Are we experiencing superhero movie fatigue?


Green Lantern is not the only superhero offering to suggest that interest in men-in-tights in waning. Kenneth Branagh’s Thor opened with $66 million last month, a satisfying result for Paramount and Marvel comics but no match for the $115 million pocketed by the 2002 Spider-Man reboot in its first days.

Matthew Vaughn, director of the X-Men: First Class reboot, which took $55 million on its opening weekend this month, predicted that his effort could be one of the last superhero films for some time.

“The genre is going to be dead for a while because the audience has just been pummeled too much,” he said before the film opened. “It’s been mined to death.”

I think a $66 million opening weekend is pretty good and comparing it to a $115 million opening (which is rare) is a bit unfair. Certainly we’re not done mining the genre. Marvel is laying the groundwork for introducing their whole Marvel universe and other studios still have films in the works to cash in on the trend.

I know I am starting to get fatigued, but apparently as I’m getting older, I’m getting pickier and grouchier.

8 thoughts on “Are we experiencing superhero movie fatigue?

  1. I dunno… I’m only hearing this “comic book/superhero movie fatigue” stuff from columnists and movie reviewers who obviously don’t like comic books or superheroes in the first place. Also, if they are, then there’s at least four more comic book movies next year (Spiderman, Batman, Superman, and Avengers), so they better get used to it.

  2. Even people who know zero bout comics know Batman, Superman and Spiderman from the many incarnations over the DECADES. Can’t expect Thor, GL and Ironman compete with that. Robert Downey Jr elevated IM to a greatflix.

    What COULD kill the genre is the Green Hornet type flix that take a little known hero and completely miscast him(Seth Rogan? C’mon!), or worse, Ben Affleck as Daredevil.

    I love when comic movies cater to we true fans, but when they. Water it down for the ADD general public, it = failure

  3. Superhero comics have matured tremendously over the past 70-odd years, although non-comic readers still tend to see superheroes in the golden age/silver age context. If the films don’t rise above that kind of simplistic viewpoint, they will get tedious fast. The better superhero movies (esp. Dark Knight) are replicating the maturation of the comics. I’m hoping we get more films with the sophisticated storytelling the best comics have to offer.

  4. I think DC & Marvel are over-shooting using such 2nd tier characters. I know Thor is necessary for next year’s Avengers, but as a lead character he’s wholly blah—as was the film. And Green Lantern?! He’s boring in the comics, let alone onscreen. The Iron Man movie had Robert Downey Jr in its favor and would have been a flop otherwise. Thor’s bland hunk, and the moronic and cross-eyed Ryan Reynolds, cannot carry a franchise most of the American public have never heard of.

  5. I enjoyed Thor, if only for the execution of Jack Kirby’s vision of Asgardian grandeur brought to life in all its CG glory. I don’t know at what point the movie-going public is going to lose interest in the genre, but superheroes in general are a silly concept.

  6. Westerns were kind of a silly concept, compared with actual Western history, but it didn’t stop the genre from being the most overused in film and TV. We still get good Westerns now and again.

    I think a superhero movie is subject to the same laws of good storytelling as anything else, and one has to be brilliant with a great character arc in order to really rake in the money. I won’t get burned out with those.

  7. I think casting is the key. I like Ryan Reynolds in comedies, but as a hero? No way. Nick Cage as Ghost Rider? No way. Liked that flick overall except when Cage was on screen. Missed Thor in theaters but heard it was good. GL looks bad, Cap looks cool… CGI might bring the comic action to life but it takes a Robert Downey Jr or Tobey McGuire to bring the characters to life…

  8. Ditto Stephen.

    I wonder if they really need all the focus on origin movies. Sometimes the origin is interesting, other times so much time is spent on setting up the character that the movie slows down too much. Weave the origin in with a faster pace storyline, or don’t even bother with it, especially on the lesser known characters. Good story and lots of action I think work well. While some are B-Flicks, I like the genre because its fun and often beats the rest of the crap Hollywood is putting out there.

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