Meanwhile, the disappointment of SUPERMAN RETURNS’ worldwide grosses continue to cause vague, disquieting unease in Hollywood:
Now that Warner Bros.’ “Superman Returns” has flown around most of the world, the question is: What was the factor that proved kryptonite to weaken the superhero’s results?
Was it the studio’s marketing campaign? A character too steeped in Americana, at a time when “truth, justice and the American way” is under fire? An inability to update the wholesome Man of Steel for the “Grand Theft Auto” generation? Or was it just the film itself? [snip]
“Some hardcore fans thought, ‘This is the way it is supposed to be,’ ” says one international vet. “But others thought it was old-fashioned. Maybe Singer was too much of a fan?”
A previous story digs even deeper into SUPERMAN RETURNS fiscal irresponsibility:
Warner Bros. Pictures execs are mulling whether to go ahead with a planned sequel and ink another deal with director Bryan Singer.
The film is not such a blockbuster that a follow-up is inevitable — but not such a disappointment that a sequel would be ludicrous. After all, the first “Austin Powers” pic was a modest hit that begat two huge grossers.
Word on the Warners lot is that the studio is trying to lock down a deal with Singer for a sequel.
Many speculate that WB has invested too much time and money to walk away. What’s more, the film fuels a number of Time Warner outlets, including homevid, ancillaries and merchandising — even subsid DC Comics.
Warners and co-financing partner Legendary Pictures have a shot at breaking even on “Superman” once all the revenue streams are accounted for, but it’s going to be a long, tough haul.