ByFergus Coyle, writer at
Movie lover, wannabe director and resident DC nerd. Get more from me at:
Fergus Coyle

This is a hotly discussed topic throughout the world at the moment, especially with so many of them confirmed to be coming out in the next five or six years. It's a question that I've turned over in my head a lot, and I mean, a lot, cause I love movies. And I love superheroes, I read a fair amount of comics (I'd read more if i wasn't on such a tight budget). So I love superhero movies. But when there's going to be an average of something like five of them coming out a year, is that too many?

Well, if you ask me then I'll tell you that it's not. Five superhero movies a year is not too many. I can guarantee you that we'll see a lot more than five sci-fi films next year:

  • "Star Wars Episode VII"
  • "Tomorrowland"
  • "Jupiter Ascending"
  • "Terminator Genisys"
  • "The Martian"
  • "Passengers"

On the other hand, next year in terms of Superheroes we have:

  • "Avengers: Age of Ultron"
  • "Ant-Man"
  • "The Fantastic Four"

Three superhero films in one year. Not exactly all that many. And yet there are a LOT of people who think that we're getting swamped with them, and to their credit, 2016 is a little busier:

  • "Deadpool"
  • "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice"
  • Captain America 3
  • "X-men: Apocalypse"
  • "Doctor Strange" (probably, we just know there's a marvel movie in this slot)
  • "Suicide Squad"
  • "Sinister Six"
  • "Sandman" (rumored)
its beginning to look a whole lot like this
its beginning to look a whole lot like this

Yep, there's actually eight superhero films hitting theaters in 2016, and with that in mind, the argument against them gains a good bit more legitimacy. However, I would still put forward that eight isn't too many superhero films for one year. And here's why; There is so much diversity in Superhero comics that you could put out 10 films a year and never saturate the market. I mean, superhero comics have been going for over 75 years and are still popular today, with praise being sung for recent stories with characters who have been doing weekly rounds for decades now. However, as a counter to that argument, comics have had dry patches. Every character has had a time when they've lost momentum and the character has been left in the dust for a while. But still, people have been reading and enjoying Superman stories for 76 years.

To get this across better, let me try and contrive a hypothetical situation that justifies this. Say there were seven superhero films to come out in the space of a year, it would be criminal to say that there's a problem there when the seven are:

  • 'The Dark Knight'
  • 'Iron Man'
  • 'Superman II'
  • 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
  • 'X-Men: First Class'
  • 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'
  • 'Spider-Man 2'

You may not even be a fan of all of them, but they all do something different, and offer a diverse picture of all the material that can be derived from superheroes on the silver screen. They are all very good movies in their own right, maybe they aren't for everyone, but I'd imagine you have to like at least four of those films and the fan-base that they all have shows that they at least all demand respect. So clearly it is possible to have so many different superheroes on the silver screen.

The problem that is perceived in the vast amount of superhero flicks coming out is not that there are too many of them, but more that too many of them are too similar and/or just plain suck. For example, 'Thor: The Dark World'. Its problem wasn't that 'Iron Man 3' and 'Man of Steel' came out in the same year, its problem was that it wasn't all that different from the first 'Thor'. The same goes for the aforementioned 'Man of Steel', it wasn't a bad film so to speak, but if you'd seen the Dark Knight, then there wasn't much particularly new to behold.

The X-men are a perfect instance of this. I enjoyed Days of Future Past, but even I'm getting tired of seeing the X-men do the same thing over and over. Stop each other from killing humans because it's the nice thing to do. They've made that film five times now, and I can completely understand why you could dislike the franchise for it, even though they seem to be shaking it up with Age of Apocalypse. And I know Hugh Jackman is the perfect Wolverine, but after being the star in six X-men films, even fans of the character have to be getting a little tired of him stealing the show.

Another great exemplar is Spider-man, who has had five solo films in the past 12 years, more than any other superhero. And while a couple of them have been good, I think we can all agree that 'Spider-Man 3' and 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' both sucked, and TASM 1 was pretty much a copy paste of the original Spider-Man film, making it the exact embodiment of this whole damn issue.

For every fantastic superhero film, there's a carbon copy, for every mediocre one, there's one exactly alike, and for every successful one there's a sequel, sometimes an improvement, sometimes a copy-paste, sometimes 'Batman & Robin'. This is an issue that we won't have a definitive answer to until we see whether or not the upcoming films transcend their roots to be new, imaginative and unique, or just decide to stick to the formula like glue. Only time will tell. But in the meantime, I don't care if I'm being part of the problem, I'm gonna be seeing all of them, with the exception of anything that looks crap.

So those were my opinions on the superhero film industry at the moment, please share your own in the comments as long as you keep it civil. And until next time guys, enjoy your lives!


Are there too many superhero movies?


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