4 Movie Sequels Primed to Explode in 2014

2013 was the highest grossing year in film history. Can these four sequels help 2014 break last year's record?

Feb 22, 2014 at 7:00AM

Screen Shot

Source: X-Menmovies.com

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

Screen Shot  

Source: howtotrainyourdragon.com

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.

Screen Shot

Source: thehungergamesexplorer.com

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.

Keith Noonan has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends DreamWorks Animation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers