This Veterans’ Day holiday weekend has been a great way to remember those who served in the military to protect our freedoms. It also was a chance to catch Thor: The Dark World for the first time in theaters.

It did well, the beneficiary of what was referred to by USA Today’s Scott Bowles as “The Avengers Effect.”

He and several other columnists said that the latest Thor flick as well as Iron Man 3 received big boosts in ticket sales because of their being seen in The Avengers last year.

HOW DID THOR DO?

The Dark World had the fourth-largest debut of 2013, coming in behind the aforementioned Iron Man 3, Man of Steel and Fast & Furious 6. It placed first over the weekend, thundering up $86.1 million. However, that was still below Disney’s projections of $90 million, although not by much.

“Consider that Thor was largely an unknown character prior to 2011,” when the first film gathered a total of $181 million, noted David Mumpower of Boxofficeprophets.com. Before that, “only fans of Marvel comics or Norse mythology were even marginally aware of him,” he said. “Fast-forward only two years, and Thor is now capable of a (number one) opening weekend in North America.”

The Avengers, Ant-Man, Hunger Games, Legion of Super-Heroes, Marvel, DC Comics, Walking Dead, Captain America: The Winter Soldier isn’t far away, and another Avengers movie will be coming soon as well.

I’d also like to point out that three of the top four films are based on comics characters. Iron Man, Superman and Thor are, for now, the biggest “stars” in theaters this year. (That will likely change once The Hobbit comes back.)

I’m looking forward to Batman Versus Superman and other comics-related movies soon. If I were a movie producer, I’d be visiting my local comics shops to see what I could develop into a big-budget winner.

WHY LOOK AT COMICS?

I’ve heard that a lot of comics are being optioned, and I hope they do get the movie treatment. After all, each issue or storyline of comics not only have a great plot, but they also show panel-by-panel how it could translate to the big screen.

That doesn’t even cover how TV is picking up on comics, with Walking Dead already renewed for another season, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airing on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

It’ll be fascinating to see if “The Avengers Effect” influences other Disney/Marvel films. If he hasn’t been seen in The Avengers, will Ant-Man do well? The Guardians of the Galaxy may make a cameo in the next Avengers movie, so I’ll be curious to see how Guardians does at the box office.

Then, too, one of the big draws of The Avengers was being able to see all those comics characters together on the big screen for the first time. Will “The Avengers Effect” also work on the sequel? Or will the novelty have worn off? My guess is that it will rake in even more big bucks instead.

FOR MOVIE PRODUCERS, COMICS ARE GOLD MINES JUST WAITING TO BE DUG INTO

What “The Avengers Effect” tells me (and should tell other comics companies) is that there’s gold in them thar movie hills! Not every comic-related film is a gem – Catwoman and Jonah Hex are good examples – but films with comics characters can attract big audiences and incomes!

My suggestion: With Hunger Games going over so well, how about DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes getting a film? Please?

The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. Each episode also includes reviews, news and previews. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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2 Comments

  1. JoeM
    November 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm — Reply

    I remember walking down a hall in a movie theater and seeing a display for Legion with a large cardboard cutout of a winged man. My first thought was “Cool!, But Dawnstar isn’t a guy.”
    It was very brief, but I was ready an that 1/3 of a second to be at Legion of Super-Heroes movie on the first showing.

  2. November 12, 2013 at 6:50 pm — Reply

    I might be missing something since I don’t really read comics (not due to a lack of interest, but do to some obsessive compulsive tendencies on my part which would probably cause me to end up spending ALL of my disposable income on comics if I started to read them–same reason I stay away from CCGs and collectables of all types), but how does the Hunger Games franchise have to do with the Legion of Super-Heroes? In my mind that’s a little bit like saying “Since the latest James Bond movies have done so well, isn’t time for another Ghostbusters Sequal?”

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