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4 Movie Sequels Primed to Explode in 2014


It's no secret that success in the film industry is built around launching viable franchises and delivering blockbuster sequels. As the temporal sequel to 2013, the highest grossing year in film history, there are big expectations for 2014. Whether or not this year can provide better returns than the last is still in doubt, but the performance of key sequels will determine if that substantial feat can be achieved. Here are four movie sequels primed to deliver and shape the film industry's 2014.

X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: Days of Future Past is a continuation of the industry trend that sees massive casts of stars brought together for superhero movies. The film bridges the continuity established in the original trilogy started by Bryan Singer with that of Matthew Vaugn's X-Men: First Class. Future Past makes heavy use of time travel as a plot device and sees the biggest names in the X-Men universe assembled in one film. Featuring the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman, and Ellen Page, Days of Future Past has the most impressive cast of any film in 2014.

The series' box-office grab peaked with its third film, X-Men: The Last Stand, but the relatively strong second place performance of the 2013 spin-off The Wolverine suggests the series is poised for growth. The return of director Bryan Singer and the strength of the film's cast should help Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA  )  grow and prolong the series.

Transformers: Age of Extinction
If ever there were a series that could be called "critic proof," Viacom's (NASDAQ: VIA  ) "Transformers" is that series. Despite being routinely savaged by critics, each of the film's sequels has outperformed its predecessor. Transformers: Dark of Moon sits pretty with the sixth highest international box office take of all time.

The latest entry in the series swaps out former lead and current media goofball Shia LaBeouf for Mark Whalberg. Age of Extinction is said to feature a darker and more serious tone than its predecessors. Whether this limits the movie's box office appeal remains to be seen. Transformers: Age of Extinction may very well fail to eclipse its predecessor, but the film is a lock to tally around $1 billion in global take.

How to Train Your Dragon 2



While Dreamworks (NASDAQ: DWA  ) was once roundly viewed as a second-rate Pixar, the company has really come into its own and developed an identity. With a global box office take of approximately $500 million, How to Train Your Dragon was one of 2010's breakout hits. The sequel will likely post the greatest growth of any movie on this list and receive marketing treatment befitting a megafranchise. How to Train Your Dragon 2 could fire up close to $1 billion in global ticket sales.

Making the picture even sweeter for DreamWorks and How to Train Your Dragon 2, there's not much competition from other animated films in 2014. Pixar does not have a film debuting, which means the Dragon sequel looks to be the animated film event of the year.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1
Aside from Disney's Avengers and Fox's Avatar, Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF  ) "The Hunger Games" series is probably the most influential film property in the last five years. The series' first film kicked off a slew of female-driven action movies and sent rival distributors scrambling to appeal to a newly defined audience. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire brought in north of $862 million at the global box office, and its take is still inching upward. The film had the highest domestic gross of 2013, and you can expect Mockingjay-Part 1 to follow suit.


The upcoming "Hunger Games" film might not see the same growth multiplier that the "Iron Man" series enjoyed from its second to its third outing, but Mockingjay failing to pass the $1 billion mark would be shocking. Jennifer Lawrence is still the hottest name in Hollywood, and the first two films in the series have done an admirable job of winning over audiences and critics alike.

2014 will be a preview for bigger success
Regardless of whether or not 2014's total box office grab surpasses that of 2013, it's looking like a big year for the film industry. The four films on this list are likely to bring great returns for their respective makers and once again prove the value of the sequel. If 2013's record totals aren't surpassed in 2014, 2015 seems certain to raise the bar. It will see the return of "Star Wars," "Jurassic Park," "Pirates of the Caribbean," and "The Avengers." Amidst all the big sequels in the works, one thing is clear: 2013's record won't stand for long.

Forget the silver screen--who's taking over your TV?
Sooner or later, 2014's big movies will become a part of the battle to control your living room. You know cable's going away. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple.

Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (10)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 10:28 AM, jhuntdaprodigy wrote:

    You forgot "The Amazing Spider-Man 2", the first one grossed 752 million worldwide, so this one is far more likely to gross a billion or near it than Days Of Future Past or How To Train Your Dragon.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 10:35 AM, bkdlots wrote:

    Seven words that will make the new Transformers a must see... "Me Grimlock.. Me leader of the Dinobots"

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 1:18 PM, Aurora0044 wrote:


  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 3:11 PM, keithnoonan wrote:

    Hey jhuntaprodigy,

    I left Spiderman out for a couple of reasons. One of them was space. I've started an article that focuses on the 'Amazing' sequel though. The other reason is that the series has the potential to be a pretty big misstep for Sony. The transition from the Raimi trilogy to what Marc Webb is doing wasn't very smooth and I'm certain there are plenty of people within the company wishing they would have rebooted the property in a different way. The rumors that Sony might sell Spiderman back to Marvel didn't come from nowhere. Maybe it's not a popular opinion, but I will be genuinely surprised if the new Spider-movie outperforms How to Train Your Dragon 2.

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2014, at 12:11 AM, RPG wrote:

    Leaving out The Amazing Spiderman 2, presented your article as lacking the necessary research to determine the "4 Movie Sequels Primed to Explode in 2014". Of course, if this article was your opinion, it also lacked such a statement.

    As for your comment, SPE considered selling the film rights back to Marvel/Disney, that has not been considered; that will never be considered unless Marvel/Disney find a contract breach or offer a mountain of cash to reacquire control of the film rights. What are the odds of a contract breach?

    Besides that, you can do the math and easily determine the BILLION dollar value the franchise holds for SPE, even without merchandising. Remember... Marvel/Disney sold their profit participation rights to SONY and in exchange SONY sold its 50% of merchandising to Marvel/Disney.

    You also need to remember, SPE's story department contains more scripts and outlines for The Amazing Spiderman than will ever progress. Everyone always has their favorite. And when the shooting script is finalized, someone is always disappointed. But, that doesn't mean SPE will sell a BILLION dollar franchise!

    BTW... I say BILLION, but consider the previous Rami Spiderman features and then add in the current trilogy and its off-shoots and the eventual reboots and SONY stockholders are looking at more than a BILLION.

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2014, at 12:30 AM, thorlo6 wrote:

    keithnoonan you may be right, but you also may be wrong on that one. As much as I liked the original Spiderman movies, when I saw the reboot with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, I was blown away! You are talking to a spidey fan who started reading about Spiderman back in the early 60's. I know my Spidey. The original now leaves a bad taste in comparison. Yes it could have been done better, but, the proof of the film was using Martin Sheen and Sally Fields as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. With the new film bringing in the Shocker, Rhino, and Green Goblin, If it fails to bring in less than 1 Billion, I will be truly shocked. As for the four you mentioned, I have been looking forward to all but the "Hunger Games" bunch. I tried watching the first film, it made me so disgusted, I couldn't tolerate watching it. People are entitled to their opinions, and this series is poor Science Fiction of the worst kind. I have been reading it since I was old enough to read, and have read the best of the best writer's and that is poor stuff, IMO. 'Nuff Said!

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2014, at 1:18 AM, prodigy2000 wrote:

    Definitely agree about Spiderman sequel. The reboot was terrible and the trailers for Spiderman 2 look like a video game or something, just bad. I don't think it will do well at all.

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