Two things everyone needs right now: escapism and ways to fill spare time indoors. So what could be better than closing the curtains, grabbing some popcorn (panic buying allowing) and losing yourself in a film and its countless sequels.
Whether you’re looking to discover a brand new franchise or want the comfort of a nostalgia-fest, there’s something for everyone.
Here’s our list of the best franchises to binge for that movie marathon on your sofa.
1. The Marvel Cinematic Universe
The ultimate movie marathon spanning 23 films, ten inter-connected franchises, three phases and a whopping 42+ hours, the Marvel Cinematic Universe probably requires a break (or five) to get through. If you didn’t rewatch the entire franchise in preparation for Endgame then now’s your chance – it’s only going to get longer once Black Widow is (eventually) released…
The whole collection is now on Disney+ – you can subscribe for £59.99 a year or £5.99 a month.
2. Harry Potter
Whether you include the middling Fantastic Beasts films is up to you – but even without the spin-offs, the Harry Potter franchise provides nineteen spellbinding hours of wizards, witches and whomping willows. So whether you’re reliving your childhood, refreshing your memory or (gasp) are watching for the first time, Harry Potter is always heartwarming viewing for the whole family.
J.K. Rowling has also just made all the audiobooks available during the Coronavirus outbreak to help occupy you (and the kids) when at home. You can read the Harry Potter audiobooks free.
3. Star Wars
While this would have been an easier feat just a few years ago, the Disney sequels and anthology movies add even more content to one of the most-marathoned movie franchises of all time. Head over to the newly launched Disney+ where you can find the films and new spin-off series The Mandalorian. There’s just the small question of which order to watch them in – a topic highly contested to this day…
Star Wars film and TV show franchise is available on Disney+ (sign up here) minus the Rise of Skywalker, but it should be added soon.
4. Indiana Jones
While the long-gestating fifth film continues to languish in development hell, there’s always the first four entries to rewatch for the millionth time. While we wouldn’t blame you for skipping Crystal Skull, the Indiana Jones films still provide a perfectly doable four-film feast to kill time on a rainy day.
You can get the complete Indiana Jones collection on Amazon for £12.99 DVD or £15.99 Blu-Ray.
5. The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit
One of the classic marathon challenges, a complete watch of all the extended editions is a rite of passage for any self-respecting LOTR lover. Die-hard fans can add the extended version of The Hobbit trilogy as well, if they’re feeling particularly caffeinated. Plus, while all the hairdressers are closed, Legolas’ iconic plaits can provide some much-needed style inspo.
Get the six-film extended edition of Lord of the Rings on DVD or Blu-Ray.
6. James Bond
Now there’s a bit more time to wait before we can enjoy Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 in No Time To Die. But a James Bond movie marathon will still take you through 57 years, six Bonds and countless martinis. At 24 films however it is the longest marathon on our list – perhaps spread this one out a bit…
7. Jurassic Park
This five-film franchise is still a monster success at the box office and for good reason. Classic characters, impressive special effects and, of course, dinosaurs. Go back to where it all began and enjoy the later Chris Pratt films too, suitable for all the family to enjoy.
Not to be outdone by Harrison Ford clinging onto Indiana Jones, Sly Stallone knows he’s onto a good thing with Rocky, and even got an Oscar nomination for Creed, the resurrection of the franchise. Let’s take it back to the start though – running up those steps in Philadelphia to the music from the 118 ad…
Get the whole Rocky collection.
9. X Men
So many spin-offs, so much to be obsessed with. In fact there are more than 22 hours to enjoy. And what a cast – Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, and that’s just for starters. After almost a full day in X Men land, don’t be disappointed when you can’t shoot Wolverine-style claws out of your hand…
Five of the X-Men movies are on Disney+ (the rebooted franchise) but you can also get the X-Men 8-film boxset.
10. The Fast and the Furious
No need to be either speedy or livid to enjoy these now-iconic Vin Diesel films, but a love of car chases would help. Nothing artsy or pretentious here, this is full throttle, adrenaline-junkie movie magic (with the possible exception of the fourth film, maybe skip through that one if you’re short on time.)
Fast & Furious shows no signs of ending anytime soon – it even birthed a spin-off, Hobbs and Shaw – but you can watch films 1-9 in the Fast & Furious boxset.
11. The Richard Curtis/Hugh Grant collection
Because not every movie marathon has to feature swords. After all the action on this list, you might want to watch two grown men scrap in cinema’s funniest fight scene (Bridget Jones’ Diary), Julia Roberts being interviewed by Horse and Hound (Notting Hill) or the bumbling nonsense of traditional English nuptials (Four Weddings and a Funeral). We promise we won’t tell anyone if you pick this over Marvel.
There’s a Hugh Grant selection boxset to get you started…