Well folks, the battle of film franchises is in full swing. Disney, DreamWorks, Fox, MGM, Miramax, New Line, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and WB all have big-money franchises competing for the crown of top dog. As things stand now, nothing tops George Lucas' "Star Wars" series. Currently, the franchise has earned a total of $3.3 billion worldwide from just five films. 2005's 'Episode III' will likely put the series over the $4 billion mark. MGM's James Bond franchise is a close second with $3.2 billion yielded from the 19 films in the series. Bond 20, "Die Another Day", will add yet another blockbuster to the longest running franchise in the movies. Other than SW and Bond, only three other franchises have been able to crack the $1 billion mark. Those are "Jurassic Park" ($1.5 billion from 3 films), "Batman" ($1.2 billion from 4 films), and "Indiana Jones" ($1.2 billion from 3 films). By the end of the year, three more franchises will be added to the Billion Dollar Club. Those being WB's "Harry Potter" ($966.7 million from only film #1), New Line's "The Lord of the Rings" ($860 million from film #1), and Paramount's "Star Trek" ($994.4 million from nine films). Since there will be a total of seven films in the "Harry Potter" series, it could end up passing "Star Wars" as the most lucrative film franchise in history. LOTR will yield a total of 4 films for New Line, the three LOTR titles as well as the prequel "The Hobbit" (which will probably hit screens between a few years after "The Return of the King). Sony's "Spider-Man" will have no problem passing "Batman" in becoming the biggest comic book/superhero franchise, but "Batman" will still be making some noise after Darren Aronofsky's 'Year One' debuts in a couple of years. WB also has high hopes from McG's new "Superman" franchise. WB also has "Terminator 3" on their slate (with an option for T4), plus "Catwoman" and "Wonder Woman". WB owned New Line has "Austin Powers" looking like a billion dollar series, along with LOTR, and "Blade". Who do you think will win this ongoing battle of the franchises? Honestly, Fox and WB have really strong rosters with Sony and New Line coming in a close second. In the next few years we're going to see a flood of franchise-ready movies hitting multiplexes. Let's hope most of them are good.