Space Ramblings

Why the Comic Book Movies Are Failing

DC and Marvel have thrown three comic book superheroes at the big screen and they all got shot down. Not badly shot down, but performed weakly. None of them have turned a profit on the domestic box office. Not Thor, X-Men First Class or Green Lantern. And that should be an alarm bell ringing in the offices of studio executives who decided that they could turn every property they had into another Batman and cash in.

The problem? No name brand superheroes. Green Lantern has a brand, but it’s not 200 million dollars worth. Thor is well known, but more for the mythology, than for the Marvel property. X-Men First Class is a prequel to a series that had too many movies around it already. If you’re going to bank on a 300 million dollar domestic box office, then your superhero needs some identity.

Iron Man made that happen, and it was a harder trick than Marvel realized, taking a character that maybe 10 million people were familiar with and breaking him out. And that was done by making him larger than life. Green Lantern and X-Men First Class have no one larger than life. Thor sorta does. And the sorta is why Thor performed a little better than the rest as audiences knew they were going to see a big muscular guy hit things with a hammer. Even if they had never read the comic book.

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