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Groan: Franchise Fatigue

With Sex and the City 2 hitting theaters, we can't help but wonder: When it comes to franchises, how much is too much? Here's a look at four that just won't die.

Sex and the City

In short: Columnist Carrie Bradshaw chases Mr. Big across New York in $500 4-inch heels.

Lineage: A collection of columns by Candace Bushnell begat a six-season HBO series, which begat a 2008 film. A third movie is rumored.

Lifeblood: The series nabbed seven Emmy Awards and eight Golden Globes. The film made $415 million, and its opening weekend was the biggest ever for a movie with all female stars.

Trends spawned: Cupcakes, Manolo Blahniks, cosmos, bus tours of blond twentysomethings.

Kill fantasy: Death by $500 4-inch heel.

American Pie

In short: High-school seniors make a pact to lose their virginity.

Lineage: The 1999 blockbuster begat two hit sequels, which begat four mediocre, straight-to-DVD movies. American Pie 4, reuniting the original cast (now age 30), is said to be in the works.

Lifeblood: $753 million from theatrical releases.

Trends spawned: Popularized the term "MILF" and proved R-rated teen flicks could be mega-moneymakers.

Kill fantasy: Let's talk syphilis.

Scream

In short: A masked serial killer terrorizes teens.

Lineage: The 1996 flick begat two successful sequels and now, more than 10 years after Scream 3, the original cast reunites for Scream 4, with plans to kick off a new bloody trilogy.

Lifeblood: The first three films made $506 million worldwide.

Trends spawned: Scream's satirical twist on slasher films revitalized the genre and inspired the Scary Movie spoof series.

Kill fantasy: Too easy — the killer finally succeeds.

Twilight

In short: Girl meets vampire. Girl falls in love. Girl befriends werewolf. Angst ensues.

Lineage: Stephenie Meyer's four-part book series begat two blockbuster movies (three more are in the works) and a graphic novel.

Lifeblood: 85 million books and more than $1 billion in movie tickets sold.

Trends spawned: Team Edward T-shirts, Kristen Stewart's film career, Taylor Lautner's abs.

Kill fantasy: Bella is left to sulk solo for eternity, after Jacob and Edward fight to the death.

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