Superhero films are a major part of our research for this report, as they are and most likely will continue to be, made, remade and re-adapted countless times for the screen. This has already been accomplished with various comics being created into feature films over the years as, “adaptation offers studios an opportunity to lessen the risk associated with filmmaking by using material that has a built in audience” (Burke 2015). In saying this, Burk also suggested that, “the producers of comic book adaptations traditionally ignored the expectations, rituals, and strategies of their in-built audience, or fans,” with Batman (Tim Burton, 1989, USA) director Tim Burton suggesting ahead of the film’s release, “This is too big of a budget movie to worry about what a fan of a comic would say” (Burke, 2015).
The Spider-Man series of films are a prime example of comics turned blockbuster films that we are looking at, with the first three Spider-Man (Sam Raimi, 2002-2007, USA) films starring Tobey Maguire being released in the early 2000’s, and it’s reboot origin story The Amazing Spider-Man (Marc Webb, 2012-2014, USA) being created and released just five years after Spider-Man was made.
Here is US box office statistical comparison of each of the films:
These numbers show us that Spider-Man is hugely popular amongst mainstream moviegoers in the United States. Spider-Man as a superhero has a following of fans from before it’s first feature film was even created, enabling its reach to grow and attract a wider audience for each film released. However, the statistics do highlight a decrease in US domestic gross for The Amazing Spider-Man recreations, possibly depicting the way some audiences may have negative feelings towards such remakes, especially when The Amazing Spider-Man was created and released just five years after the first series end. The box office sales here are still high, lending itself to our original thoughts that films which continue on from an already successful idea will make a big impact on the box office and the general population who flock to the cinema to see big blockbusters.
Even though we consider these Spider-Man films as a form of remake or sequel to an idea that was already established, this report is not degrading the fact that any original ideas were added in the story or the way it’s been put together. There’s always going to be a fusion of ideas from individual interests and influences in the way films are made. Once again bringing it back to the idea that purity in originality is very hard to determine. On the contrary, “originality is not the be-all and end-all of an art form: cinema has been around now for more than a century and it’s beginning to show its age. Nothing is truly original, nor has it been for decades.”
Maguire or Garfield? Of course it’s Maguire! Give your star rating for the first Spider-Man below: