The latest berserker raging Marvel Comics related news items for July 27th – 29th, 2013!
“The Wolverine” tops the box office; earns Pyrrhic victory!?
The good news for the latest of the X-Men licensed films by Fox Studios, “The Wolverine”, is that it was the number one film for this weekend’s box office totals. The bad news? It is the worst debut for any X-Men related film in North America – going all the way back to the original “X-Men” over thirteen years ago. As explained by Box Office Mojo, the latest Hugh Jackman starring vehicle raked in $53.1 million over the weekend. Despite having an equal budget and a leaked pre-production film spread online, 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” debuted at $85 million in North America. Furthermore, it was a weaker debut than 2011’s “X-Men: First Class” (which surprisingly out performed “Green Lantern” with a $55.1 million debut).
However, as with many films these days, international markets seem to be making up the slack. Also debuting in 100 countries worldwide, “The Wolverine” clawed its way to $85.6 million overseas for a worldwide total of $138.7 million for its debut weekend. That’s still about $20 million less than the last solo Logan effort from ’09, although it seems to imply that Fox will see a modest success with their latest venture. Box Office Mojo suggests that the poor reviews of the previous Wolverine film hurt things, but it could be something more vast. After roughly 25 years, Wolverine as a character is past his prime in terms of popularity and isn’t as popular as he used to be overall. His comic is selling at historic lows despite Marvel Comics insisting that Wolverine can carry two ongoing titles, and in recent years the comics which Wolverine appears in that sell the best are other team books (or even a rare team-up mini series headlined by Spider-Man).
Filming for “The Wolverine” was delayed roughly two years as it took some time to settle on a director and a script, and the tsunami crisis in Japan made Fox hesitant to base a major franchise film there for a stretch. Jackman not only played the role of Wolverine for the fifth time in this effort, but also co-produced the film. Both he and the rest of the core “X-Men” cast will reunite for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” next year. As the healthiest of the Marvel licenses that Fox Studios acquired during the 90’s and early 2000’s, it may be a cause for concern when even it stumbles.
Marvel vs. ComiXology could be on the horizon!
Since being founded in 2007, ComiXology has emerged as the top digital comics publisher and distributer online. Around mid-July, ComiXology surpassed 180 million comic boon downloads via its applications and other sources. Bleeding Cool, however, has clued in on a potential patent fight with Marvel Comics which could be in the future. Peter Olson, who worked for Disney, Inc. before working on Marvel Comics’ digital comics wing (“Marvel Unlimited”) filed a patent for software which seems very much like “guided view” back in 2006.
“Guided view” is the ability to digitally follow a comic from panel to panel akin to animation which has long been used to sell ComiXology to both readers and publishers as an enhanced reading experience. While Marvel and ComiXology have a good working relationship, with Olsen’s patent being approved in late 2012, it could be a matter of time before Marvel or their corporate master Disney tires of sharing digital profits and seeks suit or settlement. Both companies’ reps wouldn’t reply to Bleeding Cool about this, but it could be a “told you so” moment in the world of legality.
“X-Force” film roster mulled!
A fortnight ago, it was revealed that Fox was interested in making a film based on another spin-off of “X-Men”, titled “X-Force”. Writer/director Jeff Wadlow spoke with Slashfilm about the film and stated that unlike the traditional “X-Men” franchise, the roster for “X-Force” is more loose and there is more mystery as to who will be in it. This is perhaps a dubious claim considering some of the wacky rosters in Fox’s “X-Men” films. Regardless, much like many superhero teams, since 1991, dozens of characters have been members of “X-Force” in the comics – including Deadpool and Wolverine.
Initially a relaunch of “New Mutants”, it could be argued that Cable is perhaps the biggest character universally associated with the franchise. While a time-traveler, next year’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” will play with that plot mechanic, so anything is possible. The difficulty with getting a “Deadpool” film made could lead to him being placed on this team. Creator Rob Liefield has been consulted for the film, but has remained mum.
“Top Chef” takes Wolverine for lunch!
In the wacky world of celebrity comic books, Marvel Comics will publish a one-shot this week which teams Wolverine with “Top Chef” and “offal” dish master Chris Cosentino. Written by Cosentino himself over the course of an evening, it is drawn by Dalibor Talajic (Marvel’s “Dexter” comic). In the 90’s it was usually musicians or pro-wrestlers involved in awkward superhero comics; now it seems to be hit TV chefs. Titled “Wolverine: In the Flesh”, the one-shot will be sold for the usual price of $3.99 this Wednesday. If there is any justice, their opponent should be Eye-Scream, the mutant mercenary who transforms himself into ice cream.