This New Web Tool Shows How Your Favorite Film Franchises Stack Up

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Sometimes it takes a film franchise a couple of installments to reach its full potential. The sequel to The Terminator, for example, earned more than six times as much as its predecessor on its opening weekend. On the critical side of things, The Empire Strikes Back—the second Star Wars movie—is ranked as the best film in the series by both amateur moviegoers and professional reviewers. Those are a few of the franchises profiled by a new web tool on TotallyMoney.com.

Using data from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and box office totals, the finance website visualized the top 30 film franchises to see how the installments of each one stack up. The project yielded some surprising results, like that in longest franchises, the eighth title tends to make the most money on opening weekend. Harry Potter, Star Trek, and Star Wars all follow this trend. But according to the numbers, the same can’t be said for quality. The ratings of blockbuster franchises, both viewer-generated (IMDb) and critic-generated (Rotten Tomatoes), are lowest for the most recent installments. Mission Impossible is one exception, with the third and fourth films earning the most critical praise.

The tool also highlights the rare discrepancies between critical and public response. The franchise with the biggest imbalance was Saw, which received dismal Rotten Tomatoes ratings for all seven movies and above-average ratings on IMDb. Spy Kids displays the opposite pattern, with the first two films scoring much higher with critics than with audiences.

You can search the site by individual franchise or scroll through the full list, which includes classics like Die Hard, Indiana Jones, Rocky, and The Hunger Games. The tool also lets you compare two franchises head-to-head, so you can settle any debates with friends about whose favorites series is superior once and for all.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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The World’s Last Blockbuster Has Been Transformed Into an Airbnb—and It Costs Just $4 Per Night

The Last Blockbuster on Earth is located in Bend, Oregon.
The Last Blockbuster on Earth is located in Bend, Oregon.
Airbnb

In March 2019, a Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon, became the last remaining Blockbuster on Earth. If you aren't satisfied just browsing the shelves and the candy selection of the rare '90s relic, soon you'll be able to book it for a night for the cost of a movie rental.

As CNN Travel reports, the last Blockbuster location will be available to rent on Airbnb for $4 a night beginning August 17. Sandi Harding, the manager of the video rental store since 2004, has set up the space to recreate the experience of renting a VHS tape and having an old-school movie night at home.

Settle in for an old-school movie night at The Last Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon.Airbnb

A sofa in the makeshift living room features a pull-out mattress complete with retro Memphis pattern sheets. After getting cozy in bed, guests can enjoy their choice of movie from the store's robust VHS collection on a big, boxy TV. And naturally, popcorn and other movie theater snacks are available onsite.

Be Kind. Rewind.Airbnb

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Bend Blockbuster's opening. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, having a big celebration was impossible, so Harding found a way to mark the occasion with a more intimate event. "With everybody being stuck at home and re-experiencing family time together, we thought it would be fun to enjoy some family time in a throwback '90s environment," she told CNN.

When the bookings open on Airbnb on August 17, guests will be able to reserve their one-night stay for September 18, 19, or 20. The space is limited to four people, with guests from the same household preferred.

[h/t CNN Travel]