It takes more than just a good plot, a big budget and a charming group of lead actors for a film franchise to last. Sometimes, its even harder, most especially in the absence of an ensemble cast. So how exactly did franchises like James Bond, Rocky Balboa and the Harry Potter series last as long as they did?
Staying Factor: Moldable lead, Ian Fleming, classy filmmaking, Bond Girls, the true ‘spy’ factor=impressive gadgets+ technology
1. Moldable lead. The role is not too actor-specific, instead Bond is a role that only requires certain character qualities and only one ethnic requirement: being British. British aside though, Bond is basically a leading man type, with the smarts to boot.
2. Ian Fleming. Nothing beats a film franchise backed up by a popular book series. Its the spy series’ innumerable readers that make up the vast number of movie watchers that troop to see James Bond not just on paper but in the flesh as well.
3. Classy filmmaking. Nobody likes slapstick action, that is unless you’ve seen Hot Fuzz and you actually enjoy it. Bond films are known for elaborate yet entertaining action sequences which are not all about hand-to-hand, but involve a bit of smarts as well.
4. Bond girls. Nope, they’re more than Bond groupies. ‘Nuff said.
5. The ‘true’ spy factor. Before the advent of spy flicks, Bond was the first non-superhero with the truly ‘swag’ set of gadgetry. Nifty pens, clever shoes… he had it all. And he made us want the million-dollar cars and all that jazz. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it wasn’t just about the gadgets, it was about how Bond made us WANT them.
Staying Factor: the ‘sport’ factor (?) I really don’t know who watches these films 🙂 and Sylvester Stalone
1. The Sports Factor. Boxing may not be as popular a sport as basketball or soccer (correct me if I’m wrong), but Stalone does a great job of playing the formidable underdog of the boxing world. Plus, who doesn’t like a good boxing match here and there?
2. Sylvester Stalone. You’ve got to admire Sylvester Stalone. He may not be as young as he used to, but he managed to continue the Rocky series almost consistently, and even if people might have had enough of Rocky Balboa, Stalone is far from finished.
One could easily compare this multi-million dollar franchise to the Beatles, without the book series, of course. Both lasted for at least a decade. Both have captivated audiences. Yet if there’s one thing we should not forget about Harry Potter it’s the fact that HP is entirely fictional, and if it hadn’t been for a mom by the name of Joanne Kathleen Rowling, none of us would’ve been as spellbound as we are by Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Staying Factor: enthralling book series, lovable leads, powerhouse supporting cast.
Slight Disappointments: direction-wise, differences of the books and movies
1. Enthralling books. It isn’t enough to say that JK Rowling ended up a billionaire because of the success of her works. She did not just manage to earn enough money not to work for another day in her life, she also managed to win the hearts of a generation of readers that will forever have her to thank for their childhoods.
2. Lovable leads. We have casting directors to thank for giving a face to the characters of Harry, Ron and Hermione. But it wasn’t only these three that directors were able to cast perfectly. They were able to give life to the characters readers saw in books, and it was skillful casting that also contributed to the success of the films.
3. Powerhouse supporting cast. A simple question sums this up: ‘what would Harry be without Dumbledore?’ The late great Richard Harris and Michael Gambon surely did not disappoint, and so did Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson, all of whom were gracious enough to support the film’s up and coming young thespians. Needless to say, they did a wonderful job.
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