gGuess who’s back, back? It would be the Fast Furious franchise. F9, the latest installment in the film series, has officially been released. The exit marks the ninth (or the 10th, depending on whether the Hobbs & Shaw spin-off) of the film series and the 20th anniversary of the franchise itself.
Over the years, the main ingredients of Fast Furious The brewing has remained largely the same – action scenes, fast cars – as the franchise has shifted from its initial focus on illegal street racing to playing with bigger threats.
There is something deliciously mind-blowing about big movie franchises. Some have endured for decades at a reasonable pace; others have grown exponentially in recent years. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, for example, has generated almost as many films in 13 years as the James Bond franchise in 59 years.
For this reason, the summary below prioritizes the number of movies in a given franchise, rather than years of existence. But credit will also be given for lasting power, because endurance matters.
Godzilla’s story began in 1954 in Japan, stretching to the present day. The fictional monster has been immortalized in 36 films, including 32 produced in Japan and four in Hollywood. The last, Godzilla vs. Kong, was released earlier this year and was a streaming success for HBO Max.
2. James Bond
In the land of massive film franchises, 007 still reigns supreme. No time to die will be the 25th film to be released involving the suave super spy in 59 years, the franchise starting in 1962 with Doctor No and Sean Connery. While Daniel Craig said No time to die will be his last turn as Bond, the spy himself doesn’t seem ready to retire anytime soon.
3. The Marvel Cinematic Universe
With 23 movies (and more), the MCU is giving James Bond a run for his money, in 13 relatively meager years. It all started in 2008 with Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man – 11 more films are expected to be released over the next few years. In the meantime, Avengers: Endgame overwhelmed Avatar as the highest grossing movie of all time, although Avatar has since again taken the lead with a reissue.
4. Star Trek
Rightly so, the Star Trek franchise has both lived a long time and thrived. Starting in 1979, it spawned 13 films in the span of 37 years, with a possible new film in development.
Yes, the X-Men are owned by Marvel, but they are technically not part of the MCU and therefore can be counted as their own entity. The running total, including major X-Men movies as well as the Wolverine trilogy, consists of 10 films – 13 of which both dead Pool films and the spin-off 2020 The new mutants, all in the space of 20 years.
Maybe it’s not entirely fair to give Spider-Man a category of its own, given his recent forays into the MCU, but for years the character was a full-fledged entity. It all started in 1977, with the television creation Spider Man. Two other TV films followed, as well as a Japanese film in 1978. Then came the three films of Sam Raimi with Tobey Maguire as Spidey in the 2000s, followed by two films by Marc Webb with Andrew Garfield. Tom Holland has since taken up the torch in Spider Man: Back home and Far from home, for a total of 11 films. A 12th outing, Spider-Man: No Path Home, will follow in December 2021.
7. Star Wars
This one should be relatively easy to count: three trilogies equal nine films, to which Thief one and Solo can be added, for a total of 11. New hope was released in 1977, while the last opus, The Rise of Skywalker, was unveiled in 2019. He’s a good 42 years old in a galaxy far, far away.
Whether or not the Batman movies are included in the DC Extended Universe is a hotly debated question. For the sake of this ranking, let’s say Batman movies can be counted as their own categories. This brings us to a total of 11 films, starting as early as 1943 with Batman, and ending (for now) with The dark knight rises in 2012. Of course, The batman, with Robert Pattinson as the superhero, will turn things around when it is released in 2022.
9. DC Extended Universe
Speaking of DCEU… that’s nine films to date, released in the span of seven years. It all started in 2014 with Steel man, with the 2020 Wonder Woman 1984 as the most recent version of the DCEU. Many other projects are underway, starting with The suicide squad (coming to US and UK this summer).
10. Planet of the apes
Based on a French novel (the 1963 The Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle), the Planet of the Apes franchise has so far spawned nine films: the original five in the 1960s and 1970s, the Tim Burton remake in 2001 Planet of the Apes, and the reboot series consisting of three films so far. The most recent was released in 2017, while the inaugural film dates back to 1968. It’s 49 good years spent revisiting and developing Boulle’s original story.
11. Fast and Furious
We got over that, but the Fast & Furious franchise has brought us a solid total of nine movies over 20 years. Apparently we only have two more to look forward to: Vin Diesel recently suggested that the saga will end after a few more episodes, with potential release dates in 2023 and 2024. Of course, there’s always spinoff.
Tyler Perry’s Madea has starred in nine films (with cameos in two more) since 2005. Perry originally announced in 2019 that he would be retiring from the character, but will bring her back in 2022 in a Netflix film titled A return from Madea.
13. Harry Potter
Students enrolled in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for seven years, but the seventh and final chapter in the Harry Potter story was split into two films, bringing the total to eight films over 10 years. the Fantastic beasts spinoff series has so far generated two films, fantastic beasts and where to find them (2016) and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), with three more films planned.
14. The conspiracy
In case horror fans keep a trace, the Conjuring franchise has been with us for eight years and as many films as of 2013. The most recent episode, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, was recently released in the US and UK. At least two more films are in the works, so be prepared for more paranormal events.
Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa starred in six films released over a 30-year span between 1976 and 2006. Add to that the two Creed films, in which Stallone stars alongside Michael B Jordan, bringing Rocky’s total to eight. A third Creed the Jordan-directed film is slated for 2022.