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CHARTBOOK

The Hollywood franchise machine in 17 charts

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Lucasfilm
Don’t panic, young padawan. You’ll understand everything soon enough.
  • Adam Epstein
By Adam Epstein

Entertainment reporter

Nine of the top 10 highest grossing films of the year so far are franchise movies. Two years ago, all 10 of the top movies at the box office were parts of a franchise.

The franchise is the engine on which Hollywood runs, comprising the vast majority of both the US and international box office market share. But as big as franchise movies are, they’re developed and distributed by just a select few companies—and the list of franchises that are both critically and commercially successful is smaller than you might think.

These 17 charts will help you understand the franchise phenomenon gripping Hollywood. You’ll learn about the most (and least) successful film series and the companies that make them; the longest-running and most prolific franchises; the most-adapted stories of all time; the history of famous franchises and the box office trends that sustain them; and more.

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