The summer 2011 movies season is winding down. At least as far as comic book films is concerned. Here are a few thought, not that you asked, on the good and the not so good for 2011…
In review, the main list for 2011 is…
1. Green Hornet–Oh holy God! Did anyone really take this movie seriously? Seth Rogan? Really? I know the original TV show was pretty camp, but i would think we would be past that and want to make a good adventure movie. There was a lot of potential for this one that was simply lost once they didn’t take the casting seriously. You cannot spend $120 million to make a movie and do it as a comedy adventure based on a 40+ year old TV show that few really remember and expect to make money. This was a bad idea from the start. Also, it is not a comic book film strictly speaking. The Green Hornet started life as a radio program in the 1930’s. Comics came later, but today’s journalists are just plain lazy and like to group this in, so here you go, for what it’s worth.
2. Priest–Based on the Korean comic of the same name, this one was never going to make much of a splash in the box office. Having made $76 mil WW, this technically did clear a profit, but not much of one. Since the cost figures do not always include promotion (it depends on who is doing the math) there is nothing on the face of this Earth that makes this movie a success. It is on video in a couple of weeks, maybe it can bring in enough money from the overseas markets to make this one a little better for the studio. My thought was, why go see Paul Bettany in a role that I have seen him do a few too many films now. Go back to the artsy comedies Paul.
3. Dylan Dog–So obscure, most people (even fans of the book) didn’t even know it was being made. Based on an Italian comic. This on e looked fun and I do like Brandon Routh and Sam Huntington. I have yet to see it and plan on at least giving it a rental. The real fault here was that there was very little marketing on the run up. Really, I spoke to several comic fans and some were fans of this book, they had no idea that there was a film. Too bad, this one might have found an audience, had the potential audience been aware of its existence.
4. Thor–The first big release in the genre and a great film. (see review posted May 17) As of this post the film has a WW gross of just under $448 mil. The US gross was a little low according to some at $180 mil, but a sequel has been greenlit and even without Kenneth Brannagh directing, I will be there. This film met every expectation for me and exceeded some of them. This was a treat from start to finish!
5. X-Men: First Class–This was the best of the year for me, but only by a slim margin. (see review posted June 5th) There is almost nothing I could find to fault this film. There were some possible continuity issues with some of the other films, but since this is the better film in those cases, I will defer to this one. I like the casting of the leads and of most of the supporting cast, and I thought this one hit all the right notes. Somehow though, this film is not being viewed as a success. At $100 million less in total WW grosses and an opening weekend that was just shy of expectations, I suppose I can see the issue. But I am willing to be this film does very good business on video. Come on FOX, give this one another chance! I would have put the poster up for you, but the posters campaign (all the marketing really) for this film was crap!
6. Green Lantern–Ugh! This was a HUGE disappointment. It wasnt that this film was bad, just that it failed to be what it should have and could have been. Ryan Reynolds, while good, just was not right for the role. I know, I know, the studios want the film to skew a little younger, but maybe a better casting choice would have saved this one. that and a script that committed to the premise instead of skirting around it. there is a lot of money and talent up on the screen, it just failed to gel into a decent movie. The money this film has made tells pretty much exactly that. At a WW gross to date of $154 million, this film will have to rely on its video release to cover the rest of its $200 million dollar cost. Remember when Titanic was the first film made for $200 mil, and we all thought that it was way too much to spend on a movie and that it would surely fail? Ah, the good old days!
7. Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon –IS NOT A COMIC BOOK MOVIE! I wish all the reviews that think they know what they are talking about would do a little research! Lazy pricks! I will see this on video, but only to be a completest. But that was my thought on the second and third Pirates movies and I regret seeing those crap sandwiches to this day!
8. Captain America: The First Avenger–Another winner! This film did not disappoint in any way, other than that it just left me wanting more!
9. Cowboys & Aliens–Looks like this one will end up disappointing at the box office too. Another one with great potential that will be largely unrealized.
10. Conan the Barbarian–ALSO not technically a comic book film, but almost everyone familiar with the character today either knows it from the Ah-nold movies or the comics so this one I will give a pass to. (If you have not read the original Robert E Howard stories, you are missing the best Conan stuff available) When this releases, I would expect about a $35 million dollar opening. Anything less and the movie will be considered a failure.
This year has been a mixed bag, more than most. From the varied performance to the movies left standing like the ugly girl waiting for someone to dance with, to a real lack of fan support in some of the cases, I am left asking if the bubble has not burst for the comic book films. There was plenty of deserving, quality stuff that failed to perform, so the old chestnut about putting a good product out there will be enough to fill the seats just does not hold up.
Yet to come later this year and into next are…
Deadpool –Don’t really see the point, but whatever.
Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance–See previous note.
Men in Black 3 —Potentially very cool, potentially very bad.
The Avengers–I SO want to see this movie!!!!!!!!
The Dark Knight Rises–I don’t think Harry Potter 7b will hold the record for opening weekend for more than a year. Sorry Muggles.
Spidey re-boot–Ugh! Costume looks good though.
In the end, we all need to support the good films and ignore the crud. Now get out there.
to get you ready, an image of Tom Hardy as Bane…