Credit: Zade Rosenthal

There was a time when Hollywood was not solely in the business of making franchise films with a built-in geek fanbase. In the early ’90s, science-fiction films were mostly low-budget B-movies and Star Trek sequels. The success of Tim Burton’s Batman films didn’t immediately kick-start a superhero renaissance, unless you were a big fan of Steel and The Shadow, you weirdo. And there simply weren’t any epic fantasy films, although an imaginative young Tolkien fan could create a reasonable facsimile of a live-action Lord of the Rings by watching Willow on mute with Glenn Yarbrough’s Hobbit song playing on your tape-deck stereo system.

Now, everything has changed, as I discuss in this week’s episode of Entertainment Geekly. Check it out below:

Hollywood has always moved in phases. There was a time when the Western was the most successful genre in Hollywood, and the Musical, and the ’80s Beefcake Action movie. All of those genres became popular, and that popularity lead to bloat, and that bloat led to decline — from Stagecoach to How the West Was Won, from West Side Story to Hello Dolly!, from Predator to Eraser. Could it be that the Comic-Con blockbuster is reaching that similar critical-mass point–that audiences will grow tired of dudes in tight-fitting costumes? Or could it be that–thanks to the never-ending hype machine that is the Internet, combined with the rise of heartless corporate thinking in the film industry–that the Era of the Geek Dominion is just beginning?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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