In their 2011 movie preview, Boxoffice Mojo counted 27 sequels that will be released in 2011, a new record, topping the 24 released in 2004 (19 were released in 2010). It should be a great year for studios, movie blogs, fast-food chains with movie tie-ins, and the film industry as a whole. The only people really getting screwed in this equation are the moviegoers.
The average moviegoer watches sequels. She’s about 150 times more likely to watch a sequel than an original Sundance hit. We watch because the marketing hype commands it. We watch because many of us want to have an informed opinion on even the worst movies, if those movies are going to be part of a conversation. We watch because of the world’s collective herd mentality. Because more times than not, the more exposure we have to a movie, the more likely we’re going to see it. It’s statistics, man. Many of you may be exceptions, but you’re outliers. It’s not going to affect the statistics.
I’m going to see all of these, with the exception of the kid’s movies, because it’s my job to know about these things. If it weren’t my job, I know myself well enough to know that I’d see about 13 of the 27, and probably be disappointed in over half that I did watch. Maybe 14, because I’m just masochistic enough to watch Johnny English Reborn of my own free volition. How many am I actually looking forward to this year? Honestly? Five. Piranha 3DD because the first was one of the most enjoyable experiences I had in a theater in 2010; Sherlock Holmes because, even if it doesn’t measure up to the British series, that shit is like candy, and now that candy is flavored with Noomi Rapace; Mission Impossible IV, but only because of Jeremy Renner; X-Men: First Class because, even though I’m not a comic-book guy, I think Matthew Vaughn is a brilliant goddamn director; and The Muppets because they are The Muppets.
How about the rest of you? How many are you honestly truly excited about seeing in 2011?
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules
The Hangover Part II
Happy Feet 2
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
Johnny English Reborn
Kung Fu Panda 2
Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
Madea’s Big Happy Family
Paranormal Activity 3
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part One)
Final Destination 5
Puss in Boots
X-Men: First Class
Winnie the Pooh
Rise of the Apes
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two