There are few people who exist who I’d go full on fanboy if I ever met, the short list consists of
Arnold Schwarzenegger, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels (though I did meet him and I kept it together), Jessica Chobot, and Steven Spielberg (maybe George Lucas too, not sure, I’m still hurt by the prequels). So I’m not butt-hurt with his prediction that Super Hero movies will decline. After all, he’s probably right.
Movie trends cycle all of the time. Back in the 50’s and 60’s the hot ticket were Westerns, and now we don’t really see them. They had a bit of a revival in the 90’s with Unforgiven and then again in the early 2000’s with movies like 3:10 to Yuma and True Grit (both remakes mind you).
Also look at the 80’s they were filled with noting but big guns and big muscles. Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone ruled the 80’s with action flicks like Predator, Commando, Rocky, Rambo, and so on, but towards the mid-90’s those action flicks kind of died out, and where we’ve gotten the Expendables, and Super Hero movies are similar that kind of movie has all but disappeared.
So what does this all mean for Super Hero flicks? Well this is what Mr. Spielberg had to say:
“We were around when the Western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western. It doesn’t mean there won’t be another occasion where the Western comes back and the superhero movie someday returns.”
Basically, what he’s saying is, like when Batman and Robin came out, it was such a major bust that Super Hero movies went by the wayside for a bit and eventually that will happen again. It probably won’t take a bomb but eventually ticket sales will dwindle, like they were before before The Avengers came out and we’ll get fewer movies released. Then, eventually something will come out to give the genre a shot in the arm and they’ll come back.
When will that happen? I don’t think anyone is really sure. It seems like every time a super hero hating critic signals the end of the super hero movies one comes out and makes a billion dollars. I personally don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon only because Warner Bros. and DC are just now starting their Universe (they’re only one movie in) and Marvel Studios is getting ready to unload a whole cavalcade of heroes never before seen on the big screen on us (including their version of Spider-Man). So as long as they keep things fresh why would audiences get bored?
So Spielberg is right, it will cycle out eventually (hopefully not before we get to see him make one, god that would be awesome) but it will eventually cycle back in.