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  • Showing only topics in ~movies with the tag "superheroes". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. On the superhero question

      The year is over. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was released, marking the official end of the DCEU. It goes out with a whimper. Aquaman won't be profitable, but it won't lose as much as The Marvels...

      The year is over. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was released, marking the official end of the DCEU. It goes out with a whimper. Aquaman won't be profitable, but it won't lose as much as The Marvels of The Flash did this year, which I suppose is some consolation prize.

      As I said in my summer of busts post only two superhero movies this year made a profit theatrically. In certain corners of the box office community, there was a belief that The Marvels would beat Spider-Verse, but that never seemed realistic. It even came up short of the most conservative initial predictions for it. It did so poorly that it made The Flash's performance look decent.

      So what happened? Last year Superhero movies dominated the box office. Although, Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water were the top 2 grossing movies. Both domestic and worldwide. But still, all three Marvel films opened to over 100M. Two made over 400M DOM, although, one had poor word of mouth. Even Thor: Love and Thunder, with some horrendous word of mouth, almost grossed 350M DOM. And all three were some of the most profitable blockbusters of the year.

      I think 2022 laid the groundwork for what happened this year. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder were received poorly among general audiences. I would also say even though Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was well received, its reception was still pretty tepid, especially compared to the first. And people started enjoying blockbusters with a different look and flavor with Top Gun and Avatar, which made audiences reconsider what types of movies they should watch. Something I think falls in between here is The Batman, which, of course, is a superhero movie, but one that has a distinct look and feel. So, I would place that next to the blockbusters that offered something different than the MCU formula audiences had gotten used to consuming.

      Going into 2023, audiences were still interested in superhero movies and, specifically, the MCU. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania opened to over 100M, a franchise high. The poor reception of the film was, apparently, the straw that broke the camel's back for audiences.

      This wasn't evident right away since the two superhero movies that were released right after (Guardians 3 and Across the Spider-Verse) were well-received and were some of the biggest hits of the year. Even with a softer opening, Guardians 3 managed to leg out incredibly well to outgross the first installment of the franchise. The post I made directly after Guardians 3 opened was perhaps premature in this regard. But I think the superhero films to come out after Spider-Verse proved that point right. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse required fantastic word of mouth to be the hits that they were. If they were received as poorly as the 2022 MCU films, they wouldn't have become the hits they are.

      This might seem obvious, you need a good movie that audiences like to be a hit at the box office. But, this was not the case in the prime era of superhero movies. In 2016, Suicide Squad was released with poor critical and audience reception. Yet it grossed 325M DOM and 745M WW. That same year X-Men: Apocalypse still managed to make over 500M WW also with poor reception. Venom would make over 800M WW two years later. Even as recently as 2021, the poorly received Eternals (while the pandemic was still ongoing) made over 400M WW which is double The Marvel's gross.

      Quantumania was the start of it but The Flash, Blue Beetle, The Marvels, and Aquaman cemented it. This is a dead genre, and it had an explosive death this year. The top three grossing movies this year worldwide are Barbie, The Super Mario Bros Movies, and Oppenheimer. All three are quite different. And I think they show that audiences are ready for something else, and are shopping around. What used to excite audiences in the 2010s simply isn't exciting them anymore. As GenZ becomes the same age Millennials were ten years ago, they're simply not into superhero movies. The demographic for superhero movies will continue to get older as they continue to fall out of fashion. GenZ is finding interest elsewhere as they made Hunger Games and Wonka hits that outgrossed the majority of superhero movies released this year.

      So what of the future?

      2024 is barren in Superhero movies. There are technically five comic book movies coming out. However, three of those are from the Sonyverse; Madame Web, Kraven the Hunter, and Venom 3. Two of those seem to be guaranteed bombs and I don't think anyone expects Venom 3 to hit the same numbers as the first Venom. The only two major comic book movies to come out in 2024 are Deadpool 3 and Joker Folie à Deux.

      Deadpool 3 is going to be heavily connected to the MCU. With all the plot leaks available, it's looking to be a multiverse cameo fest. This seems exactly the wrong time to be doing this type of film. Cameo porn, as coined by James Gunn, is not a guaranteed money maker as The Flash made it evident earlier this year. Mix that in with the fact that Deadpool 2 was released now almost six years ago, when the market was friendlier to superhero movies, and how heavily connected it is to a Disney+ show, I don't believe this is going to right the MCU ship the way Disney is hoping.

      Joker Folie à Deux, however, should benefit from not being a typical comic book film the way something like Deadpool 3 is going to be. And the first Joker has had a long shelf life in the minds of audiences. It should be able to rise above the fatigue of the genre to interest audiences in it.

      Still, I wouldn't be surprised if we end up with another top 3 without superhero films. Audiences could potentially gravitate towards other blockbusters like The Garfield Movie, Beetlejuice 2, and Dune: Part Two, or some other variation of films, to make those the three highest-grossing films of the year.

      As we look even further beyond, we have Captain America 4 (which was originally set to release in 2024 but got delayed due to them doing massive reshoots), Fantastic Four, Thunderbolts, and Blade for the MCU in 2025. I doubt most of these are even gonna come out in 2025 since some of them don't even have completed scripts! From here on out I think the MCU is just too messy to predict. I suppose if something like Thunderbolts is good (which is being rewritten and directed by the duo that did Beef) that could help them start rebuilding their reputation. I'm not sure if there is gonna be any immediate fix available to jump-start the box office for this universe again though. I think it's gonna take some time. And I don't see the Avengers films currently planned to be massive money-makers either. I think it's time for Disney to reconsider their continuity, start over, and move on. They got too big too fast, and it's over.

      Luckily for WB, well maybe not so lucky, the DCEU was already a disaster. So they got a headstart on rebooting and starting fresh with Superman: Legacy in 2025 (they should have rebooted after Justice League but Aquaman making a billion gave them false confidence that they could right the ship). Given Gunn's track record, this should be good. It should be well-reviewed, and it should get a strong audience reception. I think it can easily gross the same amount as The Batman given how much it has going for it. There has not been a good Superman movie since the 80s, I think it's about time a Superman movie breaks out with a 21st-century audience.

      Also in 2025; The Batman Part II. Much like Joker, The Batman has kept a long shelf life. It resonated with the primary target audience for superhero films, that being white guys 25-35. It's dark and mature in a way that the audience wants these movies to be. People still talk about it and I don't see its relevancy dying down in another year. I think WB struck gold with The Batman, the way they did with Joker, and I think The Batman Part II could be another billion-dollar hit for WB.

      It is weird to talk about a genre this way when it was dominant for most of my life. Writing a post-mortem for Superhero movies was not something I expected to do at the beginning of the year. It felt like something that was always going to be culturally dominant. But trends change and Hollywood is in an interesting place right now.

      35 votes
    2. Comic fans GOTG 3 thoughts?

      Any big Comic fans here? anyone see GOTG3 yet? I'm going on the 13th, didn't have time to get to it till then. No Spoilers, please just curious what everyone thinks. Was wondering were you would...

      Any big Comic fans here? anyone see GOTG3 yet? I'm going on the 13th, didn't have time to get to it till then.

      No Spoilers, please just curious what everyone thinks.

      Was wondering were you would rank it in the MCU.

      My top three for Solo Films
      Captain America Winter Solider
      Captain America Civil War
      Thor Ragnarök

      Top Avengers
      Infinity War and Endgame

      Does GOTG3 beat Civil War or Winter Solider ? I hear its better than two but I don't think that's hard to do. GOTG 2 is the weakest of the first two for sure.

      6 votes
    3. The age of the superhero is over

      So instead of just posting a link to the opening weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (which is looking to open in the low 110s) I thought I'd just make a post talking about the recent box...

      So instead of just posting a link to the opening weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (which is looking to open in the low 110s) I thought I'd just make a post talking about the recent box office of super-hero movies and the fatigue going on with general audiences.

      Let's rewind to the far distant past of December 2021. Spider-Man: No Way Home just opened to over 200 million dollars. It re-invigorates movie going among the general public. Grosses at the box office afterwards are vastly higher. Spider-Man makes nearly two billion dollars at the box office. The next super-hero movie to come out is Batman, which does pretty well considering it's the first entry in a rebooted series.

      Then, the summer movie season kicks off with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Seemingly, the movie is heading towards a 200+ opening weekend (much like Spider-Man). The film was sold as a follow-up to No Way Home, but in reality it had little to nothing to do with that movie. General audiences caught on, and were overall mixed on the film, so the opening weekend landed under 200 million. The film ultimately went on to gross over 900 million at the box office, but with terrible legs.

      The next film after that was Thor: Love and Thunder. Again, the film garners a mixed reception with both critics and audiences. It ultimately grosses less than it's predecessor Thor: Ragnarok (although L&T did not open in China or Russia). It did okay all things considered, but it was another poorly received entry in the franchise.

      Black Panther: Wakanda Forever comes out in November with much better reception. Although it still ended up dropping 500 million worldwide from it's predecessor (300 domestic). Again, considering this was dealing with the loss of it's star, it did okay all things considered. Still, it was a disappointment compared to what it was expected to make and the critical reception was weaker than anticipated.

      Then the big dumpster fire happens. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is released. It gets the MCU's second rotten score on RT, and gets the worst audience reception of the series since Eternals. The film manages to get the highest opening of the Ant-Man franchise, but with terrible reception it also gets the worst legs of the MCU. It ends up with the lowest gross of the Ant-Man movies despite opening higher than both of them.

      The GA got burned from a constant flood of mediocre product (and we're not even talking about all the TV shows).

      Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, despite much better reception than most recent MCU films, is ending up with a lower opening than it's predecessor, and will most likely end up with a lower gross than the first film. This is referred to as "paying for the sins of the father."

      This will be the lowest May opener since The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opened in 2014 (not counting 2020 or 2021).

      Super-hero movies will still be around, and some of them might make a lot of money, but it's clear the utter dominance it had at the box office for the past 10 years is over. Which is kind of insane to think about how quickly this all came crumbling down (only 1.5 years!). But it goes to show there's a limit to how many mediocre/bad movies the GA can handle in a franchise.

      And this isn't even counting how poorly both Shazam and Black Adam did for DC.

      It seems like Quantumania might have been the "Heaven's Gate" for the MCU, it was the straw that broke the camels back.

      So what will happen with super-hero movies? Probably a return to the pre-Avengers normal. Mainline superheroes (like Batman and Spider-Man) will remain lucrative. But lesser known superheroes are now riskier bets, and if those lesser known heroes are in a bad movie, there's no saving it. Logically, budgets for these movies should get lower to accommodate the lower grosses bound to happen from now on. And there needs to be actual effort put into the film in order to make it a good film first and foremost.

      Unfortunately for the MCU, many of the movies slated for 2024 were greenlit before they could change direction (like Captain America: New World Order which went into production a few months ago). The budgets for these films are probably going to be really high like they've all been (200M+) and the grosses will get even lower as these movies were not given proper re-writes to right the ship.

      As for DC, it puts a lot of pressure on Gunn to make Superman a good movie. And not just a good super-hero movie, but a good movie. Like how Batman Begins was just a good movie.

      Hollywood is now looking towards video game movies as the next big thing, thanks to the massive success of Mario, so these movies are going to have to build themselves back up.

      22 votes