28 Popular Movies That Are Getting Sequels This Year
This year, more than two dozen movie sequels will hit theaters.
Some of these sequels make sense, including "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2." Others seem less justified, like the coming "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2."
Find out which of your favorite (or least favorite) movies are getting a "Part 2" — or 3, 4, or 5 — this year.
"The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death"
Release Date: Jan. 2
Director: Tom Harper
Stars: Leanne Best, Phoebe Fox, Jeremy Irvine
This sequel was widely panned when it was released in early January. The film undoubtedly suffered from losing the original's leading man, Daniel Radcliffe.
Release Date: Jan. 9
Director: Olivier Megaton
Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace
Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills. In the third installment of this franchise, no one is literally "taken." Instead, the title of the film takes a darker turn as Mills is framed for murdering his ex-wife (Janssen) and goes on a quest to find her actual killer. Despite poor reviews, the film had one of the biggest January opening weekends.
"Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out Of Water"
Release Date: Feb. 6
Director: Mike Mitchell and Paul Tibbit
Stars: Tom Kenny ("Spongebob Squarepants"), Antonio Banderas, Seth Green
The sequel takes television's favorite anthropomorphic sponge and throws him onto land in CGI and 3D. Spongebob (voiced by Kenny), goes on a mission to secure a recipe from an evil pirate (Banderas). The previous "Spongebob" movie, a 2D animated adventure, was a hit at the box office; however, that was 10 years ago.
Unlike the first movie, this movie doesn't feature Alec Baldwin and David Hasselhoff in cameo appearances. However, you can expect an appearance from Slash.
"Hot Tub Time Machine 2"
Release Date: Feb. 20
Director: Steve Pink
Stars: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke
The raunchy trio returns to go on another time-traveling adventure, only this time, the titular hot tub catapults them 10 years into the future. The movie was pushed from a 2014 Christmas Day release to February to avoid getting lost among the holiday releases including "The Hobbit" and "Selma." John Cusack, the original movie's leading man, won't be returning.
"The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
Release Date: Feb. 27
Director: John Madden
Stars: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Richard Gere
2011's "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" followed wealthy British retirees who settled down in a hotel in India. The sequel will introduce new guests to the hotel including Richard Gere's character. Critics responded favorably, if not enthusiastically, to the original, largely in part because of the cast of A-listers.
"Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension"
Release Date: March 13
Director: Gregory Plotkin
Stars: Katie Featherston
The sixth installment of the "Paranormal Activity" franchise will once again feature Katie Featherston, who played the lead in the first film and has made cameos in all of the subsequent movies. The pseudo-found-footage movie will continue following the story of a family living in a house in which paranormal activity occurs. The most recent installment, a spin-off of the series, had the franchise's lowest opening weekend.
"The Divergent Series: Insurgent"
Release Date: March 20
Director: Robert Schwentke
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Kate Winslet
Woodley returns as heroine Tris Prior in the next installment of the series, which finds her on the run from a group led by Winslet. The franchise may never be as big as "The Hunger Games"; however, it should still be a big draw. The original movie's first-day ticket sales outranked those of "Twilight."
Release Date: April 3
Director: James Wan
Stars: Vin Diesel, Michelle Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker
The latest installment of "The Fast And The Furious" franchise may have a somber tone following the death of Paul Walker in 2013. Production continued, though, with Walker's two brothers completing his role, which will be retired. The previous film grossed $788.7 million at the box office, and fans will probably want to see Walker's final performance.
"Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2"
Release Date: April 17
Director: Andy Fickman
Stars: Kevin James, Raini Rodriguez, Adam Sandler
The pratfall-prone mall cop returns in a sequel to 2009's widely panned first film. This time around, Blart takes his daughter to a security-guard exhibition in Las Vegas. Hijinks ensue. The movie has been in limbo for a while; in early 2014 it replaced director Steven Carr with Fickman. Why might a movie that was heavily lambasted get a second chance? The first film performed immensely well in theaters, making over $183 million.
"The Avengers: Age of Ultron"
Release Date: May 1
Director: Joss Whedon
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Mark Ruffalo, James Sapder, Chris Hemsworth
Iron Man (Downey), The Hulk (Ruffalo), Thor (Hemsworth), and the rest of the Avengers team will reassemble to take down AI drone Ultron (Spader). This film is likely to be one of the biggest movies this year. The first movie grossed over $1.5 billion.
"Pitch Perfect 2"
Release Date: May 15
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Elizabeth Banks
The musical smash returns! This time the college a cappella group, The Barden Bellas, will enter an international singing competition. Elizabeth Banks, who also costars in the film, will make her directorial debut.
"Mad Max: Fury Road"
Release Date: May 15
Director: George Miller
Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hoult
OK. No one's really sure whether Miller's return to "Mad Max" is a reboot, prequel, or sequel. Either way, the first installment in 30 years looks exciting. The story for the film has been in the works for the past decade, and Miller described it to Entertainment Weekly as a giant car chase that goes on for 110 minutes.
"Insidious: Chapter 3"
Release Date: June 5
Director: Leigh Whannell
Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Lin Shaye, Stefanie Scott
The third installment to the horror franchise is a prequel that follows Elise Rainier, a psychic, who contacts the dead to help a haunted teenage girl. "Insidious: Chapter 2" didn't fare too well with critics, but a worldwide gross of nearly $162 million likely encouraged the studio to make another. The third film will be missing two of the previous movie's greatest assets: actors Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson.
Release Date: June 12
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard
The park is open ... again. The newest addition to the "Jurassic Park" franchise takes place 22 years after the first in a dinosaur theme park in which everything goes awry. Pratt's surge as an action star after last year's "Guardians of the Galaxy" makes this one of the summer's most anticipated films, even ifSteven Spielberg isn't directing the feature.
Release Date: June 26
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfried, MacFarlane
Boston's crassest teddy bear, Ted, is back in this sequel to the 2012 comedy. Wahlberg returns as John Bennett, a grown man whose best friend is a teddy bear, and MacFarlane returns as the voice of the raunchy bear. Stephen Collins was supposed to costar in an unspecified role, but he was cut him from the movie after reports of child molestation. Seyfried will take over for Mila Kunis as the female lead.
Release Date: July 1
Director: Alan Taylor
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Matt Smith, Jai Courtney
The fifth "Terminator" willrewrite the original franchise so that the Terminator (Schwarzenegger) will act as a father figure to Sarah Connor. In the 1984 movie, the Terminator's main mission was to "terminate" Connor from existence. Fans of "Doctor Who" and "Game of Thrones" can rejoice with Clarke in the lead alongside Smith, who is playing an undisclosed role.
Release Date: July 15
Directors: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton
This one's technically a prequel. The spin-off to the extremely popular and successful "Despicable Me" series focuses on the lovable but asinine minions as they go on an adventure to New York to eventually find their master Gru. The minions were adorable sidekicks in "Despicable Me," but can they carry an entire movie on their own?
"Magic Mike XXL"
Release Date: July 1
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Stars: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Jada Pinkett Smith
Retired stripper Magic Mike (Tatum) returns with his male cohorts for one last mega-performance in Myrtle Beach. Tatum cowrote the script of this stripper sequel. Steven Soderbergh is no longer at the helm, but given the original movie's runaway success — and its subject matter — it shouldn't affect the movie's probable success.
Release Date: Aug. 21
Director: Ciaran Foy
Stars: Shannyn Sossamon, James Ransone, Nicholas King
The horror sequel follows the events of the first movie, which chronicled a writer (Ethan Hawke) and his family who lived in a house with haunted old 8 MM movies. The movies bring to life the child-targeting monster, Baghuul (Nicholas King). This follow-up tells the story of a mother and her two young sons after they move into the same haunted house. Hawke is not returning to this sequel, and neither is original director Scott Derrickson.
"Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Legend"
Release Date: Aug. 28
Director: Yuen Woo-ping
Stars: Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Harry Shum Jr.
The sequel to the 2000's hit will make history as Netflix's first original feature film. It will be simultaneously released in Imax. The theater chains AMC, Cinemark, and Regal have refused to show the sequel, saying they didn't want to be associated with a film that could be simultaneously viewed outside of a movie theater. Yuen Woo-ping takes over for Ang Lee as director. Original castmember Michelle Yeoh will reprise her role from the first film.
"Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials"
Release Date: Sept. 18
Director: Wes Ball
Stars: Patricia Clarkson, Aiden Gillen, Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Giancarlo Esposito
The first installment of this postapocalyptic story found teenager Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) in a maze with a group of boys his age — but no memory whatsoever. It received lukewarm reviews, but it had a worldwide gross of nearly $340 million. "Game of Thrones" actor Gillen returns to play the villain, and "Breaking Bad" fans will recognize Esposito from the popular AMC series.
"Hotel Transylvania 2"
Release Date: Sept. 25
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Stars: Adam Sandler, Mel Brooks, David Spade, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi
Adam Sandler returns as Dracula in Sony's sequel to 2012's "Hotel Transylvania," which chronicled a fancy resort managed by the Count himself. The original movie received lukewarm reviews; however, the film was a big hit at theaters, grossing over $358 million worldwide.
"London Has Fallen"
Release Date: Oct. 2
Stars: Gerard Butler, Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart
Director: Babak Najafi
The followup to 2013's "Olympus Has Fallen" transports the action from Washington, D.C., to London. After rescuing the American president (Eckhart) in the first film, Mike Banning (Butler) finds himself at the prime minister's funeral. He uncovers a plot to kill all of the world leaders in attendance and must fight anonymous attackers.
Release Date: Nov. 5
Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes
The 24th installment of the "James Bond" franchise is sure to be a hit, given that the series is a multibillion-dollar franchise. Daniel Craig reprises the role of 007 for the fourth time and will be joined by Waltz and "Sherlock" actor Andrew Scott as he faces off against the organization Spectre.
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2"
Release Date: Nov. 20
Director: Francis Lawrence
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Liam Hemsworth
The final installment of "The Hunger Games" should be the biggest film in the series yet. We'll finally find out whether Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) will succeed in her quest for justice against President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in Panem. Giventhe success of the entire series,it's likely audiences will flock to theater to find out how the girl on fire's story ends.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
Release Date: Dec. 18
Director: J.J. Abrams
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Lupita Nyong'o, Adam Driver
This movie may be the most anticipated franchise film of 2015. The new film takes place roughly 30 years after "Return of The Jedi." New characters will be introduced for a younger generation to enjoy, including Kylo Ren (above), while familiar faces like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker will return to appeal to older "Star Wars" fans.
"Alvin And The Chipmunks: Road Chip"
Release Date: Dec. 23
Director: Walt Becker
Critics panned every film in this series, and the most recent installment, "Chipwrecked," scored a very low 12% on Rotten Tomatoes. So why is 20th Century Fox making a fourth installment in this franchise? The CGI chipmunks are a moneymaker. The maligned "Chipwrecked" grossed over $342.7 million globally.
"Mission: Impossible V"
Release Date: Dec. 25
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin
Tom Cruise returns for a fifth time as Agent Ethan Hunt along with Jeremy Renner. The franchise has grossed over $2 billion since its start in 1996, and it's unlikely that its popularity will wane. 2011's "Ghost Protocol" became Cruise's highest-grossing film yet.
There are a lot of sequels coming out in 2015 ...