Question 2: Electric Hey Wait a Minute
October 21, 2019 6:02 AM   Subscribe

How old is the “Title of Work 2” naming convention for sequels? Like, not “part 2” or “chapter 2,” just... a 2 at the end.
posted by DoctorFedora to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Wikipedia's list of sequels by decade doesn't list anything -2 until Jaws 2 in 1978. Of course, Wikipedia isn't infallible.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 6:26 AM on October 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


According to this article "It wasn't until the 70s, however, that the modern, numbered sequel came into being. Before the 70s, sequels had all been given individual names that may or may not have referred back to the original film...". See French Connection II (1975), Jaws 2 (1978), Rocky II (1979), etc.
posted by misteraitch at 6:27 AM on October 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


Led Zeppelin II was released in 1969.
posted by box at 6:50 AM on October 21, 2019 [4 favorites]


Yeah, this took off in the 70s. According to TV Tropes the first to do this may have been Quatermass II in 1957. But that was a TV Series, not a movie, if that matters.
posted by jzb at 7:01 AM on October 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


There was a real surge of these in Hollywood in the late 70s & early 80s, especially with horror & thrillers.
-Jaws 2 (1978)
-Omen II (1978)    
-Halloween II (1981)  
-Death Wish II (1982) 
-Amityville II  (1982)  
-Psycho II (1983)  

Other one-word title sequels started doing it around then too:
-Rocky II (1979)
-Superman II (1980) 
-Grease 2 (1982)
(Meatballs, Porky's, etc....)

...I would definitely guess Jaws 2 was the biggest influence on all the others. The massive (& successful) marketing campaign for Jaws was bigger than any previous media blitz, and it really worked--it's a formula that Jaws 2 followed (also successfully).
posted by miles per flower at 7:08 AM on October 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Well, what might have been the second film made in the US, back in 1890, was titled Monkeyshines No. 2, which seems all too appropriate given how important franchises are to Hollywood. But as it was just an experimental test film not intended for commercial release I guess it might not count, but I still have hopes the series will get a reboot some day.

Quatermass II aka Enemy in the Pit did get a theatrical release, as you can see by its nifty poster, but did reach many markets under its alternative title so people wouldn't think they had missed something if they didn't see The Quatermass Experiment as the character Quatermass was known in the UK but didn't mean much of anything in the US.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:14 AM on October 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Thanks to everyone for the great and helpful responses!
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:00 PM on October 21, 2019


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