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2013's 29 Movie Sequels Ranked From Least to Most Necessary

Iron Man 3 Marvel

"Texas Chainsaw 3D" is 2013's inaugural sequel in a year chock full of them (29 in all). With this much franchise volume in one year, it's good to keep some perspective in terms of which series we're primed for ... and which ones shouldn't have had a first movie to begin with.

From the bad to the rad, here's our rundown of all the follow-ups fans have been clamoring for — or haven't, as the case may be. Prioritize your sequel viewing, people.

29. 'The Smurfs 2' (July 31)

The Smurfs 2 Sony

The first "Smurfs" was a true-blue atrocity, taking Peyo's beloved children's characters and having them skateboard and rap their way through FAO Schwartz. Expect even more lowest common denominator-ing and product placement as Neil Patrick Harris and our heroes smurf around Paris searching for a kidnapped Smurfette ... and their agent so they can fire him.

28. 'The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia'

Gold Circle Films

We nearly forgot about this horror sequel, especially since it has NOTHING TO DO with the original "Haunting in Connecticut." It also has perhaps the most moronic title since "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector." Since it involves a little girl who senses the spirits of murdered slaves, why not call it a sequel to "Django Unchained" while we're at it? Abigail Spencer and Chad Michael Murray will trudge their way through this potentially direct-to-DVD cheapie.

27. 'The Last Exorcism Part II' (March 1)

The Last Exorcism Part II CBS Films

Hey, wait a minute ... wasn't it supposed to be the LAST exorcism? This found footage horror franchise might last forever if the possession business is truly booming. Ashley Bell is back for more demonic devilry as the unfortunate Nell Sweetzer, who after giving birth to a satanic baby in the previous film is trying to make a fresh start of her life in a new town. Riiiiight ... that'll happen.

26. 'Grown Ups 2' (July 12)

Grown Ups Sony

Yet another excuse for Adam Sandler and his buddies to hang out together on the studio's dime, this one finds the Sand Man along with Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin James facing off against some rowdy frat boys. As if we didn't already know these guys were entering their twilight years of being funny, "Twilight" star Taylor Lautner also appears as the leader of the frat.

25. 'Scary Movie 5' (April 12)

Scary Movie 5 The Weinstein Company

Talk about resurrecting the dead. We felt confident that the stale comedic antics of this parody series had been laid to rest in 2006, but the new one offers oh-so timely parodies of "Black Swan," "Child's Play," "127 Hours," "Final Destination," "The Hunger Games" and the inevitable "Paranormal Activity." Director Malcolm D. Lee (Spike's cousin) is a competent dude but probably won't bring anything new to the table besides that Charlie Sheen/Lindsay Lohan scene.

24. 'Texas Chainsaw 3D' (Jan. 4)

Texas Chainsaw 3D Lionsgate

This is the seventh film in a franchise that has only served to water down the potency of Tobe Hooper's 1974 splatterpiece, but how could producers resist the temptation to have Leatherface and Co. take a stab at the third dimension? Word is that despite this being a 20-years-later direct follow-up to the original, it doesn't add any new dimension to the characters, offering only standard slaughterhouse thrills. Expect this movie to bore ... a hole in your skull.

23. 'Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters' (Aug. 16)

Percy Jackson Warner Bros.

Straight from the "Sequels Nobody Wanted" file comes Logan Lerman returning as the demigod son of Poseidon as he continues his battle with dyslexia. Also, mythological creatures. 2010's "The Lightning Thief" barely made enough money to take the bus back home, but Rick Riordan's YA books are popular enough that Fox thinks it can defibrillate this wannabe "Harry Potter" back to life.

22. 'Fast Six' (May 24)

Fast Six Universal

How many high-speed heists can these guys really pull off? Having officially outpaced "Smokey and the Bandit" by three sequels, Vin Diesel busts out the wifebeater, Paul Walker brings the bland and Michelle Rodriguez comes back from the dead as the vehicular mayhem likely causes another pile-up at the box office. Hiring on badass "Haywire" star Gina Carano to be part of Dwayne Johnson's team might be the only saving grace of an increasingly ludicrous series (which also features Chris "Ludacris" Bridges).

21. 'The Best Man 2' (Nov. 15)

The Best Man Universal

The second sequel of the year from Malcolm D. Lee, only this time he's following up on his own handywork on 1999's well-received debut "The Best Man." While it has yet to begin shooting, the plan is to follow the original characters played by the ensemble known as the "Black Pack": Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Regina Hall, Monica Calhoun, Taye Diggs, Terrance Howard and Morris Chestnut.

20. '300: Rise of an Empire' (Aug. 2)

300: Rise of an Empire Warner Bros.

THIS IS A CASH GRAB ... uh, we mean ... SPARTA! How do you do another film when literally everyone in Zack Snyder's original "300" got skewered by Persians? Expect plenty more beefcake shish kebab as the film covers not one but THREE historic Greek battles (Artemesium, Marathon and Salamis) as well as the origin of androgynous "God King" Xerxes ... as if we care.

19. 'Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers' (Sept. 27)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Sony

Taking place directly after the first film, this sequel to "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" brings Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) and his pals back to their hometown to battle with mutant food beasts created by his machine. Those creatures include hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees and apple pie-thons ... let the pun fun begin!

18. 'Insidious Chapter 2' (Aug. 30)

Insidious FilmDistrict

The team of writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan continue with their ongoing mission to scare the bejeepers out of us ... and Patrick Wilson. Wilson (who also stars in Wan's "The Conjuring" this year) and Rose Byrne are back as the unfortunate Lambert family still coping with declining property value after the whole haunting thing from the last movie. It's a buyers market, guys.

17. 'Paranormal Activity 5' (Oct. 25)

Paranormal Activity 4 Paramount

This thing just keeps going, doesn't it? All we know about this fivequel is that A) Katie Featherstone is back, B) she's still possessed by that demon, and C) it's gonna make enough money to send 1000 kids to college. That demon has taken up residence in Katie's soul for so long now we can officially label it a squatter.

16. 'The Hangover Part III' (May 24)

The Hangover Part III Warner Bros.

The first film was a gas, the second was a pill and by the end of this one you might wish all four of these guys had died of alcohol poisoning. The Wolf Pack of Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and the ever-useless Justin Bartha return to the site of their initial debauchery, Las Vegas, as well as the party capital of Mexico, Tijuana. This time out they have to rescue Galifianakis from a mental hospital ... and somehow find a way to get drunk in the process. The increasingly mean-spirited Todd Phillips is behind the camera for the third and (hopefully) final time.

15. 'A Good Day to Die Hard' (Feb. 14)

A Good Day to Die Hard Fox

Yippee ki-yay Valentine's Day. Bruce Willis returns as "the 007 of Plainfield, New Jersey," John McClane, and not even God knows what he's doing. The wisecrackin' cop comes to Moscow for the borscht but stays for the explosive terrorism as he teams up with John Jr. (Aussie hunk Jai Courtney) to battle bad guys and make with the quips. In a year when Willis is appearing in three major sequels, the fact that we're looking forward to "Die Hard 5" the least is a bad sign, but we can thank a generic trailer and a piss-poor previous installment for that.

14. 'The Wolverine' (July 26)

The Wolverine Fox

We were just a teensy bit more excited for this flick when Darren Aronofsky was at the helm, but word from the set has this sixth film in the "X-Men" saga pegged as a potential mutant masterpiece. Based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's classic 1982 mini-series that put the surly Logan (Hugh Jackman) in a samurai showdown with the Japanese Yakuza over honor ... and the boss's daughter. Yowza. Hopefully the Kurosawa-inspired action will slice away traumatic memories of the first "Wolverine" solo adventure.

13. 'RED 2' (Aug. 2)

Red 2 Summit

Having enjoyed the first one immensely, we're pretty sure "RED" stands for "Retired and Extremely Delightful." Bruce Willis and his cadre of former CIA black ops fogies are bound for a European adventure, and time around the bad guy is Hannibal Lecter incarnate, Anthony Hopkins ... but anyone who saw the original knows it's all about the Helen Mirren with a gun factor. John Malkovich and Mary-Louise Parker also return, with Catherine Zeta-Jones bringing her menopausal class to the proceedings.

12. 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' (March 29)

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Paramount

Yo Joe! Don't tell anyone, but "The Rise of Cobra" was one of our favorite blockbusters of the last few years, if only because it unashamedly flaunted how stupid it was. The hairbrained antics of the Joes march on as Cobra takes over the White House and kills all but a handful of the elite super soldiers. To retaliate, Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) recruit the toy soldier that started it all: General Joseph Colton (Bruce Willis). This one was delayed for eight months so Paramount could add 3-D and up the Channing Tatum quotient after America suddenly realized they liked Tatum after all.

11. 'Riddick' (Sept. 6)

Riddick Universal

It's rather rare that a movie that ultimately bombed (the rather cool "The Chronicles of Riddick") would get a shot at box office redemption, but Vin Diesel leveraged all his "Fast and Furious" muscle to usher in the return of the ferocious Furian. Diesel worked for scale so he and director David Twohy could drop Riddick in the middle of another hellhole planet where he'll encounter rival mercs after his head ... as well as creatures that will make the nasties from "Pitch Black" look like a litter of puppies.

10. 'Despicable Me 2' (July 3)

Despicable Me 2 Universal

Steve Carell reprises his voice role as Gru, the evil mastermind with a heart of gold, but more importantly those adorable little falsetto Minions provide more mischievous comic relief. New to the fold in the recording booth are Steve Coogan and Al "HOO-HAH!" Pacino as Gru's nemesis.

9. 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For' (Oct. 4)

Sin City Dimension

After eight long years, Robert Rodriguez has finally re-teamed with comic creator Frank Miller for more rain-soaked neo noir. Like the original film, the sequel will be split into several short stories that are loosely tied together with recurring characters and settings; Jessica Alba will again seduce us with her pole dancing as the delicious Nancy, while Mickey Rourke piles on the makeup once more to reprise the brutal powerhouse that is Marv.

8. 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' (Dec. 13)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Warner Bros.

Even as it rakes in more gold than Erebor, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" left much to be desired in terms of story momentum, so let's hope Peter Jackson can tighten the running time and go easy on the bloated FX scenes. Yeah, right. The best we can hope for is the fabulous Martin Freeman having a little more to do this time, and that greedy fire-breather Smaug turns out to be the best cinematic dragon in movie history. We remain cautiously optimistic that Jackson can deliver on both fronts.

7. 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' (Nov. 22)

The Hunger Games Lionsgate

Francis Lawrence (no relation to star Jennifer) of "I Am Legend" fame takes over the directorial reigns from Gary Ross and hopefully will tone down all the distracting shaky-cam business from the first film. This second installment finds Katniss Everdeen plunged back into the battle arena for the Quarter Quell, in which previous Hunger Games winners are forced to combat each other while a rebellion against the evil Capitol brews.

6. 'Thor: The Dark World' (Nov. 8)

Thor Marvel

By the power of Grayskull! (Whoops, wrong thing.) Marvel's mightiest Norseman had a trippy, cosmic first outing, and we dug it, but "Game of Thrones" director Alan Taylor has promised to bring a more grounded feel to the world of Asgard and the other Nine Realms. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston continue to hammer out their brotherly feud as Thor and Loki, while Natalie Portman's Jane Foster is back for more smoochin' with her boyfriend who also happens to be a mythical god. Former "Doctor Who" Christopher Eccleston will cause Thor headaches as Malekith the Accursed, ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim.

5. 'Monsters University' (June 21)

Monsters University Pixar

Yes, the mighty braintrust at Pixar has been slacking lately in the originality department, but that's no reason why we shouldn't celebrate the return of Sulley and Mike from 2001's utterly brilliant "Monsters Inc." For Pixar's first prequel, we learn how the monstrous pair (voiced by John Goodman and Billy Crystal) went from frat brothers to rivals to best buds as college freshmen. We also appreciate perhaps the only instance where John Goodman can play a younger, thinner version of a character he previously played.

4. 'Star Trek Into Darkness' (May 17)

Star Trek Into Darkness Paramount

In 2009 J.J. Abrams boldly went where no filmmaker has gone before: Making a "Star Trek" movie even jocks and women could like. As much as Abrams won fans (both old and new) over, though, this sequel really needs to cement the new Kirk/Spock relationship between Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, as well as up the sci-fi ante. Hopefully Benedict Cumberbatch's John Harrison will provide "Wrath of Khan"-style villainy, and Simon Pegg's Scotty will get more screen time. Also, is it too much to ask for a Tribble or two?

3. 'Kick-Ass 2' (June 28)

Kick-Ass Lionsgate

Matthew Vaughn's "Kick-Ass" stands as possibly the funniest and most irreverent deconstruction of superhero mythology yet, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse taking up the mantle of supervillain at the end had us primed for a follow-up. Here we are three years later, with Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) turning into a Hit-Woman, and Aaron Johnson's dweeby Kick-Ass joining an amateur hour justice league led by none other than Jim Carrey as mobster-turned-born-again-Christian Colonel Stars and Stripes.

2. 'Iron Man 3' (May 3)

Iron Man 3 Marvel

Ol' Shellhead returns to the screen a mere year after rocking New York in "The Avengers," only this time he can't call on Norse gods or green rage monsters to save his ass. Marvel is in the fortunate position that nearly ANYTHING would be better than the mess that was "Iron Man 2," though reteaming Robert Downey Jr. with his "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" collaborator Shane Black all but guarantees a rejuvenated franchise. Ben Kingsley's über bad guy The Mandarin will lend terrorist chic to the proceedings ... and give Tom Hardy's Bane a run for his money in the funny voice department.

1. 'Anchorman: The Legend Continues' (Dec. 20)

Anchorman: The Legend Continues Paramount

Great Odin's Raven! The smell of Sex Panther by Odeon could only mean that the Channel 4 news team is back in action, and it's gonna be out of sight. Sequelizing the most quoted movie of the 2000s is no easy feat, but director Adam McKay and producer Judd Apatow have blown the conch shell and assembled everyone who made the first one so legendary, including Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Steve Carell as the weatherman with a 48 IQ. No plot details to speak of, but McKay has teased Bowling for Dollars and a custody battle. Does that mean Burgundy Jr.?

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