Okay, let's get this straight. Superhero movies took a turn for the better with Tim Burton's 1989 Batman way back when and haven't looked back ever since.
Not to say there haven't been any superhero movie flops since then, but guess what? Every genre has its hits and misses, and the superhero genre is no exception. Yes, kiddies, superhero movies are no fad; they are officially a genre.
So, let's take a look at why Wonder Woman may have outperformed Spidey. First of all, Wonder Woman has NEVER had a prior theatrical release, and fans have been clamoring for one for years. This is the third round for the Spider-Man franchise. Honestly, living through the first two, I have no urgency to run out and see Spider-Man: Homecoming.
In fairness, I haven't seen the film yet, so I will make no opinion on its "under-performance" based on the film's content. And who's to say $177 million isn't so bad for another re-boot of a stale franchise.
Look at Guardians of the Galaxy: This is the new model Marvel needs to follow. They took little-known characters that no one really gave a crap about and took a gamble on a big-budget summer flick. And that gamble paid off in spades! Where's my Alpha Flight? Where's my She-Hulk? Where's my Dazzler for the love of Pete? (Hey, Marvel. Female-led superhero movies work. Give it a go!)
Wonder Woman was fresh and exciting. The anticipation was even bigger than the marketing campaign. People wanted this film. People needed this film. The film industry needed this film to prove that female-driven films can be major successes. (Please let Atomic Blonde be a hit!)
Maybe Wonder Woman is an exception? It did have all the key components of success. It has a great story. It has an intriguing and arguably unique female lead. It was quickly revealed that Gal Gadot was the best and only choice to wield the golden lasso. It had action, intrigue, comedy, drama, romance, and most importantly, the Wonder Woman movie had heart! Oh yeah, did I mention it had a female director? Patty Jenkins deserves major kudos for delivering such a stellar cinematic masterpiece.
I just hope the sequel doesn't lose momentum or suffer superhero sequelitis - cramming in too much pizazz at the expense of the story. But I have faith. With the original team on board, how could it fail?
All in all, I'm sure Spider-Man: Homecoming is just swell. I just don't have the need or desire to rush out and see it. Give me something fresh. Give me something original. Hell, give me Dazzler!
And by the way, Marvel and DC aren't the only comic companies with screen-worthy characters. Look at Image or the plethora of not-so-well-known indie creations. I would love to see a Jason Pearson Body Bags movie or a Kaare Andrews 1% movie. What about Bitch Planet or Saga? I don't think superhero movies or comic book adaptions are going anywhere any time soon. As long as Hollywood continues to make horrifying remakes of beloved gems, I think there's plenty of room for original superhero flicks.
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