Hey folks. SSS here, back after a bit of a hiatus to my "home world." I hope I didn't impregnate any of you before I left? Anyway, just popping in to bring up something that was brought up from time to time in the past here, and that is this weekend's release of The Incredible Hulk movie.
This film marks the relaunch of Marvel comic's Hulk franchise. After Ang Lee's disappointing Hulk limped out of theaters a mere 5 summers ago. Marvel decided to go in another direction and reboot one of their flagship characters with a new film that really doesn't contradict Lee's film, but doesn't really build off of it either. A new director, writers, and cast are all in place to give the jade giant a fresh start that focuses more on the action and raw brutality of the character as opposed to meaningless psycho babble and moss growing on rocks.
This was a pretty bold step on Marvel's part being that Lee's film (and horrific images of Nick Nolte) is still fresh in the general public's mind. And if you think the other studios aren't watching this with a close eye, then you're missing the obvious. The success or failure of the film will not only determine the future of the Hulk franchise but could also have a huge trickle-down effect in the comic movie industry as a whole for any character who left a lot to be desired in a previous film incarnation like say Superman.
Will studios continue to shelve these otherwise bankable characters because previous directors blew it? Or will they wipe the slate clean and start from scratch in a few years? TIH could go a long way in determining that, as this is the first time a character has gone through a reboot after a failed film venture in so short a time. TIH will really be the test case for this type of approach. If it succeeds, its a great incentive for studios like WB to wipe the slate clean with characters like Superman and start anew instead of dancing around the issue of whether they're going to go ahead with another Singerman sequel. (How's that coming BTW?) Obviously this won't be the sole determining factor, but it will give a strong precedent.
So far the critics seem to semi-like the new Hulk film, but as we all know here most critics don't tend to see eye to eye with the general populace and at times will even like pretentious crap that the public doesn't buy. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding and we'll likely have a better idea once the weekend box office tallies come in. For anyone hoping to see a new actual Superman franchise in the next decade or even a rebooted character like Daredevil, its really in our best interests that TIH do well. Stay tuned for updates as they become available.
UPDATE 6/19: Box office figures are in and TIH looks like it pulled in $55.4 million domestic in it's opening weekend. Not a great weekend, but not terrible either. (although Ang Lee's film made $62 million in its 1st weekend) Through Wednesday TIH has made $70.7 million and should break the $100 million mark by the weekend. Not really figures that wow you, but this weekend will be really important to see what kind of legs the film will have. Hulk in 2003 (69.7%) and Singerman (58.5%) both fell on their faces in their second weekends with huge drop-offs. We'll see how TIH looks come Sunday. It will need to have a drop-off closer to that of Batman Begins (43.4%) if it hopes to have some staying power.