Supercharged Reasons Superhero Movies Are So Popular
Back in 2008, the first installment of the Marvel franchise, Ironman, was released, causing a chain reaction that nobody in the industry could have foreseen. Since then, dozens of Avengers-themed movies have featured on the silver screen to critical acclaim, and that’s without adding in the DC Comic films.
Black Widow, the latest superhero movie, is set to hit the theaters this year, although the date may be pushed back because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Whether you like them or not, and Martin Scorsese is among those who don’t seem to, there’s no arguing that superheroes are popular. The worldwide box office numbers for these movies is in the billions, which proves how hot fans are for them currently.
Of course, it’s easy to see the escapism and think you understand these films. However, there is more to them underneath their capes and green skin. Here are the supercharged reasons for their success.
The Underdog Agenda
It’s hard to think of superheroes as underdogs because they spend most of their time kicking ass and cashing checks. But, almost all of them came from underprivileged backgrounds, excluding Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne. Captain America was a puny kid who wanted to serve his country, Superman was an alien from another planet who was bullied in school, and Spider-man is a teenager with ‘great responsibilities.’
Sure, they may rise to the occasion and change their clothes along the way, but superheroes are never too far from their past. And, that’s what makes them so relatable and loveable, traits that audiences can’t get enough of in a time when culture is brash, vulgar, and nasty. It’s one thing defeating an arrogant enemy, but it’s another when you’re a working-class person who comes from the bottom.
The underdog theme is a significant part of superhero movies, and fans wouldn’t have it any other way.
In the past, comics were seen as childish or nerdy, as if adults and cool kids weren’t allowed to read them for fear of being stigmatized. Well, the movies have changed this comprehensively in many ways. Not only do you have badass men, but strong women are integral parts of the team also, thanks to Black Widow and Wonder Woman.
The shift is making them less and less geeky. There’s nothing nerdy about Chris Hemsworth wielding a hammer or Mark Ruffalo turning into The Hulk. Even the production companies have an impact. DMG Entertainment bought Valiant Comics in 2018 and is now one of the biggest media businesses in all of Hollywood.
Comics are no longer books for kids.
Okay, it’s time to confront the elephant in the room – CGI. Previously versions of the technology were, well, not very good. You could see the green screen and wires in some circumstances, and it took away from the aesthetics and the message. In short, audiences couldn’t lose themselves in the story because the graphic quality was low.
CGI has come a long way since it was initially used. Now, 3D and IMAX make it feel as if you’re in a car or falling from a building, and superhero movies have used this to their advantage. By adopting and investing in the best that CGI has to offer, the films are taken more seriously. They’re not people in tight outfits prancing around preaching about the value of morality. If anything, they are conflicted characters with flaws.
Computer-generated imagery only makes their progression more believable than ever.
There’s another elephant, and it’s not computer-generated. Superhero movies bring the best out of viewers due to their relatable characteristics. As a result, people flock to see them, especially since Marvel raised the quality of the genre to a new level. There is a knock-on effect that you may not like – money.
Producers, actors and directors all know that superhero movies make a ton of money regardless of the quality. Therefore, they keep on churning them out to satisfy demand. But, because superhero fans are loyal, they’ll continue to watch them even if the quality drops below the standards already set. It’s a vicious cycle that is tough to break, with the money men the only people set to profit.
A glance at ratings on Rotten Tomatoes shows that certain releases, particularly recent ones, aren’t well-received. Still, Forbes shows that Batman v. Superman grossed over $300 million in the US alone.
The main reasons for the popularity of the genre are overwhelmingly positive. People want to escape, and superheroes are very relatable. However, the money will always be a sticking point.
Why are you a fan?