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Are comic book movies here to stay? | Deseret News National
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Alan Markfield, Associated Press
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Are comic book movies here to stay?

Wait, is that a bird? A plane? A caped crusader?

No — it’s just your friendly neighborhood superhero movie.

Superhero movies have been invading the box office for decades now. From the Tim Burton “Batman” series to the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy,” films based on comics are somewhat expected each summer season.

On Wednesday, one of the next superhero blockbusters was revealed. The highly anticipated Batman/Superman crossover movie was given a title: “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

BuzzFeed’s Adam B. Vary wrote Wednesday how this is a direct reference to the upcoming “Justice League” film that’s slated to follow in the steps of Marvel’s “The Avengers” in bringing together a collective of heroes on the big screen.

“The title also makes explicit what had been largely assumed would be the central conflict in the film, a confrontation between Superman and Batman and their differing philosophies about fighting crime,” Vary wrote.

This new film, though, is supposed to go head-to-head with Marvel’s “Captain America 3.” The predecessor to that film, “Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier,” raked in serious cash at the box office this year, breaking April’s records, Screen Rant reported.

“Captain America 2” wasn’t the only comic book movie to come out this year. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” came out earlier this month, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is slated for a release this weekend, and “Guardians of the Galaxy” will come out on Aug. 1.

So, yeah, comic book movies for days.

But there’s a reason for it. The movies, no matter the quality, are successful at the box office, wrote Jeff Macke for Yahoo News. He explained that Marvel and other companies have found the right formula for producing a Hollywood blockbuster. And there’s no end in sight.

“Hollywood has a tendency to run something into the ground after it gets too successful,” said Gitesh Pandya, a writer for rottentomatoes.com, a movie critic site, to Yahoo News. “So far, these movies, not just domestically but overseas, are doing gangbusters, and there’s no sign of it stopping anytime soon. You have Marvel on top of its game. Almost everything they touch turns to gold.”

Things will get tested, though, with “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Pandya said. Because this is a lesser-known comic book series, what happens at the box office will indicate how far these movies can go and if they’re here to stay.

“This is one of the lesser-known comic properties from Marvel,” Pandya told Yahoo news. “It’s going to a big test of that brand. I think it will be very successful in the latter part of the summer.”

Some movies are great quality, some are mediocre and a couple are even underrated, according to Jack Pooley of What Culture. “There is perhaps no film genre as picked apart as the comic book movie: its fans tend to be some of the most passionate and devoted in the history of pop culture, eagerly poring over each and every detail put on screen,” he wrote.

Tim Wainwright of The Atlantic wrote on May 13 that Hollywood should continue to bring comic book movies to the table. He wrote that Westerns and zombie movies, for example, have been around awhile and are only now producing top quality films. Comic book movies, though, are still new, Wainwright wrote.

“And thinking about how few superhero movies there are, and how much less time the genre has had onscreen, actually suggests that Marvel’s specific achievements are critically undervalued,” he wrote.

With time, comic book movies could become something incredibly worthwhile, Wainwright wrote.

“So even if this decade isn’t the time for it, in the long run odds are we’ll see superhero movies that will make even the most reluctant critics happy,” Wainwright wrote. “Sure, in 10 years Iron Man might be getting tiresome. But in 20, with luck, Terrence Malick's reboot of ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ will rock.”

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: @herbscribner