Never do one when you can do three
Why not make triple your gain on a movie instead of just making one?
Movies like Harry Potter, Narnia and Series of Unfortunate Events are perfect examples of that theory.
Harry Potter is on the big screen for book number four now and still has three more to go.
The Chronicles of Narnia is also a series of seven books and will undoubtedly also turn into a series of movies.
Lord of the Rings was made into three movies from the three J.R.R. Tolkien books, while "Lemony Snicket's, a Series of Unfortunate Events" currently has 12 books in the series. The movie that came out this past summer with Jim Carrey spanned the first four books.
The big box office winners the past few years seem to be these types of series, mainly based from already-published fiction books.
Storytelling genius is on the outside
Even though Star Wars was a series of six movies, the entire story was created from George Lucas' imagination. Lucas was also the mastermind behind the Indiana Jones adventures. Those types of movie creators are hard to find these days.
One of the fresher faces in Hollywood the past eight or so years has been M. Night Shyamalan.
Shyamalan burst onto the scene with 1997's thriller "The Sixth Sense." He has definitely stuck with the psychological thriller theme in his movies, but the three feature movies he's done since "The Sixth Sense" have all been original creations from his own mind. Many consider him the new Alfred Hitchcock.
It's a great ride to watch Harry, Ron, Hermione, Frodo Baggins and Aslan. But the big budget movies stick with the same story that can be read in a book.