Film execs love a blockbuster success, even more so if it warrants a money-spinning franchise. While an engaged audience is usually a safe bet at the box office, the sequel often feels a bit lackluster. Here’s our rundown of when a sequel outperformed the original.

Top Gun: Maverick isn’t the only sequel which outperformed its original counterpart at the box office. The list features big names such as Lord of the Rings, Deadpool, and Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. But sequels aren’t always as successful: Harry Potter and The Avengers are the proof.

Top Gun: Maverick doesn’t cease to surprise, breaking record after record, including bigger box office receipts than its original counterpart, 1986’s Top Gun, which is considered a classic of modern cinema.

Its opening weekend was the best of the year, as Maverick is officially Tom Cruise’s first $1 billion movie. And it doesn’t end here, as the movie is also the most viewed of 2022.

A study conducted by AskGamblers has analyzed other famous names which have had at least one sequel and discovered that the latest Top Gun isn’t the only one that has outperformed the original instalments.

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight
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Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight grossed almost a whopping $1 billion against the $359 million made by Batman Begins, a difference of almost $640 million. Heath Ledger’s outstanding performance as Joker was among the factors of this success – but the Dark Knight franchise didn’t stop there, grossing even more with its third instalment.

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers earned $229 million more than The Fellowship of the Ring, just a year after the latter was released, as fans all around the world were eager to know more about Frodo’s adventures.

Another example is Blade Runner: released in 1982, the movie starring Harrison Ford didn’t do exceptionally at the box office, grossing almost $40 million regardless of the generally good reviews the movie received. The 2017 sequel, Blade Runner 2049, which added Ryan Gosling to its cast next to Ford, made $219 million more, making it a great example of a sequel which also did the former movie justice.

This, however, is not the rule, as there are many movies whose original instalment did better than their sequel. A couple of examples are The Avengers (2012), which made $119 million more than 2015’s Age of Ultron, and the Harry Potter franchise, as Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone made $965 million, while Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets grossed $875 million.

T2 Trainspotting
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A spokesperson for AskGamblers commented on the study: “When a movie becomes a sensation, it is not surprising that studios consider creating a sequel for it – not only to quench the viewer’s thirst for more plot, but also to provide a new, but not always assured, source of income.

“Movies like Top Gun: Maverick have had this power, attracting many fans of the original instalment to the theatre to check out a new adventure of one of Tom Cruise’s most iconic roles, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. It has been hugely successful, to the point of having even better results than the first time.

“And just like the 2022 Top Gun<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> sequel, there are many others which managed to do the same, as the data demonstrates, such as Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers and The Matrix Reloaded, alongside more family-friendly but nonetheless iconic performances like Shrek 2 and Toy Story 2.”

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