A fast trend is emerging. Box office record breakers seem to be drinking one common potion of success; and no it is not the Felix Felicis (for the most part) but the love for the familiar. Sequels have officially become the new opium of the masses.
Look at record breaking films that are playing in the theatres right now for instance. Iron Man 3 grossed an epic sum of $372.5 million globally on its first weekend making it the sixth highest earner in the history of Hollywood, displacing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides by a good $22m.
Fast and Furious 6 follows the top grosser hot on its tail with a whopping $256.53m earning on its first weekend. So, are sequels the new wave of successful cinema? Statistics say yes.
With Harry Potter continuing to rule the roost at $483.2m and $392m (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince respectively), it is rather safe to sketch a winning box office mantra - bring in the sequels!
Slot three, four and five confirm the money minting spree. Marvel's The Avengers broke all records last year with a $392.5m first weekend earning. The Avengers stole the cake from The Transformers (Dark of the Moon) which earned $382.4m in 2011.
Spidey follows suit. The Spiderman franchise caught the international BO by surprise by earning $381.7m for the third film in the series. Not only does it challenge the age old assumption about sequels not doing well, but it also ascertains the possibility of sequels doing better than originals.
Why do we love films that bring back an element of the familiar? Are we afraid to experiment with new tastes or are we loyalists? In either case, we've spun a winning formula for movie makers. Sequels for the win!