We’ve entered an era of sprawling franchises and connected universes in Hollywood.
As a result the film industry seems to be pushing out a lot of barely-wanted sequels.
That’s not to say these movies don’t make money.
Most any superhero sequel is guaranteed to rake in $500 million or more at the box office.
But that doesn’t mean they’re all good films.
We’re seeing a lot of recycled content and repetitive tropes, but as long as the money keeps rolling in we’re probably going to keep seeing it.
Here’s a look ahead at some franchises that seem destined to press ahead, whether you like it or not.
Universal’s Monster MashEvidently jealous of DC and Marvel for their larger-than-life “connected universes,” Universal is keen to design its own, and is doing so with a lineup of monster movies, beginning with 2017’s “The Mummy.”
We’re going to see a Frankenstein movie, a Wolf Man movie, a Dracula movie, presumably a Jekyll and Hyde movie (given that Russell Crowe is playing Jekyll in “The Mummy,” for some reason), and who knows what else.
It could wind up being a lot of fun, if it’s done right.
Unfortunately, this one already seems to be on rocky ground.
There’s some disagreement over whether or not 2014’s “Dracula Untold” is part of the project, and it almost seems like it was intended to be—until it fell flat with critics.
Throw in the fact that the early looks at “The Mummy” look stupendously ridiculous, and this franchise seems exhausting before it’s even gotten off the ground.
The Fast & The FuriousOkay, so these movies are arguably getting better with time.
2011’s “Fast Five” pretty much revived the franchise and took it to a new level.
While the evolution of the series from an action drama about street racing and crime to a sprawling saga in which street racers have become elite secret agents has been ridiculous.
It’s also been a whole lot of fun. Unfortunately, it feels like it’s on the verge of going too far.
“The Fate Of The Furious,” due out this spring, looks incredibly entertaining, but after the way “Furious 7” ended with a deeply emotional tribute to the late Paul Walker it sort of felt like the logical conclusion to the franchise.
DC’s SuperheroesLet’s face facts: DC’s films have largely been laughable when put up against Marvel, and things didn’t get much better in 2016.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” was overwrought nonsense, and “Suicide Squad” was one of the worst reviewed movies of the year.
However, we already know that this hopeless universe is going to continue to expand.
There are more films planned, and DC is even still trying to capitalize on “Suicide Squad.”
Evidently, online gaming developer Playtech has partnered with Warner Bros. to launch a line of DC character-based slot reels and "Suicide Squad" was first up.
Quality notwithstanding, the movie and it's characters are wildly popular and anti-heroes like Harley Quinn continue to put people in the seats.
TransformersThere’s a certain value to the “Transformers” movies.
Kids love them and they’re somewhat playful and manage a lot of mayhem without being particularly bloody or showcasing a lot of death.
Usually there’s also a charismatic lead to hold an audience’s attention, but it's really all about the special effects.
At the end of the day, these movies are at the pinnacle of the modern brand of larger-than-life action that consists mostly of huge metal things smashing into other huge metal things, and they’ve gotten pretty tough to sit through for the average movie fan.
Star WarsThis will undoubtedly be a controversial entry, but it’s fair to wonder if “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opened an unfortunate Pandora’s Box.
It was a good movie that did well with fans and critics alike, but it was just one of several planned Star Wars spinoffs outside of the main series.
It's enough to make you wonder if the success of "Rogue One" will ultimately lead to carelessness.
It’s certainly starting to seem like we’re about to get a Star Wars release every year for the rest of eternity, and it’s definitely possible that over time this will make the whole thing less special, rather than more interesting.
For now, things are fine—but don’t be surprised if in five years you’re wishing Disney would give Star Wars a rest, at least for a little while.
, by Jesus Figueroa