This piece at Atlantic made me think. What’s the best movie sequel? To answer the question you need to answer two others: what’s a sequel and what’s “best”?
It’s easier to define a sequel by what it isn’t than by what it is. A reboot, a reimagining, or a television adaptation is not a sequel. So, for example, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the television show) is not a sequel to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie). It’s all three of the above (reboot, reimagining, adaptation). It’s not a sequel no matter how much better the television show was than the movie.
Then what is meant by best? From an artistic standpoint The Godfather, Part II is probably the best movie sequel. However, from the standpoint of box office Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow, Part II would be hard to beat. Not only was its worldwide box office bigger than Part I, it was bigger than the first movie in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone. It’s the rare sequel that out-grosses the original.
So, what’s the best movie sequel?