2017: The Summer of Franchise-Films

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Summer is about a month away, which can only mean one thing…Summer Blockbusters!  The summer blockbusters make waves every year, with the most action-packed films hitting the big screen.  From superhero franchises to action-packed stories, the summer blockbuster is the season where the film industry rakes in billions of dollars in profits.  With the kids out of school and parents taking more vacation times, more audiences check out the movies during the rainy weather.

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This is the pinnacle season where Hollywood really makes bank and this is the chance to wow the audience during the summer season.  Once the Spring season of comedy film is over, the action-packed franchises make their way into the big screen.  But in a twisted turn of events, Hollywood is bracing for a major decline this year.

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If you’re growing tired of the franchise craze, then you’re not alone – Hollywood is expecting a sharp dip during the box-office season.  Last year’s box office earnings were around $4.5 billion and one number-cruncher predicted that profits could drop as much as 10% this year (to $4 billion!).  While this isn’t a serious profit loss, this drop could cause studios to make some serious changes in the future.

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So why are the numbers going down?  How is it that profits are decreasing in one of the busiest box office seasons?  What underlying factors are hindering people from checking out features at the big screen?

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To start with our first factor, let’s take a look at some of the titles that are coming out soon:

  • Cars 3
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Alien: Covenant
  • Baywatch
  • The Mummy
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Image result for Baywatch TV Show

Notice anything about these “new” titles coming out?  They’re ALL franchises!  Every one of these titles will be a sequel, prequel, or a film based off of a familiar idea (Baywatch was a popular drama series during the 1990s before it became a film!).  This franchise-film fad has really taken a hold of the summer blockbuster trend; so much, that it’s the only safe bet that Hollywood plays these games.  Hollywood is playing it safe with the familiar franchise so that it won’t sever its ties with their ever-growing diverse audience around the world.  Releasing a summer blockbusters that audiences will see worldwide is easy, but drawing up an original idea for the domestic audience (audience here in the United States) is much more complicated.

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Hollywood can play it safe for now, but they’ll have to come up with a major plan if profits decrease further in the future.  This is a frustrating/complex situation we have going on.  On the one hand, these franchise films will rake in major profits because they are so well-known all across the world; yet on the other hand, audiences are growing weary of the same franchise ideas hitting the big screens.  Where exactly are those frustrating audiences moving to after seeing too many prequels/sequels of the franchise hits?  Netflix, of course!

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This is another factor in why summer blockbuster sales are decreasing (or box office sales, in general!).  Audiences are turning away from the big screen blockbuster to the silver screen hits from streaming services at their homes.  Streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other services are providing better quality content to watch.  For example, one of the most talked-about series last year was Stranger Things when it released on Netflix.  Out of all of the TV series/movies releasing, Stranger Things is the most popular series everyone is flocking to.

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Netflix’s series Sense8 released its 2nd season a few weeks ago and is already taking off with a hit.  The first episode came out back in December and audiences were already psyched for what season 2 had to offer (Hollywood blockbuster films got NOTHING on shows like Sense8, especially after that beautiful orgy scene in the middle of episode 1!).  While Sense8 is pleasing audiences with their action-packed storyline and steamy sex scenes, Hollywood films are boring audiences with their franchise sequels and prequels.  In general, people will save their money for movie tickets and watch films at home through Netflix.

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As an entertainment buff myself, going to the movies is one of my favorite activities on a rainy day.  I enjoy checking out a new film with unique characters and a heart-racing storyline.  Seeing another superhero film this summer won’t hinder my weed buzz, but I will grow weary of watching the same franchise films each year (why would I feel the need to watch ANOTHER Spider-Man movie?).  Why bother taking a trip to the movies when I can smoke up at home and find films on Netflix?  I’m already enjoying the unique content that Netflix offers, so is going to the movies even worth it?  At this point, it isn’t worth spending the $11 on a ticket for another sequel/prequel/franchise title film.

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With that in mind, Hollywood really needs to make serious changes to their range of films.  Since more consumers are watching titles on Netflix, Hollywood must think outside of the box to tap into those audiences.  Playing it safe with the franchise-themed films isn’t going to cut it now that consumers are spreading word about titles like Stranger Things and Sense8.  Not only is Netflix producing better-quality TV series, but they’re also producing amazing films as well.  These titles from Netflix will continue to dominate the entertainment scene as the franchise-films continue to sink from consumer’s interest.

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If you’re not interested in the summer blockbuster list this year, just skip the movies and search for content on Netflix.


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