When it comes to Hollywood, we're constantly seeing trends in the types of movies produced. A formula is discovered and we end up with a bunch of similar movies at the same time. It might fall under the idea of "if it ain't broken, don't fix it." If a disaster movie is successful, we tend to get a handful of different ones. When Star Wars was unleashed upon us, we saw an influx of space opera movies and TV shows. There were even two movies based on Christopher Columbus released within two of each other.
The idea of adapting comic books and superheroes isn't a new one. Superman's live action debut occurred years before Christopher Reeve was even born. In terms of big budget superhero movies, we had the occasional Superman movies along with other heroes in tights. In the last ten years we've seen an increase with characters such as Spider-Man, Batman, the X-Men, Hulk, Daredevil, Ghost Rider and Fantastic Four get big screen adaptations along with the current and upcoming Iron Man, Thor, Green Lantern and Captain America movies.
Each movie has been a success but they haven't been huge box office successes. With plenty of other comic book characters getting ready to make the leap to movie theaters, will there come a point when the average movie goer has had enough movies based on superheroes?== TEASER ==
So far this year, we've seen Thor, X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern. Thor had moderate success with a U.S. opening weekend of $65.7 million. X-Men: First Class had a similar weekend opening compared to the original X-Men but you need to consider that X-Men opened in 2000. Green Lantern's opening weekend is not considered a success with its $53.1 million opening compared to its $200 million budget (plus promotion costs).
Captain America: The First Avenger is set to open on July 22. Many have asked how come Paramount (and Marvel Studios) didn't release the movie during the Fourth of July weekend. The easy answer is Paramount had already committed to releasing Transformers: Dark of the Moon during the coveted summer blockbuster date and if you look at the box office, it was a wise choice. Transformers raked in $97.8 million over the extended weekend.. As much as people are looking forward to Captain America, there's just no way it will come close to earning that much.
Another recent concern is the fact that movie studios are not making plans to have a big presence at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. Lately it has become the place to premiere new footage and for actors to address the fans. Marvel Studios won't have a panel for Captain America since it opens during Comic-Con weekend (although a midnight premiere is said to be happening somewhere nearby). The Avengers won't have a panel but insiders are claiming there will be some presence through viral marketing and possible actor signings at Marvel's booth. DC/Warner Bros. won't have anything ready for either The Dark Knight Rises or Superman: Man of Steel since both movies are set for next year. Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man will have a panel but it's not clear whether any footage will be shown.
Is Hollywood's lack of committing and appearing at Comic-Con a sign that they aren't willing to back the superhero movies as much as they did before? There are still other movies in the works such as a new Wolverine, Ghost Rider and Daredevil movie but surprisingly there aren't any big comic book movies coming to theaters later this year.
There are plenty of other comic book properties ripe for Hollywood but when will the general public get tired of them? With all the vampire movies and television shows, most people can't stand the idea of them these days. Is that the same fate superheroes could face or is there simply too much variation in each that comic book movies won't become stale. Other movies such as Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 have been announced but what about all the other characters out there waiting?
Comic book readers will always cheer for and watch superhero movies but we all know that there are less comic book readers compared to the overall movie viewing audience. How soon will it be until non-comic book reading movie goers will get tired of superhero movies? Studios will either have to step up and ensure they are putting out quality movies as the superhero/comic book gimmick won't carry films for much longer. Superhero movies won't go away but we might be seeing less of them if they can't maintain a certain level of quality.