Cartoonist Dan Meth has created what he calls The Trilogy Meter, which, as you can see above, is a chart that lists several different movie trilogies and then rates them on a high-low scale. The image above is smaller than the actual completed version (view that by clicking the image below), which goes on to include other trilogies like Die Hard, Godfather, Alien, Terminator, Rocky, Batman, Rambo, etc ... As Dan explains over on his blog: "I know other movie geeks are going to have disagreements and that's fine. And yes, I know some of these movies went more than 3 sequels, but none were ever meant to. These are rated purely on my enjoyment level on each film and nothing else. Frankly I'm surprised by how many sequels were better than the original. And I'm not surprised that the 3rd movie is never the best."
Honestly, I'm not surprised so many sequels (or the second film in a franchise) are better than the original since it's easier to just jump right into the action, what with the characters and backstory already introduced in the first film. This doesn't necessarily pertain to straight up action flicks like Die Hard or Rambo, but definitely movies that feature a grand universe (Star Wars) or a comic book character (Spider-Man, X-Men).
What do you think of this chart? Where did Dan go wrong? And will we ever find a third film that's better than the two that came before it?