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Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004); Bridget Jones's Baby (2016)
Bridget first graced our screens with her zany dairy musings and sheer determination toward martyrdom back in 2001. By 2004 Miss Jones seemed on track for happiness, as she and Mr Darcy meandered off into the sunset, (aka took a tumble in the snow in the English countryside) but that was it for 12 long years. This September sees the return of the the self-defined "spinster and lunatic" with a bun in the oven and a curious quandary over the baby's paternity. McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) and Colin Firth star, so there's no question this one will be worth the wait. We like you, Bridget, just as you are, so keep the sequels coming!
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Finding Nemo (2003); Finding Dory (2016)
Little Nemo was finally found and swam safely home way back in 2003. A staggering 13 years later, it was time for Dory to find her own path along the seabed to stardom, and boy did she ever. Ten days afters its release, the movie had already grossed $285.6 million at the box office, making it the sixth-highest domestic earner of 2016 and proving any fin is possible! Dory might have memory problems but this sequel is making waves big enough to be remembered forever.
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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989); Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Let's just go ahead and crown Harrison Ford the official star of the long-awaited sequel. (Ford reprised his role as Han Solo in that little-known indie flick, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, earlier this year and is also set to return in the Blade Runner sequel due out in 2017.) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came 12 years after the previous installment but didn't quite whip up the critical response of its predecessors. Not to fret, there's talk of yet another sequel in 2019, with both Ford and Steven Spielberg returning, so it's not all (The temple of) doom and gloom for the franchise just yet!
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Mary Poppins (1964); Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
It's been more than 50 (!!) years since Mary Poppins, in the form of Julie Andrews, flew into our hearts on an umbrella. She delicately landed on a London sidewalk with a magical bag made of carpet (and containing a hat stand, mirror, and potted plant, among other decorative items), and the best advice on how to help the medicine go down. The upcoming sequel, due for release in 2018, sees Emily Blunt taking on the iconic role of Poppins and making her return to the lives of a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks to lend a helping hand. Fingers crossed for an appearance by Bert!
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Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985); Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Another sequel that took a while to get going, Mad Max: Fury Road hit a bump or two on the pre-production road (which started as far back as 1997) and was lost in the desert wasteland of film development before finally making it into theaters 30 years later. That's some traffic jam. But the 2015 sequel, staring Tom Hardy, was worth the lengthy road battle it took to reach screens: It was the highest grossing film in the Mad Max franchise and, with 10 nominations, was the second most-nominated movie at the 88th Academy Awards. But will Max be back for more? As the movie tagline reads: "The future belongs to the mad." So, yes, Mad Max: The Wasteland is said to be on its way.
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Dumb and Dumber (1994); Dumb and Dumber To (2014)
Just when you thought they couldn't get any dumber(er?), they did. The 2014 sequel came 20 years after the original film and saw Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne (Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels) hit the road once again for an epic cross-country trip to end all trips. Despite being largely panned by critics, the follow-up did have some box office success, grossing over $169 million in total. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!” No, Llyod, no.
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Basic Instinct (1992); Basic Instinct 2 (2006)
Even before the release of Basic Instinct in 1992, there was a lot of hype over the overtly sexual and violent nature of the thriller. So why did it take 14 years for a sequel to come along? Apparently there was some trouble casting the lead male role. While Michael Douglas chose not to reprise his role, Sharon Stone did return to famously uncross her legs once more in 2006.
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Jurassic Park III (2001); Jurassic World (2015)
"An adventure 65 million years in the making." Well, maybe not quite that long but it did seem like dinosaurs had become re-extinct for a minute (read: 14 years) there. It took from 2001 to 2015 for movie producers to follow the third part in the Jurassic Park franchise. But the much-anticipated return to the world of all things Jurassic was as worthwhile as waiting in line at the cloned-dinosaur theme park. With plenty of nostalgic nods to the original films, and killer performances by Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and a freakily frightening hybrid predator named the Indominus rex, last year's sequel made such a solid case for the park to remain open that another visit has been scheduled for June 2018.
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Toy Story 2 (1999); Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toys don't age, but sadly animated kids do. In the 11 years it took Pixar to put out the follow-up to 1999's Toy Story 2, Andy had grown into a college-bound teen with little need for his childhood toys. The 2010 sequel saw Woody, Buzz and co. dealing with the unpleasant surroundings of Sunnyside Daycare and the resentfully angry, purple teddy bear, Lots-o', and his disheartening attitude that toys are meant be discarded. Ugh, downer. Not to worry, in the end the toys find a loving home and the opportunity for more adventure in another sequel in 2018.
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Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983); Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Thirty-two years after Return of the Jedi (and 10 after the final prequel film, Revenge of the Sith), the Force finally decided to wake up, and this awakening was no gentle emergence from a deep slumber. The release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 broke a ton of box office records, quickly becoming the highest-grossing film in North America and the third highest-grossing film of all time, raking in more than $2 billion worldwide. It also scored five Academy Awards nominations. And it doesn't end there! "Remember... the Force will be with you, always,” in the form of two more sequels, Episode VIII and Episode IX, due in theaters in 2017 and 2019 respectively.