With superhero flicks now very much the behemoth when it comes to box office, rarely can a visit to the old multiplex pass without some reference to spandex, tights and superpowers.

You may actually be going to see a superhero movie (you can probably still find Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, Spider-man: Homecoming or Wonder Woman out there), or you’ll get a trailer for an upcoming one (say, Thor: Ragnarok or Justice League) or at the very least find some marketing material adorning the cinema lobby.

And step away from the movie theatre itself and it is more of the same, with merchandise, video games and even casino fodder (in the shape of fun online DC slots) at every turn.

With this overwhelming focus on superhero flicks comes ever-intense scrutiny, with the latest to fall in the spotlight being the saga of Justice League, set to hit cinemas in November.

It seems barely a week goes by without some sort of controversy attached to the film – and this week was no exception, with talk of extensive reshoots, an ‘unwatchable’ first cut and a shift from Zack Snyder’s vision to drafted-in-writer Joss Whedon’s offerings.

Of course, a lot of this ‘controversy’ is internet rumour-mill and nothing more – after all, that is what the internet, social media and gossip sites are there for, right?

But here’s a novel thought – shouldn’t we just lighten up on superhero movies for a while? Now I don’t mean forget about them, or shun them at the box office, as believe you me – I enjoy a good Marvel or DC outing as much as the next movie fan.

The simple fact though is that most big-budget comic-book adaptations now come saddled with so much hype, internet baggage and over-analysis that they can often do nothing other than disappoint. They get built up, and built up, and built up, with fans slavering over every on-set photograph to such an extent that when said film eventually lands in cinemas it can never live up to expectations.

On the flipside I would argue that the films that arrive with plenty of negative fanfare – think of the borderline misogyny that greeted Wonder Woman’s arrival into the DC Universe (before cinemagoers realised it was a cracking film of course) or that deviate so far from the ‘pattern’ that they take everyone by surprise (hello Deadpool) are the ones that have come out on top. Deadpool on the other hand was heavily promoted in all forms at their disposal. The marketing campaign  had paid off in the end.

And it is not just comic book movies here of course, but practically every genre flick or release that can have the term ‘fanboy/girl’ thrown at it – yep, I’m looking at you Star Wars.

So here’s an idea – don’t pore over every website titbit ahead of a film’s release. Don’t try to track down leaked script pages so you can have every surprise ruined before you plunk your hard-earned cash down at the box office. And don’t go along to these films expecting some sort of earth-shattering experience.

It won’t be easy I know, but you just might find the whole thing a bit more entertaining.

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.