June 29 - Superhero movies have been overwhelming favorites at the box office this summer as movie studios bank on comic book characters, and the Amazing Spider-Man is likely to continue the trend when it opens in time for the July 4th holiday. Jill Bennett reports.
Comic book heroes are now Hollywood's heroes. Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man, featuring a comic book teenage crime fighter gifted with extraordinary spider-like powers, is expected to be a blockbuster this holiday week; followed by Warner Bros.' highly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, featuring Gotham City crime fighter Batman. Marvel Studios' box office juggernaut, Avengers, released in May, already set the bar as one of the fastest grossing movies of all time. Paul Dergarabedian, President of the box-office division of Hollywood.com: SOUNDBITE: PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, PRESIDENT, BOX-OFFICE DIVISION, HOLLYWOOD.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Bringing in these great directors and top notch actors lends a lot of weight to these superhero movies, creates in these films, films that are as good as anything else out there. They are no longer considered, you know, a lesser quality film. Superhero movies are now the top notch films." STAND-UP: JILL BENNETT, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Movie studios seem to be banking on the superheroes. Man of Steel, Iron Man 3 and Justice League are expected to crowd the big screen over the next year or two. The challenge for movie studios: keeping the superhero formula fresh for movie goers." SOUNDBITE: PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, PRESIDENT, BOX-OFFICE DIVISION, HOLLYWOOD.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Superhero movies first of all they are very cinematic they allow filmmakers to do just about anything and within that framework of all of these huge special effects and technology going on you can have very humanistic stories." All of that technology comes at a price: Spider-Man cost Sony about 215 million dollars to make it, and by some estimates, 130 million to market. But it's expected to pull in big dollars at the box office. SOUNDBITE: PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, PRESIDENT, BOX-OFFICE DIVISION, HOLLYWOOD.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think worldwide the Amazing Spider-Man it's got to do over a half a billion dollars, I can't imagine it doing less than that, this is one of the gold standard superheroes of all time, along with Batman, if you have Spider-Man or Batman in the mix, worldwide, you are looking at mega dollars." Avengers set the bench mark with its smashing success - time to see if the other masked crusaders can keep up. Jill Bennett, Reuters