The Superhero Movie Bubble is Bursting
With the recent luke-warm release of Marvel’s “Ant-Man” and the poor reception of 20th Century Fox’s “Fantastic Four” reboot, CineMax and LaughingMan openly question whether or not the comic book movie bubble is (finally) bursting. Not that the two aren’t anxious to see the tongue-in-cheek appearance of Deadpool on the big screen, but in the long-running imagination ineptitude of Hollywood studios -where each studio is actively banking on select ‘sure fire’ franchises- the erosion and decay of these “XX-year franchise outlooks- could be the best thing that could happen to film-making. After all, the vicious cycle has all happened before in the past, bringing to the creative film-making forefronts legendary directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and even George Lucas.
The history of Hollywood shows a vicious circle thanks largely to studio interference: First, studio financiers over-produce films to the point where they are risking far too much money on a chance. Thus, they break out “the spreadsheets” to hedge their bets on popular trends and recognizable franchises. However, this creates a bubble of similar content that the movie-going public will quickly tire of. Seeking something new, the works of fresh, visionary film-makers become popular because of either their unique visions, storytelling abilities, or radically new and daring techniques. When studios discover these rapidly rising savants -many of them film-nerds who have a deep and profound passion and insight into film-making- they sign them on with larger budgets and fairly loose rules. Eventually, the studios will see a director’s most successful niche and request that they don’t deviate from a formula that has proven critically and monetarily successful. With budgets increasing exponentially, the studios dig themselves too deep to take a chance on a new idea, and demand more control over the films. And thus, the bubble bursts, and the cycle continues onward.
And with “Ant-Man” and “Fantastic Four”, the tell-tale signs of the bubble bursting are already apparent: “Ant-Man” director Edgar Wright was reported to have left over “creative differences” with Marvel Studios, while “Fantastic Four” director Josh Trank blames similar studio interference with the failure of his “Fantastic Four” reboot. So, how will the XX-year franchise plans of Marvel Studios, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, and even Disney fare when directors are chained down by corporate bureaucracy, and film-goers have finally had enough of the trend?
Ant-Man scores smallest Marvel debut US box office since The Incredible Hulk
“Fantastic Four (2015)” RottenTomatoes.com
Josh Trank Blames Studio Interference For Ruining ‘Fantastic Four
“Joss Whedon Says Edgar Wright’s ‘Ant-Man’ Script Was The Best Marvel Ever Had”
Ant-Man Gets New Director, Writer, and Official Synopsis