DC Movie Universe
Warner Bros. has been trying to create a cinematic universe of their own with DC characters since 2013. They started slow, but introduced several new characters in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad that could help quickly populate the universe. Unfortunately, only Wonder Woman managed to be praised universally, and then Justice League swiftly removed much of the good will DC was building.
Enter 2018, and the true introduction of Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman. James Wan's Aquaman is the only live-action DC movie to come out this year and was made during several periods of transition for DC Films. Production began as they were still making changes on Justice League through massive reshoots, and then studio head Geoff Johns stepped down with Walter Hamada taking over. Through it all, Wan had complete control of the property and was also faced with the challenge of successfully introducing many to the underwater hero and his vast world.
Aquaman is not the best movie of the recent line of DC films, but it does make the franchise as a whole better by existing. For starters, Aquaman is a massive hit at the box office already and has immediately given the larger universe another franchise they can count on to perform and grow. The movie also shows the tonal changes that the DC universe is undergoing as they veer away from Snyder's vision and try to replicate what Wonder Woman accomplished. But, it also once again gives DC an example of a movie that can stand alone on its own and be a fun time at the movies that sets up more for its own future without being overly concerned with how it connects to prior or future films. Aquaman is more concerned with Wan's vision for the franchise and character than the larger world - and it's better for it.
Paramount handed the reigns of the Transformers franchise to Michael Bay over a decade ago, and the franchise got off to a solid start in 2007, starring Shia LaBeouf as the main human character, and the series only gained momentum at the box office through its sequels. Bay's five movies grossed over $4 billion, but saw diminishing returns in terms of critical reception. When the financial gain also dropped with Transformers: The Last Knight, a change was needed.
Instead of continuing the main Transformers line of films, Paramount hired Travis Knight to direct Bumblebee, a prequel movie starring the fan-favorite Autobot. Bumblebee found Hailee Steinfeld to star in the lead role, while John Cena joined in support. Unlike the previous batch of films, though, Bumblebee appears to have successfully brought some heart and actual characters to the franchise.
This is how Bumblebee managed to turn the Transformers franchise around. Only time will tell whether or not it comes close to the financial success of the previous movies, but it is easily the best reviewed entry. This is a huge turn for the IP overall, as many had already wrote off the future of the Transformers if they continued under Bay. As surprising as it is to say, there is now a renewed sense of excitement and optimism when it comes to the Transformers franchise and that is all thanks to Bumblebee.
John Carpenter's original Halloween is a horror-slasher classic that spawned multiple attempts to continue the legacy he started. Seven sequels were made before Rob Zombie rebooted the property with two films. Unfortunately for Michael Myers, almost all of his returns were disregarded by critics and fans alike.
Despite the troubled time the Halloween franchise had after Carpenter's first movie, turning the franchise around was put in the hands of David Gordon Green and Danny McBride. The new Halloween picks up 40 years after Michael and Laurie Strode's (Jamie Lee Curtis) first encounter, where Laurie has spent years training for a fateful reunion. When it comes, Laurie and her family are forced to confront the myth that has haunted their name for decades. Green largely was successful in recapturing the look, tone, and feel of Carpenter's movie, resulting in a wildly applauded sequel.
Related: Halloween 2018's Ending Explained
Considering what came before this year's Halloween, it wasn't very difficult for it to make the franchise better, but it was a specific narrative choice that really freed the new film. Ignoring the Halloween sequels allowed for all of the franchise's flaws to be forgotten, and so they could bring Curtis back as Laurie after all these years. It proved to be a great move not just for the sequel, but also for a potential future for the franchise, just in case the studio decides to return to Haddonfield, IL. After all, the Strode family is together at last and Halloween's post-credits scene teases The Shape may actually still be alive, so one more meeting may be needed.