10 Movie Sequels Nobody Asked For But Ended Up Being Awesome

He was dead. But he got better.

Crank: High Voltage Jason Statham Amy Smart

Sequels are the lifeblood that keeps Hollywood chugging along, as any remotely successful film will see studios scrambling to get a follow-up in production as soon as possible.

It makes total sense, of course - why roll the dice on a bold new IP when you can make a far safer bet on a name brand that's already been successful?

The cynical nature of this model often invites low expectations from audiences, though, because if we're totally honest, how many movie sequels truly need to exist in the artistic sense?

While it's often easy to spot a lazy dud sequel coming from a mile away, every so often a no-expectations sequel ends up surprising everybody.

These 10 sequels were all met with sneering derision from audiences when they were first announced, and the skepticism was largely justified in each case, whether a result of the series' prior failures or the simple fact that the story just didn't necessitate another movie.

But these sequels all defied the odds to deliver shockingly entertaining follow-ups that perhaps even ranked among the finest entries in their respective franchises...

10. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle

Crank: High Voltage Jason Statham Amy Smart

When a new Jumanji movie was first announced, fans of the 1995 original groaned, and when it was later confirmed to be a continuity sequel to that movie, they cried foul that it would most likely tarnish the original's legacy.

After all, given that Jumanji is one of the late, great Robin Williams' most beloved projects, many were justifiably concerned that Jumanji 2 would cynically milk our nostalgia receptors by digitally resurrecting Williams' Alan Parrish for a cameo, or otherwise undermine everything the 1995 film was about.

And while audiences were skeptical about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle right until release, it remains one of the most pleasantly surprising blockbusters of the last decade.

Shrewdly remixing the Jumanji premise through a star-studded body-swap comedy, Welcome to the Jungle made the most of its game cast - especially a sublime Jack Black - while delivering a heap of goofy, CGI-soaked fun.

Above all else, it provided a small, respectful tribute to Williams' character but mostly forged ahead on its own with a new story.

This resulted in shockingly positive reviews from critics and a wildly unexpected $962.2 million worldwide box office, despite facing stiff competition from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

A sequel, Jumanji: The Next Level, was immediately greenlit and performed to similar levels of success in 2019, leading to active development of a third film. Who could've ever seen this coming?


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.