Brett Ratner vs. Comic Book Fans (A Friendly Response)

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm, Then people weren’t happy with Bryan Singer when he went on to Superman Returns.

Ratner: You can’t make these people happy. I’m kind of the Anti-Christ to these comic book geeks. Every single person that wrote sh*t went to see that movie multiple times because a movie doesn’t gross $200 something million unless people go to see it more than once. Every single person who said, “I’m never seeing that movie,” they were the first ones there.

Me: Brett isn’t the anti-christ; I prefer to think of him as the “Slayer of Children’s Dreams.” I love how he speaks with ultimate authority on the subject of who went to see his film. I sometimes truly wonder if he understands how the movie sequel process works. Brett had the privilege of making a movie with a built in audience. The first two X-Men films were so good that, of course, everyone who saw those films were going to see the third regardless of what occurred during production. The only thing that would have truly kept fans from watching it would have been the announcement of Uwe Boll as director; Ratner needs to come down off his high horse.

And no, I was not the first one in line (I was fourth because of a parking issue), but I was the first to leave the theater. Also, according to, the average ticket price in 2000, when X-Men was released, was $5.39; compare that to the $6.55 average price in 2006 when X-Men 3 released and Ratner starts off $1.16 per ticket better than previous two films. Sure that’s not an overwhelming amount, but after a few million tickets that starts to add up. It’s just one reason why X-Men 3 made more than the previous two films.

Here’s the main reason why I think X-Men 3 made more money than the previous two films: I call it the “Waffle House Effect.”

I know what you’re thinking, “What does ‘Waffle House’ have to do with X-Men 3? Was there a tie-in promotion I was unaware of?”

Imagine this: you’re driving through a small town when you become hungry for a steak. The problem is, there is only one place to eat in town and it’s Waffle House. Now granted, Waffle House has got the market on hash browns and waffles but they aren’t known for their Ruth’s Chris-style steaks. But hey, it’s the only place in town to eat so if you are truly hungry for steak, then that’s where you have to go.

While you are there you find out this particular Waffle House did $234 million in steaks last summer and the manager is going on interviews bragging about how his Waffle House is the best thing ever, and how critics and fans of well made steaks can kiss his butt.

Anyone with a brain can figure out that this Waffle House isn’t making big much money because of how good their steaks are but rather they are the only option in town.

The same thing applies to X-Men 3. The movie didn’t make big money because it was above reproach and Ratner made the Citizen Kane of comic book films – it did well at the theater because it was the only comic book movie to open in the summer of 2006. The movie was the only place to get a steak, even one as chewed up, overcooked and leathery as X3 was; if fanboys wanted to watch Wolverine slash and hack, then X-Men 3 was the only place to go.

(Continue to pg. 3 to find out if Ratner could be the next Scorsese)

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  1. “They’re such rabid fans, they’re so passionate about their comic book characters that they think that their favorite character should be the star of the movie. Someone might be passionate about Iceman being the star. So, you can’t win. Everyone’s going to have their own so just stay away from their opinion and do what you feel’s best.”

    I can’t say I like Singer’s remarks either (if he actually said that). You’re making a movie based on characters whose fan base spans more than 70 years, and your advice is to stay away from the opinion of the people who atually do know more about the characters than you? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Although, while I am able to see Singer’s point of certain fans wanting their favorite character to be the star of the film, I, however, think that any rational and creative filmmaker would be able to decipher between what would make sense and what would not, whether a fan is merily looking out for their favorite character or the excellency of the entire film. Why? Well, to start off both Singer and Ratner have tons of comic books to refer to, and should have referred to them months, even a year before they started production. This would have helped them to understand and know the characters and the fans. By Ratner saying that the x-men cartoons and the x-men comic books are the same thing, does lead me to believe that he relied on the cartoons, instead of the true source–the books themselves.

    Hey, when I was in junior high it was easier and more fun to watch a movie based on a book, which we had to do a book report on, than to actually tediously read the book itself, though my teachers gave us an adequate amount of time to read the book. But alas, because they read the book and knew its contents and characters inside out, they easily deduced that some of the reports was based on the movie and not the book itself. As a result, some students received a bad grade., which is what Ratner got from the fans. Furthermore, I still don’t think the first 2 x-men films were all that great. But as stated before by our host blogger, they only made so much because the were the first x-men films ever made and were highly anticipated by fans. I say, Marvel needs to choose another production company to make their films. I think they are partly to blame to.

  2. AT Jack

    I am a real fan of the comics (mostly marvel). Frankly, I agree with you that you cannot put so many characters in a comic movie. I have been saying that since day one. The reason being is that the film will do very bad beause each character needs their own camera time and it’s just too much going on. However, I think you are wrong with your assumption that most of the the comics’ audience are at puberty or under. That may vey well be true for Archie Comics or crime/detective based comics, but not for Marvel. Stan Lee, himself, said the majority of comic book readers and fans of Marvel are adults, well into their late 20s and upward, in Comics Books Unleashed/Abound. Christian Bale’s Batman did well simply because the plot was well written, in that it made sense, and here’s the big one…it was geared toward the adult audience. I remember critics telling parents to not bring their children to see Bale’s second bat flick because it was geared toward adults (because of its dark content).

    DC’s characters, in my opinion, are more so aimed toward the puberty and and under puberty crowd, with the exception of Batman. Batman has always been a favorite of both the young and older male audience because of the seriousness of the character. He is, in my opinion, the only DC character that can easily cross over into the Marvel Comics realm/family, as his origin fits the origin of many Marvel characters: He is a character who possesses some sort of great power, but in Bat’s case strong witts and intelligence, and is somewhat of a disturbed man, one who sits in a cave with bats (the smell of the place must be unbearable), and dresses up like a bat to fight crime. This was a point that Jack Nicholson’s Joker character made note of, pointing to how ridiculous and disturbed this guy must be…just like himself. Therefore, in that sense, Batman fits well into the Marvel family unlike most of DC’s characters who seem to have bright and picture perfect origins, and seem to have no flaws because they are the “perfect” person.

    The film studios gear these comic book movies toward a younger crowd (10-14 year olds) because they think it will generate more money, when in fact it doesn’t. Why? because 10 and 12 year old kids, believe it or not, wouldn’t frequent a movie theater to see the same flick 5 times, as compared to there adult counterparts, who actually have money in their pockets because they have jobs, and a stronger attention span. I have read that some people (adults) saw certain Marvel flicks (such as Ironman) at least 5 times.

    There is a way to make movies based on our comic book heroes (at least Marvel characters), excellently well: gear them toward their proper and intended and original demographic…the adults. All 3 X-men films made well over 100 million. It wasn’ because they were actually good (though 2 was the best out of the 3), but because X1 was the very first movie based on marvel’s favorite team, while 2 and 3 road the wake of X1′s first time appeal.

    I don’t need to see Wolverine in his yellow and blue scrubs, just make the character into what he is in the books, a man who has anger management issues, who is also trying to keep himself from going berserk, but does from time to time, incorporate one villain for him to fight, and give temovie the presence of say…Charles Bronson’s Death Wish flicks.

    Finally, mostly nothing in their origins need to be changed since many characters (again, mostly marvel) are based on real life events, nor are their origins boring or “stupid” as you put it, Jack. I think Wolverine has an exciting origin, considering how old he is (well over 100). The Hulk has another non-boring origin, and even Captain America, whose state of natural cryogenics does seem plausible or at least wants to seem possible by the human mind, which in turn makes for an exciting movie because of it’s appeal to the human imagination (providing that it is directed well, geared toward its proper/intended audience, etc. etc.)

  3. my problem with x-3 is it feels like a dissconect from x-1 and 2 while fun it lacks the tone of the first two. it dose not flow scenes go from scene to scene with no flow to them. did the guys who wrote x-3 forget the x-men are based in ny not sf and if it was ny there is bno way in hell icekid would go looking for Rogue and be back at the school so damn quick. Ratner did get it out fast but if you don”t have a good story then wtf is the point of it. i agree with the guy in the article idk which was worse x-3 or wolverine.

  4. Storm and Cyclops on the set of X3. Love it, :-)

  5. No wonder this guy’s film blew chunks, never read the comics, pretty unapologetic about it 2. If growing up you didn’t at the very least catch x men vol 2 jim lee style I don’t care how much fox kids you’ve watched bro you don’t know s*** about the classic x men stories. if u ask me every single x men film right up to that last abomination called days of future past sucked! then again 4 me the comics havnt been interesting since Grant Morrison. the funny thing is his x men kinda looked like the movies but there was far more substance there. wish the MCU could somehow acquire xmen. what a waste

  6. Another biased rant against a like-it-or-hate-it comment. Again, no one ever said that Mr. Ratner would rank up there with the greats of cinema but to act like he only made tons of money because of the actors he has is being pretentious. That goes for ANYONE’s work but there are plenty of people who will go and see a movie just because they’re sold by a trailer.

    Also, you’re being overtly PC by making a humongous deal about him cursing? REALLY?? Have you ever seen an interview with Quentin Tarantino. That’s hardly worth ranting about.