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When a movie comes out that is commercially successful, the only logical thing for the filmakers to do is to make a continuation of the movie. The sequel is usually just as good or in many cases even better than first movie. Then priding on their success, the filmakers decide to make a third entry in this successful series, the third entry usually falls flat and there are many examples: The Godfather, X-men, Aliens, Superman, Batman (1990s), Jurassic Park, Jaws, Pirates of The Caribbean, and the list goes on..., one question is, can you make a good threequel? Only in a few cases including: LOTR, Star Wars (prequel trilogy), Harry Potter and a few others have even been as good as the previous entries. The problem with many of the bad threequels is that there really doesn't ever need a threequel to keep the series great, the money hungry executives will throw together a seemingly good movie through advertising (he needs to save the world...again) which ultimately makes the movie successful but the quality of the movie falls through the floor, there are several factors of a threequel that are usually present that you may want to look for so you can avoid these travesties.
1. Different Director. - Most good directors will only do two movies for the series and then want to move on to something else. The studio is then forced to pick some washed up loser or a newcomer to take another director's artistic direction and ruin the previous movies with their own ideas that make loyal fans disappointed with something unfamiliar. The same director can also be a problem, we will see a guy basically running out of ideas and we see him cry out for something new through how bad the movie he made is.
2.Different Actors. - One of my favorite parts about movie series, are the same characters coming back for another adventure. Actors (like the directors) do not want to keep doing the same movies over and over again. The producers, will just find whoever they can to fill the roles of the actors that fans are accustomed to. We find the characters in what seemed to be a familiar movie to be complete strangers and we ask "who are those people?" and "I thought this was the latest ... movie" this costs the film the magic that the first entries seemed to capture
What i can ask of the movie companies is this: no more cash-cow threequels, fourquels, or any other "quel"! please i think i can speak for most movie lovers when i say these things. All i can hope is that Batman (2000s), Hellboy, Star Trek, and all other hopefuls don't fall down the path of the threequel's terrible and haunting past.