In A Nihilist’s Guide to Meaning Kevin Simler explains the idea that meaningful things are things that point to other things:

A thing X will be perceived as meaningful in context C to the extent that it’s connected to other meaningful things in C.

Recently this idea gave me a greater appreciation of film franchises and how they are a great source of meaning, regardless of the intrinsic quality of each film individually. As an example, consider the Marvel Cinematic Universe - while each film individually is not great, the series as a whole is fantastic. Mostly because of all the pointing between the movies and of the continuous moving forward of the story. This makes it a great source of meaning, which leads to a community of MCU fans, which makes the franchise even more meaningful.

I suspect that the community part is really important, even if it is a community of two: I was pretty hesitant to watch the movies because Super Hero Movies Are Always The Same™, but when the idea popped into my mind of watching the whole series with my girlfriend, one movie every week, as in a ritual, all of the sudden I was looking forward to it.

This partial narrative on why franchises like Harry Potter and Star-Wars are so popular seems really obvious in hindsight. That probably shows the power of the ideia of meaning as pointing.