Below (from Seth Godin) is what I'd earlier run into under the name "Product Life Cycle" - essentially a bell curve showing:
1. unknown product
2. rising demand - most profitable as least supply
3. peak - lots of supply and versions of the original - least profitable
4. dropping demand - also profitable as you're selling accessories and spare parts
5. near unknown - niche market residual
Now, applied to a fad (not a trend), the "Brad Pitt" cycle below applies. Unknown to unknown. Such is the case in celebrities and one-shot wonders. They leave a legacy of trivial pursuit and aging fan clubs.
Successful celebrities go from peak to peak, constantly coming out with new projects, and reinventing themselves as they age and mature.
That's the point of any brand/product lifecycle - they can go through this process many, many times. You just have to reinvent them. Businesses do this with re-packaging. Laundry detergent is into concentrating their product and then selling them in smaller packages - with the advertising to push this off on consumers.
Breck recently did this with their product (though I have no sales statistics - only following the ads on TV).
Disney re-packages their products continually and causes short booms in sales.
Right now, the movie-house experience seems to be the ramp-up for the DVD sales, which is where many movies peak.
Brand extension? Repackaging in order to create another life cycle.
A study in recurring product lifecycles is the "Law of Attraction". It's been known by other names since before we've had a written history. It got the name "Law of Attraction" in the early 1920's when it was in its hey-day as part of "New Thought". Recently, an Australian TV producer discovered basic books about it and created "The Secret" - which made a new lifecycle for it. Writing a book on the subject continued the peak. With a lack of subsequent products, that peak is dropping. But it has helped other people with their peaks, bringing new "Brad Pitts" to view and to a broader audience.
There isn't death after product life - just more repackaging and brand extension...
Seth's Blog: The five step brand lifecycle:
"The five step brand lifecycle
Who is Brad Pitt? [insert your brand/name here]
Get me Brad Pitt!
Get me someone like Brad PItt, but cheaper!
Get me a newer version of Brad Pitt!
Who is Brad Pitt?
[original source unknown]."