Superhero movies generally have been box office gold for movie studios. When not adjusting for inflation, 22 of the 100 top-grossing movies of all time are superhero movies. With films such as “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther” both grossing over $670 million in the U.S. alone, the genre seems like a sure bet for Hollywood producers.
However, not all superheroes have the draw of Iron Man or Black Panther. Many characters either fail to grab the public’s attention or slowly lose it after a strong debut until producers give up on making movies about them. For every Batman – a superhero who has inspired numerous sequels and reboots – there’s a misfire that audiences, and studios, would rather forget.
24/7 Wall St. has identified the most forgettable superheroes by reviewing the success of their films, both commercially and critically.
The majority of superheroes featured on this list spawned just a single film before disappearing from the silver screen. Many of these characters originated, as so many superheroes do, in comic books, and would likely have generated numerous sequels had audiences been more receptive.
The 2008 film “The Spirit,” for example, was written and directed by Frank Miller, who was also involved with hit films “Sin City” and “300.” Yet “The Spirit” bombed at the box office, burying with it any chance the titular hero had of becoming a household name.
Other superheroes were at one point embraced by moviegoers before ultimately being rejected. Cult classic “The Crow” grossed over $50 million at the domestic box office and spawned numerous sequels. By the release of the fourth installment of the series, “The Crow: Wicked Prayer” in 2005, fans had grown weary of the character. Demand for movies featuring The Crow dried up and no further films have been released.
Even some major production companies that are behind the biggest superhero movies, such as the Warner Bros. division DC Entertainment, are vulnerable to missteps. The company’s 2011 film version of “Green Lantern” is considered a major failure that underperformed at the box office. Despite being a comic book icon from the DC Universe – which also includes Superman and Wonder Woman – no Green Lantern sequels were produced, giving rise to complaints amongst superhero fans.
To be considered for the list of most forgettable superheroes, each character needed to appear in a live action feature film that is listed on Internet Movie Database. Domestic box office gross data comes from reporting service Box Office Mojo and is not adjusted for inflation. The “most recent movie appearance” is the most recent film in which the hero plays a major role.