When you’re a fantasy, horror and/or sci-fi geek, popular franchises fall into three categories. The first two are ones you could care less about and ones you follow casually but have no interest in them outside or watching one of its movies from time to time or reading about it in news articles. The third category consists of franchises that you follow devoutly, if not obsessively: You own all of the franchise’s movies and/or TV shows in one or more home video formats, you've acquired a sizable inventory of licensed franchise merchandise, and you even have a collection of the franchise’s “expanded universe” of comic books, novels and games. (You know deep down that the expanded universe is not official franchise canon, but you don’t care.) So, what happens when a franchise you've loved for years—perhaps decades—ceases to attract your attention? What is the tipping point when you decide that following a particular franchise just isn't worth the time and money anymore?
It’s never any easy thing to part from a beloved franchise, but it’s best to move on to something else that captures your imagination than remain focused on something that does not. Two franchises that I went through previously were Star Trek and The X-Files, and it was a disappointment to watch both go downhill.
With Star Trek, I first watched the original series on syndication and then kept up with the first three spin-offs: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. I began to lose interest around the end of Voyager and the release of the Star Trek: Nemesis movie, when it became clear to me that Paramount didn't have any major plans for their iconic franchise at all. The last spin-off Enterprise only existed to prop up Paramount’s fledgling UPN TV network (much like Voyager did before it), and the dismal send off that Picard and his crew got in Nemesis proved to me that Paramount had no idea what to do with a franchise that proved to be so durable and expansive. Even the 2009 Star Trek reboot by J.J. Abrams didn't change my mind, because I read that Paramount had been considering a young Kirk and Spock movie since the late '80s; if Abrams hadn't done the reboot someone else would have, because Paramount lacks the creativity to come up with anything else.
In the case of The X-Files, I lost interest around the time when Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) left the show. I was so eager to see the great alien invasion conspiracy come to fruition, the conspiracy that the show was building up to for so many seasons, but Mulder’s departure made it sink in that it was never going to happen. Even though I stopped watching the show, I did tune in for the series finale and—wouldn't you know it—they were no closer to exposing the conspiracy than they were when I stopped watching.
What makes you stop following a franchise?