The new blockbuster film sequel : changing cultural and economic conditions within the film industry
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Film sequels are a pervasive part of film consumption practices and have become an important part of the decision making process for Hollywood studios and producers. This thesis indicates that sequels are not homogenous groups of films, as they are often considered, but offer a variety of story construction and utilize a variety of production methods. Three types of blockbuster sequel sets are identified and discussed in this thesis. The Traditional Blockbuster Sequel Set, as exemplified by Back to the Future (1985, 1989, 1990) films, is the most conventional type of sequel set and capitalizes on the winning formula of the first film in the franchise. The MultiMedia Sequel Set, such as The Matrix (1999,2003) trilogy, allows the user/viewer to experience and consume the story as well as the world of the film through many different media. The Lord a/ the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003) set of films is an illustration of The Saga Sequel Set where plot lines are continuous over the entire franchise thus allowing the viewer to see the entire set as a unified work. The thesis also demonstrates how the blockbuster sequel sets, such as the Pirates a/ the Caribbean (2003, 2006, 2007) franchise, restructure the production process of the Hollywood film industry.