Movie spin-offs are a risky business for both producers and the audience. It's hard to tell if the aspect taken from the original movies will be enough to create a successful entity of its own. There have been countless failures, like Solo and Catwoman, that have movie-goers everywhere a little wary of any spin-offs that come their way. Some are blatant cash grabs and some are just poorly executed. No matter the case, movie spin-offs have been given a bad reputation. However, every once in a while, there is a phenomenal movie spin-off that make sifting through all of the trash worth doing. There are those few that are able to not only stand on their own, but match or exceed the greatness of their original source.
Here are some of those movie spin-offs that are worth watching. 10/10 Creed MGM Creed was released in 2015 on November 25th, the same day that the first movie of the Rocky franchise that it is an extension of premiered. The spin-off drew some big names to star in it, such as Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, and, of course, Sylvester Stallone. In it, Stallone reprises his role as Rocky, but this time he takes on the mantle of trainer for Jordan's character, Creed. The movie has a lot of satisfying callbacks to the original franchise while still maintaining its own unique story and characters that is worth watching. Illumination It's no secret that after the release of the first Despicable Me movie, the minions that it starred became a global sensation. The yellow, clumsy forces of evil were everywhere, from memes to advertisements to, eventually, their own films. Minions, released in 2015, explores the origins of the minions and follows Stuart, Kevin, and Bob through the events that took place before meeting Gru. The comedy of the minions, as well as the outrageous plot to overthrow Queen Elizabeth II, make for a fun watch. Warner Bros, DC Entertainment The Lego Batman Movie, released in 2017, combines the best of the Lego and the DC universe. It boasts an incredibly star-studded cast that includes Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Zoe Kravitz, Rosario Dawson, Channing Tatum, and so many more. The movie doesn't take Batman too seriously while still respecting his history, and that is the brilliance of it. It manages to stay wonderfully comedic as it brings together the majority of Batman's villains, as well as the antagonists from other popular franchises. The film is worth watching just for the relationship and banter between Batman and Joker. Everything else is just icing on the Lego cake. 20th Century Studios An entire trilogy was born from the fan favorite character in the X-Men franchise, Wolverine. The first two, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine, do an excellent job of delving further into the grumpy character, but it's the final installment that really sticks out. In Logan, indicated by the name, we see Wolverine as more of a man than a hero. In his advanced age, he takes on the role of a father figure to a young girl very much like him and opens himself up to vulnerability. This installment of the spin-off trilogy is emotional, dark, and satisfying. As far as superhero films go, Logan is a truly unique experience and is worth watching time and time again. Walt Disney Studios Rogue One, released in 2016, is a note-worthy spin-off of the original Star Wars trilogy that introduces an entirely new cast of characters. The surprisingly dark and solemn movie takes place a week before the events of A New Hope and explains how Princess Leia receives the Deathstar schematics. The journey of these new, unique characters are considered the first victory in the war against the Empire and is mentioned in the scrolling prologue of A New Hope. As a movie that is so unlike any of the others in the Star Wars franchise, it definitely deserves a place in the next movie night. Walt Disney Pictures The classic Disney movie Sleeping Beauty premiered in 1959 and was long overdue for an addition to the rather simplistic story. This came in the form of Maleficent in 2014, a spin-off that explains the story of the previously one-dimensional Evil Queen and a re-imagining of the events that took place in the original Sleeping Beauty. Angelina Jolie brilliantly portrays the powerful fairy as a sympathetic and brave woman who was traumatized by the tragic events in her life. She becomes the hero of the story that adds so much depth and interest to the original movie. Maleficent is a touching and satisfying watch, and there's even a sequel to it that can be viewed after falling in love with the first. Warner Bros. Pictures The Conjuring easily earned its place in the horror genre as one of the more iconic supernatural horror movies. In the film, a demonic doll named Annabelle can be seen in the Warren's home, encased in glass. This terrifying doll becomes the premise of the spin-off prequel, Annabelle, released in 2014. Annabelle provides the haunting origin of the doll before it comes into the Warren's possession, including a new mother, a summoned demon, and a lot of death. The chilling spin-off is equal in terror to the original and should be watched with the lights on. Warner Bros Suicide Squad received mix reviews from DC fans, but there's no denying that it acted as a catalyst for the massively popular debut of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. She was such a fan favorite that she earned herself a spin-off titled Birds of Prey, released in 2020. The movie that revolves around Harley Quinn after her explosive break-up with the Joker was praised for allowing Harley Quinn to exist outside of the male gaze that dictated her character in Suicide Squad. Her outfits are fun, her new squad is made of powerful women and a spotted hyena, and she's not taking anyone's nonsense anymore. Birds of Prey is journey of self-discovery for Harley Quinn, and it's extremely fun to watch her come into her own. Warner Bros The Harry Potter franchise is one of the most popular in history, so it wasn't shocking when a spin-off franchise was created in 2016. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place before the events of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and in New York, far away from Hogwarts. There is a new set of characters that is mixed in with beloved characters from the original franchise, as well as some that we've only heard mentioned in passing. The main character, Newt Scamander, is a refreshing lead who is awkward, truly odd, and obsessed with the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. These creatures are definitely a highlight of the spin-off, which features the majestic Thunderbird, the lovable Bowtruckle, and the mischievous, gold-stealing Niffler. 20th Century Fox Deadpool can first be seen in the X-Men universe in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but this appearance of the beloved character was overwhelming considered as a failure. Even Ryan Reynolds, the actor who portrayed the character, regretted it. Fortunately, Reynolds and Deadpool were given a second chance in the spin-off Deadpool, released in 2016, which did the character justice and became a smash hit. Deadpool's origin is tragic and a little hard to watch, but the movie still manages to tell his story with levity. Reynolds nails his performance of Deadpool, creating a hilarious, fourth-wall breaking anti-hero that makes the movie a belly-laughing experience that is both fun and intriguing.