Primary Research OneI asked a group of 5 students questionsregarding their interest in Superhero films.My focus group consisted of males andfemales around the ages of 16-17, all withdifferent feelings about the genre;resulting in a culmination of differentanswers.
What do people expect to see in a Superhero film?In a Superhero film, people expect to see action,fighting and extraordinary events that are highlyunrealistic. Romance is also expected, alongwith explosions and a protagonist whopossesses unnatural powers and abilities. Peoplewant to be entertained and expect anunpredictable storyline, along with evil Villainswho wear fancy costumes.
What do people like about Superhero films?The main thing that people like about superherofilms is the fact that for an hour or two they canescape their ordinary, normal lives and watch ahuman who is just like themselves partake inamazing battles.Superhero films allow the viewers to becomeimmersed in the drama, see attractive actorsand actresses, and visit places that they wouldwant to visit- such as New York City- from thecomfort of their own homes.
What about dislike about Superhero films?Superhero films often give the consumer a glimpseof a life they will never be able to lead, and this isfrustrating for viewers. Realism is hardly ever anaspect of films in the Superhero genre, which canbe a positive but also a negative. Furthermore,Superhero films are also rather cheesy, due to thefact the main protagonist and his love interestalways get together. A lack of humour andpredictable plot lines are also reasons why peoplemay dislike superhero films.
Primary Research 2• Two people in my Focus Group specifically liked the way the film Kick-Ass changed the conventions of Superhero films.• They found it refreshing having a main protagonist who did not have any special powers and a young girl who fought the Villains by herself.• However, they didn’t like the character in Iron Man, finding him conceited and hard to relate to.
Secondary Research1. Looking through the top fifteen films on Box OfficeMojo, the Spider-Man franchise appears thrice,suggesting that Sony hit a winning streak with the taleof Peter Parker, a schoolboy who gets powers from aspecial spider. The target audience for the Spider-Manfilms are teenagers and young adults, due to the PG-13rating in America and themes of love, family problemsand being at high school. Distributed by Columbiapictures, one of the leading film companies in theworld, Spiderman had the necessary marketing to pushit into global success.
Iron Man stands at number five in the table, and it isclear to see why. With massive star appeal in the formof Robert Downey Jr, Iron Man promised action,romance and excitement in it’s trailer. Paramount, whoproduced the film, have also been the name behindmassive blockbusters such as Mission Impossible andsaving Private Ryan- with such a big producer, there is alot of expectation for the film to succeed.The Incredibles is different to the previous films in thelist, as the target audience for this film is mainlyyounger children aged 5-13. It is actually the onlychildrens film in the Top 15, suggesting that there wasa substantial lack of children’s Superhero films to comeout- leaving families flocking to the cinemas to seesomething new.
2. I believe that the main demographic for ‘TheAmazing Spider Man’ will be people who are fans ofthe original film- so a mixture of men and women intheir 20’s to early 40’s. However, by bringing thefilms to the attention of a new generation this willbring a new bout of teenagers who were not oldenough to see the first three in cinemas, so whowill want to see this new instalment. Thepsychographic factors include that ‘Mainstreamers’may be persuaded by their friends, or they may beattracted to the big name stars attached to the film-in this case Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield.
Another film in the Upcoming Releases column on BoxOffice Mojo is ‘The Dark Knight Rises’- the sequel to theextremely successful ‘The Dark Knight’. The aforementionedfilm is number one on the website’s list of most popularSuperhero films, telling us that there is an increasing levelof pressure on Warner Brothers to produce the same highquality of film to the public. The psychographic factors ofgoing to see ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ include that succeederswho enjoyed ‘The Dark Knight’ may go to watch the filmanyway, despite any bad reviews. The main demographicfor this film is young people aged 15, to adults aged 50, allwho have an interest in superhero films of a darker nature.
Secondary Research continued1. The reasons why the article on comingsoon.net believesthat ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘The Avengers’ and ‘TheAmazing Spider Man’ will be successful in finding audiencesare that The Dark Knight Rises has a huge advantage beingthe sequel to a $533 million grossing movie. Other reasonsinclude that The Avengers has been the culmination ofyears of planning, combining six well-loved characters fromprevious summer blockbusters.Although the article believes that The Amazing Spider Manis this summers ‘weakest link’, Sony’s first Spider Man movieset the bar for all the $100 million plus opening Superheromovies that have come since- indicating that there isobviously public interest in the Superhero franchise.
Sony have also undergone a big global event to spread theword about The Amazing Spiderman, doing a big Viralcampaign that is similar to what Warner Bros used for TheDark Knight. Furthermore, The Amazing Spider Man isopening the day before 4th July- Independence Day- inAmerica, and is hoping to get a bump from the holiday andword-of-mouth. The article closes saying that The AmazingSpider Man will be able to maintain a few good weeks, untilThe Dark Knight Rises opens on July 20th, which is likely to“destroy it’s legs”. I think the reason writer believes thelatter will do so well is because by working for a site like‘Superhero hype’, they have access to readers who watchthese films, and can predict through polls and messageboards which film is going to be the most popular at thebox office.
2. Star Actors and Star Directors are incrediblyimportant in helping superhero films to besuccessful. Many superhero films have derived fromcomics, and viewers have a very specific view onhow the characters should look and behave. It isimperative that actors are chosen who can copewith the usually physically demanding role of aSuperhero character, whilst looking good to bring‘Star Appeal’ to the film.By hiring an actor or actress who appeals toaudiences and therefore attracts moviegoers is oneof the most important aspects of filmmaking, as thisincreases profits.
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