Hollywood is releasing movie franchises like bingeable TV

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The Future. As Hollywood tries to figure out what exactly makes a film a must-see in theaters, a couple of studios are releasing multiple movies from a franchise within the same year as an experiment — a move that could save both production and marketing costs. If the movies are successful, the line between film and prestige TV could be erased for good.

Are four movies better than one?
To eventize theatrical movies, studios are looking to release whole franchises nearly all at once.

  • Warner Bros. is releasing the first and second parts of Kevin Costner’s ambitious, self-funded western epic, Horizon: An American Saga, two months apart this summer. If successful, he’ll make two more.
  • Sony announced that it would roll out four separate Sam Mendes-directed Beatles biopics (each from a different member’s POV) all in 2027.

This isn’t Hollywood’s first go (or almost go) at this strategy. In 2006, Warner Bros. released the Clint Eastwood-directed companion films Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima two months apart, while 20th Century Fox was going to release each installment of the Fear Street trilogy one month apart before they were sold to Netflix during the pandemic.

And in a reverse of the model, the Game of Thrones creators revealed that they wanted to end the series with a trilogy of films… but HBO rejected the plan.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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