Byline: Scott Galupo, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
As most mainstream moviegoers are aware, the hottest movie franchises these days are those that derive from popular source material. They do consistently well because their audiences are, to a large extent, pre-sold.
Think comic books, and not just the ones that feature superheroes, such as Spider-Man and The X-Men. There are graphic novels, too, like 2005's "Sin City," which grossed a healthy $159 million worldwide, and last year's unexpected hit "300," which dramatized the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae. (Both were based on graphic novels by Frank Miller.)
And of course, there's the legion of Harry Potter readers and Tolkien geeks who devoured the Potter movies and Peter Jackson's …