Movie City News’ Dave Poland rounds up this summer’s hits and misses at the box office, and two of the biggest problems are, ulp, Superman and- wha?!–Garfield.

Superman Returns. It’s still not clear how much money Superman Returns will lose and how much of that will be eaten by WB’s financial partner, Legendary Pictures. Assuming a $400 million gross (which this film could come up short of or, perhaps, pass with a strong push in its last few foreign markets), the return to the studio would be about $220 million. Figuring a generous $150 million in profits from Home Entertainment and other ancillaries, they’re still almost $100 million short of black ink. It won’t be a record, as that ignominy belongs to films like Pluto Nash, which paid interest for more than a year after completion and then grossed less than $10 million worldwide.

Garfield: A Tale Of Two Kitties. Similar to 3Fast 3Furious, this sequel was greenlit after the original did much better overseas than here, totaling out at around $200 million worldwide. The sequel… just over $50 million worldwide now. Ugh. Domestically, the film may have self-victimized in some of the ways previously mentioned here. They came out the week after Cars and the same weekend as Nacho Libre, which had surprising attraction to young kids. Even with success the first time around, no question that Fox spent too much on the sequel, etc. Fox really pulled back on marketing dollars, so they not get hit very hard, but a sequel that does one third the original is a brutal experience all around.

The basic buzz on SUPERMAN RETURNS around the biz is that it could have been a sure fire money maker if it hadn’t ended up costing so much. By contrast, despite a chaotic shoot, Brett Ratner still brought in X-3 well within money making limits. (Of course it looked nowhere near as good as SUPERMAN RETURNS.) The impact of SUPERMAN’s fiscal kryptonite on Warners, DC and Bryan Singer is still shaking out.

As for Garfield…well…no comment really.

MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND was also a box office dud. There is one more comics based film coming out this summer…ZOOM, starring Tim Allen and based on Jason Lethcoe’s graphic novels.


  1. Superman Returns did “look” better than X3, but X3 was vastly more entertaining even though both films were a disappointment in very different ways. How Bryan Singer made Superman into a super-bore is a super-feat in and of itself. And if Brett Ratner makes a more entertaining film than you, dear God you must be in trouble.

  2. “The basic buzz on SUPERMAN RETURNS around the biz is that it could have been a sure fire money maker if it hadn’t ended up costing so much.”

    It was a movie that was ineptly handled from the concept on up. If it had only cost $50M or so, WB would be happy, but it didn’t. This is a matter of those in charge not protecting their asset – the character – and creating a story worthy of the 68 year history. They allowed stupidity to reign.

    They got what they deserved.

  3. Perspective is called for. The producers of ‘Crash’ maintain that despite a gross of around $150M worldwide, they have not recouped their cost of $8.5M for production.

    In this environment, any ‘box-office analysis” is suspect.