I know. There are way more than 10 reasons you can’t stand mainstream cinema. From the annoying tween behind you texting her BFF who’s sitting right next to her to the parents who thought it was a good idea to bring their nap-deprived toddler to the theaters, it’s hard enough to enjoy a movie. Add in the overpriced hot dogs and bloating ticket prices, it’s almost a sure thing that regardless of how good the movie is, your cinematic experience will be less than stellar. But mainstream cinema starts foremost with the quality of Hollywood films and this is where the bulk of our problems lie.

In 2002, 475 films were released and that number has steadily increased over the years reaching a peak of 638 in 2008 while stabling around 600 films more or less annually during the past few years. In 2011, 610 films were released. Why do the number of films released every year matter? With anything the more there is of something, the more likely quality will suffer and this leads to reason #10 why you can’t stand mainstream cinema…

10. Quantity, Not Quality

“Saw,” “Resident Evil,” “Pirates of the Caribbean.” All of these franchises have more than four films to their name. “Saw” leads with seven while R.E. has five with the sixth in development, and “Pirates” is not to be outdone as it has four with the fifth in development. Movie franchises are like going to a Chinese buffet. You know the food isn’t going to be top notch, but you’re hungry and it’s cheap, so you give in hoping that the lo mein and General Tso’s are better than the other buffet’s. Movie franchises aren’t known for the quality of their films as much as the quantity of films made, but you know what to expect from each one. You want Milla Jovovich killing zombies? You got it. You want Johnny Depp stumbling around as an incompetent pirate? Get in line. You want to watch torture porn every Halloween? You got problems. All of these franchises cater to the masses who want cheap entertainment by the dozen. We’re all guilty of this because sometimes we just want to watch mediocre movies with zombies, pirates, and gore, oh my. Sometimes, we want to turn off the brain and vegetate.

Now, there are some great franchises that have made quality films. The Godfather along with the Dark Knight trilogy comes to mind as well as “The Lord of the Rings” and nearly all of Marvel superhero movies (except you “Fantastic Four”). But we know that these franchises are a rarity. It’s more common to have a crappy franchise that won’t die (“American Pie”). Going along with the restaurant analogy, choosing a different movie to watch is like trying out a new restaurant. It’s a gamble. You may end up hating it, liking it, or hey you might love it, which will most likely spawn a sequel or several giving birth to another franchise. The vicious cycle. With rising ticket prices and people less willing to spend their hard earned buck on a “new restaurant,” the future forecast for films is that there are going to be more franchises upon franchises. And that means more people making the safe choice and buying a ticket to the almighty franchise. Speaking of tickets…

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This article was first posted on December 5, 2012