6 Great Superhero Movies That Shouldn’t Have Flopped

While superhero movies have dominated the box office for the last 15 years, not all of them have been as successful as they deserved to be.


  • Superhero movies must make double their budget to be profitable, facing unexpected flops despite quality content.
  • Box office success doesn’t always correlate with critical reception, as seen in cases like The Marvels.
  • Marketing, timing, and audience expectations can greatly impact the financial success of superhero films, leading to unexpected outcomes.

The superhero movie genre wouldn’t be where it is today without some big hits at the box office. Movies like The Avengers, The Dark Knight, and X-Men: Days of Future Past have all come out and proved popular with audiences, and therefore, they have all made big money at the box office. Then there are the movies that haven’t been quite as fortunate.

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For a movie to become profitable for a studio, it generally needs to make double its production budget or more. This is because the studio also has to pay to market the movie – which usually costs the same amount as the movie’s production – and the theaters that show the films keep one third of the profit for themselves. As a result, history is full of superhero movies that inevitably flopped. It isn’t always due to quality, though, as plenty of great movies have hit screens that deserved to succeed but didn’t.

Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

The 2007 Sequel To Fox’s First Stab At A Cinematic Fantastic Four


  • Production Budget: $120-$130 million
  • Box Office Gross: $301.91 million

The Fantastic Four have had a complicated movie history. As one of the first properties that Marvel sold to Fox Studios to avoid bankruptcy, the first movie featuring the team of explorers was made in the 90s, but never saw the light of day due to it being written off as a tax return. Then, Fox finally brought The Fantastic Four to movie theaters in 2004, in a movie directed by Tim Story to help capitalize on the recent successes of the X-Men and Spider-Man movies.

The movie performed well enough, financially to warrant a sequel in the form of 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. With their origin out of the way, the creative team were free to tell any story they wanted in this universe, and so chose to depict the arrival of The Silver Surfer and Galactus to Earth. Despite the movie only being rated 38% on Rotten Tomatoes, this sequel is still considered to be the best Fantastic Four movie so far. Sadly, the underwhelming plot of the first movie, and poor reviews of the next one, meant that many fans stayed home and watched the movie flop.

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Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn)

Harley Quinn’s DC Spin-Off


  • Production Budget: $97 million
  • Box Office Gross: $205.37 million

Although the Suicide Squad movie from 2016 was met with largely negative reviews, the movie did make more than enough at the box office to be considered a win. One of the bright spots in that dismal movie, though, was Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn, so it made sense for the studio to focus more on her character in a spin-off movie.

Birds of Prey saw Harley break up with The Joker and start her own legacy by assembling a team with other popular DC characters, such as Huntress and Black Canary. Sadly, this premise wasn’t enough to make viewers forget Suicide Squad, and so they did not return to theaters to see Harley Quinn again, even though this movie reviewed far better than the previous movie in the series. Plus, Birds of Prey also hit theaters one month before major markets started shutting their cinemas due to the Covid pandemic. As a result, Birds of Prey did not make as much money as it should, or could, have under better circumstances.

Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm

An Animated Attempt At Bringing Batman Back To The Big Screen


  • Production Budget: $6 million
  • Box Office Gross: $5.85 million

Warner Bros and DC have always been certain of the fact that the character of Batman will sell movie tickets in any form he appears in. Sadly, that was not true of the 1993 animated movie, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.

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The Batman franchise was riding high at the time of this movie’s release, as Batman 89 had lit up the box office in live action, and Batman The Animated Series was currently running on TV. Therefore, releasing a feature-length Batman movie set in the same universe as the TV cartoon seemed like a recipe for success. However, this was not the case, as the movie flopped, mostly due to its animated nature. Many adult members of the public were not interested in seeing an animated movie in theaters, and anyone who hadn’t seen the cartoon show felt left out. Despite that, this interesting movie has found a cult following in the modern era, and is considered one of the better representations of how Batman’s love life should play out.

The Marvels

The MCU’s First Failure


  • Production Budget: $278 million
  • Box Office Gross: $205 million

There was a time shortly after the release of Avengers: Endgame where it seemed that there was no chance of an MCU movie flopping at the box office. However, in 2023 The Marvels became the first movie in the franchise’s history to not make its money back. However, the movie’s quality is not the reason this movie flopped on arrival. The movie debuted with a 62% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and is largely successful as a small-scale, fun team-up movie in the MCU.

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Sadly, compounding factors emerged to hurt this movie’s potential. For starters, several of the movies and TV series set in the MCU before this movie had dipped in quality from the MCU’s standard. Therefore, the people who disliked these properties did not rush out to see another one. Plus, the sheer amount of Marvel content that has been released over the years meant that most people felt that they had to watch Captain Marvel. WandaVision, and Ms Marvel just to understand the plot of the new movie. Add to all this the fact that the screen actors’ strike meant that the stars were unable to promote the movie at the time of release, and it left The Marvels with little chance of succeeding.

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The Suicide Squad

A Confusing Sequel/Reboot


  • Production Budget: $185 million
  • Box Office Gross: $168 million

Disaster struck Marvel in 2018 when the higher ups at Disney fired the director and writer of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Marvel’s loss was DC’s gain, though, as the studio offered Gunn the chance to produce his own movie in their current DCEU. Gunn decided to take on The Suicide Squad, creating a sequel/reboot of the team with his own vision after the failure of the DCU’s 2016 attempt.

The movie itself introduced some great new characters to the franchise, and even found a way to incorporate old favorites from the 2016 movie into their new world. The result was a great, fan-pleasing action movie. Sadly, the poor reception of the first movie in the series, and the ongoing pandemic, prevented many people from actually going to see the movie in theaters, and its box office gross suffered as a result.


One Of Hollywood’s Most Tragic Flops


  • Production Budget: $30-45 million
  • Box Office Gross: $41 million

When movie studios look at some of the most iconic superheroes, they tend to find that the most popular ones belong to either Marvel or DC. That is why it was seen as a strange move when Buena Vista decided to release a Judge Dredd movie in 1995 from publisher IDW Comics. Although the movie starred a highly bankable actor in Sylvester Stallone, it was not a huge success at the box office and remains a poorly reviewed mess that did not stick to the source material. The 2012 reboot, Dredd, is a different story.

Starring Karl Urban as a more grizzled version of the futuristic freedom fighter, fans of the source material finally got a true adaptation of the character in a gritty crime movie. The results of this movie have led many fans to call for a sequel, but sadly, the box office results did not call for one. Poor trailers and marketing meant that Dredd was largely ignored upon release, and so it now remains a forgotten classic, despite the praise of many who saw it.

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Fuente: successacademy.edu.vn
Categorías: Trend

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