More than ever before, the film industry today is based upon the concept of building an empire through film franchises that span a generation for a studio. If done right, you see situations like Marvel, where less than a decade can propel a studio to complete cultural ubiquity, and unstoppable streams of revenue. However, empires are not easily built, and have a historical tendency to fall, especially when the foundation is less than solid. The larger and more expansive something gets, the harder it is to maintain consistent greatness, especially when they are not built up correctly to begin with.

There are many issues with this style of filmmaking, and one of the biggest ones stems from the fact that it is so largely driven by financial return instead of creativity and innovation. It seems almost impossible now for a film to lose money at the box office. Because of this, even middling films that receive subpar critical reaction and don't seem to have an actual fan base now become franchises. However, this idea really needs to be rethought, and a film landing in the black financially is no longer a reliable metric to make decisions about creating sequels.

I beg of anyone to tell me who out there was truly pining for a sequel to 2013's overwhelmingly forgettable magician heist film Now You See Me. Yet, we're still getting one, with Now You See Me 2 (the most lazily and boringly titled film I can think of in recent memory) about to roll into theaters, and sure to ride the wave of Daniel Radcliffe's appearance to a solid box office performance. Not only that, but apparently there's already plans for a third film in this franchise.

Some films are best left on their own, and shouldn't be given the franchise treatment, while others, like Now You See Me, can't even say that, and can only really stand on the fact that they made money at the box office. There needs to be greater criteria for which films receive sequels, however, and most studios need to change how they plan out franchises before they even get rolling.

Obviously, when a film is planned as the start of a franchise from the beginning, it makes sense for the film to be constructed around those plans in certain ways. However, what gets lost in this is making sure that these films actually stand on their own merits. This is important because it increases the quality of the initial films, but also because it's easier for studios to change directions when a film doesn't work out quite as well as hoped.

It may seem like an easy target, but probably the best example of this right now is the differences between the massive success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the new, but already-troubled DC Extended Universe.

Part of why Marvel has been able to successfully build the MCU to the point where it is now is because they truly built the entire concept from the ground up. DC, however, made a few fundamental mistakes from the get-go. Firstly, it jumped into the full swing of things far too quickly. Instead of building up this universe, and the characters within it, they ran full speed toward their longing for a Justice League film. Now, DC is in a place where its future plans are built upon the uneasy and wholly subpar foundation of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and have basically no time to right their course toward a better trajectory.

Even worse, however, is that they did this in one of the worst ways imaginable--under the questionable (at best) vision and leadership of Zack Snyder. Whenever any organization decides to make large, radical changes to the way it does things, management is the most important factor to whether they will be successful or not. For DC, the launch of their film universe is a massive undertaking, and gambling so heavily on a routinely underwhelming director like Snyder to lay the foundation for it is rather unforgivable.

No positively-reviewed films since 2009? Highest score is 75%? Let's hitch our wagon here!

The concept of these film franchises and empires can be incredibly exciting. However, they need to have a solid foundation, or else there will eventually be enough backlash and disinterest that they cease to be viable. If studios truly want to create these franchise empires, they can't be built upon garbage.