The Most Successful Sequels Ever

Almost everyone’s heard of Twilight- a series of books turned films about teenagers and vampires who fall in love but can’t stay out of trouble.

The first film was released last year to generally mixed reviews, but the book’s fan base was strong enough to rake in a total of just under $200 million in U.S. box offices.

Solid numbers, but still not as much as any of the movies from notable series like Harry Potter, Spiderman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek, and Star Wars.

Those films are obvious heavyweights, but Yahoo Movies says that the Twilight sequel, New Moon, “will be leaps and bounds better than its predecessor.”

The lead characters, “R. Patz” and “K. Stew,” have become pop culture and tabloid icons. Vampire television shows have also found success with their obvious copycat of the Twilight storyline. Factor in how this movie could be “the ultimate date-night movie” according to Fandango, and you have the recipe for a much more successful sequel.

Remember, even though fans frequently moan and groan about sequels, there’s a reason Hollywood loves them. You’ve got a proven franchise, and the chance to make A TON of money.

In this slideshow, we do some maths to give you the top 10 sequels in U.S. box office history. Our calculations are determined by how much more the sequel made than the first film, with all numbers adjusted for inflation in 2009 dollars.

CLICK HERE FOR THE TOP 10 SEQUELS >>>

10. Lethal Weapon 2 (106.88%)

  • Lethal Weapon: $123,967,591
  • Lethal Weapon 2: $256,470,132
  • 1989's sequel to Lethal Weapon turned 'Riggs and Murtaugh' into a household name.

9. Highlander II: The Quickening (112.17%)

  • Highlander: $11,626,069
  • Highlander II: The Quickening: $24,667,307
  • The first Highlander didn't do too well in the U.S., but its VHS gained popularity and became a cult classic.

8. Evil Dead 2 (116.38%)

  • The Evil Dead: $5,204,072
  • Evil Dead 2: $11,260,5102
  • Another cult classic, Evil Dead 2 and its predecessor gained a huge following despite their 'X' ratings in theatres (now known as NC-17).

7. The Road Warrior (130.97%)

  • Mad Max: $22,933,601
  • The Road Warrior: $52,969,266
  • A pre- Lethal Weapon Mel Gibson gets the lead role of Max after he shows up to auditions with a bruised face and broken jawline stemming from a drunken fight the night before.

6. The Dark Knight (135.6%)

  • Batman Begins: $227,075,737
  • The Dark Knight: $534,995,155
  • There was no doubt that this movie would do well in the box office, but did anyone expect it to earn over $1 billion worldwide and finish only behind Titanic in domestic box-office sales?

5. Rambo: First Blood Part 2 (185.72%)

  • First Blood: $105,663,456
  • Rambo: First Blood Part II: $301,905,853
  • The second Rambo did so well that President Ronald Reagan praised Sylvester Stallone for his portrayal of Rambo 'as a symbol of the U.S. army.'

4. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (268.38%)

  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery: $72,506,360
  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: $267,096,460
  • SNL. Wayne's World. Austin Powers. Mike Myers sure likes his series.

3. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (307.24%)

  • The Terminator: $79,759,286
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day: $324,815,074
  • The future 'Governator' becomes the good guy in this James Cameron film that defines Arnold Schwarzenegger's Hollywood career.

2. Clerks 2 (463.34%)

  • Clerks: $4,592,081
  • Clerks 2: $25,869,217
  • Despite its lack of distribution, Clerks gained strong cult status with the sequel reaping the benefits of the first film's popularity despite being released 12 years later.

1. Desperado (1080.28%)

  • El Mariachi: $3,050,349
  • Desperado: $36,002,549
  • Robert Rodriguez's first full-length film, El Mariachi, was released in only 88 theatres. His second instalment in the 'Mexico Trilogy' was played in 2,000+ theatres and kickstarted his movie career.

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