The 10 Shortest Gaps Between Sequels
After the success of Scream 5, Scream 6 was unsurprisingly fast-tracked into development, but now it’s coming even sooner than originally scheduled, as the release date has been changed to March 10. That’s less than 14 months after Scream 5, and it’s a surprisingly quick turnaround for a studio movie.
However, studios have released sequels in quick succession before, whether to capitalize on the popularity or because the films were shot back to back. Between several adaptations of YA novels and a 2022 horror franchise, fans haven’t been able to catch a breath between these releases. And one studio released a sequel on the same day as the original movie.
The Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) – 301 Days
The Pirates of the Caribbean series doesn’t have the best reputation at this point, especially as there are now worse than good Pirates movies. However, even though At World’s End was a rather tepid conclusion to the original trilogy, there’s no denying its ambition and its epic scale can only be marveled at.
Between the huge battles at sea and the seamless mix of digital and practical effects (tons of miniatures were used for the action scenes), its spectacle is irrefutable. And that’s even more impressive given that it was released barely more than 10 months after its predecessor, Dead Man’s Chest. While it might be relatively easy to direct a couple of slasher flicks within a small amount of time, two blockbuster movies from the same director is a huge achievement.
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011) – 238 Days
So many adaptions based on YA novels have split the final book into two movies, and that trend started with the Harry Potter series. Even though Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the shortest book in the series, making two movies out of it essentially doubled the box office gross, and it was an inevitability that other studios would follow suit.
However, it hasn’t been achieved half as well in the time since, as not only did the two movies make a combined gross of $2.3 billion (via Box Office Mojo), but there was impressively only a seven-month turnover too. It was the perfect amount of time between the releases, as it wasn’t too long after Part 1, so the hype didn’t die down, but it wasn’t immediately after either, so it built excitement at the same time.
Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984) – 229 Days
Most people might not have heard of Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, the sequel to the breakdance movie Breakin‘, but many will recognize the name. “Electric Boogaloo” has been parodied to death, with many jokingly naming their dream sequels to their favorite films after the 1984 film. And it was famously the subtitle of one of the best It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episodes.
Both movies were impressively released in the same year, with Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo becoming something of an unlikely Christmas movie with a December 19 release date. And, ironically, while the original Breakin‘ made double its sequel at the box office and is much more well-received, people will only know the series for the sequel’s title.
Twilight: Eclipse (2010) – 222 Days
In the late 2000s and early 2010s, adaptations of young adult novels cluttered the box office, and that was mostly based on the overwhelming success of the Harry Potter series. And Summit Entertainment wasted absolutely no time capitalizing on the YA novel series that they had acquired.
There was only a year between the first two Twilight movies, but the studio doubled down and managed to get out the threequel, Twilight: Eclipse, in almost half the time. However, the quick turnaround might have damaged the movie’s box office potential, as the film only made $698 million (via Box Office Mojo), making it the lowest-grossing Twilight movie after the first film. That could be chalked up to Twilight fatigue.
Kill Bill Volume 2 (2004) – 189 Days
While writer-director Quentin Tarantino considers the two movies to be one film, and it was rereleased as the epic four-hour The Whole Bloody Affair, Kill Bill vol. 1 and Kill Bill vol. 2 are very much two different films. The films make up an epic two-part revenge story of a woman left for dead, and in true Tarantino fashion, it’s typically over the top, full of violence, and riddled with pop-culture references.
Shot back to back, the two movies had a small gap between being theatrically released just six months. However, the gap between movies will be balanced out if Tarantino decides to make Kill Bill vol. 3, as it will have been 20 years at least since Vol. 2.
Back To The Future Part III (1990) – 184 Days
Fans had to wait 4.5 years between the first Back to the Future and the sequel, which is an especially long time given that the original movie set up a sequel in the most perfect way possible. However, once Part II finally hit theatres in 1989, fans didn’t have to wait long for a follow-up. The quick turnaround was because Part II and III were shot back to back, and there was only a three-week break between filming.
Not only that, but director Robert Zemeckis would film Part III during the day and go to the editing room to cut Part II together at night. While it surely led to tons of sleepless nights, it’s almost the only way for a single filmmaker to direct, edit, and release two blockbuster movies within six months of each other.
Pearl (2022) – 182 Days
Scream 6 isn’t the only horror movie that has currently gotten fast-tracked into development, as Pearl, the prequel to the terrifying X, followed its predecessor by just six months. Not only that, but a threequel is in development too. Studio A24 must have had so much faith in X, as Pearl was greenlit before the original film’s release and without knowing the audience’s reception.
That’s especially brave given that X wasn’t a part of any existing franchise either. And now, MaXXXine is currently in development, and depending on when it’s released, it could mark the fastest release for an entire trilogy ever.
The Matrix Revolutions (2003) – 174 Days
The Matrix Revolutions was amazingly released within less than six months of The Matrix Reloaded’s release. But if the directors had their way, it would have been even shorter, as the Wachowskis wanted Reloaded and Revolutions to be released just weeks apart. However, these sub-six-months threequels might not be a good idea after all, as almost every example of it happening has been damaging to its box office result.
Both Twilight: Eclipse and Back to the Future Part III are threequels in their respective franchises, and they both underperformed at the box office, and that’s no different with The Matrix Revolutions. The 2003 movie is the most glaring example, as its predecessor made $741 million, and Revolutions made over $300 million less (via Box Office Mojo). But it could as easily be due to the significant drop in quality in the franchise.
Nymphomaniac Volume 2 (2013) – 14 Days
As writer-director Lars von Trier is known for his emotionally exhausting and often very sexually explicit melodramas, he doubled down on those trademarks with Nymphomaniac Volume 1 and 2. In some territories, both parts made up one movie, similar to Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, but given that the whole film is over four hours (and the director’s cut is five hours and 25 minutes), the two parts are better watched separately.
The two films were properly theatrically released in the United States in 2014, and they were released just 14 days apart too. As the project is essentially two films, it makes von Trier’s Depression “Trilogy,” which is also made up of Antichrist and Melancholia, four films.
Che Part 2: Guerrilla (2008) – 0 Days
While director Steven Soderbergh is no stranger to epic, thrilling movies, Che is by far his most epic project to date. The two-part movie follows Che Guevara, who was a revolutionary and a major figure in the Cuban revolution. And though each part had completely different release dates in every territory, the movies’ wide releases were on the same day in the United States, January 24.
It isn’t the first time that Soderbergh has released two movies in one year, and it won’t be the last, as he’s one of the most prolific and hardworking filmmakers working today. And while Che seemed like a daunting project, it was probably a walk in the park for the Ocean’s Eleven director.
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