Man, Warners just cannot get its act together on live-action superhero movies. Other than making EXACTLY the right move (probably luck more than anything else) in getting Christopher Nolan to make the Batman movies, Warners has turned out garbage like the hugely expensive and underwhelming Superman reboot–although they did attempt to slake the mass audience’s immense hunger for a Superman who fathered an illegitimate kid–the Jonah Hex movie, Catwoman, etc. Then there’s the problem they’ve had just getting projects into production. All while watching Marvel make at the very least a string of really good and generally profitable superhero movies revolving around fairly obscure characters like Iron Man and Thor.
Not to mention that gawdawful sounding Wonder Woman pilot. Man, that thing has GOT to leak soon.
Meanwhile, the new Green Lantern movie, which the New York Times figures cost $300 million between production costs and prints & advertising, hits theaters today following a lengthy chain of quite horrible looking TV commercials. Sure enough, the film looks pretty bad, earning so far a flaccid 22% positive rating at Rottentomatoes (26 ‘fresh reviews, 93 rotten ones as of this writing). And here’s a few of their pull quotes from the ‘positive’ reviews:
—Faithful to the comics almost to its detriment, “Green Lantern” is a two hour film that would have been much better at ninety minutes.
–-It’s unremittingly average, high-caloric and indigestible junk food for the restlessly stupefied. We’ve all been there.
—Cornball dialogue and poor characterizations drag down the successes of the incredible visual effects.
–Casino Royale director Martin Campbell makes everything look good and the action scenes are watchable.
And again, those are quotes from the positive reviews.
Given the money involved, this has the chance to be a really big bomb. It might well not be, because it might make a ton overseas, which is where the main market is for superhero movies these days. Ironically, Warners might profit most vis a vis Marvel; the generally high quality of their films (plus the recent X-Men reboot) might encourage people to check this out, and if it bombs, it may signal the beginning of the end of the superhero boom, which would obviously hurt Marvel a lot more, especially if steam starts going out of the superhero balloon a year before their big Avengers movie comes out.
I guess we’ll have a better idea when we see what Green Lantern does (the worldwide take, if the NYT’s figures are correct, will have to hit about $600 million before the film breaks even), and then how Captain America does.