Top 5 Long Running Movies Franchise


long running movies

Hey guys!. In this post, I’ll be discussing a list of Top 5 Long Running Movies Franchise. We decided to focus on long-running franchises and there are a lot of different ways to define that, but we decided that basically any film franchise with five or more movies was fair game. And let me tell you, there are a lot of franchises with five or more films in them. 

Luckily, I didn’t actually have too much trouble narrowing down to my top five. But, I did have a really hard time ordering the top five. So, my ranking here is kinda based on a mix of things like average rating of all of the films in a franchise, the strength of connectivity among the films, how often I find myself coming back to them. 

Sort of a very unscientific mix, so don’t put too much stock in the actual order of these top 5 cause they’re really hard to judge against each other. Alright, let’s get this top list started. 

5. Mission: Impossible. 

So, this franchise technically has its roots all the way back in the 60s with the Mission: Impossible tv show, but as a film franchise this has run from 1996 to present. There are currently six movies in the franchise, with the seventh headed our way this year. So there are minimal character and plot connections to the tv show, but the films have all connected to each other fairly well. 

It starts off a little episodic - kind of a hold-over from the show - but by the time we get to the later films, they really flow into each other story wise and, of course, we’ve got the Ethan Hunt connection throughout the series. Like a few other franchises that are coming later in this list, Mission: Impossible is a series that’s evolved quite a bit over the course of its films. 

You take a look at the first movie and the latest and it’s almost hard to believe that they’re part of the same franchise. What began as a stylish and atmospheric espionage thriller has become one of the most consistently awe-inspiring action franchises ever. 

The action sequences and stunts, especially from the fourth film on, are beyond impressive and have a degree of practicality to them that we don’t see in a lot of other big action franchises. I don’t love every movie in this franchise and of all the franchises that made my top 5, this is the one that I rewatch least often, but it definitely earns its spot in the list. 

4. Bond, James Bond. 

Not only is this the second spy franchise to make the list, but it’s also the longest-running franchise to make the list, running from 1962 to present. There are a few unofficial films, but the “official” Eon-produced franchise is currently made up of 25 films. There are certainly plenty to choose from. Out of all the franchises on this list, James Bond is easily the most varied and least inter-connected. 

James Bond is the titular star of every film in the franchise, but he’s been portrayed by six different actors. It makes sense, considering the franchise turns 60 years old this year, but it introduced a lot of variation because each actor had a very different style, which significantly influenced the films they were in. So, even though say Roger Moore and Daniel Craig play the same character, they do it in very different ways. 

On top of that, this was a very episodic film franchise until fairly recently. Before the Craig-era, there weren’t significant story connections from one film to the next, so the events of a previous film rarely had any bearing on the characters or the plot. In spite of that and a handful of weak films, this is a franchise that I often find myself returning to. 

3. Fast and Furious. 

This franchise has run from 2001 to present and currently has nine films and a spin-off. As a whole, this franchise is utterly absurd. It’s completely ridiculous, but in the best ways possible. It’s probably the worst franchise on the list, objectively-speaking, but subjectively, I love these movies. They’re so dumb, but they’re just such an enjoyable set of films for me, that I find myself rewatching all the time. 

Similar to Mission: Impossible earlier, Fast and Furious is a franchise that has significantly evolved over the years. The first movie was essentially an unofficial remake of Point Break, substituting street racing for the surfing. It was a little action crime movie about stealing DVD players and driving fast. But over the last, really decade of this franchise, they’ve really shifted gears and cranked things up. 

The main characters are essentially superheroes at this point and the stunts defy both gravity and logic, but there’s something so enticing about the franchise’s need to one-up itself with each new movie. And even though the stories are frequently convoluted and ridiculous, the characters always keep me truly invested. 

It’s been so satisfying watching these characters develop over the years and so the action keeps it fun and exciting, but it’s the family that draws you back in. 

2. Harry Potter. 

I’m focusing just on Harry Potter here and not the Wizzarding World franchise, so this actually the only franchise on the list that is complete. It ran from 2001 to 2011 and had 8 films. I’ve gotta admit that, despite me putting this list together, I’m a little surprised at how high this franchise came in. I’ve never really considered myself a big Harry Potter fan. But thinking about it, it has been a pretty consistent part of my life. 

I remember getting the first book at the school book fair a few months after it came out and I did read each book as it was released. I haven’t re-read them, but I’ve certainly rewatched the movies countless times. Out of all the franchises in this list, this is easily the most inter-connected - probably in large part because it’s the only one whose source material was a narrative book series. 

So, the stories and ideas and character development all build on each other and carry over from film to film in a fairly logical, cumulative way. A couple of the movies aren’t my favorites and I do tend to like the early half of the franchise much more than the latter half, but there’s something very enjoyable and enveloping about this series, even for somebody who’s not a huge fantasy fan. 

Nostalgia certainly has a hand in that, as did ABC Family’s insistence on showing a Harry Potter marathon seemingly every weekend for years. So, this is a franchise that sorta sneakily crept on me as a favorite, without me even realizing it. 

1. The MCU. 

I’m sure this is gonna make just about everybody’s list, so probably not a big surprise here. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has run from 2008 to present and currently has 24 films. I know there are people who live and breathe the MCU, so even though I’ve rewatched these movies more times than I can count over the years, I would still only consider myself a casual MCU fan in comparison. 

So, it might seem a little surprising then that this is my number one, but this is just too consistently good of a franchise for it not to be. I mean, this is the biggest franchise on this list, yet it’s just a few hundredths of a point away from having my highest average rating of any of the franchise’s on this list, which is pretty impressive. It means that for me, this is a really consistently enjoyable franchise. 

And even though the stories and characters obviously don’t all tie into every single other movie and the films comprise a wide variety of subgenres, the level of interconnectedness inherent to the cinematic universe is almost mind-boggling, which is just another very impressive thing about this franchise. There are a couple movies in the series I don’t love, but the level of rewatchability here is practically infinite. 

That is it from today’s post on Top 5 Long Running Movies Franchise. If you do not agree with the points in the post and have some of your own opinions, share them with us in the comments section down below. 

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Chandan is the writer of “Top 5 Long Running Movies Franchise”. Also, Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.


Hey there! I'm Chandan and I'm from India. I'm a writer and youtuber. You can contact me at: pinterest

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