Movie Talk

Franchise Viagra: Eleven Sequels That Need The Rock

Movie Talk

View photo

.

Photo by Warner Bros. Inset by Universal.

Since his very first film, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been invigorating franchises. And with "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" opening this weekend and expected to rule the box office, The Rock appears to be doing it again.

"We call him franchise Viagra," director Jon M. Chu told Huffington Post, "He comes in and he elevates everything, not just physically, but energy-wise... He was the only one in our minds that could reinvent G.I. Joe and carry the franchise forward."

Indeed, the People's Champ has made a habit of coming in late to an already established franchise, and then helping that film make gobs of money. Because of that skill, we thought of some other films that could use The Rock's help. And so you could more easily visualize what a great addition he'd make, we inserted The Rock into a still from each film.

You probably won't need more than the visual proof we've just provided, but should you require more evidence of The Rock having the sequel touch, read on.

[Related: The Rock’s Grandfather Was a Bond Villain: Could It Be Another Family Business?]

In 2001, when The Rock was simply the most popular wrestler in the world and not a proven cinematic box office draw, he made his feature film debut as The Scorpion King opposite Brendan Fraser in "The Mummy Returns." Domestically, the sequel made nearly $50 million more than "The Mummy" (1999) and even launched a successful Rock-centric spin-off called "The Scorpion King" (2002), which in turn launched a couple of straight to DVD's sequels (that could have used The Rock's box office help).

The Rock next sequel-bombed "Be Cool" (2005), the follow up to the Rock-less production "Get Shorty" (1995). In 2009 he gave new life to the Witch Mountain franchise, starring in "Race to Witch Mountain," a sequel/remake hybrid of "Escape to Witch Mountain" (1975).

The "Fast and Furious" franchise didn't exactly need The Rock, what with Vin Diesel -- another chiseled bald-headed box-office darling -- helping to make the first four films nearly a billion dollars worldwide. But when The Rock came in and jump-started "Fast Five" (2011), it became the highest grossing "Fast" film yet. When you add in worldwide grosses, the fifth film made almost $300 million more than the fourth. And that record may soon fall, as both Diesel and The Rock are reuniting for "Fast and Furious 6" due out in May.

[Related: Get local showtimes and tickets for "G.I. Joe: Retaliation"]

And then last year, The Rock starred in "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," following Fraser into the sequel fray for a second time in the follow-up to "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (2008). While both films did about $100 million domestically, The Rock propelled the sequel to some $80 million more worldwide. And filmmakers are hoping Johnson will have the sequel to the sequel touch when he and Josh Hutcherson team up for the recently announced "Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon."

When presented with this empirical evidence, it's safe to say that John Chu is right: The Rock is truly sequel Viagra. Since we like to see movies do well, we thought of some other franchises that can definitely use a piece of The Rock. Check out our picks above, and let us know what other franchises need The Rock!

See The Rock tell Yahoo! Movies about possibly playing a Bond villain...

View Comments