Okay, one more thing about the predictions.

§ January 22nd, 2021 § Filed under predictions § 4 Comments

So Turan reminded me of two other superhero movies that made it to the big screen last year. It was regarding superhero films that underperformed and how that might hurt the prospect of further flicks, and really the only one I saw (well, not counting the last-minute release of Wonder Woman 1984) was the Birds of Prey movie.

One of the films was Bloodshot, based on the Valiant Comics property, which did $33 million worldwide on a $45 million budget. It was released on my birthday (aw, you shouldn’t have!), March 13th, which was approximately a week before California basically shut down due to the COVID virus. It’s hard to judge how well the film would have done without a pandemic on the loose, but I’d hope its ill-timing won’t be held against future Valiant films. Look, at least get me an X-O Manowar movie, I’d like that.

The other film was New Mutants, which I’d entirely forgotten about and never saw and couldn’t tell you a thing about it, aside from apparently Illyana’s awful characterization, the fact that it had the release had been delayed for like two years, and the that they finally released it into theaters last fall when it was becoming progressively a bad idea to “go out in public” and “be around people.” Anyway, it made about $46 million worldwide on a budget Googling says is between “67 and 80 million,” so yeah, it tanked. But I don’t know why anyone would have expected anything else, given the timing.

Now I don’t expect the performance of either of these to be held against the very idea of “superhero/comic book movies.” Clearly the pandemic impacted their performance, a situation original predictor ScienceGiant, nor any of us, could have known about at the end of 2019. And even if they underperformed without COVID times…well, Bloodshot is a minor character from a small-ish publisher, and the New Mutants film is the last hurrah of a long-in-the-tooth franchise already past its money-making days (at least at its pre-Disney studio) which had already seen one major flop in the pentultimate series entry X-Men: Dark Phoenix. So, you know, expectations probably weren’t that high to begin with.

At this point the only thing I can see hurting the very idea of “comic book films” is something happening with Marvel’s output. Marvel is kind of the backbone of cinematic superheroing, and if we suddenly had two, three, five big Marvel flops in the row, that would probably discourage other studios from running out and optioning Valiant, or Image, or Atlas/Seaboard funnybooks and the like. But all the Marvel movies are hits, and so long as they continue to be hits, comic book movies likely won’t go away. Even if a Marvel movie does tank…well, the Star Wars franchise survived Solo, and went on to have a billion-dollar film in Episode IX, so it’s not necessarily fatal.

So that’s more than I intended to type on the topic. If you wanted a shorter answer…comic books are seen as a strong enough source for film material that some of the movies based on them underperforming won’t hurt future comic movies. Unless, like I said, Marvel blows it with a bunch of films and poisons the genre forever.

4 Responses to “Okay, one more thing about the predictions.”

  • "Macho Man" Randy Sims says:

    “Anyway, I’m not resting ’til I get an official Swamp Thing/Man-Thing crossover event.”

    Ploog and Bissette are still around…

  • Chris G says:

    When the Warren Ellis thing broke, I was surprised it was news. I had assumed that was the sort of thing he got up to just from my dim memories of his forum circa 2000.

  • Hal Shipman says:

    re: New Mutants and “Illyana’s awful characterization”

    Honestly, we actually sort of liked the flick and the fact that she actually HAD a characterization was part. And Anya Taylor-Joy’s acting was distinct enough that we actually had to think “Wait, was she in Queen’s Gambit?” which we had just finished the night before. Granted the 20-odd years between the filming of the two probably had something to do with it. Charlie Heaton was solid, also.

    The “let’s make everyone as white as possible” was noticeable, but overall, we were solidly in the “a lot better than we expected” and “we wouldn’t have been pissed off if we’d paid full price in the theater” camps (like, say, “Dark Phoenix”). It could have been better, but if they had announced a sequel, I’d give it a shot.

    But what is it with Fox and race in the X-Men movies? Between the casting in this and the killing of Darwin in “First Class” alone (probably more if I went through them), someone at Fox should have had a VERY public reckoning. Sorry for all the folks that lost jobs in the merger, but good riddance.

  • Hal Shipman says:

    Meant to include:|

    For a property that was supposed to be ABOUT race (albeit very, very clumsily), these missteps are that much more egregious.

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