While Batman v Superman is doing decent business at the box office ($15 mil as of Monday), it’s also dividing fans and critics as to its worth; haters abound, and there are two fan petitions circulating on Change.org that demand Zack Snyder be yanked from directorial duties on the Justice League film. Meanwhile, Deadpool is officially the highest-grossing R-rated film in history, taking on $746 million so far.
It seems that few film genres are as polarizing as superhero movies. The built-in problem is that such films are essentially remakes or re-imaginings of existing characters and storylines from comic books, and addicted readers have followed these characters in their unadulterated form for years, if not decades. Hardcore fans are also obsessed with the most intimate details of these properties, and if they feel that the resulting films are in some way off, then out come the .50-caliber nitpicking guns for a round of nerd-rage target practice.
Oddly enough, despite that fact that Ben Affleck was the BvS whipping boy prior to the film’s release, plenty of viewers have been rushing to his defense across social media, and have instead laid any blame squarely on Snyder’s directorial shoulders, or on the screenwriting abilities of Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer. “Ben Affleck did the most outstanding thing,” noted one fan on the movie’s official Facebook page, “he made me a believer!” Yet another fan notes, “This has almost killed a franchise before it has even started.” (What, no frowny emoji to back up the hate?!)
But the frothing fanboys and fangirls may not have the last word, as plenty of other viewers are calling the film “fantastic” or “a masterpiece.” It currently enjoys a 7.4 rating on IMDb.com, and the ultimate arbiter of a movie’s success, as far as studios are concerned, is always box office. And the blockbuster has yet to see an overseas release, when such properties often rake in far more cash than at home.
So if the question is, “Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?” then the answer must be, “Money.”