Originally Posted by FilmNerdJamie
- A sci-fi actioner starring the only existing movie-star whose popularity is sloooowly but surely fading (last two starring vehicles, one a threequel to his own big franchise, opened considerably below expectations) and a filmmaker so reviled audiences laughed (!) when his name was flashed as a selling-point for a film he merely produced.
- A "topical" comedy headlined by two stars well past their prime, hoping to "recapture lightning in a bottle." Right down to a Will Ferrell extended-cameo. Just like that last time.
- An ensemble comedy that admittedly sounds awesome (The trailer to the original short-film is on YouTube, DON'T LINK/POST IT HERE - bad language, is hysterical) and clearly meant as counter-programming the same weekend as The Man of Steel. Unfortunately aiming for the exact same under/over 25 male quadrant as Superman and its stars are over-exposed/box-office poison.
- A horror genre that, let's face it, is on its way out in pop culture and the single-handed worst film press (the pricey reshoots piling up with so many big writers brought in to "fix it," star/director tension and so-so to negative reaction to trailer) we've witnessed since, arguably, Waterworld. A $200M+ zombie movie. Never thought I'd live to see the day where I said that.
- The follow-up to a popular favorite, yes. But 12 years later. Its studio is clearly so concerned they're re-releasing the original this month on 3D screens to remind audiences it exists.
Gotta be honest. Looking at all those films as competition, I'm not so worried for Supes.
None of those films alone, but the combination will hurt. It quite easily be the difference between a 80 million opening and 110 million, or between a 50% 2nd week drop and a 60% 2nd drop.
Superman Returns plunged 58% in its 2nd weekend. Of course, that was against PIRATES 2.
It is sad to think how differently Superman Returns run would have gone had it not opened a week before the biggest opener in history. Honestly, any other movie which came in 2006 could have opened that weekend, and RETURNS drops an impressive 45%ish (as opposed to 58%), and probably finishes with a 230-240m. Instead...we all know what happened.
Don't say release dates dont matter. For all the problems superman returns had (from the film itself to marketing), it still wold have done 225m+ had it opened any other weekend that year. Instead, Singers career basically died, Routh crashed and burned along with Bosworths, Spaceys been MIA ever since.
Superman Returns was quietly quite the career killer. And to think, doing everything *exactly the same*, but opening it a different weekend, could have totally changed the films box office run. To be honest, it has to be one of the worst release date decisions a major studio has made with a film of such a scale. The thinking was obviously "July 4th = success", and then they excluded other possible variables (like being 7 days away from easily the years biggest movie).