Skip to main content

30 Longest Running Movie Franchises

Puppet Master (1989-2010)

No. Of Films: 10 - Puppet Master (1989), Puppet Master II (1991), Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge (1991), Puppet Master 4 (1993), Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994), Curse of the Puppet Master (1998), Retro Puppet Master (1999), Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003), Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys (2004), Puppet Master: Axis of Evil (2010)

Quantity Over Quality? The entire franchise is direct-to-video, so there's not much to discuss here in terms of quality.

That said, the makers of Puppet Master seem to know they're just riffing on better horror franchises like Child's Play and A Nightmare On Elm Street , which accounts for the series' tongue-in-cheek tone.

The first film's the best-reviewed of the franchise as a whole, while Puppet Master 4 has a 0% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes…

Box Office Haul: $211,876,667

Halloween (1978 -)

No. Of Films: 10 - Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1981), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), H alloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrectio n (2002), Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009)

Quantity Over Quality? John Carpenter's original is a standalone marvel that's as creepy as it is clever, using the bogeyman of kids' nightmares to create the modern-day slasher.

The first sequel was decent if weirdly muscular, while non-sequel Halloween III dropped the ball entirely. H20 finally gave us the sequel we'd all clamoured for before Resurrection ruined the franchise for good, necessitating a total reboot courtesy of Rob Zombie. His Halloween films wouldn't know the word 'subtlety' if it stabbed them in the face.

There's still talk of a third sequel in Zombie's reboot series, though that talk has been more of a whisper in recent years.

Box Office Haul: $363,200,418

Pink Panther (1963-2009)

No. Of Films: 10 - The Pink Panther (1963), A Shot In The Dark ( 1964), The Return Of The Pink Panther (1975), The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), Revenge Of The Pink Panther (1978), Trail Of The Pink Panther (1982), Curse Of The Pink Panther (1983), Son Of The Pink Panther (1993), The Pink Panther (2006), The Pink Panther 2 (2009)

Quantity Over Quality? While the Steve Martin reboot (and its sequel) did the franchise few favours, the early Peter Sellers films remain untouchable classics.

The sixth entry, Revenge Of The Pink Panther, was Sellers' last - and the biggest hitter at the box office of the Sellers-era films, making $49m.

Box Office Haul: $378,233,670

Star Trek (1979 -)

No. Of Films: 12 - Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982) , Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Star Trek Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996) , Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Quantity Over Quality? Like most of the franchises on this list, there are definite clangers - and undeniable moments of genius. Star Trek: The Motion Picture wasn't exactly a masterpiece, but Wrath Of Khan set a new benchmark for the series.

And no matter how you feel about JJ Abrams, his 2009 reboot is hugely thrilling, even if it does pinch shamelessly from the rival Star Wars franchise.

With a third film in the 'reboot chronology' already on the way, there's no end in sight for Kirk and co…

Box Office Haul:

The Muppets (1979 -)

No. Of Films: 12 - The Muppet Movie (1979), The Great Muppet Caper (1981), The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Muppet Classic Theater (1994), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), Muppets From Space (1999), Kermit's Swamp Year s (2002), It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002), The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005), The Muppets (2011), Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Quantity Over Quality? It's no secret that the Muppets were cast out into the movie wilderness after lacklustre entries like Muppets From Space hinted they were becoming a bit of a box office liability.

Jason Segel's 2011 reboot was surprisingly brilliant, though, harking back to the golden era of the seventies and eighties, while sequel Muppets Most Wanted was just as fun, if not quite as fresh.

No word yet if Disney plans on making a Muppets 3 , but given the resilience of Kermit and co, we wouldn't be surprised if they came back for more.

Box Office Haul:

Friday The 13th (1980 -)

No. Of Films: 12 - Friday the 13th (1980), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason X (2002), Freddy Vs. Jason (2003), Friday The 13th (2009)

Quantity Over Quality? Don't doubt it. Like the Star Trek films, the rule with Friday The 13th films seems be: odd number bad, even number good.

At least, that theory holds up until around number eight, when Jason Takes Manhattan drags the series to all-new depths of awfulness.

Though the reboot opened well at the box office, it had no staying power and was generally condemned by critics. A reboot TV series is in the works…

Box Office Haul: $465,228,816

Avengers (2008 -)

No. Of Films: 13 - Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Avengers Assemble (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Ant-Man (2015), Captain America 3 (2016)

Quantity Over Quality? Hardly. Marvel Studios is playing the franchise card in an incredibly clever way. By drawing on all of it’s a-game superheroes with an over-all gameplan that ties them together for The Avengers , it's a studio on a mission.

Though some of the Avengers -bating sequels have left fans feeling blue-balled ( Iron Man 2 in particular got its fair share of flack), for the most part the standalone movies have been fantastic - and buzz for this year's crop of movies has never been stronger.

Plus we still have Phase Three to look forward to…

Box Office Haul:
$6,259,638,817 (and counting)

Pokmon (1999-2012)

No. Of Films: 13 - Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998), The Power of One (1999), Spell of the Unown (2000), Pokémon 4Ever (2001), Pokémon Heroes (2002), Jirachi Wishmaker (2003) , Destiny Deoxys (2005), Lucario and the Mystery of Mew (2005), Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea (2006), The Rise of Darkrai (2007), Giratina and the Sky Warrior (2008), Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009), Zoroark: Master of Illusions (2010), White - Victini and Zekrom and Black - Victini and Reshiram (2011), Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice (2012)

Quantity Over Quality? It depends on if you're a fan of the franchise, really - when a film series reaches its 13th entry, it's fair to say they're only really being made for the hardcore fans by that point.

Clear winner, though, is The Power Of One , while the series' low point is easily Pokémon 4Ever.

They do all tend to blur into one after a while, though, right?

Box Office Haul:

James Bond (1962 -)

No. Of Films: 24 - Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live And Let Die (1973), The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View To A Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987), Licence To Kill (1989), GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Bond 24 (2015)

Quantity Over Quality? Bond is arguably one of the most consistently-brilliant franchises - there's little quality control needed here. For every Licence To Kill there's a Man With The Golden Gun , a Skyfall and a Spy Who Loved Me.

Obviously, the Bond franchise's main strength is its ability to reinvent itself with every new leading man.

Connery, Moore, Brosnan and Craig have all done their own thing and made an indelible mark on both the Bond franchise and the cinematic landscape as a whole. And there's a 24th on the way, too…

Box Office Haul:

Carry On (1958-1992)

No. Of Films: 31 - Carry On Sergeant (1958), Carry On Nurse (1959), Carry On Teacher (1959), Carry On Constable (1960), Carry On Regardless (1961), Carry On Cruising (1962) , Carry On Cabby (1963) , Carry On Jack (1963), Carry On Spying (1964), Carry On Cleo (1964), Carry On Cowboy (1965), Carry On Screaming (1966), Don't Lose Your Head (1966), Follow That Camel (1967), Carry On Doctor (1967), Carry On Up the Khyber (1968), Carry On Camping (1969), Carry On Again Doctor (1969), Carry On Up the Jungle (1970), Carry On Loving (1970), Carry On Henry (1971), Carry On At Your Convenience (1971), Carry On Matron (1971), Carry On Abroad (1972), Carry On Girls (1973), Carry On Dick (1974), Carry On Behind (1975), Carry On England (1976), That's Carry On! (1978), Carry On Emmannuelle (1978), Carry On Columbus (1992)

Quantity Over Quality? The entire franchise is basically 2,700 minutes of boob and bum gags as Kenneth Williams and co do their slapstick thing.

Because all the films were made quickly and on tiny budgets, quality varies, with Carry On Camping and Carry On Matron clear high points, while Carry On England is better best forgotten.

Box Office Haul: Unknown