Top 10 Longest Running Movie Franchises (Film Series)
Special thanks goes to YouTuber 007JamesBond for suggesting this topic! Nothing really beats a bowl of popcorn, some good company and a great movie! In this installment, we're taking a look at the longest running film franchises. In order to appear on our list the series must contain 5 movies or more and carry brand recognition.
James Bond (1962 - Current)
Starting with 1962's Dr. No, the franchise has launched over 20 films with a variety of actors portraying the debonair agent 007, James Bond. The movies were originally based upon Ian Fleming's books, but the movies have since surpassed the source material. The series is responsible for a multitude of famous characters, including the likes of Moneypenny, Q, Oddjob and of course the English ladies' man, James Bond himself. The film series shows no signs of ceasing, with actor Tom Hiddleston confirmed to be in talks to play James Bond in the 25th film.
Star Wars (1977 - Current)
Most of us are aware of the series, and with the 2015 success of The Force Awakens, even the children of today know what a Jedi is. Easily the highlight of George Lucas' career, Star Wars has spawned everything from conventions to recognized religions. The series has films set to release through 2019, and current owner of the series, Disney, plans on many more spin-offs and sequels in the future.
Zatoichi (1962 - 2010)
Zatoichi the blind swordsman was created by novelist Kan Shimozawa, and was adapted for the big screen in 1962. The original run of 26 movies ended in 1989, with multiple spin-offs and a couple of remakes coming out between 1990 and 2010. Overall, this film series stretched for nearly 50 years. The series was met with such popularity and acclaim, that the entire volume would be inducted into the Criterion Collection, a film distribution company which licenses "important classic and contemporary films".
Godzilla (1954 - Current)
For over the last 60 years, Japan has been hammering out the Godzilla movies - with 28-films from Toho to date, another set to release later in 2016 and 3 American adaptions - bringing the total to 32 highly influential classic films amongst the monster genre. Toho gathered his inspiration for Godzilla after the commercial success of 1952's re-release of King Kong, as well as the large success attributed to the American black and white horror movie, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. With a handful of other movies announced up to 2020, it seems there won't have an end to Godzilla anytime soon!
Batman (1966 - Current)
"The Dark Knight" has been around since 1939 in comic form; however, it wasn't until 1966 that he was finally brought to feature length film, 8 of them to date. With such demanding talent along the lines of Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and Christian Bale all taking their turn behind the cowl, George Clooney donned it at one point as well, in 1997's Batman & Robin - which nearly killed the franchise due to its campy feel. In 2005, director Christopher Nolan would revamp the series, giving us the critically acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy.
Star Trek (1979 - Current)
The Star Trek movies are all feature-length tales of their respective television series that span over 12 titles, with director JJ Abrams set to release a 13th film in 2016. The first 6 movies were set in Star Trek's original series timeline, and the next 4 were in The Next Generation. In 2009, the film had a reboot of sort - the film used the original characters from the original series, but took place in an alternate reality from what has already been done. It seems when your genre is science fiction, there is little room for running out of ideas, but with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 95% and an IMDb score of 8/10, fans would prove otherwise.
Friday the 13th (1980 - Current)
For over 35 years now, the horror series known as Friday the 13th has scared children with the hockey mask sporting killer, Jason Voorhees. Spanning across 12 films as of 2016, with another in development - the horror franchise is one of the oldest film franchises still running. A classic 80's style horror film, filled with sex-starved teen victims, Jason seems to die in the end of each film, but always seemingly returns to slaughter again. With a new part of the series set to drop in 2017, we can expect to see a couple more flicks to add to the already stacked film franchise.
Carry On (1958 - 1992)
This film series consists of 31-low budget films. These British comedy movies are mostly packed with slapstick humor and an excessive amount of naked women. Due to the low budget of the films, the quality varies from film to film. Carry On has produced the largest number of movies for any British franchise to date. If you feel the desire to try and plug away at this massive series, then sit tight because it'll run for roughly 2800 minutes in total or roughly 46 1/2 hours in total!
Halloween (1978 - 2009)
Originally written and directed by the great John Carpenter, Halloween focuses on the fictional serial killer, Michael Myers. The first of the 10 movies was released in 1978, being credited for starting the slasher film boom. Seven sequels would follow, with the last of the original series releasing in 2002. Five years later in 2007, Rob Zombie would produce a reboot of the original film - releasing a direct sequel just a couple years later in 2009 - ultimately causing what many would believe to be the end of the franchise. It appears that isn't the case, as a new movie is being filmed by American horror movie production company, Blumhouse.
Death Wish (1974 - 1994)
The Death Wish franchise consists of 5 movies across 20 years, starring actor Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey. Becoming a vigilante after the murder of his wife and rape of his daughter, the first film stirred an uproar through the media about vigilantism, due to the times and over-the-top violence of the film. Unlike most of the series' on this list, it appears it has finished its run in 1994 with the appropriately named, The Face of Death.