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1. Films must exist within the same universe as other films that could arguably be considered another franchise. In other words, indirect sequels don't count (e.g. horror films that replace the cast each time such as Final Destination).
2. Existing within the same universe as another film must be more than a passing reference or joke. The films must be viewable as jigsaw pieces that form a larger narrative when placed together.
3. There must be some degree of foresight for franchise crossovers. Two franchises reaching the end of being financially viable and teaming up together don't count (e.g. Alien vs. Predator, Freddy vs. Jason, the Universal Horror movies).
4. Typically, anthology franchises don't count and spiritual sequels don't count. A franchise doesn't need to cross over with another franchise (such as The Avengers bringing Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America together), but the idea of the films crossing over in some capacity can't be seen as ridiculous (there will obviously never be a sequel to Shaun of the Dead where Shaun teams up with the cast of Hot Fuzz).
5. Films must share the same continuity.
6. There must be at least three films in the universe.