http://www.metacritic.com/browse/movies ... =condensed
Okay, with the possible exception of the Hobbit to be inserted here, the top 10 grossing films of 2012 are as follows (according to wikipedia):
So here is the question, does it bother you that movies seem to be very sequel orientated these days?
I think it bothers me, but in saying that I saw 4 of the sequels in the top 10 (and bought the Blu-Rays for Avengers and DKR). I also saw Expendables 2 and American Pie Reunion. I started off the year with Mission Impossible 4. I don't think I saw a film at the cinema this year that wasn't either a direct sequel type or a Skyfall/Avengers continuation of the same characters type. So, it can't be too much of a bother to me. I just worry that we are creating an atmosphere that stifles something new and exciting in place of either continuing the same thing or rebooting a film series that is not even that long since stagnated (Spiderman!). We also have another 2 X-Men films (A first class era one and another Wolverine one). All the Avenger's characters sequels and the like. I just worry that while the going is good, we are going to force Hollywood into a situation where they only want to make sequels etc and then when the sequels all turn to crap, we are left with nothing.
But maybe that won't happen.
Skyfall is the only 'sequel' on the first page of the highest rated films of 2012.
But if you go to http://www.imdb.com/chart/top
you'll see that Skyfall isn't on the list while Argo is the fourth highest rated film of this year (after TDKR, The Hobbit and Avengers), yet based upon critics' reviews, Argo is rated higher than all of those on Metacritic.
Go to http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2012&p=.htm
and in the top ten only two are new IPs and not a franchise film. One is Brave, which for the sake of argument could be said to be part of the Pixar franchise and not without an automatic fanbase. So that leaves only Ted, which has the MacFarlane Family Guy and American Dad fanbase pre-built in.
Only Ted, The Hunger Games and The Lorax have a budget under $100, with Ted being the only one significantly under that number, and definitely the only one which is possibly still under that if you include marketing, while the others will be approaching $200M.
Channing Tatum is the only theme of non franchise lower budget films in the top 20. And his $7M budgeted film is at number 21! And due to his exponentially increasing popularity (rumours are that GI Joe 2 is being re-shot to increase his screen time) his 'cheap' films will not exist past this year.
You have to look to number 24, Argo to find a moderately budgeted film without an inbuilt audience. The only films higher than it have Tatum, Denzel and Spielberg acting as the main draw.
All of that leads to the conclusion that if you want to make money in film, spend £/$100M+ and or make a kids film, or spend $5 million and make a horror/found footage film with which it's impossible to not make a profit.
Edit: Only 26 films have broken the 100M Barrier, and the majority are between 30M and 65M, so you can see why so few films are budgeted at that level - it's too risky.