This week's big new release is The Best Man Holiday, a sequel to the 1999 movie The Best Man. That's 14 years that it took for us to get a follow-up to the hit ensemble comedy-drama, which stars Taye Diggs, Monica Calhoun, Terrence Howard, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut and more. And the buzz so far indicates that it was worth the wait, with reviews for the sequel near the level of the original.
Very few other long-awaited sequels have had such luck. They have their defenders, but titles that come to mind include TRON: Legacy, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Men in Black III and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. We can also include prequels -- particularly Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace and The Thing -- in the bunch.
Of the ones that were also worth the wait, there's Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money, which arrived a quarter of a century after The Hustler. And Paul Newman finally won an Oscar by reprising his role. There's also Ingmar Bergman's Saraband, which revisits the couple from Scenes from a Marriage. That update took more than 30 years to hit theaters and was the Swedish filmmaker's final feature before his death. Fritz Lang also went out with a late arriving sequel, The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, which opened more than 27 years after his own The Testament of Dr. Mabuse.
Other classics that received very delayed sequels include Chinatown (sequel: The Two Jakes), The Godfather Part II (sequel: The Godfather Part III), Dirty Dancing (sequel: Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (sequel: 2010: The Year We Make Contact). Every one of these had a 16-year gap before the next installment was unveiled.
There was also the nearly 23 years between Psycho and Psycho II, the nearly 19 years between The Last Picture Show and Texasville, the nearly 30 years between The Odd Couple and The Odd Couple II and the 34 years between The Maltese Falcon and its failed comedic follow-up The Black Bird. Let's not forget the ton of Disney animated classics that have taken a very, very long time to receive sequels, most of them direct to video. Bambi II actually holds the current record for longest delay, at more than 63 years.
Some of the best sequels that took their time are lesser known works like The Barbarian Invasions (sequel to The Decline of the American Empire, 17 years later), Naqoyqatsi (sequel to Powaqqatsi, 14 years later) and the Harold Lloyd comedy The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (sequel to the far more famous The Freshman, 21 years later).
But we're pretty sure of what most readers would pick if given the list of films to choose from: Toy Story 3, which arrived 11 years after Toy Story 2, won two Oscars and ended the year as the top-grossing movie of 2010. Or did you prefer this year's Monsters University, which followed Monsters, Inc. after 12 years?