By Darren Franich
Updated December 20, 2013 at 05:00 AM EST

Man of Steel hit theaters in June and sparked some short-lived debate about its violence, the 9/11 imagery, that ending. Then we stopped talking about it. In July, Zack Snyder showed Comic-Con nothing more than a logo for the sequel — and we’ve been talking about Batman vs. Superman ever since.

This year, Hollywood truly figured out how to feed our new addiction to movies we haven’t seen yet. The film is now just one event in a much longer, social-media-assisted experience. Tweets and “leaked” images pave the way for a teaser, which leads to the real trailer, which revs us up for the movie — which probably has an end-credit teaser for a sequel.

Studios are colonizing far-future release dates with familiar brands to make it even easier: Star Wars: Episode VII (2015), Jurassic World (2015), The Amazing Spider-Man 4 (2018). And savvy filmmakers are getting on board too. Bryan Singer spent 2013 tweeting pictures from the set of 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. And this month, he stoked fanboy fires even more by tweeting that X-Men: Apocalypse will arrive in 2016. Of course, by then we’ll already be more excited about what’s coming in 2020.