By Cole Gee | Reporter
For years, franchises in the movie and entertainment industries were considered a safe bet for producers and investors to make money. Recently, however, major cinematic universes have begun to weigh down on the industry, as many people want more creative and ambitious films instead.
Historically, franchises have always been the big thing in Hollywood. Out of the top 50 highest-grossing movies ever, only two are not a part of a major franchise: “Barbie” (for now) and “Titanic.” So, why have we seen so many franchise box office flops as of late, ranging from Transformers and Mission Impossible to The Flash and Marvel movies?
As fun as summer blockbusters may be, you can only watch so many rehashes of a story with new actors and directors before they start to get stale. Some franchises can avoid this because their movies are large enough to allow for sequels. An example of this can be seen in “Star Wars,” with “The Mandalorian” and “Andor” quickly becoming staples.
Other franchises don’t have this benefit, such as Disney’s live-action remakes, which have become infamous for their poor writing. A consequence of this is that many live-action productions have failed to make back their budgets at the box office.
People go to movies to see fun stories, and the issue with many major film franchises nowadays is that they rely more on nostalgia and spectacle than what made them popular in the first place. This in turn limits creative vision and freedom for the directors, writers and actors on the project, leading to bland and uninspiring remakes.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, legendary director Martin Scorsese was asked about his personal opinions on major cinematic universes such as the MCU. In a quote that would ignite the rage of thousands of fans, Scorsese compared Marvel movies to “theme park rides,” saying they fail to convey “emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
Many former critics of Scorsese have recently begun to see his point of view, as the MCU is yet to achieve the box office success it became accustomed to pre-“Avengers: Endgame.”
Ultimately, there needs to be a better balance between basic cash-grabbing movies and movies produced to tell a story. Studios and actors have to generate profits to stay in business, but filmmakers shouldn’t be pressured to limit their creative vision to make those profits happen.
By finding this balance, the movie and entertainment industries can focus on captivating audiences and challenging artistic boundaries while still allowing space for nostalgic universes of the past.