Why are Sequels and Remakes So Popular with Movie Studios?



Hollywood likes sequels and remakes. Sequels represent an extension of the adapted story effect. If a movie has been a huge box office hit and has the potential to be extended through further and continuing story development, sequels will be made. Sequels have proven to be successful in Hollywood in the twenty-first century thanks to the success of certain horror and science fiction franchises in the late twentieth century and the success more recently of super-hero stories derived from DC and Marvel comics. These movies have mostly been suitable for family audiences, meaning their advisory ratings were not overly restrictive. A sequel does not offer a magic formula to box office success, however. Movie series eventually run out of steam and must still display sufficient story originality with each new episode to keep audiences interested.


  1. Basuroy, S., & Chatterjee, S. (2008). Fast and frequent: Investigating box office revenues of motion picture sequels. Journal of Business Research, 61, 798–803.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Erdem, T. (1998). An empirical analysis of umbrella branding. Journal of Marketing Research, 35(August), 339–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ginsburgh, V., Pestieau, P., & Weyers, S. (2007). Are remakes doing as well as originals? A note (CREPP Working Papers, No. 2007/05). University of Liege. Available at: Accessed 16th August 2016.
  4. Gregan-Paxton, J., Hibbard, J. D., Brunel, F., & Azar, P. (2002). So that’s what that is: Examining the impact of analogy on consumers’ knowledge development for really new products. Psychology and Marketing, 19(6), 533–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hennig-Thurau, T., Houston, M. B., & Heitjans, T. (2009). Conceptualizing and measuring the monetary value of brand extensions: The case of motion pictures. Journal of Marketing, 73, 167–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Maheswaran, D., & Sternthal, B. (1990). The effects of knowledge, motivation and type of message on ad processing and product judgments. Journal of Consumer Research, 17, 66–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Maltin, L. (2003). 2004 movie & video guide. New York: New American Library.Google Scholar
  8. Moon, S., Bergey, P. K., & Iacobucci, D. (2010). Dynamic effects among movie ratings, movie revenues and viewer satisfaction. Journal of Marketing, 74(1), 108–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Moreau, C. P., Lehmann, R. D., & Markman, A. B. (2001). Entrenched knowledge structures and consumer response to new products. Journal of Marketing Research, 38, 14–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Oliver, R. L. (2009). Satisfaction: A behavioural perspective on the consumer. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  11. Pokorny, M., & Sedgwick, M. (2010). Profitability trends in Hollywood, 1929 to 1999: Somebody must know something. Economic History Review, 63, 56–83. Available at:
  12. Reynolds, C. (1995). Hollywood power stats. Valley Village, CA: Cineview Publishing.Google Scholar
  13. Roehm, M., & Sternthal, B. (2001). The moderating effect of knowledge and resources on the persuasive impact of analogies. Journal of Consumer Research, 28, 257–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Sarkett, S. (1996). Box office hits. New York: Billboard Books.Google Scholar
  15. Sood, S., & Dreze, X. (2006). Brand extensions of experiential goods: Movie sequel evaluations. Journal of Consumer Research, 33, 352–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Terry, N., Butler, M., & De’Armond, D. (2005). The determinants of domestic box office performance in the motion picture industry. Southwestern Economic Review, 32(1), 137–148.Google Scholar
  17. Terry, N., Cooley, J. W., & Zachary, M. (2010). The determinants of foreign box office revenue for English language movies. Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies, 2(1), 117–127.Google Scholar
  18. Terry, N., De’Armond, D., & Zachary, M. (2009). The determinants of opening weekend box office revenue for English language movies. Journal of Academy of Business and Economics, 9, 193–201.Google Scholar
  19. The Numbers. (2016a). Domestic movie theatrical market summary 1995 to 2016. Available at: Accessed 17th August 2016.
  20. The Numbers. (2016b). Box office history for James Bond movies. Available at: Accessed 16th August 2016.
  21. Tulard, J. (1997). Guide des films. Paris, France: Robert Laffont.Google Scholar
  22. Walls, W. D. (2009). Screen wars, star wars, and sequels: Nonparametric reanalysis of movie profitability. Empirical Economics, 37(2), 447–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Yeh, S.-Y. (2013). When do original movies dominate sequels? The moderating effects of film types and product knowledge. Asia Pacific Management Review, 18(3), 239–255.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Media, Communication and SociologyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

Personalised recommendations