Is Batman v Superman A Failure? It Depends On How You Look At It

Screenshot 2016-03-31 15.11.26And the answer is a firm “Maybe.”

To begin, let’s call our hypotheses, Scenario One and Two.

Scenario One is the best case; Scenario Two…not at all.

If your chief source of information is Box Office Mojo, then things can be interpreted somewhat optimistically.

According to them, the movie is budgeted at $250 million.  That’s expensive, but hardly unusual for a superhero movie of its size and ambition.

And if that happens to be the case, then it’s doing okay–but not great.  It’s so far earned $683 million ($682,587,793)–the billion that some are hoping for may seem tantalizingly close, but will likely remain out of reach because its fallen significantly in its second week–68 percent.

Though more importantly, but its honeymoon period is ending, with competition like Captain America: Civil War arriving early next month, and X-Men: Apocalypse a few weeks later (Fox is apparently confident enough in the latest X-Movie that they’re pitting it against Captain America.  This is probably not a good move, though there may be room for both).

Though in reference to Batman v Superman, its problem is one that I have mentioned before, which is while the movie has legs, they’re wobbly and uncertain, like a newly-hatched fledgling.

So if it taps out at over $800–but under a billion–I wouldn’t be shocked.

And that’s the best case.

Then there’s Scenario Two, which is a hell of a lot scarier (for Warner Bros and fans of the characters) because there are some that say Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice cost somewhere in the ballpark of $410 million!  That’s a lot of money, and if accurate (the rumor originated with Latino-Review so take that how you will) the movie is in trouble because in that case it would have to earn at least a billion just to break even.

And as I have already written, I am not at all certain that that’s going to happen.

The thing is, hard-core fans would probably say that just producing this movie, and viewers seeing such iconic characters on screen is victory enough.

Those people, I’m comfortable saying, probably aren’t Warner Bros executives.


Why Marvel Needs To Take Its Time Jumping On The Female Superhero Movie Bandwagon

I have written on women superheroes in movies in the past, and thought that it was a topic worth revisiting, especially since some have decided that Marvel Studios somehow has a duty to make a feature with a female lead.

Which is nonsense, but don’t get me wrong, inclusiveness is a great thing. All of us need to be able to see ourselves in the various superhero universes out there because they serve to not only inspire us, but as a reminder that reminder that we’re part of something greater than ourselves.

But there’s one problem with that thesis: Hollywood is driven not by altruism, but by money. If superhero films featuring women were successful, I guarantee you that every studio would be making them.

And it’s not rocket science as to why such films aren’t more common, which is because they have, so far, been failures at the box office.

For a prime example why Marvel should take their time, let’s look to 2004, when Warner Bros released Catwoman.  It was a failure, earning $80 million on a $100 million budget. And truth be told that was $80 million more than the movie deserved (Though Halle Berry was so classy that she actually attended the 2005 Golden Raspberry Awards–also known as “The Razzies“–where Catwoman “won” in the Worse Picture category).

And the thing is, I don’t blame Pitof, who directed, or Berry’s performance in the title role (though the ‘tuna’ scene was a bit obvious and silly).

Heck, I don’t even blame Theresa RebeckMichael Ferris or John Brancato, who wrote it.

I blame whichever executives at Warner Bros who green-lit the project because alarm bells should have immediately gone off when it was learned that the main character, Patience Phillips (Berry) was ‘Catwoman’ in name only.  Her origins had very little to do with the comics that inspired her creation.  Now, I understand that executives may have wanted to go in a different direction after Catwoman made an appearance in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns–who portrayed the character as a bit too damaged–but to go so totally in the opposite direction tonally was a bit of an over-correction.

As if the Titanic, in a effort to miss a a small sheet of ice, ran smack-dab into the iceberg.

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Sometimes When There’s Smoke, (There’s Someone Making Much Ado Out Of Nothing)

This morning, I decided to see how much Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” cost to produce.  Box Office Mojo didn’t list its production costs, but with a modicum of searching I learned that the budget was probably around $250 million (most of which you can see on screen).

Now, my whining comes in after I read a story from Business Insider, a site I normally like quite a bit, which implies that Jackson’s film isn’t tracking on par with his ‘Rings’ films.  The article also implies that all is gloom and door as far as the two sequels are concerned (‘The Hobbit’ is the first in a trilogy).

This is beyond nonsense.  If only because it has already earned, worldwide, over $622 million dollars, and will probably be going strong well into the new year.  Now keep in mind, we’re talking a production budget of only (!) $250 million, so I fully expect that it will earn at least $700 million (and I am probably being conservative) before its theater run ends.

And that’s not including profits from DVD sales, streaming deals, and venues like iTunes.

Though admittedly an important part of this equation is that the each of the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ films squeaked in for under $200 million, which means that for the costs of almost the ENTIRE first three films you get–almost–one ‘Hobbit.”

Looking at the finished product, I think that it’s a bargain.  This latest film seems better assembled, more accomplished and significantly more fun than any of the prior three films.

And that has to count for something.

Thor: Ruler of the Foreign Box Office

According to Box Office Mojo, “Thor” has pulled in $93 million in foreign box office receipts (UK, France, Korea, Spain, Brazil, Russia, Germany, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines and Australia).

Total production costs are currently unavailable, but it’s probably in the +/- $150 million dollar range.

Four Reasons Why There Will Be A Sequel To Tron: Legacy

In honor of the release of Tron: Legacy on DVD April 5th I’ve decided to answer a question on the minds of many sci-fi fans, which is:  Will there be a sequel to Tron: Legacy–itself the sequel to Tron, a film released 28 years ago.

I think that there definitely will be, and if I can restrain my inner Tron-love for a moment, I’ll explain why.

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