WHY DEADPOOL IS THE GREATEST MATHEMATICAL EQUATION EVER
There have been a few defining moments in the superhero movie industry that have reinvigorated the genre, starting with the genius casting of Robert Downey Jr as Marvel’s IRON MAN.
Since then, we have seen an exponential growth in a market that used to thrive only on television—unless it had the word “Batman” in the title, of course. But since Downey’s debut as the smartass Tony Stark waaaaay back in 2008, we have seen no less than thirty eight superhero-based films come out of Hollywood (and beyond).
THIRTY EIGHT. That, kids, is an average of almost five per year. 2016 will be no exception; DEADPOOL has already been released, and there are seven more slated for release this year. While the fanboy in me rejoices at the thought of more super-powered mayhem, there is also a piece of me, deep down inside, that misses the Marvel days of “one property per year”—going two years between each IRON MAN film was a blessing, as you were able to appreciate each individual character more fully.
Unlike the last few years, which saw Marvel shove multiple titles in our faces to not only justify “The Avengers” mega-blockbuster plans, but also to expand the universe which became so large, so suddenly. And the upcoming BATMAN VS SUPERMAN promises to do within a few short years what it took Marvel several to accomplish; DC Comic’s “Justice League” will shortly be Hollywood’s next attempt at the mega-blockbuster gambit. Not only are they introducing Wonder Woman in the film, but they will also set up every other main character for that team up. In one film.
Zack Snyder (300, MAN OF STEEL) really needs to take a time out. At least Marvel gave us some breathing room, and was able to flesh out the storyline by taking things at a normal, controlled pace. BVS is way too ambitious, way too early.
Thank the Sweet Baby Hey-Zeus for DEADPOOL.
Here is the dangerous and horrible reality of DEADPOOL: it will undoubtedly spell trouble for any other superhero film that comes out this year. It has a hard “R” rating, with enough bad language and boobies to make you forget that you are watching an actual Marvel film. And that isn’t even the dangerous part; the thing that could spell trouble for every single one of the other Marvel, DC, and even the off-brands is the money side of it, the business side.
The following is a breakdown of the previously released films which all have a sequel coming out this year—what they cost to make (this figure is estimated, because few studios want you to know EXACTLY how much they spent on those special effects), and what they grossed:
CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER
Total Gross: $714,766,572 (Worldwide)
MAN OF STEEL
Total Gross: $668,045,518 (Worldwide)
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Total Gross: $748,121,534 (Worldwide)
All impressive figures, but do you see a trend there? Between the three, the average budget was $198,333,333. Wanna know how much it cost to make DEADPOOL?
You read that right. LESS THAN A THIRD of the other films’ costs. Couldn’t really tell though, could you? (See, therein lies more of the danger—you don’t have to spend hundreds of millions on special effects if you have a good story with great humor and an awesome cast…)
Now, for a film to start making money, it typically needs to gross twice its production cost. Most studios spend at least the same amount as the budget on marketing. With that in mind, let us now take another look at those figures (I know you’re bored, but stick with me, I’m making a freaking point, and I’m DOING MATH), but this time, the number I’m giving you is MY estimation of their profit:
MAN OF STEEL: $218,045,518
The scary part:
DEADPOOL has been in theatres for two weeks as of yesterday. It is already more profitable than the others based on percentages alone (don’t ask—I said I was “doing math”, not quantum physics and crap that comes with a freaking “%” –symbol after it), and has not even been released in every country worldwide yet.
And yes, the studio is already working on a sequel, which if we are still looking at the business side of things, was so obviously expected that it was announced before the opening weekend was even over. Hell yes, they should make a sequel.
And if Marvel was smart, the nimrods at Disney and Sony will figure out a way to get the Deadpool character into their franchises, as well. At this point, it may take an “R” rating to save what’s left of the SPIDER-MAN mess at Sony…
Now, I’m not saying that every other superhero film that comes out this year will suck. Unless the word “Thor” is in the title, studios tend to shy away from spending hundreds of millions on sucky movies. But no other film will be as profitable this year as DEADPOOL. (You can quote me on that one, kids.) And it isn’t so much that Ryan Reynolds & Co. raised the bar, so much as it is that they greased that sucker with generous amounts of Crisco and laid it over a pit filled with barbed wire and pissed off weasels. So good luck Hollywood, because your profit-margin asses now belong to a lunatic in spandex. (Not me, although it could describe my last weekend…)
-- T. S. Kummelman
(The monetary figures are from IMDB, so if anyone wants to fact-check me, you have the internet movie Gods to answer to...)(and the calculator on my phone...)(and my editor, who is a ninja, he will fight you.)