There's nothing for me to counter. You already admitted error and apologized you can't even keep up with the conversation between you and I. I made no such mention regarding studios breaking even. But now somehow you have convinced yourself in your mind I'm disagreeing with that. You're arguing with yourself now.
I never admitted error, and my apology is a figure of speech. You did not refer to breaking even, but there is no difference between that and a minimal gain, which is your argument.
Companies don't shelve projects because the competition has something better. Minimal gain across many minor projects still leads to a minimal gain for the company because profitability is measured using a percentage. And just because a company will work on projects that earn less in parallel with those that earn more doesn't mean it will accept minimal gains overall in the long run.
Ultimately, as we explained earlier, for-profit businesses work to maximize profits, and the reasons are obvious: they are competing with other companies and want to gain market share by expanding operations (among others), and their investors want the best returns on their investment. None of these can happen given the perception that their main goal is simply to attain a profit, no matter how small it is.
They took a risk with the first film before sequels followed. Hollywood aren't "increasingly" making sequels - they've been doing it for decades.
Exactly, and even that is connected to the points that we've been raising. Sequels, prequels, reboots, remakes, spinoffs, etc., for established franchises generally have faster development time. Hollywood hasn't been engaged in such simply because it wants to make fans happy, or break even, or even make a small profit. Large amounts of money are up for investment and studios are competing with each other several times a year, which is why they have to spend large amounts to peddle tent poles on a global scale, with smaller projects released during dump months. Obviously, the goal is to maximize profits.