Is Marvel On The Verge Of Regaining The Fantastic Four?

This post is based on (admittedly) thin evidence, though there is a logic.

This year Fox released their latest version of Fantastic Four, which was–to put it bluntly–a box-office disaster, earning almost $167 million against at budget of at least $120 million.

At this point, to break even (typically double the production budget), which is the most that Fantastic Four can hope for at this point.  There are a lot of people who hope that Marvel Studios regain the license to the characters, though this was before one of the producers, Simon Kinberg, announced that there were plans for a sequel.

Which is utter nonsense, and little more than the producer of a failed movie saving face.  The proof is easy enough to see because you’ll find few companies willing to take a franchise that has already failed–and blatantly so–and pump more money into it.  By way of example, Disney’s Tron: Legacy earned over $400 million on a $170 million budget while Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim earned $411 million on a $190 million budget.  Most of that money was earned internationally, which was probably why Universal was so reticent about going in on a sequel with Legendary.

Both films were moderate successes, yet neither are getting sequels (though hope springs eternal for the latter). Continue reading

When Is A Movie In The Black?

If you ask ten people at what point a movie becomes profitable, you’ll probably get ten answers, each slightly different than the one that proceeded it.

Based on what I have read what I tend to do is double the production costs, as far as breaking even goes.  I’m aware that a movie also has expenses attached to marketing, and that theaters get their cut, though I’ve heard so many varying ideas about what those numbers are that i tend not to put too much stock in them.

Besides, while a studio may release the budget of a particular motion picture, they don’t often release marketing costs, and those can vary greatly based upon the type of film being promoted (typically, I throw in $50 million or so for a tentpole, but that number can also vary–I have also heard of instances where marketing costs add up to half, or even more, of the cost of the producing the movie itself).

In terms of profitability, I tend to use the 3X rule, namely if your movie has earned at least three times its production costs, then that movie is a success (by which I mean you’re in the black).

For instance, Marvel’s Ant-Man has earned over $401 millon, on a $130 million budget.  As far as I can tell that’s pretty successful, particularly for a character that to some is a “flavor of the week.

Zach Snyder Needs To Shut Up

i understand it when competitive people talk smack about their opponents, which often goes hand-in-hand with healthy competition.

The same thing can extend to the advocates of particular movie studios, just as it more commonly does for sports teams, and few studios are seen as competitors as much as Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment.

Smack starts flying around 21:40, though it’s worth noticing how diplomatic Joe and Anthony Russo are, as compared to Zach Snyder.

I bring it up because recently Zach Snyder (director of Man Of Steel and the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice) recently commented on Marvel’s Ant-Man movie, calling it the “flavor of the week (which is a pretty silly comment, if only because one of the greatest mistakes Warner Bros. made–and seems to continue to make, though to a lesser degree–was relying exclusively on Batman instead of developing other characters.  His comment also conveniently ignores that DC is apparently developing a movie based on Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, both of whom aren’t exactly well-known).”

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I Suspect I Know Who Mads Mikkelson Is Playing In Marvel Studios’ Upcoming Doctor Strange

According to Superherohype, Mads Mikkelson (Hannibal) will have a role in Scott Derrickson’s upcoming Marvel Studios feature, Doctor Strange.

Assuming that to be true, they also let slip a little more information than they may have intended, because they also mention that he’ll be playing a villain.

And since Baron Mordo is taken, there’s only one real option, in my humble opinion because, while Doctor Strange has a pretty deep Rogue’s Gallery, most of them are so esoteric that–like Marvel is doing in the case of Thanos–they’ll more than likely use Strange’s introduction to reveal a character who’s presence will reverberate throughout the entire MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).

And that character will more than likely be…wait for it…Dormanmu (Eternity or the Living Tribunal would also be kind of awesome, but I suspect that it’s too early for either of them)!

image courtesy of

Think about it, and I think you’ll agree that there are few Doctor Strange villains that they could introduce that would not only drive comics fans apeshit, but would impress casual viewers as well.

And Dormammu, played by Mikkelson, would be beyond incredible.

And this is where Scott Derrickson being a horror director will come into play, namely he has to create the atmosphere were one of Marvel’s stranger villains will not only appear realistic, but demonic and terrifying as well.

Something he’s well-equipped to do if you’ve seen either Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil or The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

And he actually has an interesting mythology, which should buttress his credentials, and connection, with the audience.

And keep in mind that Marvel has done this type of casting in the past, using big-name actors in roles that obscure the actor themselves, such as Vin Diesel as Groot in Guardians Of The Galaxy or James Spader, in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

And Dormammu has the potential–especially if they stick to Steve Ditko’s original designs, as opposed to more modern interpretations of the character–to be absolutely unbelievable.

Ant-Man – Review

Screenshot 2015-07-17 12.07.26

“Ant-Man Shows That Great Things Come In Small Packages.”

Considering how well put together Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man is, it’s a shock that just a few months ago a lot of people were talking about how it would be Marvel Studios’ first misstep.

And I can understand–prior to having seen the movie– how one could come to such a conclusion. The character was virtually unknown to the general public–then again, so was Iron Man and the Guardians Of The Galaxy–and the production was thrown into doubt when Edgar Wright, who was originally chosen to direct, abandoned the production due to “creative differences.”

The writing was on the wall, so Marvel brought in Payton Reed (Bring It On) to replace Wright. Along the way they also hired Adam McKay and Paul Rudd to build on the original screenplay by Wright and Joe Cornish.

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My Last Ant-Man Trailer

I have officially reached the point of trailer saturation–when a trailer starts to reveal more information than I am comfortable knowing, as far as Ant-Man is concerned, at any rate.  Like when Hulk caught Iron Man during the first Avengers–which was featured prominently in the trailer–I honestly don’t want any more surprises, no matter how small someone thinks they are, spoiled.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve already got my ticket for Thursday (Yea!) but now they’re just preaching to the converted, and there’s no need.  I also get that that I am not the only person they’re promoting the movie for, but was giving away that Ant-Man meets the Falcon really necessary?

So no more Ant-Man trailers (other than to add to the upcoming review).

And The Verdict Is…Ant-Man Is A Hit!

The reviews have started coming, and so far they’re looking pretty good.  IGN and Comicbookmovie are very positive (in some instances gushingly so.  The latter calls Ant-Man “Easily one of the top Marvel movies to date.”).

Though things aren’t all rosy, because Alsono Duralde, from The Wrap says, “Ant-Man serves up jokes that don’t land and thrills that don’t thrill.”

It goes without saying that you can’t please everyone, though what’s pretty impressive is–despite it being early days yet–that Ant-Man will probably receive more positive reviews and have an oversized effect on the box office.