The summer movie box office was down this year and one of the reasons can be blamed on franchise fatigue.
This summer saw the releases of Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Transformers: The Last Knight. Unfortunately for the studios, audiences just really didn’t care to see them. It didn’t help that several movies in the franchise preceded them.
Despite the box office appeal of Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe, The Mummy was dead on arrival and it was a reboot set to launch a multi-film universe for Universal Pictures. Potential franchises like King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and The Dark Tower were also failures, too.
Instead of focusing on giving new voices with original content a chance, the major studios have decided to focus on those titles that they know will play well overseas in markets like China. Unfortunately for them, this decision has shown that they have chosen not to learn a lesson. It’s not that moviegoers have given up going to see films on the big screen. It’s that very few studio films have been worthy of being seen on the big screen.
Franchise titles standing out this summer include Spider-Man: Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes. One was a series reboot and the other closes a chapter in a more recent reboot. These films worked where the other franchise titles failed. Sony was wise to team up with Marvel Studios to relaunch Spider-Man and bring the character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The good news is that next summer will see a wealth of comic book movie sequels including Disney films that should appeal to the whole family.