Let’s do some simple math shall we! But first let's get some statistical information to frame what we are deriving. Math is fun!
THE AVENGERS are at the top of the totem pole for Comic Book films at the moment. It doesn’t matter if you love it or hate it. It almost hit two Billion Dollars in global box office, it's #3 for highest grossing film of all time. Adding another $112,000,000 once the home market hit, almost toppling Avatar as the #1 Blu-Ray seller of all time.
Let’s try and look at a successful film that’s not Avengers to try and figure a small modicum of necessity for audience requirements; to make a fiscally sound film.
Let’s look at Film #10 among all comic book movies, currently that’s MAN OF STEEL, and is probably out of theaters after this weekend, with under 200 locations of its original 4207 left; having been at the Box Office for 13 weeks. This film grossed over $660,951,711.
Let’s break this down with the highest unrealistic ticket price we can use. $15 per ticket as an average; which I’m sure is higher than the national average ticket price (when I find a credible source giving that average I’ll edit and post it). The basic math formula is as follows:
Total Revenue divided by Average Ticket Price = potential number of ticket buyers
$660,951,711 / $15 = 44,063,447 potential ticket buyers
Basically that's over 40 Million people going to see this film. Let’s take this comparison and use it with three petitions filed with a film that is as close to the lowest needed audience to make it successful.
Two of these petitions are on Change.org, another setup through the White House petition system.
Two of these petitions were against Ben Affleck becoming Batman.
The one that was setup at the White House, is no longer visible on the site, taken down for its level of stupidity and ridiculousness, and reached 9000 signatures.
The second petition on Change.org against Ben Affleck hit 92,750 signatures (at the time of posting this article). By most standards is an exceptional accomplishment and would be considered significant by most hearing the number. However…
Let’s apply these numbers to our excruciatingly simple math, and combine them as one number (for shits and giggles). They’re both against the same person for the same reason; Why not!?
101,750 / 44,063,447 = .0023091 x 100 (rounded = 0.2%)
0.2% of the audience needed to make this comic book film successful is what these numbers represent in the grand scheme of things. However this is not a realistic view bbecause Man of Steel gained 2.94 times the revenuw over its budget. We need normally 2.5 times over the budget of a film to be successful. Avengers itself is a monstrosity of financial success @ 6.87 times it's budget in gross revenue.
Let’s use a film farther down the totem pole of successful comic book movie adaptations and work out a different standard to live up to, and see if the petition numbers are closer to a realistic audience majority when we're closer to the 2.5 mark.
#28 X-MEN FIRST CLASS, another relatively controversial Comic Book film, yet it just made the 2.21+ on the profitability margin.
$353,624,124 / $15 = 23,574,942 Potential ticket buyers.
Let’s plug in the same petition values into this group of audience members and see how this petition would fare.
101,750 / 23,574,942 = .0043160 x 100 (rounded 0.4%)
Not much better. In fact, this is still completely trivial. A studio will never base… Perhaps I should refrain from saying never, we do have R.I.P.D. as an example of an extremely obscure comic turned into a film that ended up with a minority audience.
These numbers dwindle even further down a curve approaching zero. When you consider the numbers of the recent petition to get a Loki film made. Currently @ 21,828 signatures.
Let me be clear. I’m not trying to kick your puppy and point out in excessively brutal honest numbers that your petitions are a joke. No. That’s just the message that occurs in revelation as I break this down. I don’t need to say it.
I’m pointing out a reality. If you want any petition to have an impact whatsoever; the petition will have to (at least) hit 25-50% of the minimal audience required to make the film a fiscal success. If we are using the simplified numbers above. The Loki petition would need to literally gain well over 12 Million signatures. Using the numbers for First Class is still technically under par.
If you are making a petition, you'll need to get the flowery bullshit out of your mind that Marvel, DC, Disney, or any other studio (for that matter), will make these films because they bust-a-nut when you cheer their artistic, emotional, and culturally relevant content. They bust-a-nut, only jumping into their proverbial money bins just like a real life McDuck would, when they gain 2.5 times their gross revenues. Leave delusions at home with whoever you’re sleeping with that expresses you have a big penis, or “that size doesn’t matter”. I don’t play those coddling mind games. Let's stick to hard facts and real numbers here.
I can keep going further down the Comic Book chart, but that would be absurd to continue doing the basic math I’ve already demonstrated making my point.
If a Studio is going to make a film it’s because they already believe they are going to make 2.5+ times their budget in gross revenue.
The weakest film fiscally in the Marvel/Disney MCU is CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER @ #24 with 2.63 in return on its budget; just over the mark. A much higher requirement than the example I used with First Class.
I’m not saying a Loki film would not work, not at all. I’m simply trying to help folks understand the exercise in futility they are undertaking by trying to get 20,000; 40,000; or even 75,000 signatures. It’s not at all significant, and further still, not even guaranteed. It’s simply a random internet click and sign.
Setup a real petition, with a physical pieces of paper somewhere in a city or many cities. Requiring people to come to you and sign. I'm not talking about you pandering or chasing people down and pestering someone, randomly approaching them, and selling the idea. No, that's also not the same thing. I am talking about a piece of paper that people hear about from various sources in media and have to go and get to this piece of parer; sign their name, give their information. See how many signatures you can gain doing it this way.
Get 100,000 signatures like this. You may actually garner some real attention from the studios. That is more respectable than the non-result gaining internet versions that exist right now, petitions of convenience.
Not to say Change.org is useless, they are a wonderful company that does help affect a lot change, in real issues; however, for the purposes of luxuries and causes that are dependent of a large corporations money… Don’t expect numbers as insignificant as the ones I've demonstrated above to do anything but make the people you need to motivate to change laugh.
These petitions are illusions. Because it boils back down to the same argument that the studios are using beloved characters represented in a mainstream storyline for the masses, not for the purist fandom elite.
The closest thing that will (ever) gain a direct response from a studio, in a synonymous fashion; would be if the studios ever decided to experiment with crowd funding sources like Kickstarter. A reputable source of funding for a large quantity of independent works. Take Loki, Set a $100,000,000 goal and campaign everything they want to do with the character, his story, and the film. See if people get behind it and raise the funds needed to make the movie the fans want. This would be a proper gauge without the concept of faith entering the equation like it does with a petition.
While the chances of this ever happening are staggeringly low; it has a better chance of getting attention than a petition does. Perhaps someone at a studio might get creative and try this. The Goon, out of Dark Horse comic properties accomplished $400,000+ last year in their campaign; having a screening recently in LA.
Perhaps one day Marvel, Disney, and/or DC may try their hand at using crowd funding as an experimental tool, but not for anything dealing with the MCU.
If it was ever done, I’d totally put some money on Loki. I'd pitch in for Katee Sackhoff as Ms/Captain Marvel too (totally another topic)!
What do you think? Do you think that a petition is helpful in terms of getting comic book movies made, or sending messages to studios to affect changes? Do you feel it’s a harmless way to try and “do something” and take action as opposed to screaming at your screen (the internet) fruitlessly without the hope of affecting any changes?
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