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Ranking Franchises

Worst to Best

By Alexandrea CallaghanPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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While not every film needs to be a franchise there are some incredible stories that simply require it. Franchises do several things in terms of recognizability, obviously more films generally equals more money but generally speaking it also means more fleshed out content. Now for the purposes of this list we are defining a franchise as any IP with three films or more. We will be ranking them in terms of quality and I will not be taking notes. I will not be including the MCU for reasons of I want to keep this list to franchises that have 1 continuous story, though the MCU has a level of interconnectivity it most certainly does not do that.

We are going to start at the bottom…which doesn’t mean bad by the way, it just means that they maybe should have stopped a minute ago. Star Wars. Yes I am so sorry but this is going on the bottom for several reasons. The most obvious being the sequel trilogy and the complete disregard for extended canon that already existed, but even the original series (as fun as it was) was just a melting pot of other people’s stories. Star Wars is just a poorly written Dune with laser swords and I’m sorry but the laser swords aren’t good enough to change that.

Moving kind of forward we have The Pirates of the Caribbean. The last movie was super terrible but the original trilogy holds up very well. The CGI is great and the chemistry between Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly is unmatched. But that last film AND the promise of more movies really drags it down here.

Next up we have the Hunger Games. One of the best written book series and a relatively faithful adaptation, however the casting left something to be desired. Though this set of films is very good and its commentary is clear and necessary I think some other franchises on this list are just a little better executed.

That brings us to Indiana Jones. Though there was a major misstep with the fourth movie, and there were mixed feelings about the 5th, I don’t think there is any argument about Harrison Ford’s work or the iconic nature of this series.

In the second spot we have Harry Potter, a film franchise so iconic that in the marketing for its final film there were no words on the poster, only a date. The films managed to save the story from the poor writing of the books and turn mediocre children’s fiction into one of the most recognized franchises of all time. Harry Potter literally defined a generation and there is no denying it's influence and impact.

And last but not least, we of course have Lord of the Rings. Unmistakenly, undeniably, and undebatable the best franchise of all time. I really don’t anticipate any arguments here but if you disagree you should reevaluate your life choices and priorities. Lord of the Rings is the only genre franchise to win more than a single Oscar and Return of the King remains one of the most nominated movies of all time. Its quality level is so far above anything else on this list it's not even close.

I love franchises, it gives me something to dive into, to binge watch. As someone who grew up on Harry Potter and grew up again through college with Lord of the Rings, fantasy franchises are super important to me. I really think they show the skill and magic of film more than any other genre ever could. And though franchises can be a great way to tell an epic story, filmmakers should really ask themselves whether or not it is actually necessary for their story to be a franchise. Because more often than not the answer is no.

pop culturemovielistentertainment
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About the Creator

Alexandrea Callaghan

Certified nerd, super geek and very proud fangirl.

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