I remember when Avatar came out. It was a huge production and became the highest grossing film of all-time. Today, I can’t remember a single line. I can’t remember any character names. I can barely remember the story. Do those items I can’t remember seem to make sense for the highest grossing film?
Compare it to Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Titanic, or even the Big Lebowski. Many people can quote these movies, even if they haven’t seen them. The character names and story are recognizable even years later.
So what happened to Avatar?
My thought is that Avatar was ground-breaking for the technology that was invented for it. It made Hollywood excited for new possibilities and in their excitement they promoted Avatar and that let to it becoming a box office success.
In spite of that, it had no impact on pop culture, nothing memorable.
There was no edge or fringe touched upon.
The story didn’t make people feel enough emotions, and so it was forgotten.
Don’t forget the core business you are in. Avatar did, and as a result it had a quick return-on-investment, but no long-term payback by comparison to other popular franchises.