Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
April 9, 2014
Kim Hollis: Rank these superheroes based on your perception of their box office drawing power at the moment. Explain your thought process. Also, when you look at this list, do you worry about superhero fatigue?
4. The X-Men (not including Wolverine)
7. Iron Man
8. The Hulk
9. Captain America
1. Batman - This is a no-brainer for me, since not only has the character featured in three very successful, acclaimed films in the last decade, but he's also had considerable staying power going back to the huge success of the Tim Burton-Michael Keaton films. He even managed to bounce back from two truly horrible installments, something which his DC stablemate Superman has had trouble doing twice now. I could see him being unseated if the Batman-Superman team up doesn't show any growth from Man of Steel, but for the moment he's sitting pretty at the top.
2. Iron Man - Alone or as part of The Avengers, Tony Stark (or at least Robert Downey Jr.) is a huge draw. He was big before The Avengers, and he's even bigger now. The prime reason why I don't put him at number one is that he doesn't have the longevity of Batman, and because the appeal of the character is so tied in to the actor playing him (whereas Batman's had a few face-lifts and done pretty well with most of them). I struggle to imagine a rebooted version of the character being anywhere near as successful as the original live-action iteration, which is a testament to Downey's personal magnetism.
3. Spider-Man - Similar to Batman, what sets Spider-Man apart is that even when you swap a new guy in, the character still appeals to a pretty big audience. Not as big as the old one, admittedly, and the new version is (for me) not as good, but the resilience of the character (and the way that Sony seem convinced that he can spawn a whole Avengers-style universe of spin-offs for them) suggests he's an Iron Man level figure, even if he's faded considerably in the last few years.
4. Captain America - Prior to this weekend, I'd have put Cap a lot further down this list, but The Winter Soldier's opening and tremendous overseas success so far suggests that he has joined the big leagues in a major way.
5. Superman - This might seem a bit low, but bear in mind that, had I been asked this question a year ago, Supes would be even further down. Despite being arguably the most iconic of all superheroes, Clark Kent's had a rough cinematic legacy. The first two were huge by '70s standards, and when adjusted for inflation they stand head and shoulders above the subsequent films, but the third and fourth installments (ESPECIALLY the fourth) basically destroyed all interest in the character as a cinematic property for decades. Even though he came back (twice!) the results were pretty indifferently received, and the fact that his next film needs to be propped up by adding in the number one seed suggests that his drawing power alone has its limits.