Every now and then, a major movie franchise comes along that both lights up the box office and creates a fanbase that endures for years, and sometimes even decades. When this happens, it is a very special thing in cinema. Such franchises create a unique connection with the fans in which many fans will eagerly anticipate and then see each movie that the franchise puts out.
People who love a certain movie franchise will often support it by purchasing memorabilia, joining fan clubs, liking social media pages, and dressing up as characters at Comic-Cons, or on Halloween.
However, in order to gain a supremely loyal fanbase, a movie franchise typically has to be of amazing quality. This means that it has to have a great story, talented actors, great cinematography, and excellent directing.
Here are the 15 movie franchises with the most loyal fan bases. These franchises all have millions of fans who will spend extravagantly on nearly every movie the franchise puts out.
15. The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games franchise, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson, has only been around since 2012. Yet, with only four films in the series, this franchise has already grossed $2.9 billion globally. These are some seriously impressive figures.
Hunger Games fans simply cannot get enough of the braided beauty, Katniss Everdeen, fighting for survival and justice in this enthralling series. The films are based off of the novels from Suzanne Collins, and are a massive hit, just like the books.
Not since Robin Hood or Legolas, has a film character used a bow and arrow in such an iconic fashion. The Hunger Games has won fans all over the world with its love triangles and action-packed plots. For now, the series has ended, but with such a loyal fanbase that generates hundreds of millions in sales for each movie, a reboot is definitely possible at a later date.
14. The Twilight Saga
For anyone who has been living under a rock for the past decade, the Twilight Saga is fantasy romance movie franchise in which a northwestern teen girl, Bella Swan, falls in love with fellow student, Edward Cullen, who turns out to be a vampire. The franchise ran from 2008 to 2012 and grossed over $3.3 billion.
Part of Twilight’s strong fanbase is made up of people who view the leading characters, Rob Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, as heartthrobs. A website dedicated to Rob Pattinson called RobsessedPattinson.com, even exists as a tribute to the hysteria over the actor.
Whether it’s the young and attractive actors, or the vampire/werewolf love triangles, this series has generated a fanbase with supreme loyalty. Like The Hunger Games, the franchise is currently concluded, however a reboot could also be likely, given the massive success of the five movies that have been made so far.
Shrek is a perfect example of how powerful a computer-animated series can be. The Shrek franchise has been putting out popular animated comedies since April, 2001. Some of these movies include Shrek, Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third. The series also had a spin-off called Puss in Boots, which starred the beloved character, “Puss in Boots,” voiced by Antonio Banderas.
In the past, few people may have guessed that a computer-animated film starring a green ogre and a donkey would generate one of the most loyal fanbases in cinema history, but Shrek has achieved just that.
The combination of a star cast including Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas, mixed with the fact that Shrek is appealing to both kids and adults, adds to its popularity. It is also one of the few series that successfully integrates fantasy, comedy and animation in such a successful way. Shrek’s success has created a strong fanbase that is likely to keep generating billions more dollars for the franchise in years to come.
12. Jurassic Park
It is no surprise that this franchise is on this list. The Jurassic Park franchise has taken the world by storm with movie after movie. In total, the franchise has grossed over $3.69 billion. The Jurassic Park franchise has been running strong since 1993. Its latest instalment, Jurassic World, introduced a whole new generation to the spectacular thrills that these dinosaur-based movies have to offer.
Proving their loyalty, Jurassic Park fans around the world spent a whopping $1.6 billion to see Jurassic World. This means that even though the first Jurassic Park movie came out in the early 90s, the films still have mass appeal.
The Jurassic Park franchise further cemented Steven Spielberg’s status as a directing legend, and it helped to capture the imaginations of millions of people. The latest installment in the series, Jurassic World, is responsible for roughly half of the franchise’s gross sales.
11. Pirates of the Caribbean
Featuring a star-powered cast comprising of Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush, Pirates of the Caribbean has continued to enthrall audiences and win fans since the first film came out in 2003. The franchise has made $3.73 billion so far, and it is set continue its run with another swashbuckling film coming out in the near future.
Like Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean is another series that seems to appeal to the whole family. Incredible sets, combined with intricate love stories, and outrageous sword fights have kept the fans coming back for more and more pirate adventures over the years.
The films are so popular that Captain Jack Sparrow, the main character of the films, has become a true movie icon. The next instalment of the franchise Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, is set to be released on May 26th 2017. Due to the immense loyalty of the fanbase, there is a good chance this movie will be a blockbuster, like its predecessors.
The Transformers series stars Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel and a number of other famous actors. The movies in this franchise detail the struggles between multiple groups of giant robot aliens who can transform shapes. Directed by the legendary Michael Bay, this franchise has grossed $3.78 billion worldwide.
Over the years, fans have grown attached to Transformers’ amazing special effects and the heroics of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. Transformers 2 even held the Guinness Record for largest explosion on film with actors present.
Ever since the first Transformers movie came out in 2007, fans have remained loyal to the series by spending $60-300 million on every single film. Transformers toys also remain popular with children, helping to keep promoting interest for the franchise. Transformers 5: The Last Knight will come out on June 23rd, 2017. It will star Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins and Peter Cullen.
The X-Men movie franchise has been putting out hits since 2000, when the original X-Men movie was released. Featuring a star-studded cast and excellent comic book adapted plots, the X-Men franchise has been a true homerun in the film industry.
X-Men fans are some of the most loyal in the business. The X-Men franchise has made $3.82 billion since it began. A whopping nine X-Men films have been made so far, and there is another one already in the works.
To get an understanding of the loyalty of the X-Men fanbase, the movies have been around for 16 years, and every single X-Men movie has made over $100,000,000. That represents both incredible success, and incredible loyalty. The fact that new actors, such as Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender, have been included into the series is likely partially to blame for the continued freshness and appeal of the series. Something is definitely working, and the franchise is still powering right along.
8. The Fast and the Furious
The Fast and the Furious is another film franchise that began in the early 2000s and has seen a continued run of extreme success right up until the present year. Ever since Dominic Toretto told Brian O’Conner that “It doesn’t matter whether you win by an inch or a mile, winning’s winning” in 2001, Fast fans have been hooked.
The beautiful cars, high-octane plots and intense, complicated relationships included in the series have created a loyalty from fans that seems likely to continue well into the future. Every single Fast and the Furious movie, with the exception of Tokyo Drift, has made well over $100,000,000.
In fact, the latest installment, Furious 7, has been the most successful film of the franchise, grossing over $350,000,000. Unfortunately, the franchise will no longer be able to rely on the rock solid performances of the late Paul Walker. However, adding other great actors such as Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson seems to be propelling the franchise forward. With sales figures rising in the last three movies, it seems that the Fast and the Furious fanbase is only growing even more loyal.
The Spider-Man movie franchise has had enormous success ever since the masked hero first came flying into theaters in 2002, with the original Spider Man. To date, the series has grossed $3.96 billion globally. It is one of the most successful franchises of all time. Spider-Man is also one of the most iconic fictional heroes in American history.
The Spider-Man fanbase is so loyal to the franchise that they have spent over $700,000,000 on every single film that the series has produced to date in the modern era. Tobey Maguire played Spider-Man in the first three films, and Andrew Garfield played the hero in the second two.
Two more Spider-Man films are already set to come out in the next two years; Sinister Six and Spider-Man: Homecoming. If the films achieve success that is similar to the first five films, then they will gross well over a billion dollars combined. With such a loyal and devoted fanbase, it is very likely that they well.
Like Spider-Man, Batman is another film icon recognized and loved all over the world. The Batman movie franchise has grossed $4.67 billion worldwide. Batman has been played by a number of great actors such as Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and most recently, Ben Affleck. Affleck played the legendary caped crusader in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The last four Batman movies have all made over $200,000,000. The highest grossing Batman movie of all time was The Dark Knight, featuring Christian Bale as Batman, and the late Heath Ledger as the Joker.
Batman fans have been spending their hard earned cash to see the bat-themed hero demolish villains for so long that it seems almost impossible that there will ever come a time when Batman movies are not being made. The Batman fanbase is incredibly powerful and has shown no signs of losing enthusiasm throughout the past few decades.
The Middle-Earth movies consist of all of the Lord of the Rings and all of the Hobbit films. These films are based on the fantasy novels written by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings was initially written in the 1950s. However, fans have continued to read the novels and now watch the movies for many, many years.
In fact, popularity for Middle-Earth fantasy tales seems to be so strong that it is possible that these stories could endure for centuries, like the work of Shakespeare, or Chaucer. In total, all of the Middle-Earth movies have grossed $5.88 billion. As a comparison, this figure is higher than the projected GDP of over 40 nations for 2016!
Similar to the popular Game of Thrones television series, the Middle-Earth films take viewers on incredible adventures that have a great deal of depth, complexity and medieval weaponry. The plots are expansive and the settings are spectacular. Viewers simply cannot get enough of these films, and the Middle-Earth fanbase is one of the strongest in the world.
4. Star Wars
The Star Wars movie franchise is one of the best known and most widely recognized in the world. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Yoda, Jabba the Hutt, and other Star Wars characters are some of the most iconic characters in cinema history. In total, the entire franchise (including the original trilogy and the newer movies) has grossed $6.46 billion.
Almost a third of the entire sum generated by the Star Wars movies was made with the latest installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This movie grossed $2.06 billion worldwide. This means that although the original Star Wars movie, Star Wars: A New Hope, came out almost 40 years ago, the strength of the franchise’s film base is stronger than ever.
There were some concerns that demand would fall when Lucasfilm sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney. However, that has not been the case. In fact, Star Wars fans seem set to keep following the journeys of the Jedi knights around the galaxies as they ward off the forces of evil for a long time to come.
3. James Bond
The James Bond film franchise has been running since 1962. This makes it one of the longest running movie franchises in cinema history. 26 Bond films have been made in total. Since the first Bond movie, Dr. No, starring Sean Connery as James Bond, was made in 1962, the franchise has grossed $7.04 billion.
Few franchises have made as many hits in a row as the Bond franchise has. In fact, it has become expected that the franchise will put out a mega-hit every few years or so. Part of the reason why the Bond franchise has been able to stay relevant is because they adapt to changing times. The gadgets, the technology, the villains, and the plots of these stories are always on the cutting edge.
This enables James Bond to feel like one of the most important men on the planet, doing some of the most important jobs out there. The fact that there are usually a few incredibly gorgeous babes near Bond at most times also probably helps add to the films’ appeal. Whatever the exact reason for the franchise’s success may be, Bond fans have proven their loyalty over many decades and continue to be some of the strongest in the industry.
2. Harry Potter
Few film franchises have ever rocked the world like the Harry Potter series has. Based on the best-selling novels from J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter films combine magic with a cast of experienced legends and fresh, young, talented actors. The amazing settings, storylines, and plot twists of this franchise created a buzz around these films that generated millions and millions of fans.
In total, the eight films in the Harry Potter franchise grossed a whopping $7.2 billion! The newest wizarding movie in the franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is set to premier on November 18th, 2016. This film could add even more revenue to the mega franchise.
Harry Potter fans are so loyal and passionate that many of them have read every single book, and seen every single movie. Quidditch, a fictional sport from the series, has been adopted at over 200 universities, who now have club teams. A Harry Potter theme park has even been created in Orlando as a tribute to the series, and as a way for fans to visit setting replicas.
1. Marvel Cinematic Universe
The Marvel Cinematic Universe film franchise includes many different movies with a number of different comic book characters. These characters include Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Ant Man and others.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise is the highest-ever grossing movie franchise. Its global total gross for all of its movies is $10.3 billion! This puts it above the Bond and Harry Potter franchises, and all of the others.
All the marvel superheroes have their own strong fanbases. When multiple heroes appear in one movie, such as The Avengers, the sales figures can be staggering. The global box office figures for The Avengers was an incredible $1.5 billion! So, what makes this franchise have the most loyal fanbase is the fact that it includes many individually strong fanbases combined together. That is a major feat to accomplish in the film industry, and this franchise has successfully done it.