Trilogies often end up being some of Hollywood’s top-grossing films. I can’t pin down exactly what it is about trilogies that are so appealing to the cinema going public, but it is clear that the Hollywood big wigs know they work and that’s why we see such an influx of big blockbuster trilogies every year. But which are the best? Which are the trilogies that audiences have loved the most?
1. The Matrix
If, after watching all three of The Matrix films, you understand the concept – well done you! Seriously though, The Matrix really redefined what film-making is when it was released the late 1990’s, and while it was mind-bogglingly confusing in places, Neo’s uprising to be the saviour of thousands was a story that really resonated with people.
After the huge success of the first film, The Matrix: Reloaded was released and featured Neo (Keanu Reeves) kicking more arse with special effects and insane martial arts. The final instalment was The Matrix: Revolutions, which drew the series to its triumphant (yet baffling) end. Maybe a combination of futuristic sci- fi, martial arts, and bafflingly complex concepts are the three things needed for Hollywood success?
Even almost a decade on from the last film, the trilogy is still one of the most talked about film series ever. The “red pill/blue pill” debate rages on in philosophy classes/pubs up and down the country, and I’m sure many people have sat there on several occasions and silently contemplated whether they are actually in the Matrix right now…
2. The Lord Of The Rings
When a film grosses nearly $1 billion, you’re pretty much guaranteed a sequel, and when The Lord of the Rings dropped, that’s exactly what happened. The popularity of The Lord of the Rings trilogy is staggering; from the first to the last film, The Lord of the Rings has propelled its stars into superstars and made Hollywood a hell of a lot of money.
Starring Elijah Wood, the film adapts J.R.R. Tolkien’s mystical and fantastic world of hobbits and powerful rings. Epic adventures ensue, which is half the reason why the film was so successful. The other reason is that there is a massive fight between Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee half way through. I mean, come on, who hasn’t always dreamed of seeing that?
3. Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve And Thirteen
When the remake of the classic Ocean’s Eleven film was announced, we knew it was going to be good. With protagonist George Clooney playing Danny Ocean and Brad Pitt as his counterpart, the film was just destined to be epic. Circulating around a bunch of thieves taking on one of the richest men in Vegas, the group are cunning, humorous and, above all, slick.
The second film of the trilogy, Ocean’s Twelve, was less critically acclaimed as the first (many critics declared it was lazy, smug, and illogical), but the third instalment definitely won back fans, despite suffering from some of the same complaints as the second film. If you want clever directing, classy editing (and a side helping of smug laziness) the Ocean’s trilogy is a must-have.
4. The Godfather
Described by many people (mostly men) as the greatest trilogy ever, The Godfather films are some of the most successful films ever. Even all these decades on, the films are still hugely popular and have some of the most memorable phrases in film history, referenced and parodied across many other films and tv shows.
With a budget of just $6.5 million, the original Godfather film grossed $268m, subsequently spawning a sequel and a third and final film. Film-goers loved Al Pacino’s acting and the gritty, yet believable storyline.
5. Star Wars
And finally, we come to Star Wars. Are the Star Wars films the most popular of all time? They’re up there, that’s for sure. George Lucas must have known he was on to a winner when he started filming the original Star Wars, and with Harrison Ford as Hans Solo, the world went mad over everything Star Wars. You can’t move sometimes for a Star Wars reference – they seem to come thick and fast from every corner. Lightsabers, the Force, Yoda, and Darth Vader have all become pivotal symbols of our culture, woven into the fabric of day to day life.
From merchandise to sequels, everybody loved Star Wars. The films made the cast household names, and everyone involved became extremely rich – especially Lucas. The films were so successful that they spawned three modern day prequels that were – to put it lightly – not so well received. The insane popularity of the original films, however, was enough to ensure that the prequels were massive successes regardless. Everyone just tries their best to blank out the memory of Jar Jar Binks.