Is the Trendy Convergence of Movie Plots Actually Bad for Business?
BY: BENJAMIN "BENJI" KARMIS
After a fantastic opening weekend for Spider-Man: Homecoming, curiosity has spiked over how he will fair when placed with the other Avengers in their first movie together. But Spiderman is not the only one who has a different kind of battle ahead of him–paired with the smashing success of Wonder Woman and her impending premiere alongside the Justice League, these superheroes are keen on trekking through the waters of converging movie plots. Our question is, could tying in another storyline damage a movie, or add a whole new flair to a series?
Let’s start out with the good. The original Avengers in 2012, one of the first movies in recent times to make use of converging storylines, grossed over $1.5 billion dollars worldwide. That’s “billion,” with a ‘b’. Of course, there is a multitude of reasons why the 8.1/10 flick on IMDB kept the successful streak of its predecessors going, but adding all of the iconic superheroes together simply added a new dimension to the single-superhero precursors. For instance, Thor used his hammer on the impenetrable shield of Captain America to create an incredibly destructive sound wave. Throw in conflicting “I want to be the leader” confusion, and a plot can have more depth than simply good versus evil.
The brand gets strengthened as well. Some may think Superman is alright, and may not mind the Green Lantern, but would be more interested to see them both together. Others may be a huge Batman fan, and only want to see Justice League because Batman is in it. Both of these types of people could get their first glance at Wonder Woman, and grown an interest for her. Before you know it, there are better sales for the next Wonder Woman movie, because it enlightens the crowd to a hero they may not have been interested in otherwise. These entangled plot lines can be a marketing epiphany, educating the market on what else a recognized brand has to entertain.
Then there’s the lore. Hordes of enthusiasts are deep into the mythology, jaws agape for when their favourite superheroes are finally together. Blasting the market full of more movies in a series is another scheme movie makers pull off. That’s exactly there was yet another Fast and Furious movie, or why anything Star Wars does well. Business-wise, it’s a smart move to just keep pumping out more movies.
But all is not always well, and sometimes converging movie plot lines just isn’t pulled off right. One big reason is the over saturation of protagonists. A couple main characters can be manageable, but when you throw a five our more in the mix, and their stories become watered-down. Suicide Squad, for instance, received some horrid reviews. Though there were other assorted explanations for their blunder, the odds were already stacked against the moviemakers when the squad requires 11 members. Even so, background stories can be explained in previous movies, but it has to be done right to be effective. Why was Brad Pitt’s back scarred in Fury, anyway?
Another problem we’re likely to encounter is stale ideas infecting other good series. Batman v Superman’s 24% on Rotten Tomatoes could bring down the 92% Wonder Woman earned because of the less-successful concepts they bring to the table. If their combined movie flops, it could do have the exact opposite effect than desired–those who will have seen it because they liked Wonder Woman may spoil their appetite for any other superheroes, or perhaps even curb the hunger for more Wonder Woman movies. Needless to say, it could be risky.
Regardless of the risks, converging the plots of multiple storylines will at the very least freshen up a series, even if they were doing fine before. Even if the movie-making business exploits their success, we can certainly enjoy having more movies out there. Plus we get some neat easter eggs out of it, such as how Stan Lee is able to be in every Marvel film.