3. Fanboy Stubbornness Knows No End
When the X-Men: First Class trailers started hitting the Web, there was quick turnaround in opinion. Before the trailers, only a small, dedicated few believed in director Matthew Vaughn so blindly that they thought this project had hope. Even amongst that minority, most were worried that the narrow production schedule, combined with the possibility of Vaughn (again) facing possible creative friction with FOX, would make First Class crash and burn.
Like everyone else, your average X-Men fanboy was pretty upset when First Class was announced. But where many movie fans were willing to give the film a chance once they saw some good stuff in the trailers and character trailers, the most hardcore holdouts in the X-Men fanboy inner circle remained unswayed – and still remain unswayed to this day.
The problem was continuity. Hardcore X-fans said that Matthew Vaughn and Co. had “re-imagined” the X-Men’s origins so drastically that First Class – while promising – bore so little resemblance to anything in the X-Men Universe that the very title “X-Men” was unfitting. I for one figured that – as is usually the case with such naysayers – the lures of opening day and positive viewer reactions would cause even the biggest holdouts to do a 180° turn and head to the theater. But this was not the case. At all.
Despite what you want to say about the quality of First Class (or lack thereof), there is clearly a contingent of fans who are making their voices heard through their wallets: They want this franchise (and all its convoluted and/or broken continuity) out of FOX’s hands, while the rights to the property get reverted back home to Marvel Studios.
Would a return of the X-Men rights to Marvel guarantee a fresh and better start for the X-Men franchise? While certain fanboys may blindly believe that, it’s far from guarantee. Then again, many are saying that Matthew Vaughn has given the franchise a fresh start with First Class…so I guess it depends on which side of the debate you fall on.
What we have learned, though, is that a lot of fanboys are only open to so much change being made to their beloved source material. Push them too far, and apparently they will indeed bail on you. It’s also a very important lesson for any major studio currently mishandling a movie franchise: people have longer memories than you think, and they won’t keep paying out and showing up just because a film bears a familiar name. The franchise must be worthy.