By Aitch Cee
Comic and sci fi geeks are living in a very good time. We are living in a time where not only we are getting movie treatments to some of our favorite characters but it’s also due to the fact that technology has advanced to a point that worlds only imagined through drawings and paintings have come to life. 3D and surround systems have fully immersed us in these worlds giving movie goers a unique experience.
As great as these times are, is there a point where we may have to reconsider what makes not just good movies but good art? The question arises as movie companies are in a scramble to lock in dates for their ‘next big franchise geek film’. Just last week, a report came out listing all of the possible dates and movies we could expect between next year and 2020 and that’s just comic book movies and Star Wars films. It still hasn’t factored in any other new-ish Twilight-like movies or even new possible sci-fi projects or even 80s reboots. And God forbid if another Transformers movie comes out, which Michael Bay reportedly may not direct.
The question we need to ask ourselves is how much longer can Hollywood sustain making these types of movies that to a degree only attract a certain market before it’s deemed time to move on to other film? Everything has its time. In the 50’s and 60’s had religious movies, the 70’s were disaster movies which also gave rise to the blockbuster films thanks to Jaws, the 80s was all about teen comedies, sci-fi, and action movies and the list continues. So when we look at this trend now of superhero movies ruling the roost for nearly 20 years with Blade being one of the first to revitalize the genre, what will be the one film franchise that will tank that sees the demise of these films?
Then again, maybe it’s not so much that there has to be a film tanking that will spell the end of comic movies. We have already seen films that tanked commercially, such as Green Lantern, Green Hornet, Punisher, Ghost Rider and a few others that didn’t quite live up to expectations yet the comic movie genre thrives. Of course, looking at some of the franchises just named, many of them are not top tier A list movies (with maybe Green Lantern being an exception) that were expected to thrive. But then, you have Iron Man.
What may have to happen is if there was a high ranking movie such as your Iron Man, Spider-Man or even Justice League or Avengers which is such a woeful commercial and critical failure that audiences start to see the fatigue of having so much of a good thing that we may not always recognize the mediocre films that are set in front of us. Many still argue to this day about whether or not recent films such as Man of Steel was a good or bad film and what made it so in their eyes but one this is for sure, the companies don’t care as long as we still vote with our wallets.
Lastly, in the battle for our dollars, a question we must consider is who stands the most to lose should that day come when all geeks finally tire of superheroes on screen. One of the answers considered may not sit well with some of us but it may be Marvel Studios that may lose out the most should the day come that comic book movies are no longer the in thing. And the reason why is obvious as it’s all Marvel does is just comic book movies. In a conversation I had last night with a good friend, he made the excellent point that as much as some fans say that the Batman vs Superman film must succeed in order for DC to stay viable in the movie making industry, truthfully, it doesn’t. For one, again, refer back to the Green Lantern. Then ask yourself what is the one edge that DC comic movies have over Marvel Studios? DC Entertainment is owned by Warner Brothers. The same company that has brought us Ocean’s Eleven (both original and remake) the Harry Potter series, dropped bombs on movie goers such as The Adventures of Pluto Nash and Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever. And it goes without saying that WB has brought about some Oscar worthy work with The Green Mile and The Departed. The point is, Warner Brothers is a diverse enough company that should a comic movie come out and fail, there are other movies in their portfolio that one failure won’t shutter their windows. Not to mention their animation division is top notch right now as well. Marvel Studios while now a part of Disney obviously is a lot more limited in their scope and to a degree, failure is not exactly an option. As stated earlier, comic book movies is all that they do and right now even though financially they are hitting them out of the park with a high success rate, what will be that movie that could quite possibly pop the bubble? Or is there a secret to Marvel Studios’ success that remains unknown to us? Obviously, many can point to the gamble that Marvel Studios took with Guardians of the Galaxy and wish to believe that they know something that many other companies don’t when it comes to taking virtually unknown franchises and making them into household names, but many pundits are sitting back and waiting for Marvel Studios to trip themselves up.
All good things are not meant to last and while we may be enjoying this renaissance of great comic book and sci-fi films that are coming, we have to remember that one day, this time we had will end and something else will take over. While our pockets may give companies a pulse on what the public thinks is good or not good, there are some of us that in the back of our minds feeling a sort of a fatigue coming on. We are getting what we asked for but …when will we say ‘stop’? When is enough of a good thing, enough?