Open Forum Friday: Are People Finally Getting Tired of Comic Book Movies?

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Over the past decade and a half, we’ve seen comic books go from being niche properties to the biggest entertainment brands on the planet. What was once labelled a fad is now consistently accounting for some of the most successful blockbusters of all time. With five comic book movies having hit the billion dollar mark, and no less than eight currently scheduled for release next year, audiences are showing no sign of losing interest… or are they? Despite the fact that The Avengers: Age of Ultron made almost $1.4 billion, this summer will not go down as a great one for comic book movies. On the surface, there is no immediate cause for alarm, but it does seem possible that comic book movies are not quite as invincible as they once seemed.

Marvel has done a pretty good job at bringing some variety to their movies, but The Avengers sequel was largely met with indifference, while Ant-Man was the lowest grossing Marvel movie since The Incredible Hulk. Fox is expected to lose $60 million on Fantastic Four and Sony threw in the towel with their Amazing Spider-Man franchise and decided to partner with Marvel to reboot the character again. Meanwhile, Universal Pictures is having the highest-grossing year ever for a movie studio, all without releasing a single superhero movie. It could be a coincidence, but one thing’s for sure: there is a lot riding on next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. What do you think? Are audiences starting to get superhero fatigue or was this just an off year? Are the endless reboots and retelling of origin stories starting to get old? Can you see a scenario where the comic book bubble bursts or have they simply become too entrenched in pop culture to die out? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.

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  • 1138sw

    Are people getting tired of comic book movies or are studios not really capable of translating them to screen thereby making these properties boring and uninteresting and just turning off the general public?

    I mean Fox has always had trouble with the FF and X-men franchises. While I do enjoy Singer’s version of the X-men I always feel like more could have been done with them. The movies never really captured the true essence/greatness of the story lines or characters. I never felt that Fox fully exploited the potential of the X-men and if you’ve ever read the comics, at least the John Byrne Chris Claremont versions, you know what I’m talking about. There’s greatness their to be tapped…ya just have to know how to tap them.

    The FF has been just a sorry ass case of mishandling by Fox. And let’s face it they don’t get it and they never will.

    The WB has never gotten their properties right. Always great starts that eventually fizzle out into outright embarrassment…anyone remember them bat nipples?

    Sony hasn’t been all that terrible with Spidey but like the WB, great start just lousy finish. At some point they just didn’t know where to go anymore.

    Marvel has handled their properties well and while I don’t expect every movie to be great and perform in the billions, they for the most part seem to know how to consistently translate their properties onto the screen without to much hassle and regret.

    Comics offer a great potential of storylines and ideas. You just have to know how to handle the material and attach them to people who have the talent and vision to see them correctly on screen. Comics are like any other source material published throughout history…blessed with great storylines ready to be tapped and brought to life.

  • Brittany Gresang

    In a word: No.

    Comic book movies are sustainable because they are essentially like the animated blockbusters. Parents take their kids to them and always will.

    They were able to get $330 million from “Ant Man.” “Ant Man” people! That’s a major success. Fantastic Four is one movie that is getting the “bomb” label. But newsflash, it’s actually making money too.

  • ECONOMYpolitica

    Think people are just tired of movies in general.

  • John Anthony

    god i hope so

  • Stinker

    Thee Problem is not with comic book movies, rather with highly “designed” movies, which are completely under the control of the Marketing Research Dept. which “Knows” what the poor dumb audience wants to see and creates the perfect movie, which suits everyone, insults no one, esp. the Chinese, and is the equivalent of Dope for the masses.

    Sleep in the cacophony of a 7.1 Atmos Action Dope Run.

    Sleep and consume and trust the ruling class……..

    I hope a director and investor will be out of bubble gum and kick some audience “….butt” with a good movie.

  • LordAwesome

    The Dark Knight Rises was the last comic book movie I had any desire to see.

  • Matt the Kiwi

    I think you need to differentiate between comic book movies and superhero movies. I’d say people are certainly getting a bit jaded with the overdose of superhero releases but not comic books in general – there’s plenty of great movies that people don’t even realize were comics first: Big Hero 6, Road to Perdition, 300, V for Vendetta, A history of violence, etc. That’s where I want movie studios to keep looking for fresh ideas.
    I grew up reading 2000AD’s (where Judge Dredd originates) and there’s a wealth of non superhero story ideas I would love to see put on the screen.

  • Kenneth Serenyi

    No

  • Kenneth Serenyi

    I remember Sean have this discussion back in 2007 (before The Dark Knight and the Marvel Studio films). In fact, back in 2006 Sean predicted that “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” would signal the end of all superhero movies. :) Now we’re just at the beginning of the new wave of DC films. There is no end in sight until at least 2020…

  • Jameson

    I agree, although I’d say a big reason these movies do well is because they are watered down versions of the characters/stories meant to appeal to non-comic fans. The Marvel movies essentially wink at the audience for two hours.

  • Jameson

    As stated I think the comic genre can thrive, seeing as there are endless titles, whereas the superhero trend may slow down. If 2016’s lineup doesn’t do it then maybe there is no fatigue. Although I really wanna see the MCU have a bomb of the same caliber of the new Fantastic Four. It’s at the point where every film of theirs is guaranteed a hit even though all they produce is mediocrity.

  • Anthony

    I’m sure all the Hipster commenters are. Luckily they represent the vocal minority.

  • Maik

    Is Sean finally questioning his massive comic book movie agenda that infiltrated FJ more than a decade ago?
    Interesting…

  • B MP Rooney

    Many moviegoers enjoyed the Dark Night Rises (whichever one has the Joker ?). Many moviegoers enjoyed Ironman and Captain America. Critics are often pretty positive when it comes to comic book movies. I think they stink. I think they’re all the same film over and over. I think the villains are as irrelevant as characters get in a film. The CG is often boring and looks like a video game. Comic book movies probably won’t fade until there’s another tried and true stapled franchise to fill in the gaps. If America decides they want cooking books turned into serialized movie-making, I’m more fine with that then any more news about this or that super hero learning about their powers then defeating a dude who just wants to destroy the world. That’s why you numbskulls loved Dark Knight. The Joker’s motives are the easiest to portray on film. Peace.

  • Derek

    I like what this guy is saying! I see a lot of “I fucking hate comic book movies. They’re all the same” going around. Great. Don’t see them. That’s why there are tons of movies released each year. A small fraction are actually comic or superhero themed. There are some comic movies I like (I love the Dark Knight and find several of the MCU movies enjoyable) and some I don’t (I have yet to see the new F4, but it looks pretty bad and the Amazing Spider-Man movies were forgettable).

  • B MP Rooney

    That’s easy to say. Don’t read the comments then, you know.

  • Glen

    I don’t understand why people want to see 3rd or 4th reboot of Spiderman.

    How many times can you watch an origin store before you tire of it?

    Spoiler: Uncle Ben dies in the reboot.

  • Anthony

    Are there any people that wantes an origin story again? Everything i’ve read seemed to indicate that Marvel/Sony not doing another origin story is being well received.

  • Jared Kerr

    Personally I’m pretty exhausted in regards to superhero movies. It’s become incredibly formulaic. I cannot get excited for the next chapter in the never ending Infinity Stone saga. I honestly don’t care.
    These movies all look and feel the same, they’re not bad, But they never resolve anything and they don’t have proper endings.
    I’m sorta’ interested in Batman v. Superman because it looks like it’s gonna be a batshit crazy mess and at least it’ll be something different.

  • I was going to post just to say I am SO tired of origin stories that take 1/2 to 3/4 of the movie until the superhero is ‘born’… I wish more superhero movies followed the Hellboy/Guardians of the Galaxy model of giving us a little backstory in the beginning then jumping right into action as the heroes are all fully formed in their abilities.