How 'Avengers: Endgame' Capped a Decade of Change for Theaters

Hollywood Experts’ Predictions for 2020: Netflix Gets Acquired, Apple TV+ Flops

 

Another year gone by, which means it’s time to look back at a year of Hollywood franchises – and ahead to what’s to come. Disney, as expected, cleaned house in 2019. But what about the rest? Which franchises will get sequels and which will fall by the wayside?

  • The Finales:   Some sequels did not have designs to set up another sequel, but rather to provide closure and cash in on years of building fandom. Universal was successful in this endeavor early in the year with “Glass” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.” But the big finale of the year was, of course, “Avengers: Endgame,” the new box office king.  SEQUEL?: No, but don’t be surprised if Toothless and Iron Man return in several years for a revival attempt.

    Marvel Studios

  • “The Lego Movie 2” ($105 million domestic/ $191 million global):   Five years ago, it was considered a big dang travesty that “The Lego Movie” didn’t get an Oscar nomination. But after two spinoffs and a long wait, this sequel made less than half what the first film did. Now the rights to make movies about Legos is on the verge of shifting over to Universal.  SEQUEL?: No. Reboot? More likely.

    Warner Animation Group

  • “Happy Death Day 2U” ($28M / $64M):   This slasher film embraced the ridiculousness of its premise for a much more humorous sequel. Audiences did not show up as much as hoped, but director Christopher B. Landon has said that he’s got an outline for a third film in case Jason Blum ever makes the call.  SEQUEL?: Unlikely

    Blumhouse

  • “Alita: Battle Angel” ($85M / $402M):   Good news? Robert Rodriguez made the next big cult sci-fi film. The bad news? “Alita: Battle Angel” was a domestic flop at the box office, and it’s unlikely that a Disney-owned Fox will plunk down the cash for a sequel. Maybe an animated series on Disney+ someday?  SEQUEL: Unlikely

    20th Century Fox

  • “Captain Marvel” ($426M / $1.12B):   While not as well received among fans as some other films debuting Marvel superheroes, “Captain Marvel” was still a big hit worldwide, and her small but dramatic role in the climax of “Endgame” had fans cheering. Brie Larson and Carol Danvers will be a part of the MCU’s future, even if we don’t know exactly when we will next see her.  SEQUEL?: Yes

    Marvel Studios

  • “Spider-Man: Far From Home” ($390M / $1.13B):   The same almost couldn’t be said for Tom Holland’s Spidey, who was nearly kicked out of the MCU after plans between Sony and Disney to renew their partnership fell through. But Peter Parker’s corporate parents made up, and we will get a sequel to Sony’s highest grossing film in studio history.  SEQUEL?: Yes.

    Marvel Studios

  • “Shazam!” ($140M / $364M):   DC’s Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Shazam, was a moderately budgeted co-production between Warner Bros. and New Line that promised a lighter, funnier film than past DC installments. While “Endgame” curtailed its box office ceiling, it was still a win for Warner Bros., and Zachary Levi will come back for a 2022 sequel.  SEQUEL?: Yes

    New Line

  • “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu” ($144M / $431M):   Warner Bros. also found solid success starting a new franchise with Ryan Reynolds in “Detective Pikachu,” a film that didn’t pass the $500 million mark in the global box office, but it did break the streak of video game movie flops. Producers Legendary Pictures were so confident that they announced a sequel after the trailer came out months before release.  SEQUEL: Yes

    Warner Bros.

  • “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” ($110M / $385M):   This sequel to the 2014 American “Godzilla” adaptation made less than $400 million worldwide. Warner Bros. will bring back the giant monster next year for a showdown with King Kong in Legendary’s MonsterVerse, but the release date was pushed back to November after the earlier film’s disappointing result.  SEQUEL?: Yes

    Warner Bros.

  • “Hellboy” ($22M / $44 M):   This attempt to revive “Hellboy” by replacing Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman with David Harbour and an R rating failed to make back its $50 million budget. The good news for Lionsgate is that it didn’t take a writedown, as it only handled distribution.  SEQUEL?: No

    Lionsgate

  • “John Wick: Chapter 3” ($171M / $325M):   Good news for Lionsgate: They have a franchise again with the “John Wick” series, which is making more at the box office with each successive installment. A fourth chapter is coming in 2021, and a spinoff is in the works as well.  SEQUEL?: Yes

    Lionsgate

  • “Dark Phoenix” ($65M / $243M):   Fox’s “X-Men” series ended not with a bang but with a whimper, bombing so badly that it was pinned as the main reason why Fox reported a nine-digit operational loss during its first financial quarter under Disney ownership. The delayed “New Mutants” spinoff is coming next year, but the next time you see the X-Men will be in the MCU. This version is finished.  SEQUEL? No

    20th Century Fox

  • “The Secret Life of Pets 2” ($158M / $429M):   When you hit home runs all the time, a base hit feels like a disappointment. The “Secret Life of Pets” sequel was profitable for Universal, but well-below the $875 million worldwide success enjoyed by Illumination for its predecessor. There probably won’t be a third “Pets” film, but with a “Minions” sequel on the horizon, Illumination has more than enough on its plate.  SEQUEL?: Unlikely

    Illumination

  • Disney Remakes:   They may provoke a whole lot of internet grumbling, but the remakes of “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” matched the global total of “Endgame” with $2.72 billion grossed worldwide between them. “Dumbo” was less successful with just $353 million grossed globally, but that can be chalked up to less nostalgia for the 1941 film on which it was based. Expect “Mulan” to keep the gravy train going.  SEQUEL?: Remakes. Remakes everywhere.

    Disney

  • “MIB: International” ($80M / $253M):   Oh, yeah, this came out, didn’t it? It’s easy to forget that Sony attempted to revive “Men in Black” without Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, but audiences had little interest, and this spinoff came and went with little fanfare. With Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson committed to another “Thor” film, this isn’t coming back.  SEQUEL?: No

    Sony

  • “Toy Story 4” ($434M / $1.07B):   Another year, another big win for Pixar. This feels like the end of the “Toy Story,” with Woody parting ways with his buddies… but that’s what we thought about “Toy Story 3,” right? For now, Pixar will shift focus to original films like “Onward” and “Soul” while continuing “Toy Story” through shorts on Disney+.  SEQUEL?: Maybe

    Pixar

  • “Hobbs & Shaw” ($173M/ $758M):   Universal wasn’t counting on this “Fast & Furious” spinoff making a billion like a movie featuring Dominic Toretto would. So, with that in mind, this film was a solid success, and you can expect Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham to return now that “Hobbs & Shaw” has established itself in the minds of summer moviegoers.  SEQUEL?: Likely

    Universal

  • Animated busts:   Several attempts to launch new family-friendly franchises didn’t pan out. While “The Angry Birds Movie” did OK in 2017, its sequel made less than half the original’s global total with $146 million. STX’s two animated films, the co-produced “UglyDolls” and acquired “Playmobil: The Movie,” were dead on arrival as well.

    STX

  • Stephen King films:   Though they came from different studios, there was plenty of King to be had for horror fans this year. “It: Chapter Two,” while not beating the first “It”’s horror box office record, became a success for Warner Bros. with $472 million grossed, while the vicious “Pet Sematary” grossed $112 million for Paramount. On the other hand, “Doctor Sleep” was a bust with just $70 million worldwide. But lack of interest in a “Shining” sequel won’t stop studios from mining King’s work for more adaptations.  SEQUEL?: More adaptations.

    New Line

  • “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” ($112M/ $487M):   The sequel for Angelina Jolie’s 2014 subversion of “Sleeping Beauty” took in most of its $484 million haul from overseas, but it still turned a profit for Disney. A third film has not been confirmed and wouldn’t necessarily be a hit with the way grosses dropped from the first film, but it’s up to Alan Horn and Angelina Jolie if they want to go for it.  SEQUEL?: Unlikely

    Disney

  • “Terminator: Dark Fate” ($62M / $260M):   This is the most high-profile bomb of the year. Whether it was backlash to John Connor being offed or general apathy towards the “Terminator” series, “Dark Fate” has failed to even pass $300 million worldwide. If the return of Linda Hamilton couldn’t get fans to come, what will?  SEQUEL?: Unlikely

    Paramount

  • “Frozen II” ($372M / $1.03B):   It hit $1 billion. Of course it hit $1 billion. Anna and Elsa’s arrival kicked off a new golden era of CGI filmmaking for Walt Disney Animation, and their return was met by millions of eager kids and the parents who bought them dolls in the image of the two sisters. It’s up to new WDAS creative head Jennifer Lee if she wants to make a third film or just stick to “Frozen” shorts for Disney+. Either way, kids will have plenty of Arendelle in their future.  SEQUEL?: Maybe

    Disney

  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” ($373.5M global opening):   As of writing, the box office fate of Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams’ Skywalker Saga finale is up in the air. A billion dollars is expected, but the exact performance of this much-scrutinized movie could determine the theatrical future of “Star Wars,” which won’t return to cinemas until 2022 for a new trilogy.

    Lucasfilm

  • Expect more Spidey and Shazam and less Hellboy and Alita

     

    Another year gone by, which means it’s time to look back at a year of Hollywood franchises – and ahead to what’s to come. Disney, as expected, cleaned house in 2019. But what about the rest? Which franchises will get sequels and which will fall by the wayside?

    Jeremy Fuster