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How ‘The Goonies’ Helped Create a Modern Franchise Template

2020’s summer blockbuster season has been put on hold because of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the movies from the past that we flocked out of the sun and into air conditioning for. Welcome to The Ringer’s Return to Summer Blockbuster Season, where we’ll feature different summer classics each week. There’s a very good chance that I have watched The Goonies more times than any other movie in my life. Growing up, my sister and I had a tacit agreement that when we couldn’t settle on something to watch, we would put on The Goonies or, for some reason, Rugrats in Paris. To this day, we have no idea why the movie about talking babies hitting up the Eiffel Tower was so enticing, but the enduring appeal of The Goonies is much easier to relate to. Goonies screenwriter Chris Columbus said the original pitch for the film—the story was originally conceived by Steven Spielberg—boiled down to a basic idea: What would a bunch of bored kids get up to on a rainy day? Well, in this case, they settled on an adventure to find hidden pirate treasure whilst evading a bickering family of Italian mobsters.

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