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Sequel is the continuation of an artistic work. This means that the term can be applied both to films, to literary and dramatic works, and also to the use of theatrical works and musical products which continue the original history of the original work. It is important for the sequel that it was not yet planned at the time of the publication of the previous work, but is always the continuation of a history which has been concluded so far. Consequently, sequels are primarily used to maximize profits when a film or a novel is particularly successful. In most cases, the same characters occur, and the action continues seamlessly. However, the action also takes decades later and refers only loosely to the previous one. The counterpart of the sequel is the prequel. The prequel is also a continuation, but the story does not continue, but shows contents that lie before the narrated (prehistory).

The term is derived from English and derives from the Latin verb sequi, which can be translated as follows. Consequently, the origin of the word already reveals what is at stake: namely, a thing which follows, and consequently, in the transcendental sense, a successor. Consequently, the action of the sequel begins after the narrated time of the previous work (see Mehrteiler).

The sequel with the example of the film Rocky
The above graphic illustrates the described principle using the example of the film series Rocky, which now comprises six parts. When Sylvester Stallone’s first film of the series came to the cinema in 1976, it was not yet clear that he would be one of the most successful films of all time. When the financial success ceased, however, further sequels were written and finished.


Numbering of the sequel
In most cases film series can be recognized in numbering, as is the case in the example above (Rocky, Rocky II …), or the fact that they always carry the title of the series in the work title (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship, Lord of the Rings: The two towers …).

However, it is usually the numbering that connects Sequels. One of the first cinematographic works to be distinguished by continuous figures is probably the science-fiction dilogy Quatermass II. In her footsteps, countless series of films, such as the godfather trilogy (The Godfather, The Godfather Part II …), the Terminator series and many more productions.

The reason for this is obvious: for the same reasons, why a sequel usually comes at all (expected profit), the individual parts of the series are numbered. This makes them easier to classify, which increases the recognition value for the audience and thus the success in the kino coats. Thus, the numbering of sequels is a successful means of marketing. Partially, the number is also played to address specifics or the target group, such as Die Hard 4.0 (reference to the version numbers of software).


As a threequel, a word play (cf the word “word”), which is composed of the English number three, the three, and the noun sequel. The Threequel means the fact, or even the trend, that successful films continue to the “infinite”, with the emphasis on maximizing profit. Typically this is mainly for Hollywood productions.

The term is generally used derogatory and can be understood as a critique. This type of opportunity is thus conducive to the promotion of films to increase profits and thus to the (television) series. Sometimes the positive public perception of an original work can be put at risk.

Short overview: The most important overview
Sequel is the continuation of an artistic work. The term can be applied to cinematic, literary, musical and dramatic works and is also found in the (computer) game industry.
Characteristic of such a continuation is, above all, that it was not planned in advance. This means that it only appears because the original work (financially) was successful. Accordingly, such sequels are usually used to maximize profit.
In order to intensify this effect, the following works of such a series are usually only numbered and rarely receive individual titles. This increases the recognition value on the part of the audience and is part of the film marketing.

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