Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #711 – Books of Magic #14

Show Notes

As we stumble to the year end break, Josh Flanagan and Conor Kilpatrick are barely holding it together. Not even special guest Ryan Haupt can keep things on track as the show goes almost immediately off the rails on a shark-related tangent. It’s a good thing that Vertigo is on a creative role!

Running Time: 01:13:13

Pick of the Week:
00:03:14 – Books of Magic #14

00:10:10 – John Constantine: Hellblazer #1
00:16:02 – Lazarus: Risen #3
00:22:48 – Action Comics #1017
00:27:25 – Invisible Woman #5
00:34:42 – Batman: Creature of the Night #4
00:37:12 – Valkyrie: Jane Foster #4
00:38:09 – Shazam! #8

Patron Pick:
00:42:32 – Conan 2099 #1

Patron Thanks:
00:52:40 – MCCN
00:54:27 – Deezer Irons
00:56:57 – Malcolm Eller
00:59:21 – Josh Zoll

Audience Questions:
01:00:48 – Scott P. can’t understand why business people keep creating their own comic book publishing companies.

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  1. Conor is actually wrong about Shazam. It wasn’t a huge success financially, but was still profitable since it made 3.6 times its budget. Any movie that makes 3 times its budget is profitable. Into the Spider-Verse did similar numbers on a similar budget and both of those movies were more profitable than Batman Begins which had a budget that was $50 more than both of those movies. It still was a success for WB just like Into the Spider-Verse was a success for Sony.

    • SHAZAM! may have been profitable, but being merely “profitable” is not good enough for modern studios and their corporate owners (that’s why the major studios stopped making mid-budget films that were profitable but not blockbusters). Putting aside the fact that we don’t know (yet) what the actual budget for SHAZAM! was, the budget is not the only cost in a film. You have to take into account, among other things, P&A costs which for a film like that are often as much as the budget itself. And that’s putting aside the fact that the studios don’t receive all of the box office.

      A big time live action superhero film based on DC characters is expected to make more than $364M worldwide. (BATMAN V SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE were also considered failures despite making $873M and $657M, respectively, because the expectation is that those films would have made more.) Animated films with no true comps like INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE have lower expectations. As a film executive you are judged by how much box office a film does against the expectation of what it will do.

    • 1/3 of the box office goes to the theaters where 2/3 are retained by the studio before the costs are divided out. Batman Begins made $375 million on a $150 million budget at the time. Even if it’s adjusted for inflation with both sets of numbers, it wasn’t as profitable as Into the Spider-Verse and Shazam. Justice League lost money and BVS had a profit of $105 million which Deadline broke down in 2017 after P&A, participation fees, interest, and overhead costs. Man of Steel had a profit of $42.7 million. Man of Steel’s and BVS’s profits were certainly disappointments especially with The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises making at least $1 billion for each film. I’m sure that WB thought Shazam would hit $400 million, but it wasn’t expected to be a juggernaut at the box office especially as a new IP where the marketing was handled by New Line.

    • You obviously feel very passionately about this but SHAZAM! was definitely a disappointment. Again, it’s all about expectations and whether or not they are met. (It’s a stupid system, but it’s the one we’ve got.) You can’t compare it to BATMAN BEGINS because that was in a pre-IRON MAN world. If that same film came out NOW and made the same money it would be considered a disaster.

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