It remains to be seen if HBO’s ”House of the Dragon“ and Amazon’s ”Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power“ will result in the same audience behavior
Building out large franchises to capture audience attention is not a new strategy, but recently there has been a surge in one particular way of doing this: the prequel. This may well go down as the summer of the prequel as franchise after franchise has chosen to expand its universe backward in time rather than forward. So what exactly is going on? Is this simply a fad or is there a rationale for creating this type of content? We looked at audience demand for several recent prequels to understand how prequels can be a strategic way to grow a franchise.
One recent show that nicely illustrates the impact a prequel can have on its franchise is Disney+’s “Obi-Wan Kenobi.” The “Star Wars” universe is so well developed that “Obi-Wan Kenobi” isn’t simply a prequel but fits into the the existing content landscape like a bridge between “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” and “Episode IV: A New Hope.” So, in some ways it’s simultaneously a prequel and a sequel and we can see its impact in both directions.