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The Soon Rapid Deline of The Superhero Genre


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Unfortunately, I share the same outlook as this YouTube poster about the probable rapid demise of the superhero genre, as a commercially viable film genre. It is not as if people are getting sick of heroes, it’s just that the people in charge of various media hire writers that can’t write or even conceive of proper heroes, only deconstruct them in an environment that lacks a moral center  If your curious, take a look  

 

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1 hour ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Unfortunately, I share the same outlook as this YouTube poster about the probable rapid demise of the superhero genre, as a commercially viable film genre. It is not as if people are getting sick of heroes, it’s just that the people in charge of various media hire writers that can’t write or even conceive of proper heroes, only deconstruct them in an environment that lacks a moral center  If your curious, take a look  

 

 

I do agree with him about the current generation of writers not being able to write proper heroes. But he lost all his credibility when he said that Walker did nothing wrong. Yes, his partner was killed, but the terrorist(no disagreement there) Walker killed was not the one who killed his partner and he had surrendered. Walker beat him to death after his surrender and only after the adrenaline wore off did he realize what he'd done. He was so out of control he didn't realize that he was on a city street surrounded by civilian bystanders. Walker was still functioning purely as a soldier and not as a heroic symbol. He failed at both and his court-martial and discharge were warranted even if he got off with a reduced sentence. 

 

He didn't get cooperation from Sam and Bucky because they had different missions and different methods. Yes, they could have been nicer to the newbs, but Walker was working as a sanctioned operative and they were definitely free agents.

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    No trend goes onward and upward forever. Eventually the interest in movies with superheroes will peter out.  But the important thing is that this genre that we love has proved to be a profitable one. The same as Westerns, Spy films, Sports movies or science fiction.  
  Hollywood will continue to create any product that will make them money. The frequency of “comic book” movies may decrease but they will continue.  And perhaps the winnowing process may even make the films that do come out even better.

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31 minutes ago, dmjalund said:

as a counterpoint, may I present Superman & Lois TV series that gets Superman very right

This is true, and I make an effort to watch it as I don’t have broadcast, or cable TV. But it is worth the effort.  Other than the better than TV effects it feels like a good show from 2012. 

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Yes, that seems to be it. In another thread Spence noted that in current year, the first season of a television show was great, and once they hooked you in, they would bury you in agenda. What really Torx me off, is taking properties originally made for boys, and emasculating at heroic male, and replacing theme theme with yet another “female empowerment “ story or, more often, a Mary Sue. The heroes journey resonates with almost everyone in the western world. Yet there are too many characters in today’s entertainment with unearned power, And that never have a real struggle or contest. Notice how low the stakes are in a current year show. 

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Up until 10 or 15 years ago, the commercially viable superhero film genre didn't even exist. Oh sure, we can talk about the Christopher Reeves Superman movies (at least the first two) and various Batman movies of differing quality, but beyond that, superhero movies really weren't a thing. There were also a couple of decent X-Men movies, followed by a lot more that frankly were terrible. Then Iron Man came along, followed by a whole slew of other Marvel movies. DC / Warner tried their hand at superhero world building (and largely failed, IMHO). The Incredibles was in there too, of course.

 

A lot of these movies have been critical in financial successes; several others have just been crap. But as a respected and lucrative film genre, it's been a very recent thing.

 

So no, the superhero movie genre won't last forever. But it'll be back eventually. Do you remember a film called Cutthroat Island? It starred Geena Davis, and it was a horrible flop. It basically killed the pirate movie genre for a lot of years. And then the Disney folks decided to make their Pirates of the Caribbean ride into a movie, and suddenly pirate movies were a thing again. The wheel turns.

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There is always going to be hero movies with various degrees of coolness in them. But the creators will try to put their own idea of a concept on the character if it is already established. It's what I call professional fanfiction which pervades the comic industry where a writer comes in and places some idea in the storyverse that he likes and rips up what came before only to have his own ideas ripped up by the next writer with his own idea. Any complaint is met with you don't appreciate my genius and you should read something else. I don't even read comic books any more in part because of this. Why read something when it doesn't matter? Why read something when its writer is gutting the history of the character to do his own take?

 

Cyborg, founding member of the League, Hoorah!

What about his status as the backer of the 80's Titans?

Nobody cares about that

CES       

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But what is killing it, isn’t that it’s a genre on its way out, because I think there are a lot of stories you can tell within that genre. 84 years of Superhero stories prove that. No, what is killing it is an inability, or an unwritten prohibition of celebrating masculine heroism. Note that when Marvel and DC took their eye off the ball, their sales tanked. And the movies are embracing these recent trends and will soon follow suit.

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8 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

But what is killing it, isn’t that it’s a genre on its way out, because I think there are a lot of stories you can tell within that genre. 84 years of Superhero stories prove that. No, what is killing it is an inability, or an unwritten prohibition of celebrating masculine heroism. Note that when Marvel and DC took their eye off the ball, their sales tanked. And the movies are embracing these recent trends and will soon follow suit.

 

I hear this a lot from the same group of posters, but I've yet to see the evidence. Which movies tanked for Marvel?

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13 minutes ago, Ternaugh said:

 

I hear this a lot from the same group of posters, but I've yet to see the evidence. Which movies tanked for Marvel?

Black Widow hasn’t made its money back. But the American pamphlet comic book is further along the curve as reader tastes have moved on to Manga. Comicrhron has had a very accurate breskdown of comic sales, until the distribution situation changed radically last year due to Covid. No it’s up to estimates. But general sales are in decline. https://www.comichron.com
 

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24 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Black Widow hasn’t made its money back. But the American pamphlet comic book is further along the curve as reader tastes have moved on to Manga. Comicrhron has had a very accurate breskdown of comic sales, until the distribution situation changed radically last year due to Covid. No it’s up to estimates. But general sales are in decline. https://www.comichron.com
 

 

Black Widow has grossed $315M so far ($154M of that being domestic).  It hasn't opened in China, which is probably limiting worldwide grosses. All that said, it'll probably have the highest domestic gross of any of the summer releases, due to the effects of the pandemic on movie attendance.

 

Quote

I’d still assume a Chinese release after the blackout period, but likely piracy will likely suppress what could have a $125-$155 million gross. Without China, Black Widow may not get to $400 million worldwide in raw theatrical earnings. It’s still likely to be the biggest domestic earner of the summer. If the Disney+ “Premier Access” availability is indeed a temporary fix for a temporary problem, then releasing Black Widow now was a matter of getting it off the docket so that bigger, more surefire hits like Spider-Man: Far from Home, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder could step up. Black Widow was never going to be Thor 3-huge. That it ended up closer to Thor than Thor 2 is a single result of a singular circumstance.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2021/07/24/box-office-space-jam-plunges-77-on-friday-black-widow-fails-to-get-a-bounce/?sh=78c562554a22

 

 

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I don't tire of superhero movies. I just tire of action movies that pretend to be superhero movies. Naturally, that statement is entirely based on my personal definition of "superhero", which not everybody shares. So the movies that disappoint me don't necessarily disappoint others, and the trends that make me weary don't necessarily make others weary, etc. I think that as long as Marvel keeps mixing things up--at least a little--in their MCU movies, there should be something for everyone, even me. As for DC, well, I lost faith in them a long time ago, and not even the first Wonder Woman movie was able to change that. They are a lost cause as far as I'm concerned, and I won't be looking to them to supply me with any superhero entertainment worth my time.

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1 hour ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Black Widow hasn’t made its money back. But the American pamphlet comic book is further along the curve as reader tastes have moved on to Manga. Comicrhron has had a very accurate breskdown of comic sales, until the distribution situation changed radically last year due to Covid. No it’s up to estimates. But general sales are in decline. https://www.comichron.com
 


   Between the movie not opening in China AND being released same day on Disney+ AND part of the public still being uncomfortable with gathering in large groups AND female leads in action movies often being weaker draws at the box office the figures aren’t going to work themselves out for quite a while.

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3 hours ago, Pariah said:

Up until 10 or 15 years ago, the commercially viable superhero film genre didn't even exist. Oh sure, we can talk about the Christopher Reeves Superman movies (at least the first two) and various Batman movies of differing quality, but beyond that, superhero movies really weren't a thing. There were also a couple of decent X-Men movies, followed by a lot more that frankly were terrible. Then Iron Man came along, followed by a whole slew of other Marvel movies. DC / Warner tried their hand at superhero world building (and largely failed, IMHO). The Incredibles was in there too, of course.

 

A lot of these movies have been critical in financial successes; several others have just been crap. But as a respected and lucrative film genre, it's been a very recent thing.

 

So no, the superhero movie genre won't last forever. But it'll be back eventually. Do you remember a film called Cutthroat Island? It starred Geena Davis, and it was a horrible flop. It basically killed the pirate movie genre for a lot of years. And then the Disney folks decided to make their Pirates of the Caribbean ride into a movie, and suddenly pirate movies were a thing again. The wheel turns.


I like much of what you posted, but you forgot the first Spider-Man film which had a record opening weekend. That showed average people were willing to watch a niche genre, thus taking it mainstream. 

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I stopped the video about 1/3rd of the way because it was evident to me that he was mostly just harping on DC, and I don't need to be reminded of just how misguided and inept WB/DC is. But the future of the genre isn't dependent on them; they've managed to make themselves almost completely irrelevant, in my view. I'd say that as long as Feige is in charge of Marvel Studios, the future of the genre on film is still pretty bright. And the fact that he has successfully supplemented big-screen MCU with connected small-screen content shows that there is still an awful lot of life still left in the genre.

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6 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

But what is killing it, isn’t that it’s a genre on its way out, because I think there are a lot of stories you can tell within that genre. 84 years of Superhero stories prove that. No, what is killing it is an inability, or an unwritten prohibition of celebrating masculine heroism. Note that when Marvel and DC took their eye off the ball, their sales tanked. And the movies are embracing these recent trends and will soon follow suit.

 

The real issue is that there have not been 84 years of Superhero stories.  SuperHERO stories declined to almost vanish by the early 90's.  Comics have managed to continue to the present, though American comics appear to be on their last gasp, even their parent companies and associated movie studios have been commenting how they are not necessary to make Superhero movies.   The early MCU movies were great because they brought characters to the screen that could have been plucked from any of their comics from creating to 1990.  But when they started to "get more relevant" or "write more modern" versions it began to tank.  Now that they have firmly and publicly established that male characters are considered bad and a white male character is toxic and must be written out of the story.    Anyone that disagrees is automatically a misogynist and a representation of ultimate evil.  

 

When they cast Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck there was criticism and low confidence at the announcement.  Not because of what the SJW's called sexism or misogyny, but because people had already experienced how Hollywood tends to gut the the core concepts of show they "remake".  But when they saw how Sackoff played the part and how the part was written the majority of the audience liked it.  Because it was a good portrayal and today when someone is talking BSG and mentions Starbuck, Sackoff is the face everyone visualizes.

 

The Ghostbusters remake didn't tank because the cast was female.  It tanked because it wasn't funny.  To me 90+ minutes of potty jokes, bad mouthing people and cussing isn't funny.  There are a lot of series and movies that people call comedy I don't like either.

 

If it is evil and wrong for a white woman (Scarlett Johannson) to play Kusanagi (despite the creator of the original creator Mamoru Oshii saying it perfectly OK because Kusanagi's body was not human and could have any shell) then it is equally evil to change any characters race or sex.  Period.  Evil is Evil.  Wrong is Wrong.  It is not on a sliding scale determined by who did it.

 

An actors profession is playing someone or something that they are not. 

 

In the upcoming Dune they are changing Liet-Kynes from a man to a black woman.  Notice I said man without a ethnic designation.  While I remember that Liet-Kynes was referred to as he, I do not recall anything beyond "long sandy hair, a sparse beard" and "Blue-on-blue eyes" from spice that would actually indicate race.  For the Imperial Ecologist to be a man or a woman is actually irrelevant.  For a background character with limited time in the story it doesn't matter.  But if they made the Duke a woman or Jessica a man, the entire story would collapse.  Not to mention they would be "_______"washing another original character concept.

 

The biggest and most evil concept in the modern world is the idea of "conditional evil" or conditionally offensive".  

A curse word is either bad or it is not bad. There is no inbetween.

 

Back to Hollywood and their movies it is really simple.  Stop putting out products that follow a clearly visible path of hatred or discrimination toward a segment of the population.  If you do, a major number of that segment of the population will not buy that product. 

 

Men are not genetically evil

Straight white males are not genetically evil.

 

If you make it your position to call them that and alter your products to portray and promote that view, then Men and Straight White Males will not pay money to see it.   

Simple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, zslane said:

I stopped the video about 1/3rd of the way because it was evident to me that he was mostly just harping on DC, and I don't need to be reminded of just how misguided and inept WB/DC is. But the future of the genre isn't dependent on them; they've managed to make themselves almost completely irrelevant, in my view. I'd say that as long as Feige is in charge of Marvel Studios, the future of the genre on film is still pretty bright.

Well later, he does get into Feige, and specifically the moral confusion of the Disney + Marvel shows. 

4 hours ago, Bazza said:

Re YouTube video: the guy gets it, but it applies more widely than he thinks. It’s not just heroism, but other ideals as well. 

Oh definitely. It can apply to Merit, punctuality, mathematical precision, good grammar, self reliance, the nuclear family, and the truth. It’s a broad spectrum cultural deconstruction. 

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1 hour ago, Spence said:

When they cast Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck there was criticism and low confidence at the announcement.  Not because of what the SJW's called sexism or misogyny, but because people had already experienced how Hollywood tends to gut the the core concepts of show they "remake".  But when they saw how Sackoff played the part and how the part was written the majority of the audience liked it.  Because it was a good portrayal and today when someone is talking BSG and mentions Starbuck, Sackoff is the face everyone visualizes.

 


Not everyone has seen the new BSG so the face of Starbuck they remember is the actor who played Templeton Peck. ;) 
 

Mostly agree with the rest. 
 

 

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30 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Well later, he does get into Feige, and specifically the moral confusion of the Disney + Marvel shows. 

Oh definitely. It can apply to Merit, punctuality, mathematical precision, good grammar, self reliance, the nuclear family, and the truth. It’s a broad spectrum cultural deconstruction. 


I was thinking more along the lines of universals (or platonic ideals). They (objective reality) were largely replaced around the Enlightenment with “consensus reality” (cf Rousseau). And nowadays that consensus has broken down to philosophical nominalism. 
 

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11 hours ago, Bazza said:


I was thinking more along the lines of universals (or platonic ideals). They (objective reality) were largely replaced around the Enlightenment with “consensus reality” (cf Rousseau). And nowadays that consensus has broken down to philosophical nominalism. 
 

Well nothing Rousseau posited fits with how humans actually work, and consensus reality is just silly. Funny how Rousseau is considered the father of Marx. 

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