This post over at Jim Hill Media is of interest for a few reasons; first, to box office watchers who like to see how the major studios squirm when their summer blockbusters underperform, especially when compared to mega-hits like The Dark Knight. Hill takes a look at Disney’s summer, specifically Prince Caspian and Wall-E, both of which pale in comparison to the performance of the new Batman flick (Then again, what didn’t? At least they didn’t release the X-Files sequel or Speed Racer). Maybe I’m a little jaded after watching too much Entourage, but I imagine behind closed doors quotes like “sucked the air out of the room” probably have a different meaning.
Second, it’s a reminder that studios react to what’s hot by trying to do more of the same. Hill says that Disney’s response to this summer is to look at doing its own comic book-y movies, whether they be new properties like Time Jumper developed with Stan Lee, or adaptations of comics from their upcoming Kingdom Comics division. Which, if you’ll recall, is looking at revitalizing some of Disney’s older live-action movie properties in graphic novel format.
And third, the post is a reminder that once upon a time, Disney employed Jack Kirby to draw a newspaper strip based on their snoozefest of a film, The Black Hole, in the late 1970s. Some of the strips were collected last fall in one of Disney’s checkout aisle digests, in an issue that also featured Art Baltazar and Matt Feazell (a quick search on eBay turns up nothing, alas). Hill ends his piece by saying comic fans would probably rather see all those Kirby strips collected than a new Black Hole graphic novel by Kingdom Comics, and I’d say he’d be right.