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Don’t Blame Superman

Adam Fogelson, Alan Spoon, Alexander von Furstenberg, Amanda Seyfried, Andrew Chang, Angela Bromstad, Anil Ambani, Ann Daly, Anne Globe, Ari Emanuel, Arthur Martinez, Barry Diller, Beastly, Ben Silverman, Bob Iger, Brad Grey, Brian Roberts, Brothers Grimm, Bryan Lourd, Chase Carey, Clark Hallren, Comic-Con, Craig Ring, Craig Smith, Dan Satterthwaite, David Geffen, David Rosenblatt, Donald R. Keough, Donna Langley, Dreamworks Animation, Edgard Bronfman, Electus, Ezra Kucharz, fairy tale movies, Gemma Arterton, Graham Stanton, Greg Blatt, Greg Morrow, Greg Stevens, Gregg Winiarski, Guillermo Del Toro, Hans Woolley, Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters, Harry Brittenham, Harry Sloan, Heather O'Conner, Hey Diddle Diddle, Holly Bario, Jack the Giant Killer, Jason Stewart, Jay Herratti, Jeff Sagansky, Jeff Small, Jeff Weiner, Jeff Zucker, Jeffrey Immelt, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jeremy Renner, Jill Kennedy, Joanne Hawkins, Joey Levin, John Batter, John C. Malone, John Ferriter, John Foley, John Malone, Josh Abramson, Jr., Judson Green, Kara Swisher, Khan Manka, Lew Coleman, Louis Castle, Manka Bros., Mark Sourian, Mark Stein, Melody Hobson, Michael Eisner, Michael J. Montgomery, Michael Schwerdtman, Michael Zeisser, Nathan Myhrvold, Nikki Finke, Notional, On Medea, OnMedea, Paul Allen, Paul Telegdy, Peter Chernin, Phillippe Dauman, Pinnochio, Red Riding Hood, Reliance ADA Group, Rich Sullivan, Richard F. Zannino, Richard Sherman, Rick Finkelstein, Ricky Van Veen, Roger Enrico, Ron Meyer, Rupert Murdoch, Scott Garell, Scott Savitz, Shana Fisher, Sharon Waxman, Snow White and the Seven, Stacey Snider, Steve Burke, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Strauss Zelnick, Sumner Redstone, Terry Semel, Thomas Freston, Thomas J. McInerney, Tina Brown, Tony DiSanto, Victor Kaufman, Walt DisneyToday, I read an analyst report written by Vasily Karasyov of Susquehanna Financial Group titled “The Death of Superheroes”.

Salacious title?  Certainly.

A title that would get the attention of every media executive around the world?  Absolutely.

A title that’s total bullshit?  Definitely.

According to this report, over the past ten years movie studios have plucked 16 superheroes (or super groups) from the obscurity of the basements of geeks and put them smack dab in the global spotlight for everyone to see.

Some have been really good, made lots of money and spawned sequels, rebirths and regurgitations (e.g., “Spider-Man”, “Batman”, “Iron Man”, “X-Men”).

Others were shit and lost a lot of money (basically the rest of them).

For the most part, that’s the way it’s supposed to work.  Good = success.  Bad = no success.

Over that same time, about 2,000 other movies were released to varying degrees of success.  These included huge non-comic book movies like “Harry Potter”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “The Hangover”, and, sure, even Woody Allen’s biggest hit ever “Midnight In Paris”.

So while it seems every other movie that comes out is a comic book movie, nothing could be further from the truth.  But that’s not the point I want to make.

Adam Fogelson, Alan Spoon, Alexander von Furstenberg, Amanda Seyfried, Andrew Chang, Angela Bromstad, Anil Ambani, Ann Daly, Anne Globe, Ari Emanuel, Arthur Martinez, Barry Diller, Beastly, Ben Silverman, Bob Iger, Brad Grey, Brian Roberts, Brothers Grimm, Bryan Lourd, Chase Carey, Clark Hallren, Comic-Con, Craig Ring, Craig Smith, Dan Satterthwaite, David Geffen, David Rosenblatt, Donald R. Keough, Donna Langley, Dreamworks Animation, Edgard Bronfman, Electus, Ezra Kucharz, fairy tale movies, Gemma Arterton, Graham Stanton, Greg Blatt, Greg Morrow, Greg Stevens, Gregg Winiarski, Guillermo Del Toro, Hans Woolley, Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters, Harry Brittenham, Harry Sloan, Heather O'Conner, Hey Diddle Diddle, Holly Bario, Jack the Giant Killer, Jason Stewart, Jay Herratti, Jeff Sagansky, Jeff Small, Jeff Weiner, Jeff Zucker, Jeffrey Immelt, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jeremy Renner, Jill Kennedy, Joanne Hawkins, Joey Levin, John Batter, John C. Malone, John Ferriter, John Foley, John Malone, Josh Abramson, Jr., Judson Green, Kara Swisher, Khan Manka, Lew Coleman, Louis Castle, Manka Bros., Mark Sourian, Mark Stein, Melody Hobson, Michael Eisner, Michael J. Montgomery, Michael Schwerdtman, Michael Zeisser, Nathan Myhrvold, Nikki Finke, Notional, On Medea, OnMedea, Paul Allen, Paul Telegdy, Peter Chernin, Phillippe Dauman, Pinnochio, Red Riding Hood, Reliance ADA Group, Rich Sullivan, Richard F. Zannino, Richard Sherman, Rick Finkelstein, Ricky Van Veen, Roger Enrico, Ron Meyer, Rupert Murdoch, Scott Garell, Scott Savitz, Shana Fisher, Sharon Waxman, Snow White and the Seven, Stacey Snider, Steve Burke, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Strauss Zelnick, Sumner Redstone, Terry Semel, Thomas Freston, Thomas J. McInerney, Tina Brown, Tony DiSanto, Victor Kaufman, Walt DisneyHere’s the point:  People are not tired of Superheroes.  You cannot blame the superhero for the failure of corporate mortals.

If every comic book/superhero movie were unbelievably great, audiences would flock to them and they would all be huge hits.

Seriously, if the studios would have put out 16 awesome, well-made, true to the source comic book movies, they would have had, guaranteed, 16 big hit, profitable movies.

But this didn’t happen and it never will happen.  Why?  Because movie studios always try to make good movies.  Regardless of what some people think, the executives at movie studios are not trying to suck.

Every movie that is made (with all those millions of dollars at stake) start off with a single dream – to be really good and to make money (maybe not in that order).  Everyone, at every level, works very hard to make these films as good as humanly possible.

But somewhere along the chain – from concept to the day of release – something happens to make them suck.

And in most cases, lots of things happen to make them suck.

The movie-making process is subjective.  One person’s gold is another person’s shit.

What Hollywood IS GUILTY OF is genre rape.

Adam Fogelson, Alan Spoon, Alexander von Furstenberg, Amanda Seyfried, Andrew Chang, Angela Bromstad, Anil Ambani, Ann Daly, Anne Globe, Ari Emanuel, Arthur Martinez, Barry Diller, Beastly, Ben Silverman, Bob Iger, Brad Grey, Brian Roberts, Brothers Grimm, Bryan Lourd, Chase Carey, Clark Hallren, Comic-Con, Craig Ring, Craig Smith, Dan Satterthwaite, David Geffen, David Rosenblatt, Donald R. Keough, Donna Langley, Dreamworks Animation, Edgard Bronfman, Electus, Ezra Kucharz, fairy tale movies, Gemma Arterton, Graham Stanton, Greg Blatt, Greg Morrow, Greg Stevens, Gregg Winiarski, Guillermo Del Toro, Hans Woolley, Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters, Harry Brittenham, Harry Sloan, Heather O'Conner, Hey Diddle Diddle, Holly Bario, Jack the Giant Killer, Jason Stewart, Jay Herratti, Jeff Sagansky, Jeff Small, Jeff Weiner, Jeff Zucker, Jeffrey Immelt, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jeremy Renner, Jill Kennedy, Joanne Hawkins, Joey Levin, John Batter, John C. Malone, John Ferriter, John Foley, John Malone, Josh Abramson, Jr., Judson Green, Kara Swisher, Khan Manka, Lew Coleman, Louis Castle, Manka Bros., Mark Sourian, Mark Stein, Melody Hobson, Michael Eisner, Michael J. Montgomery, Michael Schwerdtman, Michael Zeisser, Nathan Myhrvold, Nikki Finke, Notional, On Medea, OnMedea, Paul Allen, Paul Telegdy, Peter Chernin, Phillippe Dauman, Pinnochio, Red Riding Hood, Reliance ADA Group, Rich Sullivan, Richard F. Zannino, Richard Sherman, Rick Finkelstein, Ricky Van Veen, Roger Enrico, Ron Meyer, Rupert Murdoch, Scott Garell, Scott Savitz, Shana Fisher, Sharon Waxman, Snow White and the Seven, Stacey Snider, Steve Burke, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Strauss Zelnick, Sumner Redstone, Terry Semel, Thomas Freston, Thomas J. McInerney, Tina Brown, Tony DiSanto, Victor Kaufman, Walt DisneyOnce one high-concept or genre film hits it really big (i.e., “Alice In Wonderland”) suddenly every studio in town needs to have that high-concept or genre type film in the pipeline ASAP.

Because of “Alice In Wonderland”, over the past year every studio had to have as many fairy tale scripts as they get their hands on including THREE FREAKIN’ “SNOW WHITES”!

My God, even Manka Bros. – my studio – bought the rights to “Hey Diddle Diddle” and plans to spend well over $150 million to produce something we know will fail.  Sorry, boss.

Go down any list of genre and you’ll see one movie that started the entire feeding frenzy.  “Scream” spawned hundreds of crappy horror movies.  “Harry Potter” got everyone out there trying to find the next great children’s fantasy series.  Vampires, zombies… it’s just a case of mass brainlessness.

But here’s the shocker.  What do I think needs to be changed?  Nothing.

Movies should continue to be made and they should be made as well as possible.

Some should be based on comic books because it’s really great source material.

Others should be based on the Bible, or Dickens or Broadway .  Because it’s really great source material.

And yet others should be based on ideas people think up on their own (imagine that!) – because the brain is capable of coming up with a really great source material.

“Hollywood” isn’t broken and the Superhero isn’t dead (Christopher Nolan could turn any deep catalog comic book character into a franchise – even something like “Gerbil Girl”) – everyone involved in the process just needs to concentrate more on entertaining the audience and less on just filling a summer slot.

Accel Partners, Ben Silverman, Bob Iger, Chris Hughes, David Kirkpatrick, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, Gerald Levin, Greylock Partners, HBO, Jeff Bewkes, Jeff Zucker, Jill Kennedy, Joanna Shields, Jon Miller, Khan Manka, Li Ka-shing, Manka Bros., Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg, Matt Cohler, MySpace, Nicolas Carlson, OnMedea, Owen Van Natta, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Rupert Murdoch, Sheryl Sandberg, Sumner Redstone, Toy Story 3Jill Kennedy – OnMedea

P.S. – Why the hell is “Glee” at Comic-Con?  If you want to talk about something that’s dead… it’s Comic-Con.  And IT WAS killed by the movie studios.  If you want a good laugh, read the transcript from Khan Manka, Jr.’s keynote address to last year’s Comic-Con.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://mankabros.com/blogs/onmedea/2011/07/21/dont-blame-superman/

13 comments

1 ping

  1. Molly Glover says:

    I think a real problem is that there isn’t enough shelf space in toy stores to keep trying to have all these “brands”. If the studios would just release good movies whether based on comic books or not and just stop trying to turn everything into all this other stuff we don’t want.

  2. Ra's Al Ghul says:

    That is so not cool, Jill. You are on my list!

    1. Jill Kennedy says:

      For what? I’m standing up for you guys. Even you supervillains. Though I’m not sure I would call you all that “super”.

  3. Gerbil-girl says:

    RETWEET! RETWEET the gerbil-girl shoutout!

  4. Brennan Neil says:

    You’re the S#!t Jill. Thanks for turning me on to the blog. I’ll be sure to stop back for frequent visits.

    1. Jill Kennedy says:

      Thanks Brennan. Are you at Comic-Con?

  5. Gerbil-girl's dad says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Gerbil-girl needs her own movie and needs to get out of the fucking house.

  6. Sal the tack says:

    Thanks for the blog, Jill. How can so many people not know what is good and what is bad. You say it’s subjective but come on, bad is bad. Very few people think a bad movie is good. It’s pretty universal

  7. Captain America says:

    $66 million opening weekend. Any questions? Thanks Jill.

  8. Brennan Neil says:

    LOL, sorry, I just got this. No I left this evening before the True Blood thing. I had to get back east. I just checked back in here now.

  9. T. AKA Ricky Raw says:

    Great article. Agreed with every part except this.

    “Hollywood” isn’t broken and the Superhero isn’t dead (Christopher Nolan could turn any deep catalog comic book character into a franchise – even something like “Gerbil Girl”) – everyone involved in the process just needs to concentrate more on entertaining the audience and less on just filling a summer slot.

    Chris Nolan made some mediocre and overrated Batman movies that benefited from two things. First, nerds with an inferiority complex about their hobby that were just so freaking overjoyed that someone was taking their hero so SERIOUSLY without a hint of camp, especially in light of the Joel Schumacher entries in the previous Bat-franchise. The last two pre-Nolan Batman movies were so bad and campy, that comic fans overcompensating in praising Nolan’s movies, which benefited from the comparison.

    Second, the death of Heath Ledger, plain and simple. This was hands down the biggest help to the movie.

    If not for those two things, people would realize how mediocre Nolan’s superhero movies were, as I describe here:
    http://therawness.com/why-i-hated-the-dark-knight/

    I predict when people come to see the third installment, and it doesn’t have the twin benefits of lowered expectations and the death of a modern James Dean to help it, people will assess that installment more accurately and wonder what went wrong when the first two installments were so good (not realizing that the first two installments actually weren;t as good as they convinced themselves they were).

    1. Jill Kennedy says:

      Hey Ricky – great points and a great analysis on why you hated The Dark Knight. I admit that I did have quite a few problems with TDK (that scene with the Joker hanging upside down was just ridiculous and the two boats with “bombs” or whatever… let’s just say it didn’t end well).

      That said, what Christopher Nolan brings to the equation (and I stand by my statement) is a coolness factor that can’t really be quantified and, so far, not really duplicated by any other directors working in the genre.

      I seriously believe if he would have directed ‘The Green Lantern’, there wouldn’t even be discussions on whether people are tired of comic books. It would have been a much bigger hit and the character would have been perceived as a “cool” character because it probably would have had a darker tone and the look of it would have been less ‘bright green’.

      Non-comic book people need to go to these movies to make them hits and there is something Nolan does (plot holes and all – I mean, how many people really understood “Inception” – but they still thought it was cool) that gets people into the theater.

      ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ will be a very interesting test. I also agree that the death of Heath Ledger brought more people out than would have gone – maybe an extra $200 million – tops? The movie still made $1 billion – so it still would have been a huge hit even if he had not died.

  10. Mjollnir says:

    That was a short controversy.

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