On this week’s Slate Money the author of The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies, was a guest. I’m not going to be reading this book, but it seemed interesting. Basically, he suggested that the reason franchise movies, and in particular comic book films, were taking over is that television has taken over niches such as period dramas. The comparative advantage of the movie theater is in big-budget action & special effects spectacles, and audiences enjoy revisiting “shared universes” so much that they’re far less risky than singletons.
This shouldn’t be surprising, there’s a reason that standalone fantasy books are not notable.
An issue that is discussed on the podcast is the fact that international blockbusters tend to be American. China tried to produce something that would be exportable to the USA with The Great Wall, but it was a bust.
It strikes me that when American movies no longer dominate internationally, that’ll be a good sign that true dusk is coming to our time as the global hegemon.