‘Sucker Punch’ Does Not Spell Doom for ‘Superman’ Reboot

by on March 29, 2011

in Entertainment

Superman by Sean IzaakseFor those who like the gist of the article up front:  I don’t think how we perceived Sucker Punch is any kind of warning in to how the reboot Superman: Man of Steel will perform or be like as a movie experience.

The official box office numbers are in and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules dusted Sucker Punch at the box office.

The first Wimpy Kid did pretty good at the box office (~ $22M) and the sequel was up against a movie aimed at a potentially limited demographic of a male audience.  And surprisingly, the short skirts and battle action in a make-believe world in a girl’s mind nailed the older male demographic as the anticipated demo.  When WB saw that, they started marketing it across different demos as they attached previews to different movies and TV spots where the demographic was not so much a male audience.

Yet I can see how the movie would not crank it out at the box office.  I myself had issues with the idea that the cool stuff took place in the lead character’s mind.  Face it, if you’re in make-believe land in a girl’s mind, then how can you lose?  Where’s the drama?  Plus it was up against a family film where they have an installed multi-ticket purchase mode from some of the audience.  But enough about the who’s, hows and whys.

Wimpy brought home just under $24M at the box office last weekend while Sucker Punch brought in just a touch over $19M.  And believe it or not, Sucker Punch seemed to have met expectations because “Warner Bros and other studios expected Sucker Punch to come in around $20M.“  They were off by “1.”

From what I’ve seen out there in the papers and on the internet, the odd thing is that there is a huge distinction between opinions on Sucker Punch.  The hi-brow movie reviews called the script flat and predictable while folks looking for some sheer entertainment in a movie rave about it.  I have peers & friends on both sides of the fence confusing me about the movie.

But from this latest movie comes the extrapolation that the Superman reboot will fail.

I get the worries but I think this project has to be kept separate from the potential of Superman: Man of Steel.  I don’t think folks are creating one important distinction:  That Zack Snyder didn’t write it.

Sucker Punch was an original piece of work from Zack Snyder, not something he had source material to work from.

Remember this:  Superman: Man of Steel is a Zack Snyder directed, David S. Goyer written, Christopher Nolan produced movie.  It’s as simple as that.

Zack Snyder’s credentials where he had source material to work from showed his true talents if you recall Watchmen, or 300, or Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole movies.

In other words, if you distinquish the fact Sucker Punch was original material, you might breath a collective sigh of relief.

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But there’s something potentially uglier on the horizon…  the rights to the Superman franchise.  Right now the Siegel heirs own half the copyright and beginning in 2013, the Shuster heirs will own the other half.  2013 is also the year that both DC Comics and Warner Bros. no longer have any financial agreements with either party.  TO make it even more weird or uglier, there are legally stipulated restrictions on what parts of the origins story can be used in future projects.  So the franchise could become rather fragmented or boring after that if they don’t get their act together.

Is that crazy or what?

I only bring this part up because Deadline printed a letter that the late Joanne Siegel had written about this long-time legal battle for the rights of Superman…  it’s an insightful and sad read all at once:  [ http://m.deadline.com/2011/03/letter-from-lois-lane-to-time-warner-boss/

And this is why Superman: Man of Steel seemed rushed into production.  To beat that 2013 deadline so Warner Bros. can get one more picture out.  But this time, it seems they want to make it count if you step back and look at the credentials behind the film and the cast that they’re collecting.

In closing, I don’t think how we perceived Sucker Punch is any warning in to how Superman: Man of Steel will be like as a movie experience.  Christopher Nolan wouldn’t let that happen.  Period!

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[boxofficemojo.com, deadline.com, ]

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Romantic Comedies March 29, 2011 at 6:04 pm

You nailed it right. Sucker Punch’s story is bad, but at least if there’s one thing you can count on from Snyder, it’s his visual taste. Over the top sometimes, but still really beautiful at times. If he stick to what he’s good at, and leave the story to someone who really knows how storytelling should be, I think Man of Steel is in good hands.

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