If it seems as though nearly every other film due for release in the coming year is a sequel, prequel, or some other warmed-over variation on a previously successful property, that’s because it is. According to figures compiled by Box Office Mojo, 2011 will see an all-time record for most sequels released in a single year with 27 in all, clearing the 24-film bar previously set in 2003. That averages out to almost one redux for every two weeks, and accounts for around one-fifth of all wide releases this year. Other records we’re about to break: the highest number of fourth movies ever—thanks to new variations on Mission: Impossible, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Scream, Spy Kids, and Twilight—and another all-time showing for fifth movies, with Fast Five, Final Destination 5, Puss In Boots, X:Men: First Class, and Winnie The Pooh. Although to be fair, Puss In Boots and Winnie The Pooh are really a spin-off and a reboot, respectively—much like The Muppets and Rise Of The Apes are being counted as “seventh” films in a series, when they’re also being pitched as revivals.
Still, Mojo seems to have forgotten about A Very Harold And Kumar Christmas and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island—as well as scheduled but not yet confirmed sequels like Halloween III—so we may actually be looking at 30 or more coming out this year, even making allowances for technicalities. Anyway, here are the sequels Mojo explicitly addressed, arranged by degree of rehash (thanks to /Film):
Second films: Cars 2, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, The Hangover Part II, Happy Feet 2, Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil, Johnny English Reborn, Kung Fu Panda 2, Piranha 3DD, Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows.
Third films: Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Madea’s Big Happy Family, Paranormal Activity 3, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.
Fourth films: Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Scream 4, Spy Kids 4: All The Time In The World, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part One)
Fifth films: Fast Five, Final Destination 5, Puss In Boots, X-Men: First Class, Winnie The Pooh.
Seventh films: The Muppets and Rise Of The Apes.
Eighth film: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part Two.
Hopefully seeing their business plan spelled out in such a cold, calculating manner as this will inspire producers to make a proper return to the business of dreams, such as making movies based on toys and old board games.