In the box office's top 10, both domestically and globally, eight films—which entered cinemas in 2015—came from a popular franchise or brand, including Marvel, James Bond and Disney Princesses. In fact, 2015's five best-performers globally have come from a franchise and all grossed over $1 billion each.
"When sequels account for (at least) seven of the ten top grossing films of the year, there is a clear and present product that studios are leaning on for success, and right now those are franchise films," Jeff Bock, a senior box office analyst at statistics firm Exhibitor Relations, told CNBC via email.
While studios have invested some of their cash into big-budget originals, "known commodities are much easier to sell to audiences and cheaper", as studios are selling to strong fan bases that have been around since the franchise's beginning, Bock explained. In a way, these franchises act as "safety nets," he added.
"What this tells us that we like to bet on a sure thing when we pay for a movie ticket," Paul Dergarabedian, Rentrak's senior media analyst told CNBC.
"Tried and true brands with basic concepts and characters that we already know and love inspires ticket buying without the perceived risk of taking a chance on something new."