This weekend, the third installment in the Paranormal Activity franchise — a supernatural sensation since Oren Peli’s original film debuted in 2009 — rocked the box office, taking in $54 million for its opening weekend. The film also holds rank as the highest grossing movie for any October opening in history. While Paranormal Activity’s victory can be largely attributed to its successful grassroots marketing campaign and Halloween slot (it replaced popular spooky long-runner Saw), it’s still quite the feat for a part three film. Most threequels fizzle out by the third go-round, leaving their characters to dully ride the coattails of previous successes — but clearly that isn’t always the case. And with news about Sherlock Holmes securing a writer for its third installment, perhaps the action-mystery movie can follow suit. After the break, we took a look at several trilogies that buck the trend of bad things coming in threes — some third features even managing to outdo the films that started their respective series.
Sergio Leone’s final installment of the “Dollars Trilogy”, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, is the crowning achievement of the series that brought Clint Eastwood iconic fame as the gunslinging “Man with No Name.” While A Fistful of Dollars benefited from the meticulous stylings of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo as its basis, the final film’s impeccable direction, striking score (all hail Ennio Morricone), offbeat humor, and ability to usurp all expectations of the Western genre are in full focus. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly brought home $25,100,000 domestically, nearly double that of its sequel.