The first thing I see looking in my 400-screens-or-less realm this week is a couple of sequels, Are We Done Yet? (244 screens) and 28 Weeks Later (206 screens). I had to sit through the former, and it has rightly earned a slot on the IMDB's user-ratings list of the 100 worst movies of all time. I missed the latter because our local publicists programmed the press screening up against Georgia Rule (156 screens), and I have to go where I'm assigned. Regardless, I want to ask: why were these movies made? The obvious answer is because the originals were popular, but the issue is a bit more complex. I think sequels (or, for that matter, remakes) should only be made if the audience wishes it, not because of a bookkeeping decision.
We should start by asking what kinds of movies we love. I have had many discussions with collectors of DVDs over what kinds of movies are deserving of being included in a home library. It goes much deeper than good movies and bad movies. Some movies we collect because they're classics, like, say, Casablanca (1942). Cinema buffs may concentrate on a favorite director, like Bresson, Lang or Leone. Other movies we unabashedly love, like Ghost World (2001) or Shaun of the Dead (2004). Then we have our own personal cult classics, such as Repo Man (1984) or Near Dark (1987). Some movies we admit aren't particularly great, but we like to re-live the experience, like The Bourne Identity (2002) or The Transporter (2002).