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Top 10 Movie Prequels

VO: Rebecca Brayton
When you create cinema magic, it's not always easy to duplicate that in another related onscreen version. Just because the original movie was successful or popular, doesn't mean a sequel or prequel to it will be liked or make as much money as the first. But when filmmakers do manage to put make incredible backstories that measure up or even surpass the first film, then it's definitely something we won't be forgetting any time soon. For this list, we’ve excluded movies that are considered reboots. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 movie prequels. Special thanks to our users Daniel John and Mattyhull1 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest.

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They’re some of the best backstories put on the big screen. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie prequels.

For this list, we’ve excluded movies that are considered reboots.

#10 - Monsters University (2013)

The magical world filled with creatively designed monsters and visuals first seen in “Monsters Inc.” is given a new lease on life in this Disney-Pixar film. By taking us back to when Mike and Sulley were studying to become scarers, the studio’s first attempt at a prequel didn’t only earn them rave reviews and over $700 million at the box office but it once again delighted the young and young at heart.

#9 - Prometheus (2012)

Though its filmmakers claim “Prometheus” isn’t directly linked to the “Alien” franchise, the fact that it’s set in the same world and takes place prior to those sci-fi flicks land it here. Thanks to a visually stunning design, top-notch special effects and enthralling acting, the movie was one of the highest grossing films of 2012. Its success reignited interest in Ridley Scott’s vision of extraterrestrial creatures and spurred talks for a “Prometheus” sequel.

#8 - Red Dragon (2002)

After watching “The Silence of the Lambs,” few people ever forget the terrifying Hannibal Lecter. In “Red Dragon,” we’re asked to delve into the mind of the serial killer-psychiatrist before he meets Clarice Starling. What follows is a thrilling story filled once more with horrific crimes and interesting characters that are bolstered by excellent acting and its creepy atmosphere.

#7 - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
It may be the sixth movie to be released as part of the “Star Wars” saga, but it’s set three years following the Clone Wars and is thus a prequel to George Lucas’ epic space opera. “Revenge of the Sith” didn’t only manage to surpass the mixed reviews of “Episode I” and “II” to earn many critics and fans’ praise but was also the highest grossing film of 2005.

#6 - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Though it’ll never compare to “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” there’s no denying that the second film in the “Indiana Jones” franchise is a creative and strong entry into the world of prequels. With a bit of a darker tone, “The Temple of Doom” still serves up a lot of the fantasy-adventure elements we’ve come to love from Indy flicks. It’s also got fun, humor and Harrison Ford’s undeniable star power.

#5 - The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966)

Since “A Fistful of Dollars” and “For a Few Dollars More” take place after the Civil War, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is considered a prequel in the Sergio Leone-directed Dollars Trilogy. Following The Man With No Name as he competes against other gunslingers to find buried treasure, this epic Spaghetti Western initially faced mixed reviews but today, it’s one of the most popular films of the genre and one of its best.

#4 - Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Though some consider it a reboot, director Rupert Wyatt previously implied in interviews that “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is also a prequel to the 1968 film. Thanks to Wyatt’s directing, Andy Serkis’ portrayal of highly intelligent chimp named Caesar and Oscar-nominated visual effects, it was one of the summer’s most fun and entertaining flicks as well as a box office success.

#3 - The Godfather Part II (1974)

Since this gangster film jumps back and forth between time periods, it’s considered both a prequel and a sequel to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 crime epic. Whichever way you categorize it, there’s no denying it’s a cinema classic. Though the main storyline revolves around Michael Corleone, it’s the narrative following Robert De Niro’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Vito Corleone that lands the film here.

#2 - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012_

Considering the massive success of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, director Peter Jackson knew he needed to live up to high expectations. Fortunately, his epic fantasy adventure met them and then some: it earned more than what the last 2 films of his previous trilogy grossed at the box office: upwards of $1 billion! Filled with incredible visuals and sweeping cinematic imagery, it’s a spectacular introduction to Middle Earth.

#1 - X-Men: First Class (2011)

Following the mixed reviews of “X-Men: The Last Stand,” this prequel to the X-Men series was so fresh and so good it earned over $300 million around the world. Set mostly in the early 1960s, this superhero film followed Professor X and Magneto’s early friendship and pleased critics along the way with its style, strong cast and special effects. It also reinvigorated fans’ passions for the Marvel characters and paved the way for a highly anticipated 2014 sequel.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the best movie prequel? Be sure to subscribe to for more entertaining top 10s.

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