With the rising popularity of comic book movies, it’s no surprise Marvel Studios wants to develop more feature films using other characters in the Marvel Universe. While the studio currently releases one film a year, I believe the long term plan is to eventually release two films a year. And now that the studio has merged with Disney, I’m sure the pressure is on to reach that goal as the more Marvel movies that get released, the more both studios can benefit from merchandising sales and added home video revenue.
While Marvel has only been releasing big tent pole movies like Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, The First Avenger: Captain America and they’re currently getting The Avengers ready, it’s possible the studio is going in a completely new and interesting direction for some future movies like Dazzler, Dr. Strange, Ka-Zar, Luke Cage and even Power Pack! Hit the jump for more.
According to Devin at CHUD, Marvel is trying to develop some of their lesser known characters as feature films and they’re trying to get them made for a much lower budget than the big tentpole releases. How low? Try 20 to 40 million dollars.
Apparently the studio is taking meetings with writers and directors right now and they’re offering lesser known characters that only comic book fans would know.
While some might wonder why Marvel wants to make some of their movies for a lot less money, I’ll tell you why this is awesome news…the studio will be willing to take risks and not have to make a four quadrant movie.
When you make a 150 million dollar movie, you need to appeal to men, woman, teenagers, aliens, and anyone who has money to spend on a movie. You need to open huge and be an event. But if you make a movie for 30 million dollars, you don’t need to get all those people into a movie theater to be profitable. You could just reach men ages 17-49 and come out ahead.
But it gets better.
If Marvel starts to make movies for 20-40 million dollars, we might get something many fans have been dreaming about: an R-rated Marvel movie not made by Lionsgate or some indie studio. While I don’t know if that’s what the studio is aiming for, if a big director comes to Marvel and says I’d love to make (insert character here) but I only want to do it if I can go hard R, the studio might now be willing to say sure…if you can make it for 30 million.
Also, look at the opening weekend box office for the R-rated Kick-Ass. The movie was thisclose to a 20 million opening weekend and all it had was online buzz and some terrible TV spots. If Marvel made an R-rated superhero movie, I’m very confident they could open it to more than that especially with the marketing machine of Disney behind them.
To be clear, I have no idea if Marvel wants to make an R-rated superhero movie, but if they are going to start making third tier characters for 20-40 million dollars a film, I think they’ll eventually want to cross that bridge.
The other thing is…making a movie for 30 million will give the studio and filmmakers a lot more freedom to take risks. From lesser known characters to the style of filmmaking, the studio can take chances that a movie with a huge budget can never do.
I’m sure in the next few months we’ll start to hear what movies Marvel wants to make in 2013 and 2014…perhaps we’ll start to see a huge tentpole release in the summer and one lesser known character in the fall. It’s a great time to be a fan of comic book movies.