Franchise Movie-Making: When to End a Franchise
The Uncertainty of Franchise Endings
The Expendables franchise, known for its ensemble of action icons led by Sylvester Stallone, recently unveiled its fourth installment, aptly titled “Expend4bles.” This release came after a significant delay, leading fans to believe that “Expendables 3” marked the conclusion of this high-octane series. However, director Scott Waugh, the visionary behind “Expend4bles,” challenges the conventional notion of franchise endings.
Waugh’s perspective is clear: as long as there’s an enthusiastic fan base and the profit potential, Hollywood won’t readily pull the plug on a franchise. He cites the example of the John Wick franchise to emphasize this point.
John Wick: A Case of Unexpected Continuation
“John Wick: Chapter 4” appeared to wrap up the eponymous assassin’s story neatly. It seemed like a fitting conclusion with its intense action sequences and closure to many loose ends. However, Hollywood often defies expectations, as does the demand from audiences. Lionsgate, the studio behind John Wick, expressed interest in a potential “John Wick: Chapter 5.”
The financial success of “John Wick: Chapter 4” further underscores the enduring appeal of well-crafted franchises. With record-breaking box office returns, it’s evident that fans are far from satiated, indicating a continued demand for more.
The Expendables’ Crossroads
In contrast, the Expendables franchise faces a different reality. “Expend4bles” encountered a lukewarm box office reception, registering the lowest opening in the series. This raises a pertinent question: has the franchise finally run its course? A lackluster box office performance often signals diminished audience interest, which, in turn, could dampen the studio’s enthusiasm for future installments.
One of the complexities of concluding a franchise at the box office is the potential for an unsatisfying narrative conclusion. If a franchise unwittingly meets its end due to financial struggles, it risks leaving its loyal fans with a cliffhanger or an abrupt, unsuitable endpoint.
The Unpredictable Future of Franchises
Currently, the fate of the Expendables and John Wick franchises remains uncertain. In cinema, franchise sequels, and reboots often resurface years after it appears that a series has reached its conclusion. Only time will reveal whether we’ll witness more high-octane adventures with Sylvester Stallone and his Expendables crew or if John Wick will continue to unleash his unique brand of vengeance on the silver screen.
In conclusion, franchise movie-making is a delicate balancing act between fan demand, profitability, and creative storytelling. While some franchises gracefully conclude, others may persist as long as there’s an appetite from both audiences and studios. The only certainty in this dynamic industry is that the future of our favorite franchises remains unpredictable, making each installment a thrilling and uncertain journey for both fans and filmmakers alike.