Super Hero Saturation At The Box Office

It was no surprise when Captain America: The First Avenger reaped 65 million dollars in its opening weekend at the box office and knocking the final Harry Potter film out of the top spot. The viewing public definitely has a soft spot for movies of  men and women running around in long underwear. People like me are more than happy to open our wallets and pay to see the battle between good versus evil. Some people, not me, will even shell out the few extra dollars to see it in 3D. I decline this option because most of the time there’s no real reason for the film to be in this format and quite honestly, no one can tell the difference anyway (aside from making you wear silly glasses).

During my pilgrimage to the theater I noticed several middle-aged men wearing old school Captain America t-shirts. I even bore witness to man bringing his two young sons into the movie who were both dressed in full Captain America garb (minus the shield of course). It’s nice to see that a hero that has literally been around for more than seventy years still stands the test of time.

Unfortunately, I think we have been a bit over-saturated with super-hero movies during this summer season. 2011 has produced no less than four films with stories of well-known super-heroes. In addition to Captain America we’ve seen Thor, Green Lantern and X-Men: First Class. Each of these films were able to scratch the itch of comic book lovers everywhere.

My fear though is that this plethora of heroes on-screen will eventually result in films being made with bad story lines and might also lead to the extinction of the genre in future movies. Ironically, the case for over saturation will inevitably be made next May when The Avengers is released.

The Avengers are a team of super-heroes who band together to fight evil. If you’ve been following story lines in recent Marvel Studios films over the past few years ( Iron-Man, Thor, Captain America) and forced yourself to stay seated through all of the ending credits, you were thrown a bone with a snippet from the new film.

Try as I might I am having a difficult time believing that The Avengers will be a good film. Consider that the following heroes, many of whom had their own feature length films, are all set to appear: Iron-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow.

Next add in the always unpredictable Samuel L. Jackson as Colonel Nick Fury, the man who assembles the team. Finally, put in the super villain and Thor’s arch nemesis, Loki and his intentions on destroying the world.  Sure sounds like a great story line for a few months of comic books doesn’t it? The problem is, this isn’t a comic book that can be spread out over six or seven issues.

How will they be able to utilize all of these heroes and give them adequate screen time? Is it even possible to bring all of these people together, tell the reason they need to save the world and then have them fight to save it? More importantly, can the film makers do all of this in under two and a half hours with a great story line? Unless they are doing a trilogy of films similar to Lord of the Rings, my initial guess is that we’re all going to be in for a disappointment.

I do hope they save the day next May and prove me wrong.  My continuing super-hero affection depends upon it.

Article first published as Super Hero Saturation At The Box Office on Technorati.

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