Can a sequel have a sequel?

IMDb is listing a project currently in post-produstion that they’re (temporarily, I assume) calling "Meet the Fockers Sequel."

But Meet the Fockers was itself a sequel to Meet the Parents. Isn’t this third film actually a second sequel to Meet the Parents, or is it proper to call it a sequel to Meet the Fockers?

Is your aswer different depending on circumstances? For instance, I could see making the argument that The Scorpion King could be considered a sequel to The Mummy Returns.

Discuss. (Though I’m not so much interested in whether you think there should be another Focker movie. That’s for another thread!:))

Given that the root of sequel comes from the same source as sequential, I would think anything following a previous work could be considered a sequel.

Are TV spinoff series considered sequels?

if so, then All in the Family begat Maude, which begat Good Times.

Then you have the entire Star Trek franchise.

In my mind, describing something as a sequel means it picks up the same story and characters sometime after the thing it is a sequel to.

In this sense, Empire Strikes Back is the sequel to Star Wars and Return of the Jedi is the sequel to Empire Strikes Back.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home had a film sequel, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. It also had a book sequel, Probe.

The original Star Wars FPS’s went like this:

Dark Forces
Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Not entirely without reason, either, IMO… Jedi Knight didn’t have much in common with Dark Forces except for the main character and general setting - while both FPSes, the first was basically a Doom clone and the latter added a lot of extra gameplay features, like third person lightsaber combat, force powers, 3D models, etc. Jedi Outcast was much more similar to Jedi Knight.

Superman Returns drew on specific plot elements from Superman II, and nothing from III or IV.

Most of the Lethal Weapon and Friday the 13th sequels drew on lore that wasn’t in the original installments. And Army of Darkness took its jokey tone from Evil Dead II, not the original.

I’m really scraping bottom with these examples, but most movie franchises really don’t find their voice until the second or third installment; not many 007 movies proceed from Dr. No, but almost all of them proceed from Goldfinger or Thunderball.

Let’s not forget Final Fantasy X-2

However, those games do not connect to one another plot wise usually. FFX-2 was the first actual sequel to a storyline.

Along the lines of the game succession magnusblitz points out, if the movie referenced in the OP actually focused more on characters introduced in Meet the Fockers than on characters from the original, I’d argue it was better referred to as a Fockers sequel than a Meet the Parents sequel. Though every film in a “franchise” is technically, as KneadToKnow points out, a sequel to its immediate predecessor.

I recall that when Rambo III was released my friends and I insisted that it was mistitled – since the succession had been:

First Blood
Rambo: First Blood, Part II

The next film should have been called something like: Desert Storm: Rambo II, First Blood, Part III; with each successive film picking up a new title and advancing the previous ones one notch. Sadly, no movie franchise has yet adopted our methodology.

I like this! We could have had:

Meet the Parents
Meet the Parents II: Meet the Fockers
Meet the Parents III: Meet the Fockers II: Meet the Second Cousins Once Removed

To use an example from the OP, the Mummy series ran like this:

The Mummy (1999) - introduced the current characters
The Mummy Returns (2001) - brought the characters from The Mummy back for a sequel and introduced the new character of the Scorpion King. So it’s a standard sequel.
The Scorpion King (2002) - Based on the character of the Scorpion King. So it’s a sequel to The Mummy Returns but has no direct connection to The Mummy.
The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior (2008) - Based on characters from The Scorpion King so again it’s not really a sequel to either The Mummy or The Mummy Returns.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) - Breaks out of the Scorpion King timeline and goes back to the characters from The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.

Horror films do this too
Nightmare on Elm Street
Nightmare on Elm Street 3 “Dream Warriors”
NOES 4 “The Dream Master”
NOES 5 “The Dream Child”
NOES 6 “Freddy’s Dead”
NOES 7 “New Nightmare”
Freddy Vs. Jason

Friday the 13th also does this, we’re up to what now, F13 part 28; Jason Is Laid Off And Goes On Unemployment?

An excellent example, which occurred to me while I was at dinner and came back to mention.

Also, the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was, as I understand it, intended by its creators as a sequel to the script Joss Whedon wrote for the movie, rather than the movie that was actually released.

Don’t forget the Nerd’s analysis of chronology.

NSFW(bad language)

It covers movies and games.

I should point out that he totally calls the title of the fourth Rambo(in Europe, anyway).

Who’s going to stop them?