Sequels, prequels and reboots. Hollywood is in love with the familiar because more often than not it’s a safe bet. This year’s monumental blockbuster clusterfuck Justice League is proof of that. Can you think of a big studio film more maligned? More inherently flawed at a fundamental level? It was the product of short-term thinking and absolutely baffling choices from a studio realizing a creative vision can’t be hacked and slashed into existence.
And yet, in spite of a long laundry list of poor decisions and questionable calls, Justice League will end up losing around $100 million. In comparison, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is projected to lose almost $150 million. Justice League wasn’t just an unmitigated disaster. It was a franchise stress test. Proof that these familiar characters are the safest bet in blockbuster cinema.