11:00 am EDT, April 17, 2020

The best (and longest) movie franchises to marathon during quarantine

Whether you have two days or two hours, there's a series for you.

If you need to kill time while isolating at home, or even if you’re just bored on a weekend, there’s a movie franchise to fill your time.

TV series are fun to binge, but the idea of binging a movie franchise is often overlooked. That shouldn’t be the case! Sure, movies require more time in front of a screen per installment, but that pause button for a bathroom or workout break is always just a click away.

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One could argue that marathoning a movie franchise is more fun than doing the same for a TV series. The stakes in these series are sky-high, as are the production budgets. And in many cases, binging a movie franchise could be a bigger and more effective mental break from the outside world.

From the world’s most well known spy to vampires who glitter in the sun, check out this wide array of movie franchises that can easily fill many, many hours with safe, at-home entertainment.

For your convenience, we’ve also shared how much time each film franchise will take to get through. Pick what works for you!

James Bond

All 007

  • Number of Films: 25
  • Duration: 2 days, 4 hours, 56 minutes

You were probably expecting the MCU to take the number one spot, but the MI6 agent has the superheroes beat by almost three hours of content and two films. Now is a great time to watch the old Bond films if you never have before.

And even if you have, it’s still a good idea to remind yourself of some of the greats in anticipation of the next one. The latest installment of Daniel Craig’s 007, No Time to Die, was set for release April 2020, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the release date has been pushed to November 2020.

If you had put it off before, now you have plenty of time to catch up on the classics. Not to mention, if you’d never seen the originals, you’ll probably pick up on references in the Daniel Craig versions.

Daniel Craig’s Bond

  • Number of Films: 4
  • Duration: 9 hours, 1 minute

However, if you’re not up for the daunting task of over two full days’ worth of James Bond, you could try just watching Daniel Craig’s 007 films. At nine hours, you’d even be able to sleep in!

Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Number of Films: 23
  • Duration: 2 days, 2 hours, 3 minutes

No surprise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is near the top of the list of longest franchises. Depending on how the release dates are affected by COVID-19, it’s highly likely that by 2022 the MCU will be the movie franchise with the most films and longest duration.

The Marvel catalogue has easy-to-watch films, making them perfect for background entertainment while you putter around the house for a couple of days. If you’re bored and have nothing to do, they’re also great for sit-down viewing to kill loads of time. Two full days, in fact. 

If you haven’t watched any Marvel films before (which, first of all, how is that possible?), or if you haven’t seen very many, now’s the time to give them a go. And with over 20 different films at your disposal, there’s bound to be at least a few that you’ll enjoy. There’s something for everyone.

Star Wars

  • Number of Films: 12
  • Duration: 1 day, 2 hours, 38 minutes

Even Disney knows that now, more than ever, is a great opportunity to marathon the Star Wars films. They released The Rise of Skywalker on home media a few days early (but not Disney+ yet).

All three complete trilogies (and in-between solo films The Clone Wars, Rogue One, and Solo) are available for your entertainment during this trying time.

Aside from the fact that they’re among the most popular films of all time for a reason (they’re incredibly fun to watch, yes, even the prequel trilogy), they take a long time to watch. To marathon all Star Wars films would take you a little over 24 hours. Unless you plan on not sleeping, that’s a solid 2 days of something to do.

Star Trek

  • Number of Films: 13
  • Duration: 1 day, 1 hour, 17 minutes

For those of you non-Trekkies who watched and enjoyed the J.J. Abrams prequel trilogy, it’s time for you to earn your place in the Trekkie fleet. Learn your history during this time off, and pay homage to what inspired this new brand of Star Trek by boldly going where the films began, all the way back in 1979. It may be difficult to believe, but the world is wider than Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.

X-Men

  • Number of Films: 8 X-Men, 2 Deadpool
  • Duration: 1 day, 26 minutes

An isolated Marvel entity, the X-Men universe presents its own lengthy marathon, though it’s only half as long as the MCU.

Though varying degrees of quality, each film is pretty consistent with the last and you basically always know what you’re going to get. Of course, the Deadpool films present a brand of humor that isn’t present in the X-Men ones, and Logan had its own style separating it from the rest.
 
Likewise, the yet to be released The New Mutants looks to have a darker tone, unlike the other X-Men films.

Its release date has been pushed back countless times already, and was pushed yet again due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now scheduled for sometime later in 2020. Now seems like a good time to catch up on your mutants while not-so-patiently waiting for the next installment.

The Wizarding World

  • Number of Films: 8 Harry Potter, 2 Fantastic Beasts
  • Duration: 1 day, 6 minutes

The go-to movie franchise to marathon for regular Hypable readers has to be the Wizarding World, if you aren’t oversaturated yet from the Harry Potter marathons on ABC Family Freeform over the last however many years. Also, if you haven’t already been watching the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films airing on USA Network recently.

Related: J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter at Home digital hub offers resources for children and parents

To binge through all 10 films in the Wizarding World franchise would take you just over 24 hours with no sleep, or two wakeful days if you’re more like the average person.

During a time where most people are feeling down in the dumps at best, it’s good to watch something like Harry Potter to help lift your mood. For the most part, they’re quite light films, even the darker ones towards the end of the series always have an uplifting ending.

Batman

  • Number of Films: 9
  • Duration: 20 hours, 28 minutes

You may be surprised to find out that it would currently take you longer to watch all live-action iterations of Batman than it would to watch the DCEU films. Not by much though.

In this marathon, you’ll find vastly different interpretations of what makes an entertaining Batman film.

Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher, Christopher Nolan, and Zack Snyder all present vastly different tones in each of their versions of the Caped Crusader.

Also, you’ll be treated to very different versions of Batman himself, played by very notable actors: Michael Keaton, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck. If you don’t come away from this marathon with a clear favorite, you weren’t paying enough attention.

Middle Earth

  • Number of Films: 3 Lord of the Rings, 3 The Hobbit, extended editions
  • Duration: 19 hours 39 minutes

There was once a time when marathoning the Lord of the Rings extended editions was the most impressive feat. Even though the Middle Earth saga doesn’t crack the top five of longest movie franchises anymore, it’s still an ambitious task.

They may not be the most light-hearted of content to bring you out of your quarantine funk, but they’re certainly riveting enough to hold your attention and distract you from your woes.

Alien + Predator

  • Number of Films: 10
  • Duration: 18 hours, 39 minutes

No cheating on this one. An Alien or Predator marathon isn’t complete without the AVP films, and since you have to watch AVP, you have to watch both franchises. Like most series on this list, the films are hit or miss, but don’t judge prematurely. You may be surprised what you enjoy that others didn’t.

Fast and Furious

  • Number of Films: 9
  • Duration: 18 hours, 11 minutes

Strap on your seatbelts for this day’s worth of an adrenaline onslaught. Another movie franchise on this list affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the 10th Fast and Furious film was set to come out May 2020, but has since been postponed until April 2021. To fill in that extra year-long wait, might as well binge watch the saga so far to tide yourself over.

DCEU

  • Number of Films: 8
  • Duration: 17 hours, 43 minutes

The DCEU may not be pumping out films as quickly as their rival Marvel, but they still have plenty of content to keep you entertained for a full day.

While the DC films are mostly much darker tonally than the MCU, there’s still far more variety in its own catalogue.

The DC universe oftentimes gets a bad rap, but if you actually give them a chance, there’s bound to be at least a couple of them that you’ll enjoy. Not to mention, the commitment to watch every film is much smaller than the MCU.

Spider-Man

  • Number of Films: 8
  • Duration: 17 hours, 30 minutes

If you want a unique kind of viewing experience, marathoning all iterations of Spider-Man would be your top choice of films to watch. In a span of 20 years, we’ve had four different Spider-Mans: Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland, and Shameik Moore. 

Each of those Spider-Man films are vastly different from each other, for better or worse (and you’ll probably wish you could skip a couple of them). However, regardless of the quality of the films, they’re all worth watching for each actor’s interpretation of Spider-Man.

How did four actors differentiate themselves from each other in such a short time period? By watching them all back to back, it’s easier to compare who you like better and why. And if you live with anyone else, make them watch with you and debate it after to kill even more time.

Planet of the Apes

  • Number of Films: 9
  • Duration: 16 hours, 21 minutes

The oldest and longest running movie franchise on this list, the first Planet of the Apes, was released in 1968, and the most recent came out in 2017. There are even reports that a fourth installment is in development, extending this series even further.

As incredibly well-received and popular as the Andy Serkis/Caesar trilogy is, the original films from the 60s and 70s are absolutely worth a watch, despite not achieving consistent high acclaim. They’re still classics, and a great binge watch, especially if you’re stuck at home. 

Rocky

  • Number of Films: 10
  • Duration: 14 hours, 55 minutes

The Rocky franchise is easily one of the most famous and recognized titles in film history. Even if you’ve never seen a Rocky movie, you have a vague idea what it’s about, and know the infamous song and steps scene.

If it’s been a while since you last watched, take the opportunity to get back into them. The new Creed films have revived the series in the last few years, but if you’ve only watched those, it’s time to get educated. 

Transformers

  • Number of Films: 6
  • Duration: 14 hours, 36 minutes

Let your mind go numb for half a day to the often meaningless but heart-pounding action sequences you expect from a Transformers movie. This may not be the most critically-acclaimed movie franchise on this list, but does that matter at a time like this?

What some of you really want and need is the ultimate vegging out movie, perfect for a quarantine day. Nothing serious, nothing complicated, just lots of explosions and destruction to keep you occupied for a few (or many) hours. You won’t find many movies better for that than Transformers.

Mission Impossible

  • Number of Films: 6
  • Duration: 12 hours, 48 minutes

Also known as a Tom Cruise marathon, the Mission Impossible films would be a fun way to spend your isolation time, whether by yourself or with whoever you live with.

By the time you finish marathoning this, you may have the urge to sneak around the house, pretending to prevent a bomb detonating by stopping the microwave before it beeps. We all do what we must to stay entertained.

Pirates of the Caribbean

  • Number of Films: 5
  • Duration: 12 hours, 7 minutes

There’s no denying that the Pirates of the Caribbean films went further and further downhill after the first one. But it was a high bar to start with, and in these desperate times, you could do a lot worse.

Though the plots may get convoluted, just enjoy them for what they should be: an excuse to watch good actors play exaggerated characters in fun action sequences.

Terminator

  • Number of Films: 6
  • Duration: 12 hours, 3 minutes

Terminator is back (did it ever really leave?). Your favorite robot had a new movie come out in 2019, but judging by the fact that it made the least amount of money out of all six Terminator films, most of you probably didn’t see it.

Give Arnie another chance while you’re stuck at home, marathon all the movies one day. Despite varying box office success, critically, they all did as well as each other (apart from two, but you’ll have to watch them all to find out which two).

Twilight

  • Number of Films: 5
  • Duration: 10 hours, 6 minutes

For all of you Twilighters and Twihards who haven’t revisited this series in a while, get your popcorn ready because this is the perfect thing to binge for a day.

Whether you loved these films genuinely, or genuinely had a romp of a time watching them, it doesn’t matter. The enjoyment will still be there even today.

If you live alone, try organizing a virtual watch with your friends. Twilight movies are not meant to be enjoyed alone, rather experienced together to reminisce on an exciting time of your life that you’ve probably forgotten.

And if you have even more time, rewatch them again with commentary. There’s nothing quite like listening to Robert Pattinson make fun of his own character.

Jurassic Park

  • Number of Films: 5
  • Duration: 10 hours, 1 minute

The dinosaurs were given new life in the 2010s, reviving the classic trilogy with a new one.

The latest film in the Jurassic World trilogy is set for release in 2021, and welcomes the return of Jurassic Park characters Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), as well as marking Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm’s second appearance in the new trilogy.

Before rounding out this new trilogy next year, take a day to remind yourself how we got here in the first place, and marvel at how well the original trilogy still holds up decades later. 

The Hunger Games

  • Number of Films: 4
  • Duration: 9 hours, 8 minutes

There’s nothing like a post-apocalyptic film about children killing each other for the entertainment of a society full of imbalanced wealth to take your mind off the current worldly situation.

With only four films, it’s a quick marathon, though not necessarily the type of thing that will make you feel good afterwards. But maybe you’re in the mood to wallow in your despair, in which case, Katness Everdeen is your heroine of choice for the day.

Mad Max

  • Number of Films: 4
  • Duration: 6 hours 49 minutes

Another dystopian series, and another short marathon, which is probably for the best because who wants to be so repeatedly reminded of the destruction outside their door? That said, the Mad Max franchise is still a great choice to marathon.

Related: The craziest death machines and destructions from Mad Max past and present

The high-intensity, high-adrenaline action, particularly the second and fourth film, will keep you on the edge of your seat all day. Mad Max is one of few series on this list in which every film is critically acclaimed, and if that’s something you put any stock in, then you know you’re in for a wild, entertaining (nearly) seven hour ride.

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