The Second Week Curse Strikes Suicide Squad!

Screenshot 2016-08-03 19.14.16Which, if you follow Warner Bros. and DC Films is pretty much par for the course because, as big as the 67.3 percent fall for Suicide Squad was, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice performed even worse, declining 69 percent.

And this is problematic because it all the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) movies so far have lacked legs, and declined precipitously in their second weeks.

What this seems to say is that their movies are drawing fans of the material, but not expanding much beyond them.

And it should go without saying that this is a HUGE problem because it’s easy to get those viewers that are fans of the material, not so much for people that are unaware of it.

This is why Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy was such a surprise:  a movie that featured a CGI tree-man-thing and a raccoon managed to get people not only interested in the subject matter, but curious enough to go to the theater to see it.

Though it’s not unusual for movies of these type to fall in their second weeks. Another Marvel Studios movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier fell to $41 million in its second week; though it opened to $95 million domestically, falling just over 50 percent, but not enough to stop it from ending its run at over $714 million, on a $170 million budget.

While Suicide Squad?  If it finishes its run at much over $500 million, with a budget somewhere in the range of $174 to $250 million, I’d be pleasantly surprised.

Suicide Squad – Review

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“David Ayer’s Suicide Squad is a better movie than either Man of Steel or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Which unfortunately isn’t saying all that much.”

By my reckoning the greatest problems with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was that director Zach Snyder forgot–or choose to ignore–two important things:

First, both Batman and Superman were originally made for children.  Now, I can understand the drive to make them more acceptable to adults, but what I don’t get is why he had to alienate younger folk in the process.

Though by doing so he removed two of the things that made them (particularly Superman) interesting to their millions of fans, which is a sense of wonder and possibility.

And while Superman was never my favorite superhero, I also never though of him as a god, something that Snyder has fixated on and feels the need to bludgeon viewers over the head with.

Zach Snyder’s fingerprints are all over Suicide Squad as well, particularly his tendency to equate murkiness and dreariness with darkness of tone.

And I’m also not sure that David Ayer was a good choice for the material (especially considering his filmography, such as End of Watch and Fury, though to be fair he seems to get that this stuff is essentially silly, so nothing’s any more serious than it needs to be) though he seems acquit himself well.

What’s more problematic is that the story–also written by Ayer–is way bigger than it needs to be.  Deadshot, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, Slipknot, the Enchantress and Killer Croc are like the Avengers composed of lesser versions of Hawkeye, with the exception of El Diablo, Headshot and the Enchantress.

Which isn’t to say that they can’t be lethal, but if you’re looking for someone to stop an evil that threatens the world they probably wouldn’t be the first group you’d call.

But there’s a more serious problem that directly links to Zach Snyder’s treatment of Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Namely Batman, when he encounters Deadshot and Harley Quinn, he kills neither one. If you recall in Batman v Superman he was really keen on killing virtually every person that opposed him.

Here? Not so much.

It’s not a corner that half-decent writing couldn’t get themselves out of, though it’s also a place that Snyder shouldn’t have taken the character in the first place.

And I fully understand that the movie would have been quite a bit shorter if Batman killed off Deadshot and Harley Quinn, but it would have also been truer to what Zach Snyder was doing before the soft reboot of the DC Extended Universe, which Suicide Squad is the first movie in.

Justice League – Teaser Trailer

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I have to admit that I enjoyed the first trailer for Zach Snyder’s Justice League. but if I say I weren’t concerned I’d be lying.

Reason being, he had two chances to make movies based on Batman and Superman.

The first attempt, Man of Steel is enjoyed by many, but in its way is as divisive as its follow-up, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

And the worse thing is, his task was relatively easy in that all he to do is work with two characters that between them have somewhere in the ballpark of 150 years of history.

Relatively little in in the way of a rethink was necessary, or warranted.

Acknowledge that history, and go from there. Such an approach works really, really well with Marvel Studios, as well as Guillermo Del Toro’s uber-faithful interpretations of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy

My question is why did Zach Snyder, and by extension Warner Bros., though that they could so greviously misinterpret–some say ‘reinterpret,’ though the problem with that reasoning is that you can’t reinterpret something that wasn’t interpreted correctly in the first place–these characters.

Never mind that they were seeking to differentiate themselves from Marvel Studios, because I get the feeling that most people don’t confuse Batman with Spider-Man or Superman with Thor.

 

 

Marvel’s The Defenders – Teaser Trailer

For fans of Marvel Television and their work with Netflix, ComicCon 2016 is as close to nirvana as you’re likely to get because that’s where they premiered the teaser trailer for The Defenders, a street-level super team in the vein of the Avengers. 

They will consist of Daredevil (which has been renewed for a third season), Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

The trailer is less interesting for what it shows–which is next to nothing–than what it says about what the new show will be like tonally, which is very gritty and realistic.

When you take into account the two seasons of Daredevil and the single season of Jessica Jones already released, it should fit in quite nicely.

Why Doctor Strange Is Crucial To The MCU

It’s been a long time away!  I’ve hopefully straightened out all the hullabaloo revolving around my domain, and things should be back to normal.

Most recently I haven been thinking about how it is that Marvel’s Doctor Strange is perhaps one of their most important releases, and crucial to the future of the MCU, or Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I explore the two most pertinent reasons why in the video below:

And here’s a radio play, Chandu the Magician, the character that directly inspired the creation of the good Doctor.

And if I weren’t giving enough, here’s the Dr. Strange telefilm, starring Peter Hooten and executive produced by Phillip DeGuerre.  And sure, it’s a product of its time, but it’s pretty nifty in its own way.

X-Men Apocalypse Wobbles To The Finish

I’ve said for a long time now that Fox doesn’t know how to manage the Marvel Studios properties–currently the X-Men and the Fantastic Four–that they currently control.

So what do they do? They go and prove me right.  X-Men: Apocalypse, after a Memorial Day premiere of $79.8 million–enough to beat the competition handily–fell a dizzying 66 percent the following week.

And I don’t think anything to do with ‘superhero fatigue,’ a myth, like the Yeti or its domestic cousin, the Sasquatch.

Though what I think it does show is that moviegoers are wising up, and after an initial surge of viewers (composed mainly of fans of the characters) they’re staying away.

Which is why Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened so strongly. This interest, as I said, driven by the fan community (though it didn’t hurt that the movie was released all over the world at the same time, which mitigated the extremely negative word of mouth that would have otherwise done it significantly more damage) is enough to open a movie big, but in the long run, not enough to maintain it.

This process of front-loading–and typically high initial profits–makes studios way more optimistic about a movie’s performance than perhaps they should be.

But it’s whether or not a movie has legs is what matters most, especially in these days of $250 million+ budgets.

And Batman v Superman had relatively weak legs.

And apparently those of X-Men: Apocalypse aren’t much better.

 

Trailer into Reaction: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition

I honestly don’t understand the point of an “Ultimate Edition” of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice because I don’t know what’s it’s supposed to do.

Make a confusing narrative a bit less so?

Offer some sort of information why it is characters that in some instances have existed for 80 years have suddenly been reinterpreted in such a controversial manner?

I have no idea, but as far as I can tell, the only way to make this movie make any sense at all would require–at least a 3 to 4 hour cut.