Why It’s Not Rocky VI

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The new Rocky movie is called “Rocky Balboa,” not Rocky VI, for a reason. Of course, the Rocky character has been resurrected so many times now that the story is absurd, but the marketing behind it is interesting, if only as another example (as if one were needed) of how everything we consume is elaborately constructed to maximize profit. The New York Times explains how best to name sequels:

Movie audiences prefer sequels with names to those with numbered titles, according to a paper in the October Journal of Consumer Research. In one study, subjects were shown a made-up movie title —“Daredevil 2” or “Daredevil: Taking It to the Streets” — and asked to read a plot summary. Those who saw the second title spent more time reading the summary, remembered more, and rated the hypothetical movie more highly.