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With the release of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, his massively successful reboot of the Batman franchise has ended. Though he says this is it, it’s likely that audiences won’t be seeing the last of the Caped Crusader when DKR finally exits theaters.
Below is a list of some of the other most successful franchises in film history:
10. The Matrix
Nearly fifteen years after the release of the first movie, plenty of imitators continue to crib from the Wachowski Brothers’ playbook. Many still hold out hope for an additional chapter in this sense-defying series.
We still have one installment to go in the Bella-Edward-Jacob triangle, but Stephenie Meyer’s series has already won over legions of teen fans and parents who may or may not be willing to admit the same.
8. Back to the Future
The original remains one of the most clever, creative, and humane works crafted on celluloid. It’s a masterpiece, followed by two more ambitious, fun films that took viewers in all kinds of different directions.
With the release of the newest yarn spun about the teen webslinger, Spidey looks like he is well on his way to dominate movie screens for years to come. And maybe even move up this list.
6. Star Trek
The original Star Trek, on both television and in film, was always just okay. But when combined with its many descendants, particularly The Next Generation -- to this date, the only syndicated show to nab a Best Series Emmy nod – this series really is the gift that keeps on giving. Just ask J.J. Abrams.
5. The Lord of the Rings
Peter Jackson took storytelling to new heights with this visually breathtaking – and thorough – adaptation of the Tolkien classics. This is the lone action/adventure franchise in which every installment received a Best Picture nomination (the third of which took home the prize).
4. Indiana Jones
Which is Harrison Ford’s true signature role – Han Solo or Indy? I’ll argue the latter. Steven Spielberg’s series married old-movie adventure with current effects, and the world of filmgoing hasn’t been the same since.
3. James Bond
The whole has always been better than the sum of its individual parts, but this series, borne of writer Ian Fleming, has always had plenty of style. And with Daniel Craig currently embodying the spy, the undercover agent has never looked better.
2. Harry Potter
Multiple writers and directors came aboard this epic eight-part adaptation of the J.K. Rowling series, but one unifying factor prevailed. Whether frightening or fun, this was fare for the entire family to watch together.
1. Star Wars
George Lucas brought an old, far-away galaxy to movie screens and changed storytelling expectations forever. Six principle films and oodles of tie-ins show that the force will always be with us.