Tuesday, 22 September 2015


Zack Snyder has been making the interview rounds to promote the “Crash the Super Bowl“ Doritos contest in which he is participating and has been dropping random tidbits about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I’m not going to dissect every word, but there was a tidbit in an interview with Canoe yesterday that caught my eye. When asked about the status of a second Man of Steel movie, rumors regarding which have been bouncing around the Internet for a few weeks (“George Miller will direct!” “It would’ve starred Supergirl and Brainiac!” “Etc., Etc!.”), Synder exclaimed “I think in a way Batman v Superman is Man of Steel 2.” Now others, including Henry Cavill, have been on record in the past saying that Dawn of Justice is less of a Superman sequel and more of its own separate thing. But, even with rumors concerning Ben Affleck’s Batman taking over the movie floating around, there is genuine value in continuing to pump the notion that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is indeed a Man of Steel sequel with a bunch of added value elements as opposed to something akin to a Justice League backdoor pilot.

I wrote a few months back that it was in Walt Disney DIS -0.98% interest to sell the upcoming Captain America: Civil War not as a glorified Avengers 2.5 or an Iron Man 4, but rather as a straight-up Captain America 3. The reason for that was simple. The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Iron Man 3 all made over $1 billion worldwide while Captain America: The Winter Soldier made a “mere” $714 million worldwide last year. If the media and the pundit class treats the upcoming Marvel sequel as a glorified Avengers movie, that will increase the film’s box office expectations, perhaps to a level that the film cannot quite reach. It would be great if the film played like an Avengers chapter. But it is just as likely that the film, which stars Steve Rogers and features appearances by Tony Stark and pretty much every major Marvel character along with first-time appearances by Spider-Man and Black Panther, will merely play like a third Captain America film and thus perform just a bit better than The Winter Soldier.

Regardless of how naive that may sound to you, Disney does not want the film going out next May with the bar for success being at the level of an Avengers picture or an Iron Man sequel. I would argue the same situation applies to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Yes, there is hope that this Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman superhero smackdown will absolutely crush the worldwide box office when it drops on March 25th, 2016. But we should remember that Man of Steel, with all the hype in the world and a token connection to the Dark Knight trilogy (thanks to Chris Nolan serving as a producer) ended up with “only” $668m worldwide.  Without dismissing those who genuinely liked and vigorously defended the Superman reboot, the general reception was one of relative indifference. The film barely made more than Thor: The Dark World, which was considered a glorified “time out” entry in the Marvel Phase 2 narrative.

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