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Tuesday, November 22, 2022 

Fatigue is setting in for movie adaptations

Bell of Lost Souls pointed to some research conducted telling of waning interest in comics movies, as seems to be the case lately where, even if the newest adaptations didn't lose that much money at the box office, they still fared very underwhelmingly:
When you dig into the numbers, the results show what many folks have been thinking since End Game hit theaters – the excitement isn’t there anymore. There’s too much, and the whole ‘everything is connected’ plan is starting to fail.

The big takeaway with DC fans is not surprising – they’re character-based. Those surveyed (57%) said they want more stand-alone projects with characters they love. They don’t want DC to take cues from Marvel’s connected universe. Fans want Superman and Batman, the household names of the publisher. That bears out when you look at the box office for Black Adam, which DC was hoping would smash post-pandemic records. It was overshadowed by casting news for Superman that had nothing to do with the $195 million movie they wanted fans to see.

Over a third of Marvel fans surveyed feel exhausted from the constant stream of content on Disney+ and in theaters. But they’re also more likely to watch any project (81% of them) from Marvel Studios, whether they know the characters involved or not. Only 38% of Marvel fans said they follow particular characters. That’s a mixed bag for the upcoming phase with a mix of new and known characters (not a big deal for fans), but it jams a lot in two years.
So according to their research, fans of these movies don't want connected universe effects between DC movies. But, what about Marvel movies? Seriously, it's ridiculous they're connected, no matter what the previous success levels were. And I find it odd the research claims fans want the Man of Steel and the Masked Manhunter foremost, because that's not exactly a merit-based argument. What, they won't watch a movie with lesser-known creations, even if the finished product is artistically successful? That's not a good type of argument, I don't think, and makes anybody who does watch Marvel films look like they're taking a better approach.
Pop culture trends come in cycles that last a decade or less, but this is the first we’ve had with streaming being a significant component. We’ve had about 15 years of comic book movie (mostly Marvel) saturation with two years of streaming shows. Marvel hopes folks will fork over their money for new stories until at least May of 2026. DC’s grand plan isn’t public at the moment, but CEO David Zaslav has promised a ten-year plan that looks like the one Marvel is running – that the fans say they don’t want.
I'd noticed that news before, and nope, it doesn't pay well to imitate Marvel's approach to the letter. Definitely if the finished DC products lack merit. But it doesn't help if audiences fork over their dough for new Marvel movie stories over the next 4 years either. Definitely not if whatever entertainment value they once had is now collapsing.
The successes we’ve seen this year lie in other genres. Top Gun: Maverick was the movie of the summer. The sequel (nearly 40 years removed from the original that has no superheroes, galactic villains, and a minimal amount of CG shots) raked almost 1.5 billion this summer. Original horror is trending up this year with movies like Nope, Smile, Barbarian, and Terrifier 2. Non-franchise movies are getting butts back in theater seats. High fantasy has taken over streaming with shows like Rings of Power, Wheel of Time, Willow, and House of the Dragon.
Let's see, on the one hand, they acknowledge the Top Gun sequel beat out nearly every superhero movie to date, yet don't admit it's because the screenplay wasn't considered "woke". On the other hand, they cite the horror genre as a trending franchise, and that's dismaying, because it demonstrates how Hollywood's romanticization of jarring violence is still ongoing.

And they don't even mention that Rings of Power has a problem of its own with wokeness. It'd be great to think the fantasy genre itself was picking up again, but sadly, this is an era where PC's overtaken much of entertainment, and it spoils everything.

To be sure, if superhero movies are waning in popularity, it was to be expected. But what a terrible shame none of the liberal news sources will acknowledge one of the leading reasons why - wokeness overtaking them.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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