|With eight blockbuster films under its belt and fans of almost all ages, “Harry Potter” is also one behemoth movie franchise. In fact, the fanbase for this franchise is actually so big that even the spin-offs had the time of day in theaters upon their release / Photo by: Dave Catchpole via Flickr|
Movie franchises and sequels have dominated the big screen recently when the trend took off thanks to the current public obsession with ‘what happens next.’ This is especially true for the many superhero box office hits that have had fans flock to cinemas and talk and debate extensively over social media. For fans, this is the best decision and has the most ease, at least in terms of storyline; audiences don’t have to digest newer and newer content because they have already built a connection and understanding with already-existing heroes and their continuous journey.
What people don’t know, though, is that franchises can be really costly on studios themselves. According to Independent UK, sequels and spin-offs don’t typically make as much money as their predecessors because of something called “franchise fatigue,” or how audiences eventually feel tired out by the many interconnected films in Hollywood.
Take “Despicable Me 3” for example, which only raked in $72.4 million, a far cry from the original expected gross of $85 million, even when both “Despicable Me 2” and “Minions” grossed more than that. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise also had no escape as the fifth film, “Salazar’s Revenge,” earned only $165.5 million domestically, compared to the fourth film “At World’s End,” which took in $309.4 million, and “Dead Man’s Chest,” with $423.3 million under its belt.
Still, these numbers have not stopped studios from making more of these movies, and some still succeed well enough that they become definitive franchises for some studios. Here are some of them.
Biggest Franchise: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Total Worth: $11.7 billion
Of course, leading the charge on the franchise wars is Disney and its successful takeover of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Every story after the release of “Iron Man” has been lauded for consistency, so much so that the bigger movies in the franchise are a sight to behold. According to Observer, an American online media company, the Marvel Cinematic Universe works -- no matter how big it is -- thanks to “a producer-driven model and a set formula in place.” Everyone knows when they’re seeing a Marvel movie because it’s pretty easily distinguishable.
|According to Observer, an American online media company, the Marvel Cinematic Universe works -- no matter how big it is -- thanks to “a producer-driven model and a set formula in place” / Photo by: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons|
Biggest Franchise: Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Total Worth: $9.5 billion
With eight blockbuster films under its belt and fans of almost all ages, “Harry Potter” is also one behemoth movie franchise. In fact, the fanbase for this franchise is actually so big that even the spin-offs had the time of day in theaters upon their release. “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” took home $814 million. Its success was also linked to the fact that WB seems to know which part of the Wizarding World to channel when producing blockbuster hits, in large part because the worldbuilding was also done very well that there is virtually no ending to the type of content they can create.
Biggest Franchise: The Fast and Furious
Total Worth: $5.1 billion
With a domestic market share of 13.6% right after Disney, Universal Pictures also pulls their own weight when it comes to franchises. Their most successful is “The Fast and Furious” franchise, a franchise that almost everyone knows about as well. According to business news source Business Insider, the newest spin-off “Hobbs and Shaw” performed rather weakly, but it still grossed $700 million worldwide. “Hobbs and Shaw” did well if you were inclined to look at its success alone, but compared to “Furious 7” and “The Fate of the Furious,” it was practically smoked.
“Furious 7” and “The Fate of the Furious” both made $1 billion worldwide.
|With a domestic market share of 13.6% right after Disney, Universal Pictures also pulls their own weight when it comes to franchises. Their most successful is “The Fast and Furious” franchise, a franchise that almost everyone knows about as well / Photo by: Jordan Messenger via Wikimedia Commons|
Biggest Franchise: “Transformers”
Total Worth: $4.3 billion
In the last decade, the “Transformers” franchise has been so connected to Michael Bay that audiences were both filled with relief and curiosity when the newly-released spin-off based on a “younger” Bumblebee turned out to be directed by lead animator at LAIKA, Travis Knight. The tone, from the get-go, was worlds away from the car porn that had been the crutch of the “Transformers” franchise.
However, Business Insider writer Travis Clark feels as though the future of “Transformers” is “questionable at the moment.” That being said, producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura claims that for “Transformers” fans, there is definitely more in store, and it will be “different then the ones we’ve done before. [sic]”
Biggest Franchise: Spider-Man
Total Worth: $2.8 billion
From having a nostalgic but altogether lukewarm reception with audiences, to feeling secondhand embarrassment about it, to absolutely loving it, Spider-Man has gone through various ups and downs with its audiences. Now that Tom Holland is the wearer of the suit, suddenly no one can get enough of him, so much so that when he was dropped from the MCU, there was such an uproar on various social media about the decision.