Studios are in trouble. Box office is down four percent for the year to date — and the main culprit is combining familiar franchise properties with tried-and-true formulas.
Of course, “Logan” is the 10th installment in the “X-Men” franchise, which 20th Century Fox launched 16 years ago with producer Lauren Shuler Donner. But “Wolverine” director James Mangold didn’t direct it like a sequel.
Here’s how Mangold threw out the studio rulebook — and why Fox let him.
1. Get the backing of a major star.
Immediately after finishing “Wolverine” in 2013, Jackman and Mangold had a chat: Did they want to do this movie again? “If there was one, it would be his last one,” Mangold told me in a telephone interview.