Why Superman Returns Will Suck
Here's just my prediction. No, I have not read the script. I did read an article in scr(i)pt magazine about the writing of it, and I also spoke briefly with a friend who has seen some of it. But there are not really too many spoilers in here, since I don't know that much about it. (Still, if you're the type of person who likes to know nothing at all about a film before you watch it, skip this post, for now.) Additionally, that means I could be totally wrong. But this is just my feeling/prediction.
Still, I feel like it is going to suck, and I have no significant desire to see it. Why?
Let's start with the point that rather than a reinvention of the Superman movie, or a "reboot" as was Batman Begins for that franchise, this one is a just a rehashing with a bit of tweaking here and there. The plotline (from the little I understand of it) is basically just a redo of the plot in 1978's Superman: The Movie. And instead of making major changes in thought to reinvent the franchise for today's audience, the writers made only little changes. For example, instead of seeing bullets bounce off of Superman's chest, they now bounce off his eye. Instead of saving an airplane, he now has to save an airplane and the space shuttle at the same time. Or something like that. Big deal!
Okay, I guess the subplot/character changes of having Lois now a single mother, with a new man in her life adds a bit to the whole thing, but is that really enough?
Now, I know that there is an argument that there was really no need to "reboot" Superman the way there was that need with Batman. The Superman franchise had not been as sillified (for lack of a better word, at least that I can think of right now) in the same way that Batman was by a film like Batman & Robin. (I won't even link to it, since it was that horrible.) Well, I still think Superman needed a significant reinvention, and here's why:
When the initial Superman movies came out, they were really the only kids on the block. There were not any other significant superhero movies out there, so the competition was less. Now, however, we have three vibrant superhero franchises in X-Men, Spiderman, and the reborn Batman, along with a host of other lesser but still intriguing other superheros. While many would say the first two franchises are essentially ending, thus suggesting the timing is right to launch Superman again, the fact remains that each of those franchises contain much more interesting characters than does Superman. I know I'm going to piss many of you off with this, but in comparison to the characters and issues in those other franchises, Superman is just boring. When he had less competition, no problem, but now he needs a true reinvention to stand up against those others.
That's my opinion, and I'm sticking with it. Though I know I've probably ruffled some feathers here. Here's my prediction:
Big, but still disappointing (in terms of studio hopes) opening weekend, then a sizable drop-off after that, once word of mouth spreads. Come on, how many people do you know who are truly psyched to see this film? I mean itching, can't wait to see it, edge of their seats kind of excitement? Not too many, and certainly not enough to give the film the opening the studio wants.
Will it become profitable? With ancillaries including foreign and DVD, little doubt of that. But I still think it will be much less successful than the studio will hope for, and that it will be a movie I will have no desire to see.
And while I'm making predictions, I may as well throw out my other no-brainer, less controversial prediction. THIS will be the number one movie of the summer.
Tags: Superman+Returns, summer+movies, box+office+predictions, superhero+movies, movie+franchises