It may not even be possible in today's age of multiple movies each week, and up to a dozen "blockbusters" each summer - but do you think there is an equivalent to the Original Star Wars Trilogy in today's group of movies? A series of movies that really captures not only kids, but adults as well, and becomes somewhat of a phenomenon in the culture in general. The characters become household names, everyone is at least aware of the movies if not seen at least one or more. Like I said, its a totally different world than it was in the 70s/80s when Star Wars, Empire, and Jedi were released - and they have changed the movie world so that we see these special effects bonanzas every summer month (Iron Man, Indy, Narnia, Hulk, Hancock, Dark Knight, etc. this summer alone).
I guess the franchises that come to mind for me that might fit this would be Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, any one of the superhero franchises (probably Spidey, X-Men, and Batman in particular right now), or maybe even Pirates of the Caribbean. For some reason, the superhero/comic movies seem like a little bit of a different bird to me from the sci fi/fantasy realm of Star Wars, but I can see the similarities as well. Also, maybe the actual modern Star Wars movies - the prequels - are today's Original Trilogy. Although they certainly don't seem to be as popular overall as the OT, there is a lot of neat stuff to take out of there as well (ROTS in particular), and I really think I'd still be way into them if I was a kid growing up with this trilogy. Other than that, I think I'd lean most towards Harry Potter - simply because they appeal to a very broad audience, they are counted on to be box office monsters, and they seem to have a really large anticipation towards each new chapter. Again, not necessarily a "game changer" the way the original Star Wars was in '77, but maybe the most of a cultural phenomenon. Lord of the Rings is way up there as well, and one of my all time favorites, but maybe not quite as popular with really young children (although you could make that argument with HP with each new movie/book as well). Anyways, just something I was thinking about, and I was wondering what some of you thought.