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Hollywood Expects This to Be the Least Profitable Summer in a Decade

Everyone complains about sequels and remakes. Are they ready to put their money where their mouths are?

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”

Warner Bros.

If you’ve got franchise fatigue, you’re hardly alone. Recent box-office predictions suggest that this is not to be a summer of beaucoup bucks, with the Los Angeles Times reporting that studios are expecting to make as much as 10% less between May and September than they did last year — a drop from $4.45 billion to $4 billion. The horror!

READ MORE: ‘The Fate of the Furious’: F. Gary Gray is the First African American To Direct a Billion-Dollar Movie

The glut of remakes, sequels and prequels is pointed to as part of the problem. “Some of the tent poles are just not as strong this year,” says Chris Aronson, head of domestic distribution at 20th Century Fox. “‘Pirates of the Caribbean’? It’s the fifth one. ‘Transformers’? It’s the fifth one.” Next week’s “Alien: Covenant” is another sequel, with “Cars 3,” “The Mummy,” “Despicable Me 3” and more all on the way.

READ MORE: ‘King Arthur’ and ‘Snatched’ Will Be No Match for Marvel’s Mighty ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

Not that moviegoers are displeased with every sequel: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” has made more than $500 million worldwide in less than 10 days, while “The Fate of the Furious” (the eighth installment in the automotive franchise) has amassed more than $1 billion. Whether the center continues to hold remains to be seen, but it’s a near-certainty that the fat cats lining their pockets will continue to pump out similar fare for as long as they can.

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