List of films produced back-to-back
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Sometimes, two or more films in a series are shot and produced "back-to-back", which means simultaneously or within a short space of time. This is usually done to eliminate the need to rebuild sets and re-hire actors for sequels, and maintain audience interest in the film series. Films produced this way usually have a well-planned pipeline, where the first film may be in post-production as the second is being shot.
While sometimes a trilogy such as The Lord of the Rings is shot with all three parts back-to-back, it is much more common for only two parts to be shot this way. Often, in a trilogy, the first film will be made on its own, and if it is a success, the remaining two parts will be produced back-to-back. This approach was pioneered by the second and third parts of the Sleepaway Camp trilogy, and has since been applied to the Back to the Future trilogy and The Matrix trilogy. Back to the Future Part II, and later, The Matrix Reloaded both ended with the words "To be concluded," a variant on the traditional "To be continued," and a trailer for their respective upcoming sequels.
What follows is a list of films that have been produced this way:
- The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974), shot as one film but split into two during post-production
- Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980) (see also Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, released 2006)
- Trail of the Pink Panther (1982) and Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), parts of the Pink Panther series
- King Solomon's Mines (1985) and Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986)
- Jean de Florette (1986) and Manon des Sources (1986)
- Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988) and III: Teenage Wasteland (1989), sequels to the 1983 film Sleepaway Camp
- Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Part III (1990), parts of the Back to the Future series
- Critters 3 (1991) and 4 (1991), the last two films of the Critters series
- The Three Colours Trilogy: Blue (1993), White (1994) and Red (1994)
- Blue in the Face (1995) was conceived and filmed completely ad libbed immediately following production of Smoke (1995)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003)
- The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003), parts of the Matrix series
- Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003) and Volume 2 (2004), which were originally shot as one film and later edited into two
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie (2004), the second being a direct-to-video effort assembled from deleted scenes and outtakes of the first
- Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004) and Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) and At World's End (2007), the second and third films in the Pirates of the Caribbean series
- Flags of Our Fathers (2006) and Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)
- Che Part 1: The Argentine and Che Part 2: Guerilla (2008)
- Anaconda 3: Offspring (2008) and Anacondas: Trail of Blood (2009)
- Arthur et la vengeance de Maltazard (2009) and Arthur 3 : La Guerre des deux mondes (2010), which were edited into Arthur and the Great Adventure (2010) for release in the United Kingdom
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)
- The three sequels to Avatar (2009)
- Avengers: Infinity War, part of Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will be released in two parts, in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
- All the chapters in the Adams Apples film series were filmed back-to-back.
Though not shot entirely back-to-back, the final scene of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was shot in Tunisia during the production of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in order to avoid another trip to Tunisia for a single scene.
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