The Most Influential Hollywood Franchises

The Most Influential Hollywood Franchises The Most Influential Hollywood Franchises

The film industry over the past 20 years has definitely shifted in favor of serialization and franchises. In fact, at present, of the top 50 highest grossing films of all time, only 1997’s Titanic can lay claim to being a true standalone production and not a reboot, prequel, sequel, or part of an existing ‘universe’ such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This wasn’t always the case; in fact, 42 of the current top 50 were made in the 21st century. This has led to criticism among certain corners of the cinematic world who fear that true creativity and innovation are being edged out in the pursuit of high-yield returns on these vast productions.

No matter what your personal opinion on the state of Hollywood nowadays, there’s no denying that people love franchise films, and below we’re going to take a look at the crème de la crème – the most influential and highest selling franchises to ever come out of LA.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

While the highest grossing title in the MCU, 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, is pipped to the top spot of top grossing all-time films by James Cameron’s Avatar, there’s no escaping the fact that this franchise has no equal in terms of scale or influence. It is thought that its total revenues across its 32 films to date amount to a staggering $28 billion.

What’s more, it has single-handedly changed the way we think about and consume films and associated media. Every couple of years journalists are eager to decry the end of the superhero movie, yet the MCU and its faltering rival, the DCU, continue apace and show no sign of slowing down.

Indiana Jones

Compared to some on this list, the Indiana Jones franchise, which is about to receive its latest instalment in the form of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, is a relative minnow in terms of returns. All told, the franchise clocks in at a ‘meagre’ $1.4 billion globally.

But there’s more to influence than box office sales, and Indiana Jones is among the 20th century’s best loved and most widely imitated heroes. Cinematic tropes such as trap-laden temples and rollicking high adventure have influenced films as diverse as the National Treasure films and even Pixar’s Up.

Jones’ escapades have also come to influence diverse media beyond the silver screen. For example, the world’s most popular form of online casino game, the online slots, can lay claim to its own heroic archaeological adventurer in the form of Rich Wilde, the enigmatic star of Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead.

This 5 reel, 10 payline slot developed by industry mainstays Play N’ Go brings all the high adventure of the Jones franchise and places it at players’ fingertips. What’s more, with a low minimum buy-in, this title is among the most accessible and widely enjoyed examples of this genre out there today.

Star Wars

Once upon a time, 1977 to be exact, Star Wars burst onto our screens and totally revolutionized what people thought it was possible to achieve on celluloid. The original trilogy alone has grossed $1.7 billion over the years. When you factor in the countless spin-offs, two further trilogies, merchandising and video games, you’re looking at a franchise valued at $51.8 billion to date.

From the Jedi to the Millennium Falcon, the cultural hallmarks of Star Wars have spread far beyond their prosaic confines. In fact, only Pokémon and Mickey Mouse & Friends can lay claim to larger media franchises globally. Suffice to say, when Disney acquired the Star Wars name in 2012 for $4 billion, they got a bargain.

The Fast and the Furious

Few could have predicted that 22 years and ten films later, The Fast and The Furious franchise would still be going strong. The original film was an unambitious, mid-budget popcorn flick which has now given rise to a franchise with a combined value of over $6 billion.

Now supposedly thought to be in its closing stages with the 10th release, Fast X, rumors are that there are at least two films left in the works in what amounts to the most drawn out goodbye to a series we’ve seen yet.