A media franchise is an intellectual property involving the characters, setting and trademarks of an original work of media (usually a work of fiction), such as a film, a work of literature, a television program or a video game.
Generally, a whole series is made in a particular medium, along with merchandising and endorsements.
Multiple sequels are often planned well in advance, and (in the case of motion pictures) actors and directors often sign multi-film deals to ensure their participation.
1 – INDIANA JONES
Box Office Rank: 4
Critics’ Score Rank: 3
Harrison Ford was 65 years old when he picked up the trademark Indy fedora and whip for a fourth time in 2008.
The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was the year’s third-highest grossing film, proving that Ford—and Jones—hadn’t missed a beat.
2 – TOY STORY
Box Office Rank: 7
Critics’ Rank: 1
The third installment of the franchise could be the first animated film to ever win the Best Picture Oscar.
3 – SPIDER MAN
Box Office Rank: 2
Critics’ Rank: 7
The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield was recently cast in director Mark Webb’s upcoming 2012 reboot of the franchise, which will center on Peter Parker as a teenager.
4 – STAR WARS
Box Office Rank: 1
Critics’ Rank: 8
George Lucas’s iconic series had the highest average-gross of all film franchises, nearly double its closest competition, the Spider-man series.
5 – LORD OF THE RINGS
Box Office Rank: 5
Critics’ Rank: 6
Eight years after the final installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy hit theaters, director Peter Jackson is back in production on a film adaptation of The Hobbit.
6 – THE GODFATHER
Box Office Rank: 11
Critics’ Rank: 2
The Godfather is the only franchise to have two installments win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and The Godfather: Part II is the first sequel to ever win the top Oscar.
7 – HARRY POTTER
Box Office Rank: 10
Critics’ Rank: 5
The latest Harry Potter film hit theaters Thursday at midnight, with insiders already bracing for a record weekend of box office gross.
8 – SHREK
Box Office Rank: 6
Critics’ Rank: 17
Not only have the Shrek films been box-office successes, but the franchise has spawned regular holiday-themed specials that have become ratings smashes for ABC and NBC.
9 – BACK TO THE FUTURE
Box Office Rank: 15
Critics’ Rank: 9
Fans celebrated the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future’s original theatrical run with a commemorative DVD release, a special theatrical run, and numerous homages to its legacy.
10 – JURASSIC PARK
Box Office Rank: 3
Critics’ Rank: 26
Steven Spielberg’s pioneering computer-generated imagery made the original Jurassic Park a theatrical event.
Seventeen years later, there’s rumors of another Jurassic trilogy.
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