In the movie business, the word “franchise” generally brings to mind action, sci-fi, shoot-em-up spectaculars. But as the recent releases of The Hangover Part III, Despicable Me 2, and this past weekend’s Grown Ups 2 can attest, if a comedy hits big enough its characters can also live on to see more adventures. Here are some of the best and biggest comedy franchises and sequels, both classic and contemporary, only a click away on Blockbuster On Demand and from Blockbuster By Mail!
Childhood pals Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and Kevin James reunite, wives and kids in tow, at a summer rental for the 4th of July, and the easy chemistry of Sandler, Spade, Rock, and Schneider (all of whom joined Saturday Night Live at the same time) brings the immature hijinks to another level. Fingers crossed for the sequel!
When your little movie about a bachelor party gone horribly, desperately, criminally awry becomes the highest-grossing comedy of all time, clearly the thing to do is to make another one: second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit sweatier because it’s set in Thailand.
After a long career as a stone-faced dramatic actor in the ’60s and ’70s, Leslie Nielsen found a second life transposing the exact same character into totally silly comedies — first in Airplane! (Don’t call me Shirley) and then as Lt. Frank Drebin, the bumbling detective who somehow always catches the bad guy and gets the girl no matter how silly things get.
Sending a 1985 high school kid 30 years back in time to try and matchmake his own parents is a tough act to follow, but Robert Zemeckis and Michael J. Fox meet their own high standard with an insanely imaginative first sequel set 30 years in the future (2015) and a sweet, more broadly comic second sequel set 100 years in the past (1885).
Fast-talking American cop Chris Tucker and high-kicking Chinese cop Jackie Chan team up for one of the biggest buddy-cop series of all time, taking down organized crime, kidnappers, counterfeiters, and assassins on both sides of the Pacific over the course of three wildly successful installments.
Chevy Chase was never funnier on film than when he dropped his vanity and played a nerdy, bumbling suburban dad who only wanted to show his wife and kids a good time. In the original, the Griswolds drove cross-country to an amusement park that turned out to be closed, and in the third, they hosted their extended family for Christmas.
A stoner comedy with an Indian-American and a Korean-American in the lead roles was probably not many Hollywood execs’ idea of a surefire success, but the first movie’s fusion of relatable characters with completely bizarre situations (and Neil Patrick Harris) found a cult following big enough to spawn two sequels, the first of which has the pair landing at the infamous Cuban prison for testing a smokeless bong in an airplane bathroom.