What a difference a year makes. Yes, the Avengers has been a huge money making and crowd pleasing hit on a level we haven’t seen in a long time.
And with The Dark Knight Rises hitting July 20, it’s absolutely going to be a great summer for superheroes, which makes the season stand in stark contrast to last year.
Indeed, Green Lantern came out to terrible box office revenues, Cowboys and Aliens was a disaster, X-Men First Class and Captain America received mixed responses, while Thor did pretty good business, though certainly nothing like what we’re seeing now with The Avengers.
And it still remains to be seen if The Green Lantern can find an audience, because the fans did like it, and there was even talk of a sequel.
You may recall when Captain America hit theaters last year and did reasonably well – but not great – Deadline headlined its report “No Weakling, But Is He Summer’s Biggest Superhero?” Deadline also confirmed Captain America outperformed expectations, doing better than Green Lantern and X-Men: First Class.
The reaction to First Class was also kind of “meh,” especially considering the first two films directed by Bryan Singer went a long way in turning comic book movies around post-Batman and Robin. And as Paste magazine noted, “Nearly every comic-book movie has either been great fun (The Dark Knight, Spider-Man, X-Men) or so awful as to elicit anger (Batman and Robin, Spider-Man 3, Fantastic Four, Catwoman). A middling comic-book movie is something of a rarity.”
It is indeed true that superhero films can often elicit polar reactions, and for many fans the worst thing a superhero movie can be is bland or indifferent, yet last summer the superhero films indeed felt kind of blah. Still, we saw Captain America, Iron Man and Thor come back strong as part of the Avengers ensemble, and the comic book movie is in no danger of going away anytime soon. It’s quite clear that a handful of mediocre to pretty good comic flicks from 2011 certainly won’t slow down this summer’s superhero juggernaut.