Few would deny that the 1980s and the 1990s had some of the best action films of all time. After the turn of the millennium, though, the genre took a slight downturn and has never fully lived up to that golden age. Studios have found that the best way to reignite the excitement that was first stoked in the earlier films is to release numerous sequels to keep the franchise alive. This has led to some hugely popular sequels already, and there are likely to be a few more in the years ahead.

James Bond

The James Bond franchise from Eon Productions started way before the 1980s, with the first installment, Dr. No, hitting screens in 1962. However, some would argue that the most thrilling and action-packed 007 outings occurred 20 years after his silver screen debut. The main franchise featured Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton over that decade, with a couple of the highlights being For Your Eyes Only in 1981, and The Living Daylights in 1987. Sean Connery also returned to the role for Never Say Never Again in 1983, but this was separate from the Eon films.

The Bond franchise was huge back then, but it is arguably even bigger now. It has been kept alive all this time by various changes in personnel and reboots of the story. The last installment, Spectre in 2015, brought in $880 million worldwide and was the second-highest earning movie in the series. No Time to Die is scheduled for release later this year, and it is expected to boost the already successful franchise further. As it stands, the Eon Productions series is ranked as the seventh-most successful franchise of all time.

Jurassic Park

One franchise that has existed since the 1990s and has managed to beat Bond by a few places in the film franchise showdown is Jurassic Park. It sits in fifth place in the rankings that are determined by a combination of ROI and critic score. The ROI takes into account how well the films performed at the box office in relation to their production budget. Overall, the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies have made more than $5 billion against a budget of $616 million.

It all started in 1993 with Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. The original picture did incredibly well, earning more than $1 billion over its lifetime. It led to a couple of sequels in the 1990s, which were fairly successful at the box office as well. However, the critical response was not as strong for the second and third offerings. This led Universal Pictures to decide to reboot the franchise with Jurassic World in 2015. This is one of the highest-performing sequels ever created, and it made over $1.6 billion worldwide. It sparked another trilogy that has generated more than the first set of movies already.

Film studios should take note of how a well-timed reboot or sequel of a classic from decades gone by can be a huge hit. There are surely going to be more amazing sequels in the years ahead. The question is, which iconic action film should be brought back next?