Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hulk Film Franchise Smashed?

Riddle us this fanboys & girls,

What does The Incredible Hulk and Superman Returns have in common?

Each comic book character film was neither a sequel nor exactly a re-boot but were kind of remakes but each felt as if they were on very familiar storytelling ground.

These comic book film franchise echoes were in some ways as good as their predecessors (while decidedly NOT in other ways) but not quite better—or at least better enough to satisfy fans who wanted something new, not just different.

Superman Returns didn’t quite fail at the box office but it underperformed because audiences found it underwhelming when compared to the original Richard Donner-directed Superman film.

Now it would seem that this summer’s Incredible Hulk staring Edward Norton is on track to suffer the same non-success as suffered by the Ang Lee-directed 2003 HULK staring Eric Bana.

A Hollywood Reporter story by Carl DiOrio (picked up by Reuters’ wire service where we read it) speculates that the odds of a sequel to Incredible Hulk (which would make for a THIRD Hulk film) are looking pretty long based on the anemic box office returns so far this summer.

From DiOrio’s article:

“Five years ago, "Hulk," the first movie based on Marvel's hulking green comic book character, rang up $245 million in worldwide box office but was widely dismissed as a commercial failure. The second attempt, "The Incredible Hulk," amped up the fun factor and dialled down the brooding of director Ang Lee's original but is unlikely to gross significantly higher than its predecessor and might not spawn a sequel. And it's been dubbed a success.

After four weekends, the Louis Leterrier-directed "The Incredible Hulk" has earned $125 million, the same as what "Hulk" had pulled in at the same time in its run. "Hulk" finished with $132 million, and its successor is unlikely to do much better.

“Its foreign rollout is still in progress, with comics-friendly Japan among the territories the remake has yet to bow, but it appears likely that the Edward Norton starrer will struggle to reach $130 million internationally. The first film tallied $113.2 million overseas.

“Despite the similarity of the Hulk films' theatrical runs, industryites suggest the lighter tone of the second film makes it more the vehicle to generate sequels, and some suggest the remake will prove a more lucrative DVD title than the Eric Bana-starring original. On the other hand, production costs and marketing expenses were steeper the second time around, totaling more than $200 million. The first film cost about $150 million to make.”

To put things in perspective, Iron Man has earned more than $560 million at the box office world wide.

FanBoyWonder hopes the folks at Warner Brothers are taking notice and trying to learn the lessons of the Hulk mistake as they prepare the Superman Returns sequel The Man of Steel.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
Online Universities