Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content
Oscars 2017
Everything you need to knowDon't Miss It

Article

What's the secret to franchise films' success?

Posted on

The gamble of shooting megabudget Matrixes back-to-back might have seemed bolder if The Lord of the Rings hadn’t done the same — and far more lucratively. As The Matrix Revolutions (R, 129 mins., 2003, Warner) hits the small screen, let’s explore some other big-screen multitaskers. The Three Musketeers (1974) and The Four Musketeers (1975): Producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind chopped their sprawling, nearly four-hour epic in two, but wanted to pay their cast for a single project. The resulting brouhaha led to a ”Salkind clause” that became part of the SAG contractual boilerplate. Back to the Future Part II (1989) and III (1990): Part II’s see-ya-next-summer nonending was a virtual model for Reloaded’s abrupt lead-in to Revolutions (funny, BTTF’s grosses tailed off, too…). And in an interesting twist, Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980): The Salkinds, producing again, dumped director Richard Donner after the first movie — though he’d simultaneously shot material for the sequel (partly to accommodate Marlon Brando’s and Gene Hackman’s schedules). Now theforbidden-zone.com is organizing a write-in campaign to release Donner’s scrapped footage on DVD.

Comments