This August has been record-breaking, thanks in large part to two films that have wildly exceeded expectations - and that may result in one of the unlikeliest comic book movies of all.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" was about as obscure a comic property as you can get. There were questions about whether the film would be successful, right up until opening night. Despite tracking showing a $60 million opening weekend, many expressed doubts a film with a talking raccoon, a walking tree and an unorthodox marketing strategy and sound track would be a hit.
It had an opening weekend tally of $94 million and has not stopped, due in part to tremendous word-of-mouth.
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" had the opposite problem. It was familiar, not obscure. Yet it seemed mainly a product of nostalgia. Reports on and reviews of the film were almost universally harsh. Toss in the usual fanboy bitching about Megan Fox and Michael Bay, and it seemed the turtles in a half-shell would be lucky to hit their $39 million tracking number on opening-weekend.
Instead, it raked in a whopping $65 million it's opening weekend.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" has been outpacing "Captain America: The Winter Soildier" by a wide margin at the domestic box-office and will easily surpass it's impressive $259 domestic take in the next 10 days or so and has an outside shot of hitting the $300 million domestic mark.
At the same time, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" has crushed it's other August competition so far and should easily hit $150 million domestically before it's done.
All of which makes a "Power Pack" film that much more inevitable.
First a brief rundown for the uninitiated.
Power Pack is a fictional team of comic book superheroes consisting of four young siblings who appear in books published by Marvel Comics. They were created by writer Louise Simonson and artist June Brigman and first appeared in their own series in 1984. The series lasted 62 issues. The characters have since appeared in other books.
Power Pack is the first team of preteen superheroes in the Marvel Universe and the first in comics to operate without adult supervision. The title retains a cult following and in 2005 was relaunched as a title aimed at younger readers (see below) — though this was eventually declared a separate continuity from that of the original series.
A "Power Pack" film has been rumored for years.
As far back as 2007, Stan Lee, while accepting his Jules Verne Lifetime Achievement award, mentioned that Marvel had been seriously considering doing a movie based on their Power Pack comic book.
Alex (age 12), Julie (10), Jack (7), and Katie Power (5) were bright, normal American children living with their parents in a beachfront house in Virginia. Their father, Dr. James Power, was a brilliant physicist who discovered a process to generate energy from antimatter with the assistance of a converter, of which he made a prototype. An error in his formula, which could have caused a chain reaction and destroyed Earth, was discovered by Aelfyre "Whitey" Whitemane, a member of the Kymellian race, who resemble humanoid horses. A similar accident destroyed the Kymellians' home planet.
Whitey tried to stop the experiment by warning the Powers, but was mortally wounded by his enemies, the reptilian Snarks, in the process. The Snarks kidnapped Dr. Power and his wife, Margaret, hoping to obtain the secret of antimatter. Whitey rescued the Power children and told them what was happening. Before dying, he passed his powers to them to complete his mission.
The children, with the help of Whitey's "smartship", a sentient starship called Friday, managed to stop the antimatter test by stealing and destroying the converter and rescued their parents from the Snarks. They decided to continue being superheroes and to hide their powers from their parents. Alex took the codename Gee, Julie became Lightspeed, Jack became Mass Master, and Katie became Energizer. They wore costumes made for them by Friday, which were actually Kymellian spacesuits. The costumes, which were constructed of unstable molecules and stored 'Elsewhere', could materialize and disappear on voice command.
If Lee's proclamation weren't enough, Kevin Feige mentioned "Power Pack" on more than one occasion in 2010 as a film he would enjoy doing.
At the same Marvel Studios was discussing a smaller budget ($20-40 million) initiative to bring more obscure comic properties to the big screen to complement films like "Dr. Strange" and "Iron Fist" which they were already seriously planning.
Sue to the success of the original "Kick-Ass: film, Marvel was offering filmmakers properties known mainly only to comic book fans, like "Power Pack", "Ka-Zar" and "Dazzler", as well as "Dr. Strange and "Luke Cage", which they foresaw having bigger budgets.
The main thing was that Marvel Studios was open to bringing just about all of these characters - and others - to the big screen at the right price point.
Seeing as how "Dr. Strange" and "Luke Cage" seem to definitely be moving forward, it is not unreasonable to assume the others are as well.
Then in December 2010, in another interview, Feige claimed that "Thor" would open up the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinemtaic Universe and that "Black Panther", "Ant-Man", and "Moon Knight" films would lilely be in the pipeline soon and that he "loved" the idea of movies starring "Jessica Jones" and "Power Pack".
Seeing as how the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has indeed moved forward, and that a majority of the other properties mentioned are either becoming reality or seem like slam-dunks.
So is it really that absurd that we could be seeing a "Power Pack" movie in the next few years?
Think about it. This is Marvel Studios, owned by Disney. Don't you think some of the Powers That Be would like to have a high-production value film starring kids and young teens? Especially with ideas for Pixar seeming to dry up a bit?
Don't you think some would think it wiser to do a "Power Pack" movie than, say, "Cars 4" or another "Planes" movie?
Especially since being films parents feel they can take their kids to has had a large part to do in the success of "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this summer?
Especially since Marvel's films - and family films in general - seem to be FOR kids, than STARRING kids. Especially ones that aligned with Iron Man and other heroes in the comics and villains like Kurse.
In short, if "Guardians" could be considered this generation's "Star Wars", couldn't a "Power Pack" movie be this generation's "E.T."?