Sometimes a creator or company will strike gold. A work (film, novel, etc) may spawn sequels, adaptations to other media, and a bonanza of merchandise. Usually, it'll take place in its own distinct universe, the author having significant autonomy, or the time and place keeping it off limit for crossovers, like Franchise/StarWars, Literature/{{The Lord of the Rings}} or Literature/HarryPotter.

However, sometimes the creator or company will try to replicate its own success, and come up with creations in similar genres. The similarities are noted and sooner or later the separate creations wind up crossing over with each other--either to pool resources that are individually flagging in interest, or just to enjoy the benefits of a {{crossover}}. This new SharedUniverse is a pretty perfect fit, and eventually it's seen as one giant franchise. However, at some point they may want to reboot only one piece of their mega-franchise, or adapt the simplest, most distilled aspect as it was originally envisioned. Luckily, these properties started out as their own franchise, so they can certainly stand on their own. But what you have is a modular franchise--full of properties that can be self-sustaining on their own, but also easily and even organically marketed as a unit.

Similar to CanonWelding, except usually done at a corporate level, and TheMerch plays a much bigger role, if not the entire incentive.

See also MassiveMultiplayerCrossover.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Franchise/{{Superman}} and Franchise/{{Batman}} are individually massive cultural icons. They're also members of the JusticeLeague, which consists of all of DC Comic's other major superheroes--including ones like Franchise/WonderWoman who are popular in their own right. So you may see these characters playing out individually, or as a combo of [[TheDCU the company's superhero line.]]
* {{Marvel}}'s a little more complex. They will often place things under the [[MarvelUniverse "Marvel Super-Heroes"]] banner. But unlike DC's stable, they don't always play well together, and many of their most popular characters aren't even major players in the company's Justice League analogue, Comicbook/TheAvengers. Thus, for the purposes of editors, movie franchises or toys, they may divide the Marvel Universe into different "corners", with Spider-Man and the X-Men most often being their own distinct franchises. However, this may be changing, with both Spidey and Wolverine now included as Avenger members.
* The ComicBook/DisneyMouseAndDuckComics follow the same basic rule as the DisneyAnimatedCanon (see below), with all the characters inhabiting the same universe -- but DonaldDuck and his family primarily stay in the ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse, while MickeyMouse and his friends have the ComicBook/MickeyMouseComicUniverse, with the occasional crossover. There are also comic stories that are clearly part of the same universe but don't clearly take place with either Mice or Ducks -- such as ChipAndDale's solo comics.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Beginning with ''Film/FrankensteinMeetsTheWolfMan'', Universal Pictures started pitting many of their monsters against each other, to the point they formed, for the most part, one cohesive universe with most of the action taking place in Eastern Germany. For years after, on things like video collections, cartoons and even postage stamps would sport a ''Universal Monsters'' logo featuring Dracula, Frankstein's Monster and its bride, the Mummy, the Wolf Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. In 1999, StephenSommers remade ''Film/{{The Mummy|1999}}'', and upon its success combined most of the gothic monsters for 2004's ''Film/VanHelsing'', in the hopes of going through Universal's entire stable of beasties. It didn't work out, and neither did Universal's attempt to give another shot to ''Film/{{The Wolf Man|2010}}''.
* ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}.'' Obviously, the Big G is the star of the line, but Mothra is important enough for her own subseries, and pretty much anything by Toho can be worked into a ''Godzilla'' film. And, of course, the big lizard himself can be crossed over with just about anything.
* One of the more interesting examples at the Ride/DisneyThemeParks is the imagination-based pavillion at Epcot (Florida). After the ThreeDMovie ''Honey, I Shrunk the Audience'', a follow-up to ''Film/HoneyIShrunkTheKids'', proved a hit there in 1994, the pavillion was completely rethemed to its "Imagination Institute" setting at decade's end. In the process, it became a hub for live-action Disney science-related characters via [[EasterEgg Easter eggs]] or more obvious references. The works thus welded are the ''Honey'' films, ''Film/{{Flubber}}'', the Merlin Jones films from TheSixties, and the Dexter Riley films from TheSeventies...plus the ''original'' incarnation of the pavillion via the animated/Audio-Animatronic dragon Figment (a friendly {{Trickster}} figure in this incarnation, rather than a {{Sidekick}}). The pavillion is set for a complete overhaul in 2014; if anything remains, it will most likely be Figment.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The ABC television show ''Series/OnceUponATime'' is rapidly turning into the ''DisneyPrincess Show.'' The season two premiere brought in [[spoiler:Fa Mulan.]]

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Most animation companies will eventually have all the characters from their shorts shown to exist in one large community.
** WarnerBros places the LooneyTunes characters in the same universe along with the characters from WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures, [[WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}} Animaniacs]], [[{{Freakazoid}} Freakazoid!]] and [[{{Histeria}} Histeria!]].
** Creator/HannaBarbera once pooled them all for ''WesternAnimation/LaffALympics''. As both HB and Creator/CartoonNetwork were under the same banner, CartoonCartoons might also fit - DynomuttDogWonder appeared in ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' and JohnnyBravo met among others ScoobyDoo. (''Dexters''[='=]s characters also cameod in many other Cartoon shows, specially ''ThePowerpuffGirls'')
* The DisneyPrincess brand, which is primarily focused on the royal heroines of fairy/folktale-derived films from the DisneyAnimatedCanon. While no canon work has presented the heroines together (a rejected concept for the "Pomp and Circumstance" segment in ''Disney/{{Fantasia 2000}}'' would have done so), various direct-to-video productions, theme park shows, [=CD=]s, and so forth have.
** The Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon as a whole can kind of be considered one giant uber franchise.
** KingdomHearts also has most of the Disney Princesses as the Princesses of Heart. [[Disney/AliceInWonderland Alice]] replaced [[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Ariel]] who was instead a GuestStarPartyMember.
** The Princess franchise's rival Disney Villains, actually [[LoadsandLoadsofCharacters takes this]] UpToEleven!

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[[folder: Sports ]]

* Professional teams are considered franchises in their own right, but the entire league its a brand name it will try to exploit--using the imagery of its various teams.
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