Using The Advocate‘s cover story as a springboard, The Los Angeles Times explores the “obvious — and growing — gay appeal” of superheroes, and whether the Man of Steel’s supposed “gay vibe” will broaden the audience for Superman Returns:
An informal poll of six veteran Hollywood marketing executives at rival studios revealed sharply divided opinions over how — or even if — Superman’s gay attention would affect the film. Two of the executives said the focus could actually expand the film’s audience, much as gay moviegoers have responded to the X-Men superhero series, which has been praised for its metaphorical plots about acceptance.
… But four of the movie marketing executives, all of whom declined to speak on the record, said gay Superman Returns interest presented two potential box-office problems. First, teenage moviegoers, especially those in conservative states, might be put off by a movie carrying a gay vibe; among some teens, these executives agreed, saying something “is gay” is still the ultimate put-down. Second, the attention threatens to undermine the film’s status as a hard-edged action movie, making it feel softer, more romantic, and thus less interesting to young ticket buyers who crave pyrotechnics.
The article also touches upon Joel Schumacher’s notoriously campy Batman & Robin, which barely grossed $100 million in U.S. theaters.