I think we were all pretty shocked when we learned that Warner Bros. execs were blindsided by the bad reviews for Batman v Superman; they thought they had a crowd pleasing winner on their hands. However, it seems Fox execs may have been equally over-optimistic about X-men: Apocalypse, the new Bryan Singer directed mutant fricassee. The film doesn’t open here until May 27th, but reviews all went live earlier this week, usually a sign that the studio thinks the film will get great buzz. But, the buzz was…not great.
The Beat’s own Kyle Pinion was down on it: X-MEN: APOCALYPSE is easily one of the worst films of the franchise
…but it was Forbes’ Scott Mendelson who delivered the killshot:
This movie doesn’t open for two weeks and it already has articles doing a post mortem: Why X-Men: Apocalypse Is Generating So Little Excitement
All of this in the wake of rapture and huge box office for Captain America: Civil War. Maybe people are tired of superhero movies? Maybe people are tired of BAD superhero movies?
Or maybe Disney.Marvel are just trying to kill movies from other studios by paying off reviewers at every outlet for these bad reviews!
That’s a sentiment that’s been expressed in The Beat’s own comment section and there’s even a petition that’s asking to “Stop Disney from paying critics:
Disney has been continually paying critics to attack Non MCU movies. MCU movies are safe. They’re not challenging at all. Just like a comic book movie is “supposed to be”. They’re not divisive or thought provoking. First they bashed Batman V Superman.They cleared BvS out of the way, gave Civil War (which wasn’t a perfect film) an Oscar, now they’re going to work on moving Apocalypse out the way…then they get offended when they’re accused of accepting gifts. Deadpool would have also suffered the same fate however it was released in February and was not an immediate threat. We need to raise awareness of this global plan to keep our films creative or risk have everything fall under the Disney label. Each studio brings their own distinctive and creative work and Disney needs to stop being greedy and understand this
This petition has only 387 signers as I write this, so more work needs to be done to uncover this conspiracy.
I’ll admit, I began to feel that something was wrong when I saw this X-men/M&Ms ad. Sure the lighthearted NIghtcrawler/Storm vibe captured some of the camaraderie around the mansion that has always been a hallmark of the comics. But it’s also way campy for a movie about a guy who brings pestilence and destruction to the world. The tone seems all over the place. I haven’t seen XM:A yet, but as with the comics, the convoluted timelines and characters of the movies are beginning to get a little draggy and maybe Bryan Singer has just been hanging around too long.
At any rate, a movie that offers almost NO Wolverine, a checked out Michael Fassbender and an Oscar Isaac who has been made unattractive probably should have been held for review a few more days. Lesson learned.
PS: there is only one Kevin Fiege. Learn to live with this.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.