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The most successful spinoffs of famous movie franchises

What do you do when making sequel after sequel in a franchise isn't enough? Why, you start making spinoffs, of course. We've got a new spinoff coming our way with "Ocean's 8," which stars Sandra Bullock, among other female powerhouses, as the sister of George Clooney's Danny Ocean from the previous trilogy that began with "Ocean's 11." This is not the first time they've tried to turn a successful franchise into a whole new thing. Here are some other movie spinoffs.

 
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The most successful spinoffs of famous movie franchises

The most successful spinoffs of famous movie franchises
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What do you do when making sequel after sequel in a franchise isn't enough? Why, you start making spinoffs, of course. Here are some more well-known movie spinoffs.

 
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"Logan" (2017)

"Logan" (2017)
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There have been a few Wolverine-related spinoffs from the "X-Men" movies, a couple of which make this list. However, the best of the bunch is "Logan," which did two notable things. One, it did not skimp on the violence and language to make an R-rated comic book movie. Two, it's more of a serious drama than an action film, and even got an Oscar nomination for its screenplay.

 
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"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" (2016)

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" (2016)
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How could they resist making a spinoff of the "Harry Potter" films? There's just so much money in it. Thus, "Fantastic Beasts," which features wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in New York in the years before the action of Harry Potter takes place. It's something of a sequel, but also definitely a spinoff given its zoological bent and focus on Newt.

 
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"Rogue One" (2016)

"Rogue One" (2016)
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Have you heard that they are making "Star Wars" spinoffs now? The first of the bunch was "Rogue One," which fills in some gaps in the story from the first "Star Wars" movie way back in 1977. Finally, we get to see how the plans for the Death Star, and its weakness, got in the hands of Princess Leia. It's a real bummer, but also a really good edition to the "Star Wars" canon.

 
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"The Lego Batman Movie" (2017)

"The Lego Batman Movie" (2017)
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Batman is just so serious these days. Do you long for a time when the Caped Crusader could be funny, a la the Adam West version in the '60s? Then check out "The Lego Batman Movie." It's a visual delight and also genuinely funny. Frankly, it's better than "The Lego Movie."

 
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"Minions" (2015)

"Minions" (2015)
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Even if you've never seen a "Despicable Me" movie, you are away of the Minions. They are way more popular than anything else to come from that series of films, which is why it was inevitable the Minions would get their own film. Those little yellow guys have left their boss, Gru, in the dust. It also feels like the "Despicable Me" films are spinoffs of "Minions."

 
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"The Scorpion King" (2002)

"The Scorpion King" (2002)
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Can you believe there was a time when Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson wasn't a huge movie star? It's true, and 2002's "The Scorpion King" was one of his first opportunities to carry a film. When we saw the titular Scorpion King in "The Mummy Returns," the CGI was truly terrible. Fortunately, technology got a bit better for this one, and the movie was a genuine box office hit, making over $100 million more than its budget in the box office.

 
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"Puss in Boots" (2011)

"Puss in Boots" (2011)
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The introduction of Antonio Banderas' Puss in Boots into the "Shrek" universe was such a boon for the franchise that they gave him his own film. It never got a sequel of its own, though one was planned for a few years, but it did get a Netflix series, and Puss in Boots remains probably the third-most-popular character from "Shrek"  (behind the titular ogre and Donkey, of course).

 
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"Evan Almighty" (2007)

"Evan Almighty" (2007)
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"Bruce Almighty" didn't seem primed for a spinoff, but then Steve Carell became a major movie star. He had a role in the original, so they decided to give him his own movie. However, instead of becoming God, Evan becomes Noah. Then they ran out of Biblical stories to turn into gentle comedies, evidently, as there were no more sequels or spinoffs.

 
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"A Shot in the Dark" (1964)

"A Shot in the Dark" (1964)
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The weird thing about "The Pink Panther," in hindsight, is that Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau is not the main character. That film is about David Niven as a jewelry thief trying to steal the titular diamond. However, Sellers was such a success, he got his own series of films, starting with "A Shot in the Dark," a murder mystery that features a stop in a nudist resort.

 
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"U.S. Marshals" (1998)

"U.S. Marshals" (1998)
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If you don’t think of "U.S. Marshals" as a spinoff of "The Fugitive," you are in disagreement with the producers of the film. Tommy Lee Jones' Sam Gerard, a role that won him an Oscar, was back, but this time he was after Wesley Snipes' fugitive — not Harrison Ford's. It couldn't quite live up to "The Fugitive," but it has its charms.

 
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"Get Him to the Greek" (2010)

"Get Him to the Greek" (2010)
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This one is weird. Russell Brand reprised his role as a hedonistic rock star from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," but this time he's the main character. Meanwhile, Jonah Hill, who was also in "Sarah Marshall," returns, but as an entirely different person. Though nobody was likely asking to see Brand's Aldous Snow again, they did manage to put together a decent enough movie on the cheap. Hey, Roger Ebert gave it three stars, so it has that going for it.

 
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"This is 40" (2012)

"This is 40" (2012)
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If you love Judd Apatow, you probably loved seeing Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann's characters from "Knocked Up" again in this study of entering middle age. On the other hand, if you aren't an Apatow acolyte, you may see it as an incredibly long movie for a comedy that features the director's wife, kids, and even his dog, getting big roles. It's certainly self-indulgent, but if that doesn't bother you, then dig in and enjoy!

 
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"Machete" (2010)

"Machete" (2010)
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"Machete" is kind of a double spinoff. The character started off in the "Spy Kids" franchise, a weird beginning for a hard R exploitation film starring Danny Trejo. Then, he made an appearance in a fake trailer during "Grindhouse," which made more sense. That fake trailer became a real film, and "Machete" even got a sequel, "Machete Kills."

 
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"Creed" (2015)

"Creed" (2015)
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Eventually, Sylvester Stallone wasn't going to be able to play Rocky Balboa as a boxer any longer. Thus, they decided to switch the story from being about Rocky's journey to that of Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed. "Creed" helped make Michael B. Jordan, who played Adonis, an even bigger star, and also got Stallone another Oscar nomination.

 
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"Annabelle" (2014)

"Annabelle" (2014)
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First came "The Conjuring," a supernatural horror film that was a huge financial success, making $319.5 million against a $20 million budget. This success led to a prequel spinoff about a spooky doll. You can probably guess her name. "Annabelle" was an even bigger success, as it raked in $257 million despite only costing $6.5 million to make. Both "The Conjuring" and "Annabelle" have both gotten sequels now, as the two series have gone off in separate directions.

 
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"Solo" (2018)

"Solo" (2018)
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Following the success of "Rogue One," we knew there would be another spinoff set in the Star Wars universe. After "Rogue One" told us about the brave souls who got the information that led to the destruction of the Death Star, "Solo" gave us some backstory about everybody's favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder, Han Solo. Recently, it was unveiled that James Mangold, director of "Logan," will be helming a Boba Fett movie. That will likely make a future list such as this one.

 
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"Penguins of Madagascar" (2014)

"Penguins of Madagascar" (2014)
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The "Madagascar" films aren't the most beloved movie franchise, but they made three of them, and they don't tend to do that with movies that aren’t successes. Everybody loves penguins, including the penguins from the "Madagascar" films, which is why they got their own movie. They are sort of the Minions of this universe, and they also got a TV show of their own.

 
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"Deadpool" (2016)

"Deadpool" (2016)
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"X-Men Origins: Wolverine," a spinoff in its own right, was kind of a disaster. That includes its treatment of a mercenary played by Ryan Reynolds known as Deadpool. However, thanks to a lot of campaigning from Reynolds himself, "Deadpool" got his own film, and a new successful franchise was born. Out of the ashes of a failure rose a vulgar, gross, and incredibly successful superhero film.

 
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"The Wolverine" (2013)

"The Wolverine" (2013)
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After "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" failed, they tried again to make a successful Wolverine film to capitalize on the most popular member of the X-Men. "The Wolverine" is something of a dry run for "Logan," though it isn't quite on that level. That being said, it did show that a solo feature starring Wolverine could work, which meant we got "Logan." We should all be happy about that.

 
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"Planes" (2013)

"Planes" (2013)
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The "Cars" franchise is not the favorite of most film fans, but they have definitely brought in the case. They also got a spinoff, but this time instead of talking anthropomorphic cars, they were planes. That's fun, because they can fly. Originally, it was going to be direct-to-DVD, but they released it in the theaters and Planes made $239.3 million. That was enough to get it a sequel of its own.

Chris Morgan is a sports and pop culture writer and the author of the books The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The Ash Heap of History. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisXMorgan.

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