Sequels to popular movies are often released a few years after the original film, but sometimes there are significant gaps between installments. This graphic from StaDaFa shows the 5 movies with the largest year gaps between sequels.
The first is Top Gun which was released in 1986 and became a cultural phenomenon. It took 34 years for a sequel, titled Top Gun: Maverick, to be released in 2020. The long delay was due in part to the death of Tony Scott, the director of the original film, and the difficulty in finding a story that lived up to the original. Next on the graph is Blade Runner. The original Blade Runner movie was released in 1982 and became a cult classic. It wasn’t followed up with a sequel until 2017 which starred Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. The 35-year gap between the two movies was due in part to the success of the original film and not knowing what story to follow it up with. The third movie is Coming to America. The original movie was released in 1988 and became a favorite comedy. It took 32 years for a sequel, titled Coming 2 America, which was released in 2021. It got panned on rotten tomatoes with an audience score of only 38%. Critics called it a lazy flop and a letdown. The Odd Couple had a 30 year stretch before its sequel. The movie first hit theaters in 1968 starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Its sequel came out in 1998 and starred the same famous actors. Tron is the last movie on the list. It was released in 1982 and was followed by its sequel, Tron: Legacy, in 2010. The 28-year gap between the two movies was due in part to the development of new technology. It got mixed reviews and 3.6 out of 5 stars on rotten tomatoes. Critics enjoyed the cinematography but got lost in the story. These movies demonstrate that it is possible for a sequel to be successful even after a significant gap between installments. While it can be challenging to find a story that lives up to the original, the long wait can also create anticipation and excitement for the sequel.