It's no mystery that Disney (NYSE:DIS) loves a good sequel. After all, sequels can be an exceptional way for the entertainment giant to build its existing popular brands by taking advantage of the work that's already been done to develop great characters and storylines.
Oh, and they're also ridiculously profitable
Take Disney's Iron Man films, for instance, the first of which brought in more than $585 million at the box office worldwide. Then Iron Man 2 took in nearly $624 million globally. And now, there's the still-in-theaters Iron Man 3, which itself has pulled in more than $1.2 billion in box office receipts around the world so far.
That's not to mention Iron Man's involvement in The Avengers, which grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide and has at least two sequels in the works.
Or consider the four movies that made up Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, with a collective box office total of more than $3.7 billion. Of course, there's also the three Toy Story films and their own $1.9 billion worldwide gross, and Disney's upcoming slate is jam-packed with sequels as well, including Pixar's Planes (a follow-up to Cars and Cars 2) to be released in August, and Finding Dory slated for a 2015 launch.
And heck, while I was hoping The Lone Ranger would have what it took to become Disney's next huge franchise, it certainly doesn't look like that will happen, after the good ol' cowboy film got trounced at the box office recently by -- you guessed it -- a well-made sequel, in the form of Despicable Me 2 from Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Universal Studios.
In fact, just 13 days after its theatrical release, Despicable Me 2 has already proved a huge winner for Comcast after bringing in more than $477.2 million worldwide, with a production budget of just $76 million -- and, for those of you keeping track, that's well on the way to exceeding the $543 million take the first Despicable Me achieved.
Disney could win big with this one
So what should come next, you ask?
While Disney Pixar is on its sequel kick, I know my children wouldn't be alone in appreciating a reprise of 2004's The Incredibles.
Come to think of it, I'd thoroughly enjoy an Incredibles sequel, too. Just earlier this week, when our kiddos asked to watch the original, I found myself repeatedly sucked in to the fun flick, despite my best efforts to finish various chores around the house.
Bottom line: I think every character in The Incredibles is likable, and its storyline boasts a novelty that simply doesn't wear off as time goes on. What's more, Pixar obviously made the first movie with sequels in mind, especially considering the way the film ended, with the family readying a fight with the aptly and hilariously named villian, "The Underminer."
And when Disney's done with this sequel, I'd watch a prequel, too.
What's stopping them?
It certainly isn't a cash problem, and it's a safe bet more Incredibles movies would pay off for Disney, when we remember the first one brought in $631.4 million in global ticket sales with a production budget of just $92 million.
Alas, the hangup at this point seems to be director Brad Bird's quest for the perfect storyline. In fact, Bird had the following to say to The Hollywood Reporter in May:
I've been thinking about [Incredibles 2] because I love those characters and love that world. I am stroking my chin and scratching my head. I have many, many elements that I think would work really well in another [Incredibles] film, and if I can get 'em to click all together, I would probably want to do that.
Of course, it's been two months since that statement, and a lot can happen over a relatively short period of time, but it's safe to say we probably won't be seeing The Incredibles 2 anytime in the near future. But mark my words: Though Disney may be busy pumping out other blockbusters for now, I think this is one sequel that will happen eventually.
Fool contributor Steve Symington owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple, Google, Netflix, and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.