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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

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.

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