The 15 Films with the Longest Gap Before Sequels

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | April 17, 2011 |


There were a couple of storylines in this week's box-office numbers. First off, the number one film, Rio, bested expectations to open with $40 million this weekend, the highest grossing opening weekend for an animated feature since Toy Story 3. Rio's box-office tally also helped this week to break the year's slump, the first weekend in quite some time that 2011 outperformed the comparable week in 2010.

Not a lot of thanks is owed to Scream 4 for that, however, as the Wes Craven sequel actually underperformed at the box office this weekend, whimpering beneath the $20 million mark with $19.2 million. That's considerable less than the openings for Scream 2 and Scream 3 (around the $32 million range) and far less than what 2009's Nightmare on Elm Street remake managed ($40 million). Even 2008's Prom Night remake managed $20 million, and it was awful, as opposed to Scream 4, which was merely disappointing in the middle (but bookended by some fun sequences). I don't get it. I don't think you can blame the sequel gap all together, either, as looking over the 15 films with the longest gaps between movies, there's no real pattern to box-office grosses. Some did poorly, and some did better than the originals. And Scream had only an 11 year gap, which wouldn't even break the top 20.

1. 64 Years. Bambi (1942) --> Bambi II (2006)

2. 46 Years. The Wizard of Oz (1939) --> Return to Oz (1985)

3. 32 Years. Scenes from a Marriage (1973) --> Saraband (2005)

4. 31 Years. The Birds (1963) -- > The Birds II: Land's End (1994)

5. 28 Years. TRON (1982) --> TRON: Legacy (2010)

6. 25 Years. Hustler (1961) --> The Color of Money (1986)

7. 25 Years. Herbie Goes Bananas (1980) --> Herbie Fully Loaded (2005)

8. 23 Years. Psycho (1960) --> Psycho II (1983)

9. 23 Years. Wall Street (1987) --> Wall Street 2 (2010)

10. 20 Years. Day of the Dead (1985) --> Land of the Dead (2005)

11. 20 Years. Rambo III (1988) -- > Rambo (2008)

12. 19 Years. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) --> Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

13. 19 Years. The Last Picture Show (1971) -- > Texasville (1990)

14. 16 Years. Chinatown (1974) --> The Two Jakes (1990)

15. 16 Years. The Godfather II (1974) -- > The Godfather III (1990)

So it goes. Meanwhile, Hop had a fairly steep drop of 47 percent thanks the release of the demo-competitive Rio, but it still managed third place this weekend with $11 million. Soul Surfer held remarkably well, adding another $7 million, and in fifth place, Hanna added another $7 million to bring its total to $23 million after two weeks. Meanwhile, the other two openings this weekend, Robert Redford's The Conspirator ($3.9 million) and Atlas Shrugged ($1.6 million) performed better than expected. Reviews of both will be up this week.

And while I'm here, I noticed that Win Win is now making its way into tertiary markets -- those of you out in mid-sized cities, I encourage you to seek it out. I'm not going to say it's the best film of 2011 so far, but it's the best film of 2011 so far.

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