Bigger, better more, more, more
Sequels used to be little more than a way of squeezing more money out of a successful film. They were invariably inferior, cheaper and lacking the chief creative forces behind the originals.
There were a few exception in the early years of Hollywood notably The Bride Of Frankenstein but the film that really made sequels respectable was The Godfather Part II (1974), the first sequel ever to win the Best Picture Oscar.
Since then, sequels that not only equal but outshine their predecessors have become ever more common, and here are the best among them.
50. Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995)
Why It Measures Up: An accidental sequel, in that the story was written before Bruce Willis was attached - but it's precisely because it isn't a rehash of the original that returning director John McTiernan has room to breathe.
49. Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993)
Why It Measures Up: If the original was quite modest in its targets, the sequel goes for the jugular by tackling the Rambo films and assorted other action movies.
48. Final Destination 5 (2011)
Why It Measures Up: Like fourth instalment The Final Destination, shooting in 3D is exactly what this franchise's gore-soaked set-pieces need. But what really makes this one stand out is its rug-pulling, should-this-even-be-in-this-list twist ending...
47. Blade 2 (2002)
Why It Measures Up: The hiring of Guillermo Del Toro creates an unusual hybrid of the first film's action and the director's love of all things weird.
46. Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)
Why It Measures Up: In a word: Jason. After the mad mother in the original, it's her son's turn to create one of horror's most indestructible characters (although he's not developed his fetish for hockey masks yet).
45. Aparajito (1956)
Why It Measures Up: The only sequel to win the top prize at one of the Big Three European Festivals - specifically, the Golden Lion in Venice - this is the bedrock of Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy.
44. Shrek 2 (2004)
Why It Measures Up: If the first Shrek was a pop at Disney, this one takes wider - but equally astute - jabs at social climbing and body fascism. But it's really on the list for introducing Puss In Boots.
43. Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966)
Why It Measures Up: The dystopian London setting - with Daleks patrolling Westminster Bridge - makes this a much more iconic, confident adventure than the space-bound original.
42. Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
Why It Measures Up: Wes Craven returns for the first time since the original, with a bold new meta-premise that turns the idea of horror sequels on their head. Next stop: Scream.