News@Northeastern has created a series of data visualizations that examine the top 100 grossing films of all time, of which 85 percent are from franchises such as The Avengers, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and The Twilight Saga. Only 15 percent are original pictures. Explore these visualizations for a closer look at these films, how their earnings in the United States compare to overseas success, and how films within each series have fared.
Where the latest Jurassic World film winds up among the highest grossing films of all time remains to be seen, but it’s success is bolstered by the power of the franchise, says Nathan Blake, associate teaching professor in Northeastern’s Media and Screen Studies program.Hollywood, he says, has become increasingly more comfortable with investing in franchise films with global appeal and broad marketing opportunities. Franchises, he says, also have large fan communities who invest time and money in these series and who often see these films multiple times.
“Fan cultures have been built around these sci-fi and superhero films,” Blake says, “and the movie studios have created a platform for all these sequels and spinoffs.”