#Reviews and #BoxOffice performance of recent #superhero #movies

Do reviews influence box office performances for superhero franchises?

The three most regarded movie ratings are:

  • The TOMATOMETER is the percentage of “Approved Tomatometer Critics” who have given the movie a positive review. The site RottenTomatoes.com also features an Audience Score, percentage of users who have rated the movie 3.5 stars or higher, although its influence is generally taken less into consideration.

The website was launched in 1998, sold to Flixster in 2010, itself acquired in 2011 by Warner Bros., then sold in 2016 to Comcast/NBCUniversal’s Fandango Media, in which TimeWarner/WarnerBros retains a 30% minority stake.

  • The METASCORE is a weighted average of the published critic reviews contained in the chart on that title. The site also features a User Score based on users’ reviews.

The website MetaCritic.com was founded in 1999, sold in 2005 to CNET, which is owned through CBS Interactive by the CBS Corp. (which after the split from Viacom in 2005 no longer owns Paramount Pictures).

  • The IMDb RATING is the weighted average of all the individual votes cast by IMDb registered users. The Metascore is also visible next to the title.

The site IMDb.com was launched in 1990, incorporated in the UK as Internet Movie Database Ltd in 1996, became a subsidiary of Amazon.com in 1998.

Now let’s play a game and see to what extent reviews influenced the box office of superhero movies, wide release, budget $100M+. There is perhaps no path and probably no correlation at all. But let’s have some fun anyways and see if we can creatively draw any kind of conclusions, first for each franchise and then in general.

First of all, please note that each title will be followed by five numbers which represent respectively: Tomatometer (%) | Metascore | IMDb Rating | Domestic b.o. ($,M) | Foreign b.o. ($,M) | Opening ($,M). Indicators below 60 or 6.0 will be colored red.

Also, we will find out average scores for each franchise. We will select five titles for each “universe”. Yes, of course, there will be some forced and some exclusions. Please don’t get mad, purists. The single best one-to-one comparison would probably be Guardians of the Galaxy.

Finally, after having seen how much has each franchise grossed on average, using forecasts for DC Extended Universe’s Suicide Squad, we will see totals related to reviews and box office performances for the superhero genre.

suicide-squad-rotten-tomatoes

DC Extended Universe (Warner Bros.) | 58 | 60 | 7.8 | 381 | 505 | 149

The Dark Knight (2008) | 94 | 82 | 9.0 | 535 | 470 | 158

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) | 87 | 78 | 8.5 | 448 | 637 | 161

Man of Steel (2013) | 55 | 55 | 7.2 | 291 | 377 | 117

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) | 27 | 44 | 6.9 | 330 | 542 | 166

Suicide Squad (2016) | 26 | 40 | 7.2 | 300 | 500 | 140

DC Comics movies were not particularly appreciated by critics, although fans liked them more than any other competing franchise and they generally responded well at the box office. Suicide Squad is expected to follow a similar path. They have the worst score in terms of critics ratings, best from fans, although open as strong as the Marvel movies.

avengers

Marvel Cinematic Universe (The Walt Disney Pictures) | 83 | 68 | 7.6 | 400 | 656 | 146

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) | 80 | 66 | 6.9 | 177 | 194 | 65

Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) | 92 | 69 | 8.1 | 623 | 896 | 207

Iron Man 3 (2013) | 79 | 62 | 7.2 | 409 | 806 | 174

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) | 91 | 76 | 8.1 | 330 | 440 | 94

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) | 75 | 66 | 7.5 | 459 | 946 | 191

Marvel movies were loved even more by critics than fans, they performed great domestically and fantastic internationally and most importantly they seem to be on a growing path. Best critics reviews, second-best fans ratings, by far best international performance.

x-men

X-Men (20th Century Fox) | 64 | 58 | 7.3 | 190 | 304 | 80

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) | 58 | 58 | 6.8 | 234 | 225 | 103

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) | 38 | 40 | 6.7 | 180 | 193 | 85

X-Men: First Class (2011) | 86 | 65 | 7.8 | 146 | 207 | 55

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) | 91 | 74 | 8.0 | 234 | 514 | 90

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) | 48 | 52 | 7.3 | 155 | 379 | 66

X-Men movies were not particularly appreciated by critics although fans liked them, however they performed relatively poorly domestically due to bad openings but significantly better internationally in the medium run.

Tobey-Maguire-Spider-Man-2

Spider-Man (Sony Pictures) | 74 | 67 | 6.9 | 316 | 477 | 102

Spider-Man (2002) | 89 | 73 | 7.3 | 404 | 418 | 115

Spider-Man 2 (2004) | 93 | 83 | 7.3 | 374 | 410 | 88

Spider-Man 3 (2007) | 63 | 59 | 6.2 | 337 | 554 | 151

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) | 73 | 66 | 7.0 | 262 | 496 | 62

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) | 52 | 53 | 6.8 | 203 | 506 | 92

Critics liked Spider-Man movies and fans were also happy on average, hurrying to purchase movie tickets especially in the early chapters of the franchise and despite relatively low openings.

superhero-movies

Totals | 70 | 63 | 7.5 | 320 | 483 | 118

All in all, critics are only fairly excited by superhero movies whereas fans love them and respond exceptionally well hurrying to see them immediately in a movie theater and for long time after openings, in the United States as well as internationally. As expected, bad reviews by critics don’t seem to affect significantly their performance in the medium/long-run, although (with the exception of Batman v Superman) there seems to be a moderate correlation with the box office performance in the opening weekend.

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