2011: The Year of the Sequels

Graphic by Dana Rappaport '11

As we enter a new decade, it is becoming more difficult for blockbusters to spring from novel ideas. Instead, studios and screenwriters alike are choosing to continue on with juggernaut series. In 2011, the trend continues. This year will be the year of the sequels. Here’s a list of movies sure to be a crow favorite – and if not, at least a box office hit.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (May 20)

It was the summer of 2003 when “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” hit theaters and the pirate craze began. Now, eight years later, the fourth installment to the “Pirates” series will be released May 20. “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” To the surprise of many “Pirates of the Caribbean: One Stranger Tides” will not feature William Turner (Orlando Bloom) or Elizabeth Swann (Kiera Knightly). There will also be a change in directors, as Rob Marshall – who has directed movies such as “Chicago” and “Nine” – will take over the reigns from Gore Verbinski. It remains to be seen if “On Stranger Tides” will be a cohesive addition to the series or a completely different movie that just holds the title “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Jul. 15)

More than ten years after “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” stole our imaginations, the last, and much-anticipated installment of the Harry Potter films is set to be released. Jul. 15 will mark the end of the wildly successful Harry Potter era – however, the respect of the series receives weighs heavily on the success of “Hallows,” both in the box office, and on the resemblance to the last half of J.K. Rowling’s bestseller. It will also be interesting to see what other projects the main protagonists, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), will be a part of once their Harry Potter careers have come to an end.

The Hangover: Part II (May 26)

Even though “The Hangover” was not nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, it remains one of the most coveted, and quoted, movies at Staples. The 2009 blockbuster will be followed by a sequel on May 26 – “The Hangover: Part II.” The wolf pack reunites as Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Doug (Justin Bartha), and Alan (Zach Galifinakis) head off to Bangkok for Stu’s wedding. Former President Bill Clinton will be making a cameo in the film, along with earlier “Hangover” alumni Mike Tyson. Hopefully “The Hangover: Part II” measures up the success, hilarity, and absurdity of its wildly entertaining predecessor.

While these three movies are considered to be the largest attractions this upcoming year, it is worthy to note other films such as “Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom” (May 27), “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” (Jul. 1); and Scream 4 (Apr. 15). Overall the 2011 movie scene will be most successful due to the expected sequels.

Click on the links below to see the available trailers of the movies mentioned in the article: