Friday, July 22, 2011

Will Captain America Beat Godzilla?

Today, my Father-in-Law and I are going to go see the Captain America movie. Other than Green Lantern, this is the only other movie I’ve seen this summer. I expect it to be on par with other superhero movies of late. And based on boxed office predictions, the par for the course seems to be dropping.

(That the latest posters seem to be going with a NO MASK look is worrying...)

I expect CA to make about $65 million in its opening weekend (give or take 5%) That sounds okay, but really, superhero movies seem to be hurting as of late and the trend is not good. Check out these stats for recent movies as compared to the stats of what Hollywood considers are some classic Franchise Killers.

Budget 1st Week

Box Office
Green Lantern 200 18 9.00%
Catwoman 100 18 18.00%
Superman Returns 209 52 24.88%
Green Hornet 120 33 27.50%
Van Helsing 160 51 31.88%
X-men First Class 160 55 34.38%
Thor 150 62 41.33%
Godzilla 1998 130 55 42.31%
Hulk 2000 137 62 45.26%
Ghost Rider 110 52 47.27%
Fantastic Four 100 56 56.00%
Daredevil 78 45 57.69%

The far right column is the key metric. The greater percentage a movie's first week box office is of it's total cost, the higher the chance it will make back its budget and have a sequel. (This is due to diminishing returns the studios get because a greater percentage of the profit is doled out to the actual theater as each week progresses.)

What's interesting is that Godzilla and Hulk are considered by fan boys to be bombs, but comparatively, they both did actually did better than all of the superhero movies that have come out this summer. And that's without adjusting for inflation!

Looking at this chart better illustrates the point. Green Lantern (GL) and Catwoman are on the far left of the chart. Notice the gap between Catwoman's cost and the first week revenues. A similar gap exists between Thor and Godzilla. (X-men is close too.)

Looking at this chart, three thoughts come to mind:
  • Hollywood has changed it's definition of success
  • Ghost Rider and Daredevil did better than Thor and X-Men First Class
  • We are probably NOT going to see a Green Lantern sequel :D
See you at the movies!
- Jim


MattComix said...

The mask thing worries me as well. Are going to wimp out on Caps mask the way they did Thor's helmet?

Pierre Villeneuve said...

My guess is that... it's not so much a matter of wimping out on the mask (although there might be some of that)... but a matter of the actor wanting more "face time" on the screen.

Take Spiderman for example... despite having a mask that was pretty close to the comic version.... How many times did Spidey manage to have his mask removed/taken off??

Heck even Venom could not go more then 2 minutes without showing his "true face".

So how do you show the actors face as much a possible?? you come up with reasons.... often forced reasons... for his to take off or lose his mask for some reason.

Does not make much sense.... but what can you do??

MattComix said...

It seems like an annoying Hollywood double standard. If he were playing a character who has to have part of his face covered in any other genre nobody would question it.

Yet because it's superheroes there's this weird need to either be coy about having the actor in his mask/headgear or not commit to it at all like they did with Thor.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

I just saw it.... and I hope I won't spoil it for people but....

I almost walked out of the theatre at the "musical" number (people who saw it know what I am talking about).

For each good part.... there was half a dozen things that really bugged me.

And I hated Howard Stark. The actor playing him has ZERO charisma.

But at least.... now things are set into place for teh Avengers movie.

If they ever make a Captain America 2... I hope they get a new director.

Regina said...

I kinda liked the musical numbers. I thought they added an interesting bit of flavor from the era.

MattComix said...

I enjoyed it but the USO scene I hated. Bryan Hitch didn't create Captain America, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon did. Cap's iconic comicbook costume would have worked fine for a movie if they did it right.

But if they wanted to go for more of the military thing okay but why is it necessary to mock the classic costume in the process?

nude0007 said...

I thought the dance number was awful too, but I can see that they were trying to make an excuse for him using a costume and hanging on to it later. It was a good idea actually, but the dance number was bad.

Loved Red Skulls face, but why the need to make it his real face,idk. Holly wood can't seem to get it through their thick skulls that the reason superheros are having a hard time in movies is because THEY KEEP CHANGING EVERYTHING!
We don't want to see their re-imagining of our heroes, we want to see them like they are in the comics.


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