What In A Film Title: The Sequels: “The Rise of the Colon”

May 18, 2018 10:43 am Published by Leave your thoughts

So what’s in a film title? With the rise of the number of sequels, let’s take a look at the image that these are having on the title of films. More specifically, the “rise of the colon”.

According to BFI (2017) industry report, “Sequels and franchises (including the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe series) accounted for 12 of the top 20 films. This is the same as in 2014 and 2015.”  The top performing release in 2016 was Star Wars: Rogue One, earning over (as of 19th February 2017) £66m in the UK. In 2016, the three next most popular releases were also sequels, incluidng the Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (£55 million), Bridget Jones’s Baby (£48 million) and The Jungle Book (£46 million).

Let’s take a look at a calendar, from DCM.co.uk,  of 2018 / 2019 (May 2018 to March 2019) of cinematic releases and categorise them in to squeals, prequels, spin-offs, and reboots. This is ever changing, when looking further ahead, if a film release date is changed.

Types of “sequel”:

Sequels: Deadpool 2, Jurassic World : Fallen Kingdom, Super Troopers 2, Sicario 2, The First Purge, Incredibles 2, Mama Mia 2: Here we go again, Mission: Impossible Fallout, Hotel Transylvania 3, The Equalizer 2, Johnny English 3, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewood, Wreck-it Ralph 2, How to Train your Dragon 3, The Lego Movie sequel, Godzilla 2,…

Spin-offs: Sherlock Gnomes, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ocean’s 8, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Venom, Aquaman, Mary Poppins Returns, Holmes and Watson, Bumblebee, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Captain Marvel,…

Reboots: The Predator, Halloween, The Grinch, Robin Hood, Hellboy,…

There are currently 125 releases scheduled for between May 2018 and March 2019, 32 of which are either a sequel, spin-off or reboot. Further to this, this doesn’t take in to account adaptations from other sources. There have already been a number of releases that would fall in to this category, including:

  • The Jungle Book,
  • Rampage,
  • Peter Rabbit,
  • Red Sparrow,
  • Ready Player One,
  • The Darkest Minds,
  • Mary Queen of Scots,
  • The Girls in the Spider’s Web and many many more.

Now, there has been a few assumptions when categorizing these as, for example, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom would fit in to both spin-off and sequel. As discussed previously, many of the top grossing films within the UK have been a sequel, prequel, spin-off or adaptation.

So, what is the challenge when marketing this film?

Whilst the primary audience size may have increased, depending on the success of the original, the trick here is to ensure that the audience believe that this is a new film.

However, have you also noticed the number of sequels, spin-offs etc that contain extra punctuation- such as the : (colon).

Example: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Captain America: Civil War…

Infact, according to The Wrap, there were 20 titles (16 in 2016) that were released in the US that contained the colon, not including the documentaries and foreign titles.

Take a look at the 2016 movies:

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
The Divergent Series: Allegiant
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Barbershop: The Next Cut
The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Captain America: Civil War
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
X-Men: Apocalypse
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Independence Day: Resurgence
The Purge: Election Year
Ice Age: Collision Course
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Mechanic: Resurrection
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
Kevin Hart: What Now?
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Ouija: Origin of Evil
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

This not only links the movie to a franchise but it also attempts to give the film a new identity, a new feel.

Take a look next time you watch a film on NETFLIX, Amazon Prime or cinema / theatre…

 

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This post was written by noxford

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