Skip to navigationSkip to content
Disney Consumer Products Executive Vice President Josh Silverman is interrupted by "The Imperial March” led by Darth Vader and 20 Stormtroopers as they take over the stage during a private Disney event at the Licensing Expo, Monday June 17, 2013
Photo by Eric Jamison/Invision for DisneyConsumer Products/AP Images
A force that can’t be stopped

The Hollywood movie franchise has taken over the box office

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.

You are reading a Quartz member exclusive.

Become a member to keep reading this story and unlock unlimited access to all of Quartz.

Membership will also get you:

Exclusive videos that show you how the world is changing faster than ever before

Deeper access to our journalists and the Quartz community

Our extensive archive of guides on the forces that are shaping our future