Comic movies on the rise

Comic Relief - Justin Cook (Cara Smith/AQ)

When 2008’s The Dark Knight passed the billion dollar mark, it seemed like that was the glass ceiling. Now it looks as if there is no limit. Comic companies have crossed the barriers of pop culture. They’ve gone from pandering to a niche market to becoming multimedia empires.

The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers were the most anticipated movies of the summer. No one was shocked when The Avengers broke multiple records. It’s now the third highest grossing movie of all time, both world-wide and domestically. Avatar and Titanic hold the first two spots, but they both had theatrical re-releases.

The Dark Knight Rises has also risen, and his film topped a billion dollars. It’s already made more money than its predecessor, although it’s not on track to beat The Avengers. The summer of 2012 was dominated by comic book movies.

Even The Amazing Spider-man was a considerable hit. Compared to the other movies it made chump change, but that shows just how special those films are. Think about it. Two of the biggest films ever were released in the same summer and they both came straight from the ‘funny books’.

This is the new status quo. When X-Men was released 12 years ago, it was considered a risk. The movie even downplayed the super-hero aspect in favour of a science fiction feel. Marvel didn’t think the comic costumes would fly and replaced them with black leather bodysuits.

Now, super hero movies are expected to dominate the box office. The movies have been growing more profitable and more in-tune with the source material each time. Marvel’s crafted its own cinematic universe, like in the comics. DC’s aims to do the same with the Justice League, with a possible 2012 release date.

It’s an exciting time to be a comic book fan. The huge success of mainstream properties, like Batman, has provided the money for companies to feel brave. Now lesser-known characters are getting their own movies, like Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy.

The spectacle of comic book movies can only grow from here.

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