We’re a week away from our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler’s return to form and the buzz on the street is, well, tepid at best. Sony, in an effort to maintain rights over the Marvel character went in a dicey direction by rebooting a trilogy that’s only ten years old (five, if you count from the third).
And while its July 4th release date slates it to be the big summer blockbuster of the likes of Transformers 1 & 2, Men In Black, Armageddon, Terminator 2 and, of course, Independence Day, I’m going to go out on a daring limb and say that, instead, this July 4th firework is doomed to be a dud.
Before I explain my reasons, though, let me be clear: when I say the new Spidey will fail, I mean that by the literal definition which is to “be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal.” A studio makes a movie so that it can make a profit and while I do believe that The Amazing Spiderman will open to numbers upwards, but not quite at $100 million (over 6 days), the film cost the studios an estimated $220 million to make. Do the math and that means it has to gross $500 million (split costs with theaters) just to break even. What that means is that should the film makes impressive numbers initially, it has a long way to go before it recoops its costs, yet alone turns a profit. (For a good example of this, see John Carter which made nearly $300 million worldwide and was seen as the straw that almost broke Disney’s back.) So, without further ado, here are the reasons why Sony’s blockbuster may just end up being a buster.
1. Joss Whedon - The Avengers flew into action earlier this year and swept the box offices, breaking land speed records in money making. It is ironic that The Avengers should be Spiderman’s competitor considering, in the comics, he is actually a member of the team (and you should note that if not for this reboot by Sony, Universal would have acquired the rights and put him on the team). Looking at the numbers it appears the entire world saw Tony Stark et al kick ass (some more than once) not that long ago. A lot of adults feel superhero’ed out for the moment, especially considering that The Dark Knight Rises comes out in only a few weeks. Which actually brings us to…
2. Batman - Christopher Nolan’s series has been one of the most successful in Hollywood history and coming off the record breaking film The Dark Knight, fanboys are practically creaming their seats in anticipation for the upcoming finale. The Dark Knight Rises is likely to be the hit of the summer and swooping into action a mere two weeks after Spidey’s release only gives the web slinger two solid shots to make its money before falling into inevitable obscurity.
3. The Savages - Oliver Stone hasn’t been box office dynamite in years, but the Platoon director is a man whose resume deserves a little respect in the industry. When he wrapped production on his Rated R bloodbath romper, The Savages, he could have chosen any weekend to open his new film. When did he and the studios choose? You guessed it: July 4. What this shows me is that Fox Searchlight has no confidence in Peter Parker’s ability to attract adult audiences (he’s a snarky skateboarder in this one for Christ’s sake). And this is mainly due to the fact that…
4. It’s Too Goddamned Soon - Sure, any pubescent male who gets aroused by a stiff wind will flock to the theaters to see this reboot (which will be an original to them), but the adult audience remembers Tobey Maguire’s take all too well. We just paid $10 to see Spiderman a few years back, another $20 for the Bluray when that shit came out and we’re bombarded by it every time we turn on FX. And now Sony wants more from us? No thanks. And this is the sentiment that is going to be the nail in the coffin for Spiderman, allowing it a “big” opening and a maybe-break-even worldwide success, but overall, a failure by all industry regards.
Written by Jared Pulliam
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