In this report in the LA Times the lackluster moviegoer response to sequels is shown to have altered the attitude in Hollywood that franchises are king.
With near unanimity, top-level executives and filmmakers queried in the last week describe an industry that is suddenly less confident in the automatic success of its so-called franchises — highly visible pictures that invite rapid-fire follow-ups.
The most troubling performance to date has been that of Sony's "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle." The picture, which cost $144 million to produce and tens of millions more to market, opened to just $37.6 million in ticket sales its first weekend, then rapidly fell off in the face of torrid competition.
Successful franchises such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars are now being considered the exception rather than the rule. This has already factored into future productions, as the number of sequels planned for next year drops to 15 from a contemporary high of 23 this year.
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