Yes, I'm sick of superhero movies. Get over it.
Here at No Film School, we're always checking out the Twitter discourse. This week, I saw a tweet that I found to be so asinine and downright stupid, that I shared it in our group chat. Well, it turns out there were people who sided with the tweet in question.
So if you want to read Alyssa's post on not being tired of superhero movies, follow that link. Otherwise, prepare to dig in for battle.
Here's the tweet in question.
Let’s talk about the “sick of superhero movies” complaint. A complaint so overused, and so quick, that it’s become an empty, perplexing declaration. I genuinely have no idea what folks even mean by it anymore, outside of a desire to be the contrarian within a larger discussion.🧵 pic.twitter.com/x2xh7pbwfw
Let’s talk about the “sick of superhero movies” complaint. A complaint so overused, and so quick, that it’s become an empty, perplexing declaration. I genuinely have no idea what folks even mean by it anymore, outside of a desire to be the contrarian within a larger discussion.🧵 pic.twitter.com/x2xh7pbwfw— Alden Diaz 🔜 SWCE (@ThatAldenDiaz) February 13, 2023
So what made me so mad?
Not only were there a bunch of strawman arguments and bad-faith assumptions. The tweeter failed to even consider the idea that over the last 20 years, most of the superhero movies were made by three major studios, who prioritized them over original ideas, movies for adults, and diverse narratives. And because of that, we're missing out on an entire generation of storytellers.
Plus, we got a ton of overproduced narratives whose singular purpose was to not rock the boat and get money.
As Martin Scorsese said, these are roller coasters, not cinema.
And guess what? I love roller coasters.
There is plenty of superhero fare I enjoy. I mean, I've been to San Diego Comic-Con many times, and I've seen every Marvel movie ever. I thought the Watchmen TV show did an amazing job tackling bigger issues. And I have a huge soft spot for Richard Donner's Superman.
Is it right to lump every comic book movie together with superhero movies? No.
But we're in a very weird place right now. Most of the time, when the public is talking about superhero movies, they're talking about Marvel, DC, and sometimes Sony. They're talking about larger universes run by studios. I think it's okay to classify all of these are superhero movies. And we will continue to do that in this article.
So today, I'm going to give you three reasons I'm right, and this Twitter poster is wrong.
Let's get started.
3 Reasons I'm Sick of Superhero Movies
The superhero movie has been a staple of Hollywood for decades, with the likes of Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man capturing the imagination of audiences around the world. However, in recent years, there has been a glut of superhero movies, with studios churning out new films and sequels at a dizzying pace.
While these movies continue to make huge amounts of money at the box office, there are concerns that the dominance of the superhero genre is having a negative impact on the wider film industry.
Reason #1: Fatigue
Since 2007, Marvel has made a combined 40 shows and movies. These stories have dominated big and small screens, making upwards of 25 billion for Disney. When you bring Warner Bros and DC into the mix, you're looking at another 20+ theatrical movies as well as 80+ animated movies and 10+ TV shows.
Put aside all the other hero fare from all the other studios, and I'd say this is a lot.
I get it. Superheros make money and have been a major box office draw for Hollywood over the past two decades, so it is not accurate to say that they are bad for the industry as a whole.
But, when I look up movie times and these titles are taking up all the screens, it can get a little exhausting. I want to see movies for adults. And these are not made for them. They're four-quadrant family films designed to appeal to kids. They just are.
These movies are not delivering complex emotions, asking difficult questions, or doing anything but providing a thrill for two-plus hours. That's great. but is there substance there?
They don't have enough nutrients for the audience to survive. Man cannot live on bread or superheroes alone.
And therefore, fatigue has set in.
Reason #2: We're Losing a Generation of Filmmakers
With so many big-budget superhero movies being released each year, there is concern that they are crowding out other types of films, particularly smaller independent projects. This used to be where we'd see the
One of the main problems with the glut of superhero movies is that they tend to take up a lot of space in movie theaters. With studios investing huge sums of money into these big-budget blockbusters, they are taking up a lot of the screens that would otherwise be available for independent and smaller-budget films. This means that up-and-coming filmmakers may find it more difficult to get their films seen by audiences.
Another issue is that superhero movies often require a lot of resources, both in terms of budget and technical know-how. This means that they may be more difficult for new and emerging filmmakers to make, as they simply may not have access to the same resources as the major studios. This can make it harder for up-and-coming filmmakers to break through and gain recognition.
Furthermore, the dominance of superhero movies is having an impact on the types of stories that are being told in Hollywood. As studios focus more and more on superhero franchises, there is a risk that they are neglecting other types of stories, particularly those that are more complex or challenging. This means that up-and-coming filmmakers who want to tell stories that don't fit the superhero mold may find it more difficult to get their films made and distributed.
All of these factors combined could be costing us the next generation of up-and-coming filmmakers. Without access to the resources and platforms they need to get their films made and seen, many talented young filmmakers may be forced to abandon their dreams and pursue other careers. This would be a huge loss not just for the film industry, but for audiences around the world who crave fresh and diverse stories.
Reason #3: Diversity in Art Matters
Filmmaking is where art meets commerce. And when it comes to massive studios, they're not much interested in art. No matter how many screenshots you want to show me from recent comic book movies, I'm still going to prefer to see stuff from Tarantino, Scorsese, Spielberg, Campion, and Spike Lee.
This is not to say comic book movies are not artistic. Of course, they are, but they're reliance on special effects at the expense of other elements that make cinema such a unique and powerful art form. While these movies can be entertaining, they may lack the depth, nuance, and complexity that is found in other types of films.
They just do.
They can be visually stunning but may lack the subtlety and sophistication of other films. This can be seen as a devaluation of the art of cinema, which is capable of exploring complex themes and emotions in a way that is unique and powerful.
On top of all this, with studios investing huge sums of money into these big-budget blockbusters, there is a risk that smaller independent films will be overlooked. This could lead to a narrowing of the film industry, with fewer opportunities for new and emerging filmmakers to break through and tell their stories.
If audiences become accustomed to spectacle over substance or prioritize the familiar over the challenging or innovative, then the art of cinema may become devalued or even diminished. This could be a loss not just for film lovers, but for our culture as a whole.
Summing It All Up
Overall, it is important to note that superhero movies have been a major success story for Hollywood, and they have helped to drive record box office revenues in recent years. However, it is also important to consider the potential downsides of their dominance and to support a diverse range of films and filmmakers.
It's perfectly fine to be sick of superhero movies.
We should be worried about how the mass production of them is affecting the degradation of Hollywood.
Some people may find superhero movies repetitive or predictable, while others may feel that the constant influx of superhero movies in popular culture is overwhelming and saturating. Those are valid stances.
Furthermore, some people may simply be tired of the constant focus on superhero movies in the film industry, with many other types of movies getting less attention and resources. It's important to remember that people have different tastes and that what one person may enjoy, another person may not.
Ultimately, it's okay to be sick of superhero movies because everyone has the right to their own opinions and preferences.
So get over it.
This is going to sound snarky, but so be it. You have to proofread your stuff. There’s a whole paragraph that just trails off and the idea is picked up in the next. Obviously an artifact of the drafting process. If readers give up because of janky prose, it doesn’t matter how well-made your points are. (And I’m on your side. I agree with your argument.)
February 18, 2023 at 11:10AM
I agree with the thesis of this article but I would hit the point much harder. It ISN'T that "there is a risk that smaller independent films will be overlooked" and that "this could lead to a narrowing of the film industry."
Those things have clearly already happened!
Add in the diminishing number of Hollywood theatrical films produced yearly and the troubling sign that so many of the major talents have planted flags in the streaming world, which is now also experiencing a shakeout.... and it all means troubled times for Cinema.
February 18, 2023 at 11:33AM
They are boring. Main point
February 20, 2023 at 4:45AM