Even though 2003’s Hulk and 2008’s The Incredible Hulk were both met with lukewarm reviews and left fans of the titular character nonplussed, The Hulk is still arguably Marvel’s most popular character.
This has led to fans pleading with Marvel to create either a sequel to The Incredible Hulk or a completely new origin story that will have Mark Ruffalo instead of Ed Norton.
However, even though Ruffalo’s imperious turns as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in The Avengers and Avengers: Age Of Ultron have only added to these calls, it turns out that Marvel doesn’t want to create another solo outing for the character simply because they don’t think it’s financially viable.
Mark Hughes over at Forbes has now figured out exactly what is keeping Marvel from making a third Hulk film. And first and foremost, it’s the poor box office performances of Hulk and The Incredible Hulk.
Ang Lee’s 2003 blockbuster only grossed $245 million, while The Incredible Hulk didn’t fare too much better, as it grossed just $263 million. These were hugely disappointing returns, especially considering that the original cost $137 million and the second outing came in at $150 million. In fact, these two films are regarded as the only films from Marvel’s recent ouevre that have failed to perform at the box office.
Because The Incredible Hulk failed to build upon The Hulk’s brand, Marvel don’t believe that the interest in a solo film outing is genuinely there, even though a fervent section of the fan-base have made their thoughts on a possible new film clear. Simply put, Marvel isn’t willing to invest a huge amount of money in a new Hulk film considering that the two previous instalments have failed to make enough to cover their combined budget and marketing costs.
The Hulk’s continued success as a part of The Avengers’ ensemble is also another reason why Marvel is adverse to making a new solo film for the character. His rise in popularity in these films, Marvel believes, proves that the character works better when Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, and the rest of the other Avengers that no-one really cares about are there to shoulder the burden.
The studio thinks that mainstream audiences just aren’t interested in seeing a film where the Hulk is the Hulk going around and smashing things up for two-plus hours. Meanwhile, in amidst The Avengers, the Hulk is a key component to what makes these films so appealing, and he also helps to make the ensemble films unique from Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America’s solo outings.
It would also cost Marvel a substantial amount of money to create a Hulk movie because he would have to be his huge, monstrous self for most of the picture, while his villain would have to be as equally as monstrous, intimidating, and impressive. Creating this with CGI is much more expensive than creating a film where the protagonist is a human. Because of this, the cost for a solo Hulk movie would probably be around $200 million — and with the brand having not succeeded so far, Marvel just sees that as too much of a risk.
Until they’re confident that this is no longer the case, we can still see The Hulk in Age Of Ultron, while he’s also expected to feature in next summer’s Captain America: Civil War, too.
[Image via Marvel]