Judge: Welcome to the latest edition of “Objection!” It’s been a while, and this one is coming out a day late due to me being extremely tired yesterday (and pondering about the NBA Finals). Today Silverwolf and I will be talking about which summer comic movie will be the most “successful. This is also part of my “Batman Extravaganza.” Let’s begin. As you should know, The Avengers has released to critical acclaim and huge fan support. And it’s already grossed 1.4 billion dollars. I don’t know if the The Dark Knight Rises can match it.
Silverwolf: I would argue that TDKR can beat it.
Judge: I just can’t see it. A lot of people loved The Dark Knight and for good reason: it was a great movie. But with huge success, comes lofty expectations for the sequel. I don’t think anyone is going to argue that Christopher Nolan is not a great story teller. The plot of TDKR should be moar complex and mature than The Avengers. But unlike most, I don’t think Nolan is godly.
Silverwolf: Well, here’s my main argument: The Avengers is a great movie, but in my eyes, it appealed mostly to the action movie crowd and the comic book fandom. The Dark Knight trilogy, however, has broader appeal, and even more “sophisticated” types enjoy watching the films. As a result, I feel there’s a broader spectrum of people TDKR will appeal to. As a great example, most of my family members would never see The Avengers, but all of them saw Batman Begins and probably will see TDKR.
Judge: I don’t think that’s quite right. I think you have it backwards. The Avengers is a classic popcorn flick with broader appeal. It also resonates better with younger families. Moar casuals will want to see it. The Dark Knight with its complex themes, dark tone, and violence just doesn’t cut it. It falls in between The Avengers and Watchmen in terms of mass appeal. Never underestimate the family crowd, which has proven to be a ticket seller. I have already seen countless forums where parents have said they won’t take their young kids to see TDKR.
Silverwolf: All right, point taken. But I’m still of the opinion that the majority of people who saw The Avengers will see TDKR anyway. In terms of merchanidising, however, I won’t even try to say The Avengers won’t win. They’ve got that nailed down and in the bag, mainly for the reason that there’s just so much stuff for the kids.
Judge: I mean, I’m not saying TDKR will be bad; everyone who saw the last film will see this one. Most who saw The Avengers will see TDKR too, as you pointed out. But going back to expecatations, I said Nolan was good, not godly. Can he pull the same magic again? I really do feel TDK was enhanced due to the (un)timely death of Heath Ledger. And it was largely Ledger’s performance which carried that film. Tom Hardy’s Bane can’t do that.
Silverwolf: Well, don’t forget about Anne Hathaway as Catwoman; we haven’t seen much of her in the trailers, but I get the feeling that she’ll definitely surprise people in a positive way. She seems like such an unlikely choice for Catwoman that Nolan definitely has some clever ideas lined up for the character. And I’m guessing you’re excited as a Catwoman fan yourself
Judge: Oh yeah, I was definitely one of the fans who was not “disappointed” with Hathaway’s casting. You do make a point though; we haven’t seen much of her. Much like Hathaway, Ledger’s casting was criticized (at first). But his death combined with trailers of his interpretation and then finally the movie itself silenced any criticism. I’m still hearing a lot of skepticism about Hathaway. I dont’ doubt one bit she won’t be amazing since she’s an awesome actress, but again, Ledger’s death helped amplify his amazing performance. Also, speaking of trailers, the final TDKR trailer came out today (19th), and I’ve been reading a lot of “meh” by some fans.
Silverwolf: Well, I’ll be honest and say I haven’t seen it yet. But, in the end, I think trailers can only do so much. Heck, the trailer for Captain America: The First Avenger was pretty boring in my opinion, but the movie itself was spectacular.
Judge: Yeah, but this all goes back to expectations. TDKR has massive expectations. Big difference. It’s the nature of the beast of the sequel. The last point I’m going to make is about the international market. TDK and The Avengers both eclipsed one billion dollars, but TDK only had roughly 460 million in international theaters. The Avengers? Roughly 800 milllion. The Avengers resonates moar with the average joe as I said earlier. Overseas, where many people don’t follow comics as closely, will see The Avengers and go “oooh ahhh.”
Silverwolf: Hm…well knowing that my next point is weaker. But I’d argue that Batman is the more recognizable character. In fact, a lot of people, myself included, argue that the biggest problem with making a Justice League film is that Batman and Superman will eclipse everyone immensely, whereas with The Avengers all the characters are about equally known to the general public. Given Batman’s status as a pop culture icon, I feel that his name alone will help sell the movie.
Judge: Yeah Batman is definitely moar recognizable. But international markets were already super interested in TDK because of Ledge’rs death. And still it only grossed 460 million. Without a big siginificant event like Ledger’s death, I can’t see TDKR eclipsing The Avengers 800 million dollars in the international market.
Silverwolf: Point taken, but also given that it’s the well-known “end of an era,” more people might be drawn to it. Nolan said he’s done with Batman after this, as did Christian Bale.
Judge: True. That’s a good piont. I dont know, I really just feel TDKR is lacking that HUGE pre-launch punch. It has punch, but not that HUGE punch. And quickly, I hope they (Nolan and Bale) don’t leave depiste what they say. I just can’t see how they’ll do a Justice League movie without continuing the current Batman films in some respect.
Silverwolf: True enough. Well, the big “punch” could be Batman’s death. It’s not confirmed, but some people think Nolan will kill off Batman. I’m not sure if he will, but if so then that will DEFINITELY draw more crowds.
Judge: If that’s the case, then that will defiinitye be the knockout blow.
Silverwolf: Yeah, I am not sure what I feel, but if done right (and I have faith in Nolan) it could be absolutely amazing.
Judge: Hmm. But I could also see fans getting pissed. It NEEDS to be done right to resonate well. Anything less and people will be turned off. There will still be people turned off no matter what happens.
Silverwolf: Yeah, think about Death of Superman; that one issue sold more copies than any comic DC ever released, maybe more than any comic ever. But when they brought Supes back, and the way they did, they ended up pissing off fans so much that sales of Action Comics dropped significantly and never recovered. So yeah, Batman’s death, if done, must be handled with finesse.
Judge: Yeah, look at the way fans responded to Optimus Prime’s death. But anyways, we can both agree that both films will be good, and as fans, we’re spoiled this summer. Even The Amazing Spider-Man almost made a crossover with The Avengers. *Crosses fingers for Spider-Man in The Avengers 2*
Silverwolf: That’d be awesome…we can pray. Anyways, I think this is an interesting topic, and I guess we’ll have our answer in about a month when The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters.