This story from Variety rounds up the summer’s box office leaders, and surprise, surprise, every studio has its superhero hit. Of course, Warners led the way with DARK KNIGHT, but the other studios followed suit:

Paramount is a close No. 2 in summer market share thanks to “Iron Man…”

…Universal is No. 3 in market share, turning in a slate of strong performers, led by “The Incredible Hulk” ($134.4 million), “Wanted” ($133.8 million) and “Mamma Mia!”

…Sony’s biggest hit of the summer was Will Smith starrer “Hancock,” which has cumed just north of $212 million.

…The Mouse House headline of the summer was Disney-Pixar’s critically acclaimed “Wall-E,” which cumed $216.7 million. Disney’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” cumed $141.5 million — something of a disappointment since the first “Narnia” film earned far more at $291.7 million.

…Of all the majors, Fox had the roughest summer…

Fox had NO SUPERHERO MOVIE is why.

Our prediction? More, more, more!


  1. This Variety article is yet another place I’ve read that the “Incredible Hulk” movie has successfully re-started the franchise. Yet it grossed less than Lee’s “Hulk” (in adjusted gross sales, which is what really counts), and cost more.

    Now, personally I liked the new version a lot more than the old one (which I actively disliked) but I’ve got to ask the question — why do I keep reading this wildly delusional and inaccurate assessment of the situation? Critical response? No, a quick look at Rotten Tomatoes tells me that “Hulk” got 61% favorable reviews while “Incredible” got only a slightly-better 67%. I just don’t get it.

  2. Patrick, the only explanation I have is that “The Incredible Hulk” pleased the heads of Marvel Studios more than “Hulk” did — and it was probably more profitable for them because Universal only distributed it rather than actually producing it.

    For the record: I think Ang Lee’s “Hulk” is by far a better movie, but the Tony Stark cameo is the best thing in either of them.

  3. Fox failed because they had NO movies this summer. Looking at a recent issue of Variety, their biggest success was that Vegas movie. X-Files, Meet Dave, Haunting, Space Chimps…
    Paramount also had two semisuperhero movies: Kung Fu Panda and Indiana Jones.
    Prince Caspian has made DOUBLE overseas what it did domestically, one of eight current movies to earn more than $200million in overseas markets. Disney should rethink its strategy and make all seven films, as I’m sure a lot of youth groups will be seeing and buying these movies. (It also appeals to the fantasy fans as well.)
    At work today, two coworkers were discussing what they planned to do this weekend. One mentioned movies, and described Dark Knight. It was interesting hearing a civilian describe it. Was more interesting realizing that a lot of people have not yet seen it. IF it gains some serious Oscar noms, then it might pull in the more adult crowd, AND give Titanic a go. Oh, and the Watchmen trailer will be running as well…

  4. To the point of Dark Knight approaching Titanic’s numbers… It’s incredible to think how NOT in the same class Dark Knight and Titanic are, in terms of ticket sales. Check out this page, comparing Titanic, DK, Shrek 2 and Phantom Menace (four recent “top grossing” movies), with incomes all set to 2008 dollars:

    It boggles the mind to realize that in weeks 6 and 7 (where DK is now), Titanic was still making the 2008 equivalent of $50 MILLION PER WEEK compared to Batman, which is down to about $15 million. And Titanic kept up a pace of over $30 million per week for many weeks after that. And this doesn’t even count international sales, where, frankly, DK hasn’t done all that well for such a big blockbuster (it bombed in Japan, for instance). Dark Knight is a very successful movie – Titanic was a phenomenon.

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