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.