The ideological argument against the movie industry’s relentless franchising and subjugation of story to spectacle has been answered with the big, fat raspberry of Hollywood’s biggest summer ever, with Labor Day weekend totals expected to push the season’s box-office grosses to a record high. And what’s more, they got there without having to bother with any of those “original ideas” some people are always grousing about: “For the first time ever, the top five pics of summer were all sequels, each crossing the $200 million mark to power the Stateside B.O. to $4.24 billion as of Wednesday,” according to Variety, who also notes that the top three films of the season—Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides—all crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide, despite the fact that everyone pretended like they’d never go see those last two, not this time. Add in the hauls of The Hangover Part II and Cars 2, and you can see why studio executives probably indulge complaints about sequels with a patronizing smile, like, “Oh, sure, the people are tired of being sold the same old junk over and over. I guess that’s why there are over 32,000 McDonald’s locations worldwide, huh?” And then they have a big old smirk and maybe go for a massage.
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