Movie stars as we understand in the classic movie stars are, in a way, on the wane. I don’t think the main stream … American film industry sells us stars the way they used to and they don’t sell movies with stars. They sell movies based on franchises: popular book franchises like Twilight or Harry Potter, on special effects, on comic book heroes. Those are what audiences pay to see. They don’t necessarily go to see [a movie] because Tom Cruise … or Ryan Gosling is in it. … I think the whole culture has changed in the sense that we almost don’t need classic movie stars in the way we used to because the Internet allows us to manufacture our own personas in many, many different ways. … So what happens to the classic movie star in this scenario? They become lesser in value. They become mocked. The famous Tom Cruise-Oprah couch scene is still playing at a YouTube channel near you. I mean, it will be there forever. Twenty years ago it would have been fodder for a week of late night jokes and forgotten, but now it’s proof that we have a certain power over these people that used to have power over us.
Ty Bur on NPR Fresh Air 
Who Owns What Film Franchises | Empire, via BuzzFeed

Who Owns What Film Franchises | Empire, via BuzzFeed

We have a story crisis. They want to make the Battleship game into a film… This is pure desperation. Everyone in Hollywood knows how important it is that a film is a brand before it hit theaters. If a brand has been around, Harry Potter for example, or Spider-Man, you are light years ahead. And there lies the problem. Because unfortunately these franchises are becoming more ridiculous. Battleship. This degrades the cinema.
James Cameron on the 'Battleship' Movie to Germansite Spiegel Online | Cinematical

“‘Kung Fu Panda’ actually has 6 chapters to it, and we’ve mapped that out over the years,” Katzenberg said. “‘How To Train Your Dragon’ is at least three: maybe more, but we know there are a least three chapters to that story.”

Someone needs to teach Dreamworks the definition of overkill.

Though I do love How To Train Your Dragon and will probably see all the sequels.

Sony logos. It’s a logo kind of day. Of note Hugo Cabret, MIIIB, Ghostbusters, Spidey.
 First Logo for MEN IN BLACK 3 (or “MIIIB in 3D”) and SPIDER-MAN in 3D

Sony logos. It’s a logo kind of day. Of note Hugo Cabret, MIIIB, Ghostbusters, Spidey.

 First Logo for MEN IN BLACK 3 (or “MIIIB in 3D”) and SPIDER-MAN in 3D

Disney’s never been the company to shy away from toys. In fact, they’re the world’s largest licensor of consumer products. Any industry analyst could tell you that ancillary products are the key to success in the intellectual property game. But it seems Disney, in their latest attempt to minimize loss and maximize profit, is taking this mandate to extremes.
"Everything in the middle is toast" said a producer on the Disney lot. Disney CEO Robert Iger announced at December’s UBS Global Media and Communications Conference that primary focus at the company will shift solely to franchise driven products fueled by Pixar, Marvel and other well known Disney properties (think theme park rides). The mouse house will still take on smaller films, but they better cost under $30 million and feature new young stars.
You can shout at the top your lungs about how evil corporations are ruining America, you can’t really blame the house that Walt built. They’re just trying to save some money. 2009 was a disaster for Disney as several medium sized films (Confessions of a Shopaholic, G-Force, Surrogates, and Old Dogs) all tanked. It just comes as a shock when news broke that the studio would not be producing a sequel to their uber-successful mid-size comedy The Proposal.
While it’s a great strategy for Disney to make back some of it’s $10 billion dollars spent on acquiring Pixar and Marvel, it’s a painful wake up call about the dire state of Hollywood movie making. The big studio, R-rated drama has essentially disappeared off the face of the planet, and it seems if Disney’s move is at all telling, the studios may abandon medium sized films completely. If anything that costs $40-$80 million with no guaranteed profit is too much of a risk, why pursue it at all?