Will Batman vs. Superman flop at the box office?
It is perhaps the most eagerly awaited comic superhero films of the year and with a budget of more than $200 million (£140 million), it will also be one of the most expensive.That the movie's set to be released in March, rather than in the summertime, when more movies like these are screened, additionally suggests WB may not have the confidence they supposedly do. But, as I've said a few times before, I don't see why a movie that's built around a clash between two superheroes - one where Superman is noticeably given second billing - would appeal to audiences who may prefer that the chief adversary be an actual villain.
But the formula of pitching two of DC Comics most famous superheroes against one another in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, may not be the success studio bosses hoped it would be.
A new algorithm that uses machine learning has given the movie just a 32 per cent chance of turning a profit.
Computer scientists trained the software by getting it to analyse more than 2,500 movies released in the US between 2000 and 2010.
It looks at factors such as the cast, the director, genre, plot and the time of year it was released to produce predictions about how a movie will do at the box office.
The researchers then used the software to analyse films that are due to be released over the next year to assess their chances of making at least $7.3 million (£5.1 million) profit from box office sales.
The new Batman v Superman film, starring Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck, came out particularly poorly.
On which note, a similar theme is being employed in the upcoming Captain America sequel, which draw its premise from Civil War, pitting Cap against Iron Man, and I'm not sure how that makes for a great movie either, even if Tony turned out to be brainwashed. Moviegoers would do well to ponder that the 2006 miniseries by Mark Millar led to some of the worst ideas, like Spider-Man revealing his identity, only to put the secrecy back in place - and the marriage to Mary Jane Watson in oblivion - by making a deal with Mephisto. Why should anybody with common sense want to validate something as tasteless as that? Just because it's comics doesn't automatically made it good, and there are some pretty bad stories out there, even back in the Golden Age, that don't make the best choice for adaptation.
That's why it'll be bewildering if an audience that rejects Batman vs. Superman has no qualms about seeing Captain America: Civil War, despite the fact that it's built very much like the superfluous crossovers that ruined superhero comics since the mid-80s, and the name of the game is spotting all the different heroes and co-stars who show up. That's not exactly building on story merit, and spells a likely drop in the quality of the Marvel adaptations, as they make their premises more politicized, and CA: CW certainly draws from a miniseries that was.