In the wake of Marvels recent release of about 50 new movies that they are planning to make in the coming years, I got to thinking about a few things.
I have been thinking for some time that the comics industry, with the help of the movies, is absolutely booming right now. Yes I know that it does one take a mental heavyweight to figure that out. For Marvel it has been a long and slow process but they have grown the industry into a multibillion dollar cash cow. DC has been more established in movies for some time, Superman in the early 80’s and Batman from the 90’s on and the remerging of both of these titles in recent years. With all the success of the superhero movies I got to thinking it has only been going up, when will it all come crashing down?
I have thought that there will be a time when no one will care about the new (insert hero) movie that will be coming out, but honestly I don’t think that will ever happen. I think that the recent success is here to stay for a long long time. Here is why I think so: All these new movies are based on characters that are 50 to 60 years old, some older than that, so they already have a very loyal fan base. Many fans have been reading about these character for most of their lives regardless of if you are a DC or a Marvel fan. Even Image who is the new kid on the block has characters that are close to 20 years old, I do not know of any movies they have in the works but you see where even they have a well established fan base and if they were to do a movie starring one of them could be equally as successful.
That is one part of the equation, the other part is that the insane fandom and the seriousness that fans have. No matter if these movies are absolutely terrible, which I think most have been very well done other than Green Lantern (Honestly I did not think it was that bad, but after all the negative reviews I expected to be the worst movie ever made. I think it was bad but not as terrible as everyone made it out to be.), fans will still see them because they love the characters and are fans of the genre or the comics. I believe that the comic industry is in the most unique niche and is finally ready to make a very long and successful run on the silver screen.
Look back at all the Batman moves made in the 90’s. Other then the first one with Michael Keaton, which I was not that big of a fan of, most were still a huge success. Then remember all the terrible ones with Val Kilmer and George Clooney, those were bad no other way to put it, but they still sold tickets and people wanted to see it. There are very few things that you can go to any part of the world and a different culture will recognize these characters. I am almost certain that if you take the Superman symbol, Batman symbol, Spiderman symbol to different cultures around the world most will recognize this iconic symbols. That is brand recognition that it is almost impossible to buy and only comes with an established product or character that has been around for 50 plus years.
Most movies that are released always introduce brand new characters. Very few times, maybe if the movie is based on a book such as the Harry Potter series, does a movie have a large fan base before it hits the silver screen. But novels are so much different than comics and I would bet that even the longest novel series probably spans no more than 10 books and that is just a wild guess and even a series that is that long has a very slim chance to be made into a movie. My point is that even with a large series of books its seems harder to keep a story going as opposed to comics, which can pretty much go on more or less forever. I think this has more to do with the two mediums at play as novels come to an end one way or the other and comics are famous for almost always having another issue or another story or a new bad guy to fight the hero. So there again the uniqueness of the medium plays into the success of the industry. Writers truly do have an entire universe, whether it be the DC or the Marvel Universe, a plethora of characters, and endless storylines that can be used in making a movie.
I do not think there is any end in sight for the success of the comic industry or the movies. I will admit that I am mostly talking about the movies and am not sure if that success will translate into more comics sales, but if I were a betting man I would have to say that it cannot hurt. Even if some of these movies bomb there will just be another one or a new reboot for the character. Look at the Spiderman movies. In the span if a few short years there has already been a complete trilogy and a reboot for the character which included two additional movies. Now there are some talks in the works that Marvel will get the movie rights back for the web slinger, so that means more movies and possibly another reboot, all of which will make lots and lots of money because people love the character. Not only that but with Marvels record right now, if the character does revert back to Marvel the new movies will probably be so much better!
The comic industry is in the perfect position to make a long very financially profitable run. It has taken close to a century to establish, and there were some bad times for the industry, but the fruits of their labor are finally paying off. There is a saying that goes, what goes up must come down. There is also another saying, there is an exception to every rule, and I see no end in sight for the comic industry. I have not even mentioned how the comic cons around the country are now growing bigger and attracting more and more people every year now. So in my opinion the industry is ready to explode if it has not done so already. In closing I will add that I have been wrong before, it was a long time ago I think in 1995, but I think this prediction is a safe bet.