Thanks to rising budgets and falling audience numbers, studios are increasingly relying on long-term franchises to keep themselves afloat. Practically every big budget movie now has to have the option for at least two sequels, and maybe a prequel and a spinoff, too.
While this may provide the money men with some security, it’s not very helpful for storytelling. Some movies just don’t require two or three extra parts, and stretching them out – think The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – is painful for the story and the audience. It’s an increasing problem, and it’s made worse when a movie ends with a cliffhanger but thanks to the poor box office numbers, there’s no sequel to wrap things up.
This has befallen a number of big franchises, where the story came to a cold, hard stop and longtime fans got no resolution. If there’s a lesson to be learned – and studios will probably never learn it – it’s that movies have to be somewhat good to earn another instalment…..