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Sci-fi is one of the most popular genres of popular culture and, in the last decade or so, has moved from being a niche art form for geeks to a mainstream wave of culture which dominates the box office. The power of sci-fi film franchises cannot be overstated, and this has driven a step-change in the way that sci-fi is perceived by big film studios and publishing companies.
The Old Wave of Sci-Fi Films
This is not to say that sci-fi films have not been popular for many years. However, the limitations of pre-CGI filmmaking techniques often gave these films a ramshackle and homemade feel, even when they had reasonably significant budgets behind them. The ramp-up of computer graphics in the 1990s and 2000s completely changed the game and allowed films and visual sci-fi arts to take the place of books in some cases. This was because it was finally possible to visualize phenomena that had previously been best described with words in a book.
The Marvel comic franchises have been one of the most famous film franchises in history and have brought science fiction to a new audience. This has happened at the same time as Star Wars and Star Trek have been rebooted for a new generation of viewers, and shows such as Battlestar Galactica have gained popularity on television. Sci-fi art is now the mainstream, and it's even starting to pop up in galleries, where fans of the genre flock to see their favorite stories represented in painting.