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Can "Dr. Strange" break the Supernatural Superhero curse?

Discussion in 'Marvel Live-Action Movies and Television' started by the greenman, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. the greenman

    the greenman Well-Known Member

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    Traditionally, supernatural superheroes have rarely been successful in media. To clarify, these are comic book superheroes that are specifically based on some kind of magic, sorcery, or horror elements. I grew up wanting to like these more because I liked Horror films a lot. It has always seemed to me, they rarely get the massive success of other heroes. In fact, the few comics I read that belonged in this category (Swamp Thing, 90's Ghost Rider, Hellboy, Spawn) never really built up enough of a stellar audience, which I attribute to poor stories as well. Not that the stories are bad; these stories are just. . . different. I liked Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom going to get his Mom. I liked a lot of Hellboy, even met Mike Mignola and talked to him about horror fiction. I liked these stories, but didn't really love them as possible film characters.

    I bring this up for two reasons. 1. Dr. strange is obviously in a lived in universe, so that helps. Normally, I think it is kinda difficult for audiences to separate horror from adventure in their minds. Horror and comedy works like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Even some sci-fi can be mixed with horror if done correctly, like Harold Ramis and Dan Akyroyd's brilliant Ghost Busters. Rarely, have I seen films where the main protagonist is meant to be a superhero specifically against supernatural forces. Yes, television has been successful with X-Files, Buffy, and Supernatural, but not so much on film. I suspect because they television world has time to set the parameters of the universe lived in for the heroes. They give us week-after-week of levity with real-life issues of the characters to balance something that comes from the great beyond. In films, we have a limited time to get from point A to B, and the audience may or may not accept the heroism very quickly.

    2. These films are kinda difficult to market. Does it go before an audience expecting blood and guts, only to not really deliver? Does it go for the niche comic fans, which will not be coming out in droves like say Spider-Man or Batman? However, Dr. Strange has a chance to change things by stepping into a lived-in universe. Where Marvel failed me with introducing us to The Mandarin, they can make up here.

    The films such as: Swamp Thing, Blade, Hellboy, Ghost Rider, and Blade have been marginally successful.

    Spawn (1997)

    Domestic:


    $54,870,175


    62.5%

    + Foreign:


    $32,969,867


    37.5%

    = Worldwide:


    $87,840,042



    Blade Series (1998-2004)

    $204,847,943

    Hellboy (2004)

    Domestic:


    $59,623,958


    60.0%

    + Foreign:


    $39,695,029


    40.0%

    = Worldwide:


    $99,318,987



    Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008)

    Domestic:


    $75,986,503


    47.4%

    + Foreign:


    $84,401,560


    52.6%

    = Worldwide:


    $160,388,063



    Constantine (2005)

    Domestic:


    $75,976,178


    32.9%

    + Foreign:


    $154,908,550


    67.1%

    = Worldwide:


    $230,884,728



    Ghost Rider (2007)

    Domestic:


    $115,802,596


    50.6%

    + Foreign:


    $112,935,797


    49.4%

    = Worldwide:


    $228,738,393



    Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)

    Domestic:


    $51,774,002


    39.1%

    + Foreign:


    $80,789,928


    60.9%

    = Worldwide:


    $132,563,930



    Can Dr. Strange even get close to half a billion?
     
  2. Neo Ultra Mike

    Neo Ultra Mike Creeping Shadow of "15000"+ Posts

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    Well you also have to remember that a lot of those heroes also didn't have as much recognizability of the main heroes which at the time, was a much larger key factor. And granted some did well (again if Blade wasn't a hit, we likely wouldn't have the Marvel movies we know of today as no one would of tried to keep chasing what Wesley Snipes achieved back in 1998) but a lot of those films were in an age where regardless of quality, it really depended more on the spread of the source material that determined how well it would do. Which isn't as much of an issue today. Plus technology with CGI and other factors have come a lot further to better impliment the abilities and locations and trappings of a Doctor Strange story then you would of had before.

    And honestly I do see the character doing well. In fact better then Ant-Man since not only is Benedict Cumberbatch kind of a more well known leading man in this sort of thing then Paul Rudd, but the powers and name recognition will probably appease your average film viewer more then Scott Lang's outing. Not to mention that Steven Strange using magic does make him stand out more then just another person in a super suit and the like so again I see this doing well. This will also be our first MCU outing that isn't focused so much on the origin story I believe so that will be worth checking out as well.
     
  3. the greenman

    the greenman Well-Known Member

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    I would say Dr. Strange could be more successful than Ant-Man, which I just barely liked. So long as they don't throw in guest appearances to help it along, I'd be fine.

    I think Swamp Thing (from the late Wes Craven) was a marginal cult hit for its time. It was nothing like the comic from that time, when Alan Moore came along. I think the character in media was seen as a reaction to Incredible Hulk (tv series). However, it or its sequel never got supernatural, until the Swamp Thing tv series in the 90's. I use Ghost Busters as a comparison of how a supernatural superhero IP can be successful to some degree. Nothing has reached those heights imho. For films, I just believe it's very difficult to convince the audience to approach a property with horror elements along with a superhero protagonist as our focal point. Unless it's done in comedic tones like GB, Big Trouble in Little China or Evil Dead 2, but as a straight on adaptation, tone may be too much for audiences to accept.

    Sent from my LGMS323 using Tapatalk
     

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