Expand chart

Data: Box Office Mojo; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

There's a lot of grumbling about the dearth of originality in Hollywood today, and it can't be denied that established properties own the box office. A look at the top 25 grossers of 2017 thus far shows that only four are completely original concepts. The rest — including the top six films — are all sequels, reboots, or adaptations.

The reasoning: Hollywood's obsession with established franchises is based on one key factor: marketability. And these numbers prove it. On paper, it's much easier to get audiences to trek to the eighth Fast and the Furious flick than a horror movie like Get Out that's equal parts Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and The Stepford Wives.

  • The four originals: Get Out (#7), Split (#11), Snatched (#24), and The Great Wall (#25). You could make the argument that Split — spoiler alert — is a part of M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable universe, but that fact wasn't clear from its marketing.
  • Don't expect a change: Some of the biggest films expected later this year include Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Blade Runner 2049, and Justice League, DC's answer to Marvel's The Avengers. Even Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth is getting a sequel later this month.
  • Bucking the trend: Christopher Nolan's original war epic Dunkirk is coming soon — and keep an eye out for the Clooney-directed, Coen Brothers-written Suburbicon in November.

Go deeper

Media prepares to fact check debates in real time

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

From live blogs to video chyrons and tweets, media companies are introducing new ways to fact check the presidential debates in real time this year.

Between the lines: The debates themselves are likely to leave less room for live fact-checking from moderators than a traditional news interview would.

Life after Roe v. Wade

The future seems clear to both parties: The Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade in the next few years, either gradually or in one fell swoop, and the abortion wars will move to a state-by-state battle over freedom and restrictions. 

What's new: Two of the leading activists on opposite sides of the abortion debate outlined for “Axios on HBO” the next frontiers in a post-Roe v. Wade world as the balance on the Supreme Court prepares to shift.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Jerome Powell, Trump's re-election MVP

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Getty Images photos: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP and Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket

President Trump trails Joe Biden in most polls, has generally lower approval ratings and is behind in trust on most issues. Yet polls consistently give him an edge on the economy, which remains a top priority among voters.

Why it matters: If Trump wins re-election, it will largely be because Americans see him as the force rallying a still-strong U.S. economy, a narrative girded by skyrocketing stock prices and consistently climbing U.S. home values — but the man behind booming U.S. asset prices is really Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!