Are superhero movies getting shittier?

I hate superhero movies. This wasn’t always the case. Since Iron Man 2, I’ve actively avoided them. But from time to time I will go see one to see if my view needs to be changed or not. Nope. Shit hate & still shit. I figured I’ll make a post about this for no reason other than to share my view. You can have your own view too.

The reasons for the hate are:

  • They are always too damn long. 2 hours average for anything DC and 1h55m for Marvel. Why cant you tell a story in 90 minutes?
  • Every movie these days seems like a gangbang of 10 or so characters. Why do you have to put all your stars in every movie?
  • Why does every movie have to have some bullshit origin story? These movies are being cranked out so fast that it doesn’t matter any more. If you have a talking raccoon, I don’t give a fuck about his origin. Just let him do his thing. It wouldn’t matter if he had a humble beginning or fell from grace or whatever.
  • The McGuffins are really stupid. I get that its plot device but sometimes the rules of the McGuffin are stupid. I think Guardians of the Galaxy was the prime example. The orb is the single most important thing in the universe, but no one was guarding it. Then no one should touch it, but many touch it.
  • The villains are the dumbest motherfuckers out there. They have all this power & can directly influence events, but instead they make a guy do it and then the guy fucks it up and then the boss needs another guy to do the thing.
  • Everyone is a cartoon character. I know that they are from a cartoon. The story needs to be more compelling now that you can’t develop the characters.

Ok, I’m done with my stupid rant. Let’s go figure out if movies are getting shittier. First, I got the list of Marvel movies from their website & DC had a list on Wiki. I then searched on IMDB for the rating and length of the movie. I tried to make sure I had all the movies and removed any games or series’. Only movies. As a benchmark of ‘what rating to good movies get’, I looked at the top 250 movies on IMDB and they have an average rating of 8.2572 out of 10. So any movie that gets this score or higher is a damn good movie. Anything less is an average movie. I would probably have 5.0 as a cut off for bad movies.

Lets start with Marvel. Starting in 1986 with the amazing Howard the Duck, they have made 44 movies with 20 being in the last 6 years. No movies are really good and 5 are bad. The 5 are Man-Thing, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Howard The Duck, Marvel’s Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United and Elektra.

marvel

Then DC had Superman and the Mole Men as their first one in 1951 and made 29 movies since. There are three good ones. The Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy scored high ratings. However, they did have more bad movies scoring less than 5. Steel, Catwoman, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Batman & Robin, Supergirl, The Return of Swamp Thing, Jonah Hex and Superman III.

dc

How close is the relationship between length and score? I will try to correlate the ratings with the length of the movies. A value of 1 means that a longer movie will give you a higher rating. A value of 0 means that there is no relationship at all. DC and Marvel. DC has a correlation of 0.62 and Marvel has 0.56. This is neither strong nor non-existent.

And what about length? These damn movies keep getting longer.

dcmarvel

Well its true, the trend is to get longer and longer. But there is more variation in the length. They are all not over 2 hours. More and more are 90 minutes. The last one below 90 minutes was in 2013.

Ok. So are they getting shittier?

ratings over time

It doesn’t look like it. The trend is that newer movies are getting higher scores. The 80’s movies would have scored a 5 and the recent ones are above 7.

Before I started writing this post or gathering data, I hoped that the data would tell me that its getting shit. But I have to concede that maybe I’m the only one that doesn’t like these movies & that the human race has accurately rated these movies.

DC movies from Wikipedia

Name Year Rating Minutes
Superman and the Mole Men 1951 6 58
Batman 1966 6.5 105
Superman 1978 7.3 143
Superman II 1980 6.8 127
Swamp Thing 1982 5.4 91
Superman III 1983 4.9 125
Supergirl 1984 4.3 105
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace 1987 3.6 90
The Return of Swamp Thing 1989 4.4 88
Batman 1989 7.6 126
Batman Returns 1992 7 126
Batman Forever 1995 5.4 121
Batman & Robin 1997 3.7 125
Steel 1997 2.8 97
Catwoman 2004 3.3 104
Constantine 2005 6.9 121
Batman Begins 2005 8.3 140
V for Vendetta 2006 8.2 132
Superman Returns 2006 6.1 154
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut 2006 7.8 115
The Dark Knight 2008 9 152
Watchmen 2009 7.7 162
The Losers 2010 6.4 97
Jonah Hex 2010 4.7 81
Green Lantern 2011 5.6 114
The Dark Knight Rises 2012 8.5 164
Man of Steel 2013 7.2 143
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016 6.9 151
Suicide Squad 2016 7.1 123

Marvel Movies from their site:

Name Year Rating Minutes
Howard The Duck 1986 4.6 110
Blade 1998 7.1 120
X-Men 2000 7.4 104
Blade II 2002 6.7 117
Spider-Man 2002 7.3 121
Daredevil 2003 5.3 103
Hulk 2003 5.7 138
X2: X-Men United 2003 7.5 134
Blade: Trinity 2004 5.9 113
Spider-Man 2 2004 7.3 127
The Punisher 2004 6.5 124
Elektra 2005 4.8 97
Fantastic Four 2005 5.7 106
Man-Thing 2005 4.1 97
X3: The Last Stand 2006 6.8 104
Doctor Strange 2007 6.8 76
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer 2007 5.6 92
Ghost Rider 2007 5.2 114
Spider-Man 3 2007 6.2 139
Iron Man 2008 7.9 126
Punisher: War Zone 2008 6 103
The Incredible Hulk 2008 6.8 112
Hulk Vs. 2009 7.1 82
X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2009 6.7 107
Iron Man 2 2010 7 124
Planet Hulk 2010 6.9 81
Captain America: The First Avenger 2011 6.9 124
Thor 2011 7 115
X-Men: First Class 2011 7.8 132
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 2012 4.3 96
Marvel’s The Avengers 2012 8.1 143
The Amazing Spider-Man 2012 7 136
Iron Man 3 2013 7.2 130
Iron Man: Rise of Technovore 2013 5.3 88
Marvel’s Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United 2013 4.7 71
The Wolverine 2013 6.7 126
Thor: The Dark World 2013 7.1 112
Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014 7.8 136
Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 8.1 121
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014 6.7 142
X-Men: Days of Future Past 2014 8 132
Ant-Man 2015 7.4 117
Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015 7.5 141
Captain America: Civil War 2016 8.2 147