|You bet your ass I'm right, bub.|
Well, not so fast. Who among the gods of the industry dropped this news bombshell on the world? Rob Liefeld. Yeah, I'm going to guess some people don't know who this guy is, but the short answer is, in the comics world, he's a bit of a dick, so let's first just understand that he's the source of this rumor. Is he a man on the inside? Yeah, kind of. I mean, I don't believe he has much association with Marvel itself anymore, but I wouldn't take his word as gospel.
Also, let's just take a step back for a second and look at some numbers. The last time I checked on Box Office Mojo (current as of June 2nd), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has made a little over $690 million worldwide. The reviews may have been mixed, but that's not a flop by any measure, even when you take into account that they spent as much on marketing as they did on the movie. This movie made money. X-Men: Days of Future Past comes in at about $510 million worldwide. Let's also remember that both of these films are still in theaters and DOFP is KILLING it. This film has received the most praise of any X-Men film to date and has become the highest-grossing X-Men film ever made. Yet we're supposed to believe that some executives at Marvel were like, "Hm, we need X-Men back, but how? The box office returns are phenomenal! WAIT! I've got it! We won't allow any toy sales! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!" This makes no sense, considering three details:
- Toy lines are decided well in advance of a movie's release. Between getting the green light to do it, finding a manufacturer to make them, designing each figure, making prototypes, contacting distributors and making agreements with them, setting prices, and knowing how many you'll make, production isn't something you do on the fly. Do you really think Marvel decided at the last second to try to hurt Fox by not making toys? Nothing is last second.
- Toys means kids. Sure, some of us sweatier nerds have action figures still. Shit, I'm 24 years old, and if I see an Iron Man figure I like, you know I'll buy it. Realistically, however, toys means children. Even more importantly, toys means parents taking their children to the movie and then buying said toys. Did you even see the movie? I wouldn't call it a film for little kids. Sure, some parents are cool and would take their kids, but the numbers don't add up. Spider-Man? Huge cash cow for children. Marvel Studios has done a remarkable job making their cinematic universe gritty enough for older audiences but still child-friendly enough that you can take your 8-year-old to see Iron Man 2 or, more importantly, The Avengers. That film made kids excited about films that didn't have much attention otherwise, like Captain America, Thor, and Hulk. I mean, Iron Man was already a success with kids, and the fact that his suits always change? Money in the bank when you have a ton of different Iron Man toys, and kids collecting them all. Does 5-year-old Johnny want to play with Wolverine in '70s clothes? Considering, you know, he's the most popular character in that franchise, he's a no-brainer to make a toy for. There were toys back in the day. I remember the first film or two having toys (I even had a few), but Mommy is going to have to choose which toy she buys her son, the Wolverine from the disco era or the naked Wolverine from when he first goes to the past. I know which one Mommy would buy for herself, but her son? Yeah, a toy line probably wouldn't do too well anyway.
- Movies like these do not hinder toy sales. Did you see those numbers? Don't be spoiled by all the billion-dollar talk from the past few years with Avengers, Iron Man 3, etc. Grossing that much money is insanely good. Sony can listen to the criticism about ASM 2 and improve the third film, Sinister Six, Venom, the fourth film, yadda yadda yadda. There's no way that sort of box office return means Sony needs Marvel Studios to help them. They're fine. And Fox? Highest. Grossing. X-Men. Film. Ever. Toys are not going to do a damn thing. Won't even phase them. The Fantastic Four? Look, not as many people buy comics anymore. If a million people bought FF comics, and each one of them (which isn't realistic) went to the film, at what, $10 a ticket on average? That's $10 million. If they brought a friend? $20 million. Even if they brought a friend and went twice, that's $40 million. This new Fantastic Four reboot is coming off of Rise of the Silver Surfer for god's sake, canceling a comic book line means nothing for the film. The film has a history to go to. I don't even think a million people bought FF comics anyway; the last figure I heard was something like less than 50,000. You think continuing that series means anything for Fox's studio? No.
Don't believe the rumors, folks. Until something concrete comes out and disproves me 100%, I'm not going to put stock into the stories. Make sure to leave a comment to tell us your opinion on the matter, and thanks for reading! My name is Sam Lascio, and I am a Fanboy!