Sequel Naming Conventions

Nov 18, 2008

Every so often, I troll the Apple movie trailers page to see what's in the pipeline (ironic, considering I almost never go to the theater). In browsing the page today, I noted a trailer for "The Pink Panther 2," which will undoubtedly be an embarrassment to the good name of Peter Sellers. This got me thinking, however, about how sequel titles have gotten dumber over the years. Here are the original Pink Panther movie titles:

  • The Pink Panther
  • A Shot in the Dark
  • The Return of the Pink Panther
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again
  • etc...

Note the clever new names for each movie. The upcoming film, starring Steve Martin (who can't seem to make any good movies anymore), has simply appended the number 2 to the end of the title. Many movies these days resort to this cop-out tactic, which seems to me to be an excellent indication of the lack of imagination and creativity left in the entertainment industry. I can think of only a few recent exceptions to this trend: the Lord of the Rings movies (whose titles come from books anyway), and the Jason Bourne movies (again, which come from book titles). Everyone else just tags a number on the end: Pink Panther 2, High School Musical 3, and Star Trek 12: So Very Tired. Do movie executives really believe that the public is stupid enough to not know a sequel when they see it? Apparently so.

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