Movie sequels – successful or not?
Although movie sequels don’t always do as well at the box office as the original, they tend to do much better than non-sequels, according to a new study in the July Journal of Business Research. And timing is everything – the shorter the period between releases, the better.
A recent study by Subimal Chatterjee, professor of marketing, and colleagues at Florida Atlantic University, found that sequels don’t match the box office revenues of the parent films. However, week-by-week, they do better than non-sequels – more so, when they quickly follow the original.
“Indeed, we have found that some franchises are closely following this practice,” says Chatterjee. “For instance, New Line Studios released the Lord of the Rings trilogy in almost clocklike precision: Fellowship of the Ring in December, 2001; The Two Towers in December in 2002; and The Return of the King in December 2003. A shorter time gap for releasing a sequel is better than a longer time gap given that the ‘buzz’ and anticipation is likely to dissipate in consumers’ memory with a longer wait.”
Chatterjee does point out, though, that delays don’t kill a sequel’s attraction but do show a faster drop in weekly revenues relative to non-sequels.