Generation of Mutants

2011: X-Men: First Class (87%)
Budget: $160,000,000
Domestic: $146,408,305 | Foreign: $207,215,819 | Worldwide: $353,624,124

2014: X-Men: Days of Future Past (91%)
Budget: $200,000,000
Domestic: $233,921,534 | Foreign: $514,200,000 | Worldwide: $748,121,534

2015: X-Men: Apocalypse (n/a)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: n/a | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: n/a

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals:
Budget: $360,000,000
Domestic: $380,329,839 | Foreign: $721,415,819 | Worldwide: $1,101,745,658
Rotten Tomatoes average: 89.0% (2 movies only)

_______________________________________________________________________________

Bringing Brian Singer back to direct the franchise was a stroke of genius by Fox. He trashed the garbage that his franchise had become and retooled it through retroactively constituting (retconning) the series by enacting changes in the historical timeline then keeping the franchise focused on those younger characters. A brilliant maneuver that has resurrected the entire X-Men concept. And, the new actors (Michael Fassbender as Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr; James McAvoy as Professor X/Charles Xavier; while keeping Hugh Jackman as the immortal Wolverine) were perfectly cast and created an extremely believable "past era" for the characters.

The second movie was worth watching just for the treatment of Quicksilver in the "escape" scene where his faster-than-sight skills were superbly enacted. The fact it was an excellent show all around made it even better and, if Apocalypse is as good as the first two, this one will move well into my Top Ten.

QQ) Marvel's Thor

Gods 'n such... aliens!
Gods 'n such... aliens!

2011: Thor (77%)
Budget: $150,000,000
Domestic: $181,030,624 | Foreign: $268,409,370 | Worldwide: $449,439,994

2013: Thor: The Dark World (66%)
Budget: $170,000,000
Domestic: $206,321,198 | Foreign: $438,461,942 | Worldwide: $644,783,140

2017: Thor: Ragnarok (n/a)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: n/a | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: n/a

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (2 movies):
Budget: $320,000,000
Domestic: $387,351,822 | Foreign: $706,871,312 | Worldwide: $1,094,223,134
Rotten Tomatoes average: 71.5% (2 movies)

_______________________________________________________________________________

Still waiting on the 3rd movie, but it's been announced and we know, in general, what it will be about.

Yet another billion dollars (plus) marketing bonanza for Marvel. It stars the world's (current) most beautiful man (Chris Hemsworth) and graces us with the presence of "gods" (actually, aliens who live 5,000 +/- years and occasionally drop in to visit). The series features one of the most entrapting villains ever in Thor's step-brother, Loki.

RR) Ghostbusters

♪♫ Where have all the ♫ oldguys ♫♪ gone? ♪♫
♪♫ Where have all the ♫ oldguys ♫♪ gone? ♪♫

1984: Ghostbusters (97%)
Budget: $30,000,000
Domestic: $242,212,467 | Foreign: $53,000,000 | Worldwide: $295,212,467

1989: Ghostbusters II (51%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $112,494,738 | Foreign: $102,900,000 | Worldwide: $215,394,738

2016: Ghostbusters III (n/a)

* There is no numbers, yet, for Ghostbusters 3 as it is in the early stages of pre-production. The original stars (one of whom is already dead himself) are being supplanted in the story line by 4 women who will take up the mantle from the guys who created the occupation in the first place. It's not a reboot - it's a passing of the ectoplasm within the time line originally established in the first two movies.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (excl III):
Budget: $30,000,000
(no info on second movie)
Domestic: $354,707,205 | Foreign: $155,900,000 | Worldwide: $510,607,205
Rotten Tomatoes average: 74% (first two only)

_______________________________________________________________________________

Like the Star Wars Sequel Series, this one isn't yet a trilogy, but it appears that it will be. The studio has announced the four female leads (Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon) who will be taking the place of the original Ghostbusters in, technically, a reboot of the franchise. But, it appears, rather than a reboot, it will be a new generation hand-down of the franchise to these four women who will take on the job of busting ghosts. The script is completed. It looks like, unlike the cancelled original GB3, this one will actually get off the ground.

Ghostbusters was an iconic gurgle of hilarity and fun that the entire family probably saw more than once. GB2 ... maybe not. But, it was fun, too, just not so much and pretty much just rehashed concepts originally conceived in the first movie.

SS) How to Train Your Dragon

First... you gotta have a Dragon!
First... you gotta have a Dragon!

2010: How to Train Your Dragon (98%)
Budget: $165,000,000
Domestic: $217,581,231 | Foreign: $277,297,528 | Worldwide: $494,878,759

2014: How to Train Your Dragon II (92%)
Budget: $145,000,000
Domestic: $176,834,091 | Foreign: $441,907,011 | Worldwide: $618,741,102

2018: How to Train Your Dragon III (n/a)

* There is no numbers, yet, for the third iteration of the How to Train Your Dragon as it is in the early stages of pre-production.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (excl. III):
Budget: $310,000,000
Domestic: $394,415,322 | Foreign: $719,204,539 | Worldwide: $1,113,619,861
Rotten Tomatoes average: 95% (first two only)

_______________________________________________________________________________

This one also isn't yet a trilogy, but an announcement has been made that a third movie will be added to the set plus, it has a Release Date (2018).

TT) Star Trek (reboot)

To boldly go where the old guys have already been
To boldly go where the old guys have already been

2009: Star Trek: The New Beginning (95%)
Budget: $140,000,000
Domestic: $257,730,019 | Foreign: $127,950,427 | Worldwide: $385,680,446

2013: Star Trek: Into Darkness (87%)
Budget: $190,000,000
Domestic: $228,778,661 | Foreign: $238,200,000 | Worldwide: $466,978,661

2015: Star Trek: tbd (n/a)

* There is no numbers, yet, for the third iteration of the Star Trek reboot movies as it is in the later stages of post-production and due to be released this year.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (excl #3):
Budget: $185,000,000
Domestic: $486,708,680 | Foreign: $366,150,427 | Worldwide: $852,659,107
Rotten Tomatoes average: 91% (first two only)

_______________________________________________________________________________

This one also isn't yet a trilogy, but the third movie of the set is in post-production (although, we still don't have a name for it, yet) and scheduled for release this year. Thanks to Marcel Bertolucci & Chris Kelley for pointing this out.

This series, although harkening back to the Original Series as a reboot, is outstanding. It is so much better than the I-VI Original Series set, both in acting and in overall production, that it has literally taken over the franchise. Once the third movie is released, this set will sail, depending on how good this third movie is, well up towards the Top Ten.

Although, I loved the Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation, I'm afraid the franchise was about to die had they not decided to reboot the entire thing this way. I'm very happy they did as losing that franchise would have been a loss for all the space opera loving movie-going public.

UU) Percy Jackson & The Olympians

Son of Poseidon and his demi-god friends...
Son of Poseidon and his demi-god friends...

2010: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (49%)
Budget: $95,000,000
Domestic: $88,768,303 | Foreign: $137,728,906 | Worldwide: $226,497,209

2013: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (41%)
Budget: $90,000,000
Domestic: $68,559,554 | Foreign: $131,290,761 | Worldwide: $199,850,315

unsc: Percy Jackson: The Titan's Curse (n/a)

* There is no numbers, yet, for the third iteration of the Percy Jackson movies as it is in the early stages of pre-production.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (excl. Titan's Curse):
Budget: $185,000,000
Domestic: $157,327,857 | Foreign: $269,019,019,667 | Worldwide: $426,347,524
Rotten Tomatoes average: 45% (first two only)

_______________________________________________________________________________

This one also isn't yet a trilogy, but an announcement has been made that a third movie will be added to the set.

I loved the first one. Are you kidding me? Pierce Brosnan as Chiron (in the first movie - he was replaced by Anthony Head in the second - which was a let down as Pierce was so dashing and elegant as a centaur!) Then, you get Firefly & Castle's own Nathan Fillion as Hermes/Mercury in the second? That was awesome. What a geek!

The second wasn't as good as the first; although, I really liked the story line. The direction just seemed a little less tight and the action wasn't as brisk as it was in the first movie. Maybe they can fix that in the third.

VV) xXx

Diesel wants a third xXx... But, not for Ice Cube.
Diesel wants a third xXx... But, not for Ice Cube.

2009: xXx (48%)
Budget: $70,000,000
Domestic: $142,109,382 | Foreign: $135,339,000 | Worldwide: $277,448,382

2013: xXx: State of the Union (16%)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: $26,873,932 | Foreign: $44,148,761 | Worldwide: $71,022,693

unsc: xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (n/a)

* There is no numbers, yet, for the third iteration of xXx movie as it has not yet been confirmed or announced, but Vin wants it!
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (first 2):
Budget: $70,000,000 (no info on the second film)
Domestic: $168,983,314 | Foreign: $179,487,761 | Worldwide: $348,471,075
Rotten Tomatoes average: 32% (first two only)

_______________________________________________________________________________

The first movie focused more on extreme sports as Vin Diesel's character, Xander Cage, was a professional athlete who is "extremely" capable in a fight.

The second one, inexplicably, featured Ice Cube as the lead character, Darius Stone. The tone of the movie was completely different as there was no sports theme, the music was hip hop instead of rock and Lee Tamahori directed instead of Rob Cohen (although, Cohen did stay on as executive producer). It was a massive bomb at the box office and with critics. I liked it, but probably wouldn't have spent money to have gone to see it.

This one also isn't yet a trilogy - and, may not become a trilogy... The only announcement that has been made has been on Vin Diesel's Facebook page and it includes a xXx logo and picture of him with the car. Diesel has stated that the script is complete and they should enter the pre-production phase soon.

WW) G.I. Joe

For Country... Forever!
For Country... Forever!

2009: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (35%)
Budget: $175,000,000
Domestic: $150,201,498 | Foreign: $152,267,519 | Worldwide: $302,543,074

2013: G.I. Joe: Retaliation (28%)
Budget: $130,000,000
Domestic: $122,523,060 | Foreign: $253,217,645 | Worldwide: $375,740,705

2016: G.I. Joe: tbd (n/a)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: n/a | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: n/a

* There is no numbers, yet, for the third iteration of the G.I. Joe movies as it is in the early stages of pre-production.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (excl. the crossover):
Budget: $305,000,000
Domestic: $272,724,558 | Foreign: $405,485,154 | Worldwide: $678,209,722
Rotten Tomatoes average: 31.5% (first two only)

_______________________________________________________________________________

unsc: G.I. Joe / Transformers crossover event! (n/a)

* There is no numbers, yet, for the crossover event for the G.I. Joe & Transformer movies as it is in the early stages of pre-production.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (incl. the crossover):
Budget: $305,000,000
Domestic: $272,724,558 | Foreign: $405,485,154 | Worldwide: $678,209,722
Rotten Tomatoes average: 31.5% (first two only)

_______________________________________________________________________________

This one also isn't yet a trilogy, but an announcement has been made that a third movie is in the works and, even more exciting, there may be an effort made to create a G.I. Joe crossover event with the Transformers!

XX) Star Wars Sequel Series

The Force... Awakens
The Force... Awakens

2015: Episode VII: The Force Awakens (n/a)

2017: Episode VIII: tbd (n/a)

2019: Episode IX: tbd (n/a)

This trilogy can't, yet, be placed because I haven't seen any of them - they haven't been produced. But, it's still George Lucas' concept and it will fit in here, somewhere. Some day.

YY) The Amazing Spiderman

An "Amazing" reboot - gonna miss Gwen, though...
An "Amazing" reboot - gonna miss Gwen, though...

2012: The Amazing Spiderman (73%)
Budget: $230,000,000
Domestic: $262,030,663 | Foreign: $490,185,894 | Worldwide: $752,216,557

2014: The Amazing Spiderman 2 (53%)
Budget: $250,000,000
Domestic: $202,853,933 | Foreign: $506,128,390 | Worldwide: $708,982,323

unsc: The Amazing Spiderman 3 (n/a)

* There is no numbers, yet, for The Amazing Spiderman 3 as Sony hasn't yet produced it (they haven't even decided when they'd like to bring it out as their productions are in a bit of a flux at this time. Hopefully, everything will get sorted out and we'll get to see this one).
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (excl. #3):
Budget: $480,000,000
Domestic: $464,884,596 | Foreign: $996,314,284 | Worldwide: $1,461,198,880
Rotten Tomatoes average: 63% (first two only)

_______________________________________________________________________________

Like the Star Wars Sequel Series, this one isn't yet a trilogy, but it will be. This is a reboot of the original Spiderman trilogy because Sony murdered the original Spiderman trilogy with Spiderman 3.

ZZ) 300

From the abyss... prepare...
From the abyss... prepare...

2007: 300 (60%)
Budget: $65,000,000
Domestic: $210,614,939 | Foreign: $245,453,242 | Worldwide: $456,068,181

2014: 300: Rise of an Empire (42%)
Budget: $110,000,000
Domestic: $106,580,051 | Foreign: $231,000,000 | Worldwide: $337,580,051

unsc: 300: tbd (n/a)
Budget: n/a
Domestic: n/a | Foreign: n/a | Worldwide: n/a

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (2 movies):
Budget: $175,000,000
Domestic: $317,194,990 | Foreign: $476,453,242 | Worldwide: $793,648,232
Rotten Tomatoes average: 51.0% (2 movies)

_______________________________________________________________________________

I'm more of a history buff than most, so a lot of the historical inaccuracies (individual combat techniques, combat tactics, etc.) made it a difficult experience for me.

But, for the sheer magnitude and intensity of the battles and fight scenes, the CGI representation provide a new level of visual realism that couldn't be generated in live action or in animation. Another feather in Dark Horse Comics' hat.

The third movie has been announced, but there is no information on release date or theme.

NA) Batman

Da-da-da-da-da-DA-da-da-da-da-DA-da-da  Batman!
Da-da-da-da-da-DA-da-da-da-da-DA-da-da Batman!

1989: Batman (72%)
Budget: $48,000,000
Domestic: $251,188,924 | Foreign: $160,160,000 | Worldwide: $411,348,924

1992: Batman Returns (81%)
Budget: $80,000,000
Domestic: $162,831,698 | Foreign: $103,990,656 | Worldwide: $266,822,354

1995: Batman Forever (41%)
Budget: $100,000,000
Domestic: $184,031,112 | Foreign: $152,498,732 | Worldwide: $336,529,844

_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (excl. Batman & Robin & Catwoman):
Budget: $228,000,000
Domestic: $598,051,644 | Foreign: $416,649,388 | Worldwide: $1,014,701,122
Rotten Tomatoes average: 64.7% (3 movies)
_______________________________________________________________________________

1997: Batman & Robin (11%)
Budget: $140,000,000
Domestic: $107,325,195 | Foreign: $130,881,927 | Worldwide: $238,207,122

2004: Catwoman (9%)
Budget: $100,000,000
Domestic: $40,202,379 | Foreign: $41,900,000 | Worldwide: $82,102,379
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (only Robin & Catwoman):
Budget: $240,000,000
Domestic: $147,527,574 | Foreign: $172,781,917 | Worldwide: $320,309,501
Rotten Tomatoes average: 10.0% (2 movies)
_______________________________________________________________________________

Totals (incl. Robin & Catwoman):
Budget: $468,000,000
Domestic: $745,579,218 | Foreign: $589,431,305 | Worldwide: $1,335,010,623
Rotten Tomatoes average: 42.8% (5 movies)

_______________________________________________________________________________

I'm still trying to decide if this one belongs as a Trilogy (+2) or if the 4 Batman movies complete a full set while just adding Robin in the 4th. I'm inclined to go with the first 3 then use the other two as addendum movies as they clearly stank up the franchise so badly it had to be completely rebooted.

The three Batman movies were good, enjoyable delights that bear resemblance to the darker, rebooted franchise only by the characters in the story. Christian Bale starred as Batman in the first two, Val Kilmer in the third and George Clooney (nipples and all) crashed and burned in the fourth (Batman & Robin). The entire concept for the fourth movie was such a departure from the first three that I'm listing it as an addendum rather than a worthy member of the franchise.

Oddly, Warner Brothers/DC put more money into the two addenda than the main trilogy yet got so little in return for them that they didn't make any money (Catwoman alone took an $18MM loss). Combined, the two made less than a third (on more investment) than that of the 3 main entries in the trilogy.

NA) Fantastic Four

Will they ever get it right?
Will they ever get it right?

Fox has recently announced a new Fantastic Four movie (their third), but it is a total reboot of the series and bears no resemblance to the first two.

Checking other Rankings...
Checking other Rankings...

Rotten Tomatoes is a website launched in 1998 and devoted to film reviews and news; it is widely known as a film review aggregator. -- Wikipedia

Sorting the above trilogies according to Rotten Tomatoes' rankings (computed as the average of the 3 entries in each trilogy):

99.7% Toy Story
96.7% The Dollars Trilogy (The Man With No Name)
95.0% How to Train Your Dragon [incomplete]
94.0% Lord of the Rings
91.0% Star Trek (reboot series) [incomplete]
90.7% Three Flavours Cornetto
90.3% Mad Max
89.3% Indiana Jones (excl. Crystal Skull)
89.3% Star Wars - The Original Series
89.0% The Dark Knight Trilogy
89.0% X-Men (First Class) [incomplete]
88.7% The Godfather
88.0% Evil Dead / Army of Darkness (Ash's Story)
86.0% The Bourne Conspiracy
85.3% Spiderman
84.3% Star Trek (The Resurrection of Spock Trilogy)
81.3% Marvel's Iron Man
78.0% Despicable Me / Minions [incomplete]
77.7% Back to the Future
77.7% X-Men (elder class)
76.0% Marvel's Captain America [incomplete]
74.3% The Mexico Trilogy
74.0% Ghostbusters [incomplete]
71.5% Marvel's Thor [incomplete]
69.7% The Lion King
68.0% Star Wars Prequel Series
67.0% Men in Black
66.3% X-Men (elder class w/ Origins: Wolverine)
66.0% The Hobbit
65.3% The Matrix
65.7% Batman
63.0% The Amazing Spiderman [incomplete]
48.7% The Santa Clause
48.0% The Chronicles of Riddick
48.0% Darkman
47.0% The Expendables
46.7% Blade
46.7% Hatchet
45.0% Night at the Museum
45.0% Percy Jackson & The Olympians [incomplete]
44.0% The Hangover
39.0% Age of Conan
32.0% xXx
31.5% G.I. Joe [incomplete]
31.0% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
29.7% Taken
26.7% Punisher (as a collection of failures)
22.7% The Toxic Avenger (excl. Citizen Toxie)

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