Editors Note: This article was sent to us from the future and was written at some point after May 3rd, 2013. The exact date of publication was lost to us by the time transit properties as established by the noted Quantum Physicist, Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth.
Insiders at Disney are worried this weekend after the lackluster opening for Iron Man 3, which failed to live up to industry speculation, ending the weekend with a domestic gross of $98.3 million. Most movie studios would kill for this kind of an opening weekend, but given the expectations of the series previous opening weekend, as well as the record breaking first weekend for last year’s The Avengers, this can only be seen as a disappointment. The low weekend take for the film, starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sir Ben Kingsley, and directed by Shane Black, has left many in the industry worried that the superhero genre may be on its last legs.
Expectations were as high for Iron Man 3 as they have been for almost any movie ever made, with many industry insiders predicting that the film would surpass the opening weekend of The Avengers, an expectation that may have been overly optimistic. However, given the past trends of other Marvel Studio productions, the less than $100 million take is sending shockwaves through the industry and heads will begin rolling once the Disney offices open for business on Monday.
The less than expected take has executives at Warner Brothers concerned about the forthcoming release of the Zack Snyder helmed Superman: Man of Steel. WB is under more stress than ever to launch a successful movie brand that doesn’t involve Batman, and they have a lot riding on Superman. If WB is not able to create a franchise that can compete with the Marvel brand, many are worried that there will be a wholesale change at the top of the studio. With Christopher Nolan finished with his Batman series, and after the major disappointment of 2011’s Green Lantern, no one is sure where the studio will go next. The success of The Avengers was a spit in the face of WB given that director Joss Whedon was at one time scheduled to direct a big screen version of Wonder Woman.
Currently, Man of Steel is projected to have an opening in the $100-125 million range, but industry insiders are lowering their expectations. Given that Snyder’s last two films did not connect with audiences, and adding in the relative unknown quality of star Henry Cavill, no one is currently sure what to expect. If this movie fails to connect, many are speculating that a number of productions will be halted, and no one is currently sure what to expect. Already we are hearing that the budget for Captain America 2 is being reduced, and a number of other projects are being looked at to see where money can be trimmed. If Man of Steel does not manage to make a significant amount of money, we may be seeing the end of the superhero genre in film.