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#1 Posted by Bezza (3256 posts) - - Show Bio

Been puzzling over this lately, I know it is unpopular on here and it did badly at the box office having received pretty good reviews (the opposite of MOS really). But, it has its merits as well. Compared with MOS we got the caring, thoughtful Clark we are used to. Superman didn't kill anyone! Superman saved a jumbo jet from disaster by guiding it down to safety. Also, he took a bullet to the eye at point blank range and the bullet bounced off, all crumpled up...for me still one of the most impressive strength feats seen in any superhero movie ever. I also liked the story of Superman being the father to a superboy he fathered with Lois. I thought Kevin Spacey was quite good as Lex. Obviously there are elements to that film that make me cringe, but in time, do you think people will look back more favourably on it. I'm thinking of Superman traditionalists who hated MOS..

#2 Posted by RustyRoy (10717 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved it, and it didn't do bad at the box office, 400 mils(and that was on 2006) can hardly be considered bad but the budget of the was too high to make a profit.

#3 Posted by JetiiMitra (8072 posts) - - Show Bio

I honestly didn't think it was bad. The only thing I didn't like about it was that there was no action. And I didn't even realize that until years later. If the good from Returns and the good from MoS could be combined we'd have an absolutely perfect Superman movie.

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#4 Posted by Z3RO180 (6250 posts) - - Show Bio

No it's a great superman movie

#5 Edited by Fallschirmjager (14679 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes.

Zero action.

Terrible plot.

Bad supporting cast

The Kid

#6 Posted by syoungkeezy (81 posts) - - Show Bio

yes it was bad amazingly bad

#7 Posted by Bezza (3256 posts) - - Show Bio

@rustyroy said:

I loved it, and it didn't do bad at the box office, 400 mils(and that was on 2006) can hardly be considered bad but the budget of the was too high to make a profit.

First Superman film for about 22 years, at the time and at 391 mills, it took less than half what the 2002 Spiderman film took, so box office wide it was bad even for 2006...these days even Wolverine is taking over 400 mills!! But I don't think it was as bad a film as many would have you believe, tbh...

#8 Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee (10901 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes.

Zero action.

Terrible plot.

Bad supporting cast

The Kid

Don't forget…

Stabbed with kryptonite and still lifted up an entire island of kryptonite.

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#9 Posted by UltimateSMfan (1350 posts) - - Show Bio

I enjoyed it when it came out and still don't get why people hate it so much.Though, I guess for me i liked and didn't like it at the same time because we were getting a superman movie after so long, but it was too similar to the old ones.

#10 Edited by HumanRocket (7056 posts) - - Show Bio

It's not terrible its watchable 6.7/ 10 IMO but MOS > Return

#11 Edited by dreamfall31 (507 posts) - - Show Bio

After getting out of Man of Steel and hating that movie, I re-watched Superman Returns and found that I loved it quite a bit. I didn't hate it when it originally came out, but thought it was just mediocre. I don't know what it was about MoS that made me like Returns even more, but it sure is close to what I want Superman movie to be. It gave me a similar feeling to the animated series from the 90's and made me miss the 90's era of WB animation. There was just something regal about the movie and reminded me of all those animated series.

#12 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (9503 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked the movie, but it was a nostalgia flick, only people hatt saw the original film will understand.

#13 Edited by AllStarSuperman (19487 posts) - - Show Bio

It's not terrible its watchable 6.7/ 10 IMO but MOS > Return

#14 Edited by Beerminator1 (332 posts) - - Show Bio

The movie sucked... These are the main two reasons why:

1. THE ACTORS! Brandon Routh was so terrible, he didn't look like Superman, he didn't sound like Superman, he didn't feel like Superman. Everything about that guy was wrong. Kate Bosworth was barely acceptable as Lois, Kevin Spacey could have been a good Lex Luthor if the writing was better.

2. Also I hate the fact that the movie tried to carry on the Donner legacy. The last movie came out 19 years ago, they should have rebooted the character instead of doing this! Only when the John Williams Theme was playing, this movie felt like it was in the same universe with the Donner films...

Those are my main complaints with the movie, the plot also sucked but I'm not gonna write a novel about that. I'm so glad that I FINALLY got to see a good Superman movie this year! Man Of Steel might not be perfect, but it's by far the best Superman movie ever made. Superman Returns came out in 2006 and it was still based on the 80s Superman, that also sucked. Man Of Steel is mostly based on the modern Superman, for me it's better to watch a movie about the Superman I also see in the comics.

#15 Posted by Saint_Wildcard (8693 posts) - - Show Bio

Never saw it. I was in mexico when it came out and it was massively hyped. They even had pogs for them in chips.

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#16 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio

Singer should have added Metallo or Parasite into the mix.

#17 Posted by RDClip (1109 posts) - - Show Bio

It comitted the worst sin a superhero movie can commit, it was boring. The visuals were good, but the script was flat, the acting wooden, and it failed as a general concept.

The only time I would take a sequel to a film from decades ago is if it stars the same actor and is set in real time after the last movie (like if John Carpenter made another Escape movie with Kurt Russel)

#18 Posted by MaccyD (3389 posts) - - Show Bio

Singer should have cut the film and made a director's cut if he wanted to show some scenes that badly.

#19 Posted by Ms. Omega (4366 posts) - - Show Bio

It was boring.

#20 Edited by RisingBean (3546 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman as a creepy stalker isn't my cup of tea. I have to admit I do watch the plane/spaceship sequence, the gatling gun sequence and the island lifting sequence at times just to get a bit of Superman hype jumping.

But as a whole? I didn't care for the movie.

#21 Posted by 2cool4fun (1338 posts) - - Show Bio

It was bad, the guy just copied the last 4 movies, which is stupid cause those movies worked then, they won't work now.

But yet the critics claim that movie to be better then Man of Steel...

Also how is it that the guy gives us great X-Men movies but he fucked up 1 superman movie...

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#22 Posted by Kal'smahboi (3454 posts) - - Show Bio

The best thing about Superman Returns was Kevin Spacey. The rest was fine, at best.

#23 Edited by Xwraith (14501 posts) - - Show Bio

@rustyroy said:

I loved it, and it didn't do bad at the box office, 400 mils(and that was on 2006) can hardly be considered bad but the budget of the was too high to make a profit.

Apparently, $400 million wasn't enough for Warner Bros. (they wanted it to make $500 million).

#24 Posted by EnigmaLantern (707 posts) - - Show Bio

urr...........meh.

I don't find it horrible but it's not the kind of film I've ever thought to myself "you know what film I'd like to really watch..."

#25 Edited by Fallschirmjager (14679 posts) - - Show Bio

@xwraith said:

@rustyroy said:

I loved it, and it didn't do bad at the box office, 400 mils(and that was on 2006) can hardly be considered bad but the budget of the was too high to make a profit.

Apparently, $400 million wasn't enough for Warner Bros. (they wanted it to make $500 million).

Superman Returns had a reported production budget of 204 million dollars.

That does not include the marketing budget, which isn't reported. On big movies like that, its usually at least 25-50 mil in marketing - sometimes even more up to 100m.

Lets just say 250 for argument's sake.

They made 391m at the box office. Approximately 1/3 of that money goes back to the theaters. Meaning the studio only hauls in about 260m of that.

Then, you have other various deals actors, directors, produce, etc may or may not get. That's why RDJ made so much money in 2012, because he got a percentage of The Avengers box office.

That mean they spend 250m (probably more, tbh) and got back less than 260.

At best they broke even, and they most likely lost money.

Studios aren't in the business of breaking even or losing money. On top of that, the movie wasn't well received by fans.

#26 Posted by PeppeyHare (4310 posts) - - Show Bio

Was pretty bad

#27 Posted by mikex20 (2769 posts) - - Show Bio

Bad is too kind, POS is more accurate.

#28 Posted by buttersdaman000 (9289 posts) - - Show Bio

No, the movie itself is actually pretty good and, if your a fan of them, gets even better if you know the link between the donner films. I always thought that Brandon Routh gets more flak then he deserves. Rewatch the movie, the man played a great Clark Kent/Superman. He's a good actor that just got the wrong script and it ruined his career. Also, Kevin Spacey was a great Lex Luthor, and anybody who thinks otherwise is 'WROOOONNNNGGGG'!! Though, I will admit, that Kate Bosworths Lois Lane, and the rest of the supporting cast left more to be desired....

The real problems with the movie is the lack of action and it's adherence to the old Donner films, which is amazingly hypocritical. The film was criticized for not successfully rebooting Superman, and hanging on donners coattails by critics and fans alike. Then, when MoS comes out, a far cry from the Donner films, many of those same critics and fans, whined about it. Hypocrites. Anyways, yeah, the lack of action really hurt the movie. If a super powered villainous threat was added, I bet we would have seen a number 2.

Oh, and stalker Superman and superkid......yeah.......

I liked the movie, but it was a nostalgia flick, only people hatt saw the original film will understand.

#29 Posted by Reactor (2282 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman Returns was an acquired taste, you needed to have the nostalgia and love of the Donner films to enjoy them, and realize the film was intentionally falling back to a bygone era. That said, there was more wrong with the movie than right. Chief among them all, SR was just boring. Like, "my dad went to sleep 20 minutes in" boring. The plot was kinda stupid - at worst, nonsensical. And then there was the whole lifting the Kryptonite island despite being stabbed by a small piece of Kryptonite and having the crap beaten out of him. Lois was a drag, Superman was a stalker, and the kid... there was too much wrong for the movie to feel right.

#30 Posted by THORSON (2300 posts) - - Show Bio

it was boring. there really isn't a villian in that movie. lex does nothing in that movie.

the most i remember in that movie is superman lifting something and him being in a hospital.

#31 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (9503 posts) - - Show Bio

No, the movie itself is actually pretty good and, if your a fan of them, gets even better if you know the link between the donner films. I always thought that Brandon Routh gets more flak then he deserves. Rewatch the movie, the man played a great Clark Kent/Superman. He's a good actor that just got the wrong script and it ruined his career. Also, Kevin Spacey was a great Lex Luthor, and anybody who thinks otherwise is 'WROOOONNNNGGGG'!! Though, I will admit, that Kate Bosworths Lois Lane, and the rest of the supporting cast left more to be desired....

The real problems with the movie is the lack of action and it's adherence to the old Donner films, which is amazingly hypocritical. The film was criticized for not successfully rebooting Superman, and hanging on donners coattails by critics and fans alike. Then, when MoS comes out, a far cry from the Donner films, many of those same critics and fans, whined about it. Hypocrites. Anyways, yeah, the lack of action really hurt the movie. If a super powered villainous threat was added, I bet we would have seen a number 2.

Oh, and stalker Superman and superkid......yeah.......

@deathpoolthet1000 said:

I liked the movie, but it was a nostalgia flick, only people hatt saw the original film will understand.

That is his weak point, there is no reason to keep the same direction after all this years, Nolan take Batman in a new direction, Hulk wasnt like the Tv show and everything was going into the directions of being something new and fresh.

It was a good film, but it needs you to know what was going on before watching it, making it hard for most of the audience.

#32 Posted by deaditegonzo (3507 posts) - - Show Bio

No its not bad. I honestly think a lot of people "didn't get it".

This is why I loved Man of Steel, I still got a lot of depth and an exploration of the character and his themes and the masses still enjoyed it for the action. Best of both worlds.

#33 Posted by RustyRoy (10717 posts) - - Show Bio

@xwraith said:

@rustyroy said:

I loved it, and it didn't do bad at the box office, 400 mils(and that was on 2006) can hardly be considered bad but the budget of the was too high to make a profit.

Apparently, $400 million wasn't enough for Warner Bros. (they wanted it to make $500 million).

Superman Returns had a reported production budget of 204 million dollars.

That does not include the marketing budget, which isn't reported. On big movies like that, its usually at least 25-50 mil in marketing - sometimes even more up to 100m.

Lets just say 250 for argument's sake.

They made 391m at the box office. Approximately 1/3 of that money goes back to the theaters. Meaning the studio only hauls in about 260m of that.

Then, you have other various deals actors, directors, produce, etc may or may not get. That's why RDJ made so much money in 2012, because he got a percentage of The Avengers box office.

That mean they spend 250m (probably more, tbh) and got back less than 260.

At best they broke even, and they most likely lost money.

Studios aren't in the business of breaking even or losing money. On top of that, the movie wasn't well received by fan

Originally budgeted at $184.5 million, Warner Bros. placed the production cost at $204 million, after factoring in tax rebates and incentives. Taking into account the development costs since the early 1990s, total expenditure is estimated to be around $263 million, with up to a further $100 million spent on worldwide marketing

#34 Posted by RustyRoy (10717 posts) - - Show Bio

@bezza said:

First Superman film for about 22 years, at the time and at 391 mills, it took less than half what the 2002 Spiderman film took, so box office wide it was bad even for 2006...these days even Wolverine is taking over 400 mills!! But I don't think it was as bad a film as many would have you believe, tbh...

Comparing to Spider-Man movies isn't fare, Spider-Man was at his peak back then, Superman was not, X3 made 450 mils in the same year but it was the 3rd the in the series and was already an established franchise, franchises that have more than 10 years gap between them tend to do bad if the last movie(Superman IV) bombed, adjusted for inflation it made around 250 mils in the US and Canada and that is without 3D, so its nearly the same as MoS. And Batman Begins also made 400 mils but it was considered a hit because the budget was not that much.

#35 Edited by batmannflash (6166 posts) - - Show Bio

It's alright

#36 Posted by WIshIWasSuperman (1338 posts) - - Show Bio

Short answer - pretty much.

Let me know if you want the long answer....

#37 Posted by Saint_Wildcard (8693 posts) - - Show Bio

@xwraith said:

@rustyroy said:

I loved it, and it didn't do bad at the box office, 400 mils(and that was on 2006) can hardly be considered bad but the budget of the was too high to make a profit.

Apparently, $400 million wasn't enough for Warner Bros. (they wanted it to make $500 million).

Superman Returns had a reported production budget of 204 million dollars.

That does not include the marketing budget, which isn't reported. On big movies like that, its usually at least 25-50 mil in marketing - sometimes even more up to 100m.

Lets just say 250 for argument's sake.

They made 391m at the box office. Approximately 1/3 of that money goes back to the theaters. Meaning the studio only hauls in about 260m of that.

Then, you have other various deals actors, directors, produce, etc may or may not get. That's why RDJ made so much money in 2012, because he got a percentage of The Avengers box office.

That mean they spend 250m (probably more, tbh) and got back less than 260.

At best they broke even, and they most likely lost money.

Studios aren't in the business of breaking even or losing money. On top of that, the movie wasn't well received by fans.

Beat me to it, you watch AMC movie news dont cha?

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#38 Posted by WIshIWasSuperman (1338 posts) - - Show Bio

@rustyroy said:

@bezza said:

First Superman film for about 22 years, at the time and at 391 mills, it took less than half what the 2002 Spiderman film took, so box office wide it was bad even for 2006...these days even Wolverine is taking over 400 mills!! But I don't think it was as bad a film as many would have you believe, tbh...

Comparing to Spider-Man movies isn't fare, Spider-Man was at his peak back then, Superman was not, X3 made 450 mils in the same year but it was the 3rd the in the series and was already an established franchise, franchises that have more than 10 years gap between them tend to do bad if the last movie(Superman IV) bombed, adjusted for inflation it made around 250 mils in the US and Canada and that is without 3D, so its nearly the same as MoS. And Batman Begins also made 400 mils but it was considered a hit because the budget was not that much.

No - there is no amount of excuses that can show Superman Returns did even moderately OK financially. It made $391 million from a production budget of $270 million. MoS cost less to make than that and had way more advanced effects ($225 million if you're curious). Add in marketing budget (approx. $20 million to be generous, but it was probably closer to $30 or even $50 million with a production budget like that) and then take away the cut kept by the theaters (which is 1/3 of gross = $130 million) - that's a loss of about $30 million dollars minimum. Spider-Man came out in 2002 (4 years earlier) and did $821 million - it PUT Spider-Man into his prime popularity wise. No 3D there either. It made no money because fans and GP didn't like the film. It's as simple as that.

Also it's funny how people want to adjust gross earnings for inflation - but don't adjust anything else. Besides MoS had a whole bunch of other factors working against it (one of which is Superman Returns) so it's domestic (which American's should probably remember isn't the only factor) takings aren't even comparable. It was the first Superman movie since Quest For Peace in 1987, is one of the worlds most popular and iconic comic book characters and it lost at least $30 million dollars. Someone at WB needs to be ashamed of themselves... in fact they should have been fired.

#39 Posted by Commander_Kane (715 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought they had a great Superman, and a great Luthor. The plot was kind've boring, but had potential. In fact the entire movie had potential from beginning to end. I love everything Singer has done. I think if given a second chance with a sequel, with Nolan's batman also rising to fame with the Dark Knight around the time we'd prolly see a sequel. I'd take Bale vs Routh over Cavill vs Affleck any day. Who's to say really though, I'm kindve losing track of the topic. I liked it, didn't love it. Could've been better.

#40 Posted by RustyRoy (10717 posts) - - Show Bio

No - there is no amount of excuses that can show Superman Returns did even moderately OK financially. It made $391 million from a production budget of $270 million. MoS cost less to make than that and had way more advanced effects ($225 million if you're curious). Add in marketing budget (approx. $20 million to be generous, but it was probably closer to $30 or even $50 million with a production budget like that) and then take away the cut kept by the theaters (which is 1/3 of gross = $130 million) - that's a loss of about $30 million dollars minimum. Spider-Man came out in 2002 (4 years earlier) and did $821 million - it PUT Spider-Man into his prime popularity wise. No 3D there either. It made no money because fans and GP didn't like the film. It's as simple as that.

Also it's funny how people want to adjust gross earnings for inflation - but don't adjust anything else. Besides MoS had a whole bunch of other factors working against it (one of which is Superman Returns) so it's domestic (which American's should probably remember isn't the only factor) takings aren't even comparable. It was the first Superman movie since Quest For Peace in 1987, is one of the worlds most popular and iconic comic book characters and it lost at least $30 million dollars. Someone at WB needs to be ashamed of themselves... in fact they should have been fired.

Who said I was giving excuses? I was giving facts, Superman Returns budget was 205 mils to MoS's 225, MoS had better affects because its 2013, its way ahead of 2006 in terms of technology, the others 60-70 mils were from the other movies that were scrapped. Comparing to Spider-Man is not okay, there was something new about the first Spider-Man movie, that's why it did good at the box office, same reason Superman I did better than its sequels, not even MoS did that well, you can compare Spider-Man movies to the first two Superman movies but after that Superman's box office went way down, you can search for the movies that had more than 10 years of gap between them, most of those movies make less than the preceders.

And I was just talking about the earnings, I did say it didn't make enough to earn a sequel, all I said was 400 mils is not a bad gross especially in 2006, when Superhero movies and 3D were hardly as popular as they were now, and I didn't post the overseas gross because 1) They aren't available 2) The overseas inflation is more than the domestic which only proves that it sold more tickets in overseas compared to domestic 3) Overseas market has become a bigger market in this decade, China, Japan, Russia, Korea are now the biggest bet for a movie's success, in 2006 that wasn't the case. And the guys who you're saying should be fired made more than just one billion dollar movies, and the MoS movie too, they're far more capable than you in this area.

#41 Posted by Fallschirmjager (14679 posts) - - Show Bio
#42 Posted by Deranged Midget (17599 posts) - - Show Bio

No, it doesn't deserve the hate it deserves but it isn't great. Granted, I still enjoyed it a lot and Routh did a very admirable job.

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#43 Posted by Bezza (3256 posts) - - Show Bio

Well I still maintain it was commercially poor. All the Spiderman films took over 600 million dollars so failing to hit 400 million wasn't good, considering for a whole generation it would have been their first viewing of the worlds most famous super=hero on screen. In fact I don't think MOS has done that well either, I mean come on 669 million when Iron Man tops 1.2 billion.

#44 Posted by HolySerpent (12430 posts) - - Show Bio

I enjoyed it. For me saving the airplane saved the movie.

#45 Posted by shieldzeal (67 posts) - - Show Bio

Loved that movie. Not much to add on what has already been said, but I would agree that it is an acquired taste. Still wish they had the chance to do an SR sequel and up the ante a little.

#46 Edited by buttersdaman000 (9289 posts) - - Show Bio

Short answer - pretty much.

Let me know if you want the long answer....

I want the long answer

#47 Edited by ULTRAstarkiller (5742 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked Superman Returns. Its really high on one of my list here.

#48 Edited by WIshIWasSuperman (1338 posts) - - Show Bio

@rustyroy said:

Who said I was giving excuses? I was giving facts, Superman Returns budget was 205 mils to MoS's 225, MoS had better affects because its 2013, its way ahead of 2006 in terms of technology, the others 60-70 mils were from the other movies that were scrapped. Comparing to Spider-Man is not okay, there was something new about the first Spider-Man movie, that's why it did good at the box office, same reason Superman I did better than its sequels, not even MoS did that well, you can compare Spider-Man movies to the first two Superman movies but after that Superman's box office went way down, you can search for the movies that had more than 10 years of gap between them, most of those movies make less than the preceders.

And I was just talking about the earnings, I did say it didn't make enough to earn a sequel, all I said was 400 mils is not a bad gross especially in 2006, when Superhero movies and 3D were hardly as popular as they were now, and I didn't post the overseas gross because 1) They aren't available 2) The overseas inflation is more than the domestic which only proves that it sold more tickets in overseas compared to domestic 3) Overseas market has become a bigger market in this decade, China, Japan, Russia, Korea are now the biggest bet for a movie's success, in 2006 that wasn't the case. And the guys who you're saying should be fired made more than just one billion dollar movies, and the MoS movie too, they're far more capable than you in this area.

Since we're now getting technical, Returns spent $100 million on marketing/promotion - so even discounting the addition of the failed starts it still lost $30 million. WB would have expected it to make over $500 million at least, otherwise they would not have invested as much as they did in this film. Also it was backed/enhanced/boosted (however you want to think about it) with an IMAX 3D release. There's way more that can be said just here about how they failed, but I'll leave it there for now on this specific point.

Sequels, especially in CBM's tend to perform better over-all, or it's at least balanced, assuming the other film is actually any good, within the current CBM era. Batman Begins kicked off the year before Returns, and would have been part of WB's thinking. Add in the success Singer had with X-Men - WB thought this was a sure thing.

None of the CBM's have a 10 year gap - in fact very few films at all have gaps that big in their franchises. In Superman's case it was actually 19 years. The closest thing to that I can think of is Star Wars - and it made A LOT of money. As a franchise it was always bigger, however NEW fans, such as kids are one of the biggest factors. This played into Spider-Man's success too. Superman Returns failed to capitalize on this.

International markets were already playing a factor in 2006 and earlier. If your film did no good overseas - it wasn't usually a good sign. Returns performed miserably overseas. Returns got almost half it's gross internationally - just under. But so did X-Men: Last Stand (over half a billion dollars that year worldwide gross) and Cars (just under half a billion dollars worldwide gross). All the other big earners (PotC: Dead mans Chest, Da Vinci Code, and a BUNCH of animated films) all had really strong international markets getting majority of their gross internationally, sometimes by a really big margin (Da Vinci Code and Casino Royal for example had over 70% of theirs come in from over-seas, with a combined input of almost $1 billion). So that goes against your theory "it wasn't the case" in 2006 (which is less than a decade ago, but I assume you mean since 2010?). PotC for the record grossed over a billion dollars. Domestic is not and has not bee the primary indicator or earner for quite some time now for successful films. Studios even bank on their international markets because the industry in the states has been in decline for some time, and their preference for things like 3D is lower than international markets too. Basically Superman Returns under-performed.

On the surface, sure it looks like it did OK domestically (6th highest for the year in fact), but over-all it failed in it's objective when you take into consideration it's budget and costing, how many theaters it opened in (it was one of a handful of movies to open in over 4000 theaters) and the dependency on international markets, and not having too much competition to open against. And it didn't. The only big, competing film to open around that time was PotC the following week. After it opened that was the only other really big film, and Cars had been open for 2 weeks before Returns came out. MoS ran into stiffer competition, in some places opening against Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 simultaneously. And then had to deal with World War Z the following week as well... all demographics that impacted on it (parents are taking their kids to the kids movies, young adults are watching zombies).

X-Men: Last Stand also goes to show a "sequels" performance can still be fine, and that wasn't a very good film either. Besides the 19 year gap should have worked in its favour by generating interest and enticing an entire new couple of generations of movie-goers. Also CBM's were very popular at the time - thanks to X-Men, Batman and Spider-Man, and unlike Batman, Superman Returns didn't alienate a key demographic of CBM's - children. Everything when viewed in context points to the film having a terrible performance, and it's simply because the film wasn't interesting enough to people. It under performed in contrast to other CBM's and it under-performed in contrast to it's own franchise. It's job is to make a profit and instead it lost money, a considerable amount.

See above - definitely lost money....

#49 Posted by RustyRoy (10717 posts) - - Show Bio

Since we're now getting technical, Returns spent $100 million on marketing/promotion - so even discounting the addition of the failed starts it still lost $30 million. WB would have expected it to make over $500 million at least, otherwise they would not have invested as much as they did in this film. Also it was backed/enhanced/boosted (however you want to think about it) with an IMAX 3D release. There's way more that can be said just here about how they failed, but I'll leave it there for now on this specific point.

Sequels, especially in CBM's tend to perform better over-all, or it's at least balanced, assuming the other film is actually any good, within the current CBM era. Batman Begins kicked off the year before Returns, and would have been part of WB's thinking. Add in the success Singer had with X-Men - WB thought this was a sure thing.

None of the CBM's have a 10 year gap - in fact very few films at all have gaps that big in their franchises. In Superman's case it was actually 19 years. The closest thing to that I can think of is Star Wars - and it made A LOT of money. As a franchise it was always bigger, however NEW fans, such as kids are one of the biggest factors. This played into Spider-Man's success too. Superman Returns failed to capitalize on this.

International markets were already playing a factor in 2006 and earlier. If your film did no good overseas - it wasn't usually a good sign. Returns performed miserably overseas. Returns got almost half it's gross internationally - just under. But so did X-Men: Last Stand (over half a billion dollars that year worldwide gross) and Cars (just under half a billion dollars worldwide gross). All the other big earners (PotC: Dead mans Chest, Da Vinci Code, and a BUNCH of animated films) all had really strong international markets getting majority of their gross internationally, sometimes by a really big margin (Da Vinci Code and Casino Royal for example had over 70% of theirs come in from over-seas, with a combined input of almost $1 billion). So that goes against your theory "it wasn't the case" in 2006 (which is less than a decade ago, but I assume you mean since 2010?). PotC for the record grossed over a billion dollars. Domestic is not and has not bee the primary indicator or earner for quite some time now for successful films. Studios even bank on their international markets because the industry in the states has been in decline for some time, and their preference for things like 3D is lower than international markets too. Basically Superman Returns under-performed.

On the surface, sure it looks like it did OK domestically (6th highest for the year in fact), but over-all it failed in it's objective when you take into consideration it's budget and costing, how many theaters it opened in (it was one of a handful of movies to open in over 4000 theaters) and the dependency on international markets, and not having too much competition to open against. And it didn't. The only big, competing film to open around that time was PotC the following week. After it opened that was the only other really big film, and Cars had been open for 2 weeks before Returns came out. MoS ran into stiffer competition, in some places opening against Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 simultaneously. And then had to deal with World War Z the following week as well... all demographics that impacted on it (parents are taking their kids to the kids movies, young adults are watching zombies).

X-Men: Last Stand also goes to show a "sequels" performance can still be fine, and that wasn't a very good film either. Besides the 19 year gap should have worked in its favour by generating interest and enticing an entire new couple of generations of movie-goers. Also CBM's were very popular at the time - thanks to X-Men, Batman and Spider-Man, and unlike Batman, Superman Returns didn't alienate a key demographic of CBM's - children. Everything when viewed in context points to the film having a terrible performance, and it's simply because the film wasn't interesting enough to people. It under performed in contrast to other CBM's and it under-performed in contrast to it's own franchise. It's job is to make a profit and instead it lost money, a considerable amount.

I never said it was profitable, in fact I said that it wasn't profitable. And I know about the marketing cost, most films with more than 200 mils budget has a marketing cost of 100 mils or above. 3D became popular after Avatar.

Not the sequels that have more than 10 years of gap between them, Star Wars is an exception but all the Star Wars movies were financially successful, while Superman III and Superman IV bombed badly in the box office. And if you know this, Begins actually made less than Returns, but it had a smaller budget so it was counted as a success, that is my whole point, 400 mils is not a bad number but the budget killed the movie.

It wasn't a big factor like it is now, animated films tends to do better in overseas no matter what, even flops like Turbo, RoTG etc. do comparatively better in overseas. Last Stand was a sequel to a hit movie X2 and it came just after 3 years. Until 2008 except Spider-Man no CBM was too big in overseas, and to be honest before MoS, no Superman movie was a big name in overseas.

No movie with above 200 mils domestic gross is considered okay, its considered very good unless the budget is too high, and again that is what I've been trying to say for all this time. MoS had the brand Christopher Nolan all over its promotion, the hype for MoS was more than most CBMs.

Returns gross was similar to then popular CBMs like X-Men, Begins and Blade series, new generations forget about old movies(with exception of Star Wars and other very few franchises), that's one of the reason why Returns failed, it took too much inspiration from Donner's movies.

#50 Posted by el_contrarian (32 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a mediocre film. I think it was ill-conceived to have it be a sequel to Superman II.

All of its errors are in its script. The performances were fine and the effects were really good. The first half of the film is pretty solid. The tone is exactly what people generally expect and want from a Superman movie. There is one basic thing that Superman Returns got right that Man of Steel missed: You got to see a lot of Superman saving people. He used his powers primarily to save people - from falling planes, to shattered glass from buildings, to massive fireballs underground - Superman is portrayed as a protector of innocent people and not just an action hero. This is something Man of Steel needed more of in its darker and later sections.

Nevertheless there was just so much I didn't like about plot and character development in Returns. I didn't like twist with the kid nor did I care for Lois being such a focal point. I recall a story about the director where they talked about how the studio was deliberately trying to appeal to women with Returns' plot. I don't know if that actually worked but pretending that Lois Lane is half as interesting as Superman did not make for a compelling narrative.

Other points:

1. Lack of action / fight scenes for Supes

2. Villain's plan is retarded

3. Lack of rapport with the villain. Supes says like seven words to Luthor and that's it.

4. Not much about Krypton or Supes' origin beyond one quick flashback.

5. Thematically shallow. Lots of messiah-imagery and dramatic falling, not much that is particularly new, interesting, or thought-provoking.

Man of Steel fixed all of the above and I think is overall the better movie. That's not to say that it is perfect. There are a number of things that frustrated me about it. I just think it is the more complete and interesting film.