Unless you live under a rock or in a cave, you’ve seen the massive line up scheduled for both DC and Marvel movies starting from next year and going until the end of time.
This has caused a lot of internet chatter. Most of it can simply be described as “nerd-gastic, ” while others tend to find it… “too much.”
The people in the latter group feel that, in the end, the general population will be sick of comic book movies in a few years.
But, really, will we?
Simply put: no. We won’t.
Now, that’s not my opinion, that’s flat out fact. How is it fact, you ask? Easy…
The numbers don’t lie.
According to a report, generated by the MPAA (you can find it here: MPAA 2013 Theatrical Market Statistics), there were 659 movies released in 2013. That number was down 3% from 2012 but up 35% from 2004.
Between Marvel and DC, we’re looking at about 4 comic book hero movies a year. For the sake of argument, we’re going to stick just to these two powerhouses. Mostly because it was their announcements that started the “comic book hero exhaustion” conversation. (sorry Sony and Fox, but your Spider-Man and X-Men reboots don’t count in this argument.)
Also, just to save time, let’s assume that the number of movies that are theatrically released every year stays the same over the next 5-6 years (although history proves that the number will actually increase).
Do the math. Out of 659 movies released, 4 of them will be a comic book movie from DC or Marvel.
That’s all. Just 0.6%. With comic book movies only making up such a minute percentage of the “theatrical movie population,” I hardly see that leading to any form of exhaustion on the movie going public. (Even if we DID add in the latest X-Men and Spider-Man movies, that would only bump the percentage up to 0.9%)
But I know what you’re going to say: “Yeah Manny, they may only make up 0.6% of the total movies released, but they still make all the money!”
Okay, let’s take a look at it from a financial stand point. I think it’s safe to say that if movie X is top at the box office, then movie X had the most people go and see it. Fair?
According to the box office numbers in 2013, of the top 25 films released in the US, only 4 were movies based on comic book movies. Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Thor: The Dark World and The Wolverine.
The first two were your top earners coming in 1st and 4th respectively. Whereas Thor came in at 11th and The Wolverine came in at 21st.
The total box office earnings for the top 25 films was: 7, 205.3 Billion dollars. Of that, the 4 comic book movies made 1,035.3 Billion or 14% of the total domestic market.
Is that really “comic book exhaustion?” Like I said in the beginning, no. There are plenty of options out there if you want to skip the latest caped crusader taking on the latest masked villain.
On a personal note and as a total comic book geek, I say we need more comic book movies. There are so many story lines and characters that I would love to see grace the big screens of our local cineplex.
And that’s just before the cross-over’s kick in. I want a world in which Spider-Man joins the Fantastic Four as they battle along side The Avengers to save the world from utter doom. And after that? How about DC and Marvel playing nice with one another so we can see a Marvel vs. DC movie. Batman and The Green Lantern up against Wolverine and the Hulk. Come ON! Nerd-gasm.
There’s plenty of room at the box office for every one to be happy. Nerd and plebeians alike.
Actually, you know what there’s too much of?
Movies based on books! Most movies these days are based on a previously released property that has appeared on the New York Times Bestseller list. Yet there’s no one writing articles about “book movie exhaustion.”
I say we start a pro-comic book/pro-original movie campaign under the hashtag #nomoreadaptations Tweet it out people and let’s clean out the box office clutter of all those pesky “book movies.”
And hey, maybe someone will actually read a book instead of waiting for the movie.
(Sorry foreign market… I believe in you, but it was just easier to stick to domestic numbers.)