I saw an interesting artlcle in The London Independent the other day, on top movie franchises. Not the ones with most box office, or the best critical reception, but just the ones with the most movies. As a firm believer in completism, my first thought was "How many have I failed to see?" So I checked to find out.
How many have you seen or failed to see?
#1: Godzilla (26 movies)
Well, phooey, off to a bad start. I've seen a lot of Gozilla movies, but there's no way I've seen 26. I've seen the first both ways, the original, subtitled Japanese version and the Raymond Burr version. And I've seen all four Hollywood movies with the Big G. And I've seen a bunch of team-up movies, but are they counted? (The Independent didn't print lists, which seem counter-intuitive to me.) Well, I've seen the one with King Ghidorah, the one with Mechagodzilla, Destroy All Monsters, and a few others. I hope Bob reads this and does a forensic analysis of what The Independent probably considered "the canon 26," and points out which ones are must-see films.
I will watch anything Baron Bizarre tells me to. Word.
#2: James Bond (24)
Uh-oh, I have failed again. I've seen most of them, but I tapered off during the Roger Moore era and didn't start watching again until Timothy Dalton. I know I've missed a couple of Moores, all of the Pierce Brosnans, plus the ever-elusive On Her Majesty's Secret Service with George Lazenby. OTOH, I've seen both Casinos Royale, so that must count for something.
No Time to Die, coming later this year, is #25.
#3: The Marvel Cinematic Universe (23)
Hoo-ray, I've seen them all! There's four more coming this year, and four next year, so to stay a completist I have my work cut out for me.
Although I do think it may be a little unfair to lump them all together, when they are actually groups of related franchises rather than a single franchise starring a single character, like Godzilla and James Bond. But this is about to get a little more complicated, so I guess it's OK to bend the rules a little.
#4: Star Trek (13)
Well, that was a pretty big drop-off! Take another bow, Godzilla and Bond!
I've seen all these, of course, although it took me about a decade to get around to the last TNG film, as they felt more and more like extended TV episodes (or commercials for Star Trek toys). If they hadn't mercy-killed the franchise, I would have stopped watching anyway.
#4: X-Men (13)
Tied for fourth are the 13 X-movies. The Independent is counting the two Deadpool movies and New Mutants, which I think is totally fair, since thy were made by Fox and intended to be part of the franchise until Disney scooped up the whole megillah.
I don't know if I can consider any future X-movies from Marvel Studios as part of this franchise or not. I'm open to argument.
I finally caught New Mutants on Netflix, so I can say I've seen 'em all.
#6: Spider-Man (11)
I can hear everyone saying "Say WHAT?" But the Independent apparently counted the three made-for-TV movies with Nicholas Hammond, plus the Japanese Spider-Man movie. Combined with the three Tobey Maguire movies, the two Andrew Garfield movies and the two Tom Holland movies, that makes 11. Spider-Man: No Way Home, coming in December, will be #12.
Don't think it escaped my notice that they counted the two Holland movies twice, in this list and in the MCU list. And they counted the made-for-TV Spider-Man movies, but didn't count the made-for-TV Hulk, Captain America or Dr. Strange movies. And the Venom movies don't seem to be counted anywhere. Who's making these rules, anyway?
I've never seen the Japanese one, and I'm not positive I saw all three Nicholas Hammond TV films. I've seen at least two, I think. I've seen the rest.
#6: Star Wars (11)
Well, this is easy: three trilogies, Solo, Rogue One. Eleven movies, and I've seen 'em all.
#6: Batman (11)
I had trouble coming up with 11 for Batman that didn't include anything animated. (If animation was included, Batman would be far and away #1. Sorry, Big G.) I thought: Batman serial (1943), TV Batman movie (1966), four movies beginning in 1989, three in the recent trilogy and uhhhh ...
Then I realized the last two must be Batman v. Superman and Justice League. Which will be double-counted in the DCEU section below, as well as being team movies, not Batman movies. Well, I guess what's good for the spider is good for the bat.
Seen 'em all, natch.
#9: DCEU (9)
This one's pretty easy, since it started relatively recently, and I've seen them all: Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, Justice League, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman 1984, Birds of Prey and Shazam!
Note that his double-counts two movies with the Batman list.
Note that this does not count Joker.
Note that this number will increase dramatically. Films in the works include The Suicide Squad, Black Adam, Flash, The Batman, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Shazam: Thunder of the Gods.
#9: Planet of the Apes (9)
I'm not surprised that I'm unfamiliar with which films they might be counting. I watched the original trilogy -- yes, even the James Franciscus one -- and the TV show. I also read Marvel's magazine and comics series. After that, I've had my fill of the Apes scenario, and don't feel the need to see/read any more.
#9: Fast and Furious (9)
Haven't watched a one. Never will.
#9: Tyler Perry's Madea (9)
Haven't watched a one. Never will.
#13: Harry Potter (8)
I assumed these were aimed at a younger audience and never watched any. Am I wrong, Legionnaires?
#13: The Conjuring (8)
Never been into horror movies much, especially slasher movies. So I've never seen a one of these. But there must be some reason it lasted longer than the others. What's the story, Legionnaires?
#15: Rocky (6)
I watched the first one, and discovered I did not care for boxing movies.
So that's the Independent list. I'm kinda wondering how accurate it is. I don't know, for example, how many Resident Evil movies there have been, but I bet it's at least six. What about Halloween? Nightmare on Elm Street? Scream? They included The Conjuring, so I'm wondering where its brethren are.
Regardless, it's a good way to launch a discussion. What's missing from this list? What have you seen, Legionnaires?
Godzilla: I’ve probably seen most from the 1950s & 1960s, and the last two.
James Bond: I’ve seen just about all of them pre-Daniel Craig and one Daniel Craig (the most recent)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe: I’ve seen 21. I was probably at work when the 1970s TV movies were broadcast.
Star Trek: 11
X-Men: maybe half, neither Deadpool
Spider-Man: most (excluding the TV movies), but not the extended Sony-verse. The Chinatown scene was filmed in the alley behind a building I used to work in.
Star Wars: 9
Batman: 8 (including Catwoman)
DCEU: 4 (WW, Aquaman, Shazam, JLA)
Planet of the Apes: The original movies
Fast and Furious: 0
Tyler Perry's Madea: 0
Harry Potter: all of them
Rocky: Strangely, none of them, although I liked Paradise Alley, the wrestling movie