These days, audiences tend to be informed about upcoming movies years in advance. Thanks to media like the internet, marketing is cheap and easy and can begin well before the screenplays for any given movies are even written.
With that in mind, we pretty much know Hollywood's schedule for the next five or six years - especially when it comes to sequels to movies that were particularly successful. If a movie made fans happy, they want to know when they can watch the follow-up. If a movie earned a studio a lot of money, they see dollar signs when it comes to potentially making said movie into a franchise (or a bigger franchise if said movie was already a part of one).
So there are countless movie sequels in the pipeline that movie fans are already eagerly anticipating. In some cases, there are even several sequels already planned - such was the success of said sequels' predecessors.
In this article, we're going to take a look at the confirmed sequels that are causing the biggest stir, ranked in the order of how much fans are looking forward to them. Here are the ten most highly anticipated upcoming movie sequels.
10 Fifty Shades Darker
The movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey was one of the most anticipated productions of 2015. While it was a critical flop (the acting, storyline and pacing were all heavily criticised), it was a massive commercial success and grossed $569.7 million at the box office, having cost $40 million to make. It is currently the sixth highest-grossing movie of the year.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, two sequels have already been announced - the first being Fifty Shades Darker in February of 2017. It will be followed exactly a year later by Fifty Shades Freed - and women in particular around the world will be chomping at the bit to get another dose of Jamie Dornan's Christian Grey (teasers have already been released - see the image above - in spite of the fact that the sequel hasn't even gone into production yet).
9 Frozen 2
2013's Frozen proved to be incredibly popular, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2013, the highest-grossing animated movie of all time and the eighth highest-grossing film of any kind of all time, having pulled in $1.274 billion at the box office, after costing just $150 million to make.
As a result, a sequel was inevitable and there was a short film called Frozen Fever released in theatres alongside Disney's Cinderella in March of 2015 - but a feature length sequel has also been confirmed. A release date isn't set, but it is known that it won't be before 2018. Children around the world (and indeed countless adults) will be looking forward to it until then - and we can all count on another song (following the incredible success of "Let It Go") being stuck in our heads for months after!
8 Fast & Furious 8
The Fast and Furious franchise has proved to be a mammoth success since the first movie was released back in 2001 and the most recent release - Furious 7 - grossed an enormous $1.512 billion at the box office, after costing $190 million to make. That figure makes it the second highest-grossing film of 2015 to date and the fifth highest-grossing movie of all time.
With that kind of success, an eighth movie was inevitable and it has been confirmed for a 2017 release. It will be called "The Fast 8" (or at least those are the rumours) and it will be the first to start production since the death of the franchise's major star Paul Walker. In fact, Vin Diesel has said he will be doing the eighth movie because Walker had predicted that the franchise would make it to number eight. Speed and adrenaline freaks around the world can't wait for it.
7 The Untitled Jurassic World Sequel
When Jurassic World was announced, there was a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Sure, it was the fourth movie in a massive franchise and the first instalment in said franchise for fourteen years, but the franchise had also gone terribly downhill since the first Jurassic Park movie in 1993. However, it proved to be a runaway success, becoming 2015's highest-grossing movie to dare, earning $1.637 billion at the box office from its $150 million budget. It currently sits as the third highest-grossing movie of all time.
It's no surprise, therefore, that sequels are planned. Although no title has yet been given to it, a fifth movie in the franchise is scheduled for June of 2018 and a sixth is expected to follow it. Fans of the franchise can't wait for the fifth movie's release and it is set to be different to all of the others, as the bulk of it will not be set on an island.
6 Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians of the Galaxy was undoubtedly one of the surprise successes of 2014. The relatively obscure comic book property became a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Chris Pratt taking the lead role as Star-Lord AKA Peter Quill. The movie earned a staggering $774 million at the box office, surprisingly beating other comic book movies like X-Men: Days of Future Past, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, becoming the third highest-grossing film of the year in the process.
A sequel - entitled Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - is scheduled for release as part of Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three and will hit theatres in May of 2017. The lovable titular characters - including Rocket Raccoon and Groot - will be returning to screens, much to the fans' delight.
5 Captain America: Civil War
Captain America has, thus far, had two films to his name in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first was Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011, but the second - Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014 - was by far the better movie and by far the most successful in terms of the money it brought in. It earned around $715 million at the box office and was the seventh-highest grossing film of the year, having cost $170 million to make.
In May of next year, a third movie starring the super soldier will be released - and it will serve as the biggest event in the MCU franchise to date. Captain America: Civil War will see Captain America leading a team of heroes, taking on another team of heroes led by Iron Man, as they fight over their views on the Superhuman Registration Act. It will be one of the biggest movie events of 2016 and comic book movie fans can't wait for it.
4 Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
Like Captain America: Civil War, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will come out in 2016 - a year filled to the brim with comic book movies. This particular instalment hits theatres in March and, in spite of what some people might believe, it is in fact a sequel to 2013's Man of Steel and will be the second movie in DC and Warner Brothers' new cinematic universe.
Man of Steel earned $668 million having cost $225 million to make, but was deemed successful enough to warrant it kicking off a new franchise. The sequel will see Superman meeting - and taking on - Batman for the first time in a live action movie and, given that they are the two most popular comic book characters of all time, it's one hell of a big deal and one that is exciting fans a lot (in spite of the fact that they were pretty miffed when Ben Affleck was originally cast as the Dark Knight).
3 Avengers: Infinity War
The first two Avengers movies occupy two of the top six spots in the list of highest-grossing movies of all time - so it's little wonder that the two upcoming sequels are causing something of a stir. 2012's The Avengers grossed a massive $1.5 billion, making it the highest-grossing movie of the year and the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time, while 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron grossed an almost-as-impressive $1.3 billion, making it the third highest-grossing movie of 2015 so far and the sixth highest-grossing movie of all time.
Avengers: Infinity War - Parts 1 and 2 will be hitting cinemas in 2018 and 2019 respectively and they look to be massive, epic productions. They will see the titular heroes teaming with other Marvel Cinematic Universe characters (the Guardians of the Galaxy, for example) against an Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Thanos and they will both be awesome. Fans, as a result, seriously can't wait to see them.
2 Avatar 2
In 2009, Avatar did the unthinkable and overtook the phenomenon that was 1997's Titanic to become the outright highest-grossing movie of all time - a title it still holds to this very day - so what could be bigger than a follow-up to that as far as potential sequels go? Well, there's one (which you'll find out next), but Avatar 2 is still one hell of a big deal.
The first movie grossed an absolutely astonishing $2.8 billion at the box office, having cost $237 million to make. Its amazing special effects, awe-inspiring visuals and engrossing storyline had audiences around the world enthralled - and no less than three sequels have been announced. Avatar 2, Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 will be filmed back to back and will be released around Christmas time in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively. Expect the box office takings to be insane as return fans go crazy for the new movies.
1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Simply put, Star Wars is one of the most popular movie franchises in the history of cinema. Adjusted for inflation, there's a very good chance it could be the highest-grossing franchise of all time and the six movies to date have all been box office successes (if not critical successes in all six cases). The highest-grossing offering in the franchise to date is 1999's The Phantom Menace, which was the third movie ever to pull in over $1 billion at the box office.
At the end of 2015, the first in a new series of movies in the franchise - Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens - will be released and fans are going to go crazy for it. You can surely expect it to become the highest-grossing movie of all time, as characters from the original trilogy return to the screen for the first time since 1983's Return of the Jedi. Subsequent (as yet untitled) movies will follow in 2017 and 2019 respectively and you can probably expect them to perform just as well.
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