The Hugh Jackman-starring superhero movie has been met warmly by audiences and critics, but not enough of them are willing to go see it in the cinemas
The Wolverine was released into cinemas across the globe last week, clawing it's way to number one in over 100 different countries. Whilst it may seem as though the film is yet another runaway superhero success, it's initial takings at the box office are a far cry from the expected takings and have even led some to question the continued marketability of the superhero genre.
Hugh Jackman seems happy with The Wolverine
Already this year we've had the third instalment of the Iron Man franchise, which is still the most successful film of the year thus far, with Superman's latest outing in Man of Steel, the return of Spock and Kirk in JJ Abrams' second rebirthing of Star Trek and we've had giant robots/jaegers face off against mega-moster (kaiju) in what has been an exhausting, super-powered cinema run for 2013. With still more to come, in the shape of Kick Ass 2 and the 300 spin-off, what can we learn from The Wolverine's anti-climatic rise to the top of the world's box offices; is their no more time for countless big budget blockbusters, or are we only reaching the beginning of the blockbuster hype?
With no less than ten superhero movies due to be shipped out off Hollywood in the next two years alone, the outlook looks likely that studios will continue to push for big budget action films, even if certain ones continue to flounder like so many have done recently (check After Earth, The Lone Ranger and R.I.P.D.). What we can take from The Wolverine's venture in movie theatres is that the steam locomotive behind these movies looks to be coming to a grinding halt sooner than expected, meaning Hollywood may have to change it's money-spinning ethos sooner, rather than later.
There are some positives to take away from the film's cinematic run so far, as strong overseas sales have already seen the film recoup it's estimates $120 million budget. And lets not forget that The Wolverine is now the top grossing film set predominantly in Japan, which must be some achievement right?
Jackman with his co-stars Rila Fukushima and Tao Okamoto