You’re not imagining things—movies are less original than they used to be. Sequels, prequels, reboots, and remakes are all accounting for an ever-growing share of US box-office revenue.
Since the 1980s, we’ve seen four franchise peaks, all capturing around 40% of the year’s total box office earnings. Between those peaks, the portion of top box office dollars that can be attributed to franchise movies has steadily increased. In recent years, that 40% has become the norm.