Want to advertise on
The Movie Blog?

Click here for

» News

Superman Needs $200 Million Or No Sequel

By John - July 12, 2006 - 08:43 America/Montreal

Apparently Warner Bros. has put out the word that in order for it to green light a sequel to Superman Returns (Which I really hope they do cause I went out and bought the Supermanreturns2.com domain name and I was hoping to get 50 billion dollars for it), this film will have to pull in $200 million domestically.

It’s also being said that if there is indeed a sequel, then it’s budget would be cut down.¬† The good folks over at TMZ give us this:

Talent agency insiders, speaking on the condition of anonymity, insist that Horn (Warner Exec.) is so concerned about being burned financially by ionospheric "Superman" special effects costs that any sequel’s budget would cost far less than Bryan Singer’s quarter billion dollar baby: a meager $150 million. That’s a whopping $35 million less than its predecessor was green lit at, and roughly $55 million less than "Superman Returns" alleged final negative cost.

Can anyone really blame him?  Right now Superman Returns is sitting about about $150 million domestically (a terrific number for any movie in 13 days, but clearly not record breaking).  Does it have the legs to make $200 million?  Actually yes it could.

Aside from POTC 2 (which everyone on the planet has seen already), there really isn’t anything major that would threaten it until at least the 21st.¬† By then it is possible that it could crack that $200 number… but it’s not a lock by a long shot.

However, I should mention here that while I LOVED Superman Returns, I’ve got to say that I’m not really sure where that $220 million production budget (not including marketing) went.¬† Yes there were some terrific special effect in Superman Returns… but nothing outrageously spectacular… and not really too much of them.¬† I’ve never been really sure why this film cost so much more to make than say… X-Men 3.

I don’t think you need a PHD to know there will be a Superman Returns 2… however… I don’t see why having it’s budget cut would be a bad thing.¬† That film should have only run $150 million to make in the first place.¬† Bryan Singer (One of the best in the business) needs to learn how to work within a budget a little more.¬† Thanks to Dave for the heads up.


  1. Varun says:

    I agree the budget was kind of rediculous…..

    OK here is something that has bothered me….

    Shouldnt a giant tidal wave have been created by the water displacement of the giant kryptonic island????? I really thought it would have been great graphically if Superman fought a giant tidal wave with heat vision and super breath…..


  2. John Campea says:

    Hey Varun,

    Underground earthquakes underwater CAN result in title waves… but it’s not a rule.


    Your idea is FREAKING AWSOME! i would have loved to have seen than! Damn them.

  3. Drewbacca says:

    Why would they call it Superman Returns 2? He’s already returned. Wouldn’t they title it Superman Again or probably something more clever than that. You can’t have Batman Begins 2 either. He already began. So your idea of getting the domain name was smart, but probably pointless.

    ~ Drewbacca

  4. Mr Stay Puft says:

    Bryan Singer now reminds me of Peter Jackson. They make hugely successful films made from revered source material. Their next films are directorial excess along the lines of “Heaven’s Gate” or “Cutthroat Island”, except they haven’t actually bankrupted any studios. Someone needs to tell these guys no. Three hours of Kong! Two and a half of Superman. $300M budgets. What the hell?

    I’d like to see Bryan Singer lay off superhero films for a while and make another “Usual Suspects” or “Apt Pupil”.

  5. Nala says:

    Do they could the 8+ years of previous work done on getting this to screen before Bryan Singer signed on in that dollar figure?

    I can’t see that money in the actual print either.

  6. Nala says:

    Umm… That should read “Do they count…”

  7. Drewbacca says:

    Why would they call it Superman Returns 2? He’s already returned. Wouldn’t they title it Superman Again or probably something more clever than that. You can’t have Batman Begins 2 either. He already began. So your idea of getting the domain name was smart, but probably pointless.

    ~ Drewbacca

  8. John Campea says:


    Yes… but for the first 2 years that they work on it, everyone will think of it as “Superman Returns 2″ until the title gets announced.

    Seeeeee… I have no “off” position on my genius switch.


  9. Jeff Martin says:

    If “Returns Again” were going to use a villain like Brainiac or Darkseid, they’d need some of that $220 million that they didn’t budget so well this time around.

    Varun and John, the tidal wave can by played by Nick Nolte, a la The Hulk or whatever they called that waste of a movie.

  10. John Campea says:

    At Jeff Martin:

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Ok… best comment of the week award goes to….

  11. wolf says:

    I have Byan Singer and Brandon Routh as friends on myspace(Hey John do you know if this is really them or some person pretending to be?)
    Anyway I got a message for them say this:

    Guys if Superman Returns does not make 200 mil they cannot afford to make a sequal to it. Now I know no one wants to see that happen, there are to many things left unansewerd, so guys lets all go out and see it again, at least once. it has only pulled in 144 mil so far. I am positive that is mainly because of it going up against Pirates 2 this weekend, but still, go see Superman again, besides Pirates was not that great!

  12. Steven says:

    There are many good things about life in England: the tea, the beer, women with taut midriffs; but the one thing that really bugs about Blighty at the moment is that Superman Returns IS STILL NOT OUT! I’d love to watch the film and see what Singer’s spent all that money on, but I’m going to have to wait another few days.

    That said, I going to agree with Mr Stay Puft about Bryan Singer - I wish he’d knock this comic stuff on the head for a while and make a smaller, more character-based film. What happened to the guy who made ‘The Usual Suspects’?

  13. Jeff Martin says:

    I’d like to thank the Academy for nominating me, my parents, of course, and…wait, stop playing! I’m not done yet!

    Wolf’s right; we have to go see Superman again. Let’s fill a theatre with movieblog readers. I’ll travel to Toronto for that, and to see the Hockey Hall of Fame again.

  14. Larry says:

    I took all my kids to see Superman Returns on opening day. But, in talking to my kids’ friends, their parents didn’t take them because it was rated PG-13, and they had no previous PG-13 Superman Movie to compare with to know how intense it was…they compared it to Batman Returns (which was very frightening and intense)…so they were going to wait until Superman comes to DVD.

    But, they did take them to the PG-13 Pirates, because the kids saw the first on on DVD, and they were able to gauge the appropriateness of the film.

    I think that this, combined with the fact that most of the US was on vacation over the 4th of July weekend, is what hurt the Superman box office.


  15. Varun says:

    I agree Larry.

    They WILL make Superman Returns 2…..because it will make them money… This time don’t put it up against Pirates 4/5 (that will be coming out the same year of SR2 if they go ahead immediately after the 3rd) or Spiderman 4/ Xmen 4/ Magneto/ Wolverine because it WILL lose…..they capture a different weekend that is NON traveling then they are good.

    The Tidal Wave fight could have awesome special effects with a long shot of Superman dwarfed by a giant tidalwave and he dives straight into it to pull out Nick Nolte via his famed mugshot and says “You really should use the shower sometime”

  16. 1138 says:

    hey John,

    I don’t know if this would account for the excessive budget, but from my own sources there were plenty of reshoots done on Superman. Unfortunately I don’t know if the reshoots were due to FX reasons or just bad acting or script rewrites, but it might have helped in bloating the budget a little bit.

    Overall even though there weren’t any truely spectacular or big spectacle type effects in the movie, they had to develop new software and physical effects to create the new flying scenes. That in itself is probably expensive.

    Remember the original Superman was also way over budget and that was mainly due to the effects being developed at the time.

    I am hoping though that Supes does make it past 200 million…I know it will and I know John that 150 million in 13 days is great, but I am disappointed and not that surprised that the numbers have not been that spectacular. The movie overall is just not that good and that is the real reason why the numbers have not been throught the stratoshere.

    I really hope it makes it over the 200 million mark because I want them to make a sequel, a movie that is way better than Supes returns.

    And if do us a favor Singer, lets get rid of that kid! Please no more kids in action movies…that’s just no fun. Does anyone remember the Maniquen Skywalker?

  17. nate says:

    I don’t know how much it cost them to take Superman Returns to IMAX but it could have been better if they didn’t opted for it since it only have four scenes/25 minutes worth of IMAX glory, maybe it wouldn’t have cost that much. Also, they have to recreate Marlon Brando for this movie so that took a large chunk of the budget too even though it’s not noticeable that they did.

    I was also expecting the TIDAL WAVE when Lex Luthor announced his plans to Lois Lane, I was a little dissapointed that it didn’t happen. Thought I would see the city submerged in water just like what happen in “The Day After Tomorrow” and see what would Superman do if it happen.

  18. Bishop says:

    The reason it cost so much is that Chris Tucker is cast as an extra.

  19. Michael says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that SUPERMAN RETURNS budget is listed as high as it is - it was in development for over a decade, after all. All those failed attempts - Tim Burton, McG, Brett Ratner, Kevin Smith, Nicolas Cage…they were all on the payroll for years before one frame was shot, and all that money had to come from somewhere.

    By the time Bryan Singer got to it, he could have shot the whole thing in his bathroom with a camcorder and the budget STILL would have been over $100 million…

  20. Krazie835 says:

    Some of the budgets for movies today is crazy. I mean Hulk made its budget back which I believe was $130 Million but that wasn’t considered a big hit. Mean Girls I think had a budget around $15 Million and came close to making $100 million and it was considered a huge hit. I don’t understand how the studios want to make a profit off a movie that infact does make a lot of money like Superman Returns did but cost so much to make.

  21. Ryan says:

    Interesting and informative blog here about up to date issues.

  22. Kristina says:

    It’s the studio’s fault for blowignall their cash on a flick with NO BANAKBLE STARS. You put 200 million behind Tom Cruise or Johnny Depp, not some dude, that one chick, and Kevin Spacey.

  23. Joey says:

    I doubt this is even true. It’s from TMZ. There really not the most reliable source.

  24. get carter says:

    there will be no sequel. People keep talking about the sequel like it is a done thing and definitely going to happen.

    i hope to hell there is one…I really really do but I just can’t see it….

    I don’t believe this story either about the studio setting 200 mill as thei guideline for a sequel…for a film to break even the standard rule is it has to make 2 and a half times its budget. thats to break even.
    So lets say conservatively this film cost 260 million…it probably cost more than that buts lets say 260 mill….it has to make 780 million to break even.

    and most of that has to come from domestic…
    as important as overseas box office is the studio gets even less of a cut from overseas BO than they do domestic…..up until recently the overseas BO was a second thought to hollwood they only cared about domestic but not anymore….while US Box office grosses drop overseas markets are actually growing so hollywood are more interested in overseas dolars than evey before….

    Plus studios don;t make films like this to break even…they makie them sop they can swim in money….

    And unfortunately for superman poseidon has to be taken into account studios use their hits to off set the losses of their bombs….wth superman totally underperforming and poseidon an outright turkey a sequel to superman will be the furthest thing from their mind…….

  25. Chark Hammis says:

    Ok- this is TOTALLY nerdtacular and I’m no scientist, but this whole Tidal wave thing- wasn’t a huge fissure what threatened Metropolis in the film? Could that huge fissure offset the water displacement, as the water would then have somewhere to go?

    As for the film, I saw it a weekend late, but really enjoyed it. Probably more than any other movie this year or even last. Multi-layered, emotionally engaging and full of “Easter Eggs” for those paying attention both in cameos and references to the first 2 “real” Superman movies. And I’m not even a huge Superman fan

    As an aside… did anyone notice Sir Richard Branson on the commercial/Nasa joint venture shuttle flight? I thought that was a cool touch.

    Nerd, out.

  26. get carter says:

    one thing that hasn’t been talked about much is the fact that superman was shot digitally….

    digital has a certain look that i’m unsure about. I don’t know if I like it or not but one thing for sure was superman looked beautiful…..

  27. The 1mperfex Collector says:

    I say kill him. KILL SUPERMAN!!!

    I mean it. Use the sequel to kill the Man of Steel, then use the second sequel to bring in 4 new Supermen, then have a big showdown with Brandon Routh kicking ass!

    Hey, it worked with comics. Superman comic books were low on sales, but when DC killed him off, HUGE SUCCESS!!!!

    Yeah, I’m well aware of the fact that the idea flopped on the ‘Superman Lives’ project. But it can still work in two movies, unless the sequel doesn’t get the right gross, then Superman may just stay dead. BTW, take it easy on the budget. This could still work without TOO MUCH MONEY!!!

  28. Vix says:

    did anyone notice Sir Richard Branson on the commercial/Nasa joint venture shuttle flight?

    Chark, you too?! I was thinking that’s Richard Branson.

    Back to sequel thoughts. I hope, hope, fervently wish that there will be a sequel and that Singer will direct.

    I think it’s likely that quite a bit of the budget went into the special effects but it could also be bloat. A trimmer budget would suit everyone fine without sacrificing the look since they have the tools in place now.

    And seriously, the notion of having Superman die (and coming back to life) would be awesome!

  29. Matt says:

    Ok, Has anyone watched the brian singer journal that is on the superman web site. Watch those and you will know where the 220 million went. Like my pappy always said. “There is more then one way to skin a cat”…”Don’t use the expensive knifes”. I appoligize to all the feline lovers out there. No cats were harmed in the typing of this comment.

  30. Norddeth says:

    Oh please, they are kick starting an almost 20 year old franchise, whatever happens as far as the films gross will be considered a cost of doing business. Domestic, Overseas, Merchandise will all cover costs, will they make money?, who knows, but I doubt they will lose money. I guarantee there will be a sequel, with a slightly smaller budget(Im sure quite a few lessons were learned the first time around), and if that doesn’t do well, then its done, but not until then.

    Comic book movies are all the rage right now and Superman is their daddy, now that it has been reestablished the test will be Superman Returns 2. It would be crazy to think they would just abandon Superman, absolutely crazy talk.


  31. RinzeWind says:

    Perhaps those $250 million dollars in budget included all the previos attempts to make the movie, including the Tim Burton one. Perhaps.

  32. brian says:

    For a superman sequal, it would be wise to put doomsday in the movie, superman kills dooms day and dies in the prossese, and at the end of the movie lois land is left holing him in her arms, the moive ends with the world mornning over the loss of their heroe, and then that story line can start from where superman returns two left off leading to supermans return to life in a superman returns 3, with supermans return from the dead, resorting for him to go up against his evil superman clones, thats one idea, or maybe superman returns 2 should have the three krypton villains from superman 2 find their way out of the phantom zone and come back for revange against superman, for what happened in superman 2, but the doomsday plot may just work if they do it wright, it could tie together for a third insallment. Thats my take on it, a movies down fall comes when you over do it with effects, the less money you spend on a bujet, the more the movie will make, thats just how it gose.

  33. brian says:

    If this superman returns movie can make 200 million or more, then they can put together the wright story plot for superman returns 2, and they should add the doomsday story plot, now that will make a hell of alot of money at the boxoffice,if superman did die in the next one, the story could have enough drama in it to touch the audience to the point of winning an oscer, trust me, stranger things have happend, but its very possible, as long as they don’t over do the plot, like most movie producers who has such a habbit of doing.

  34. chris says:

    I honestly hope that they don’t make a 2nd movie the special effects were overly done not to metioned they weren’t that great, the costume sucks, the kid being his was stupid, the actor needs to age more, the plot made no sense to the superman genre, and if they were to make a 2nd they’d loose money. The only reason they even made money this time was because it was the long awaited return of superman to the big screen but they could even do that right. Spiderman and Batman were great comic book movies, which gave me high hopes for superman, but they had to mess up on the greatest super hero of them all.

  35. Rich S. says:

    I liked”Superman Retruns” and am very glad he is back, but Bryan Singer really needs to ramp up the action in any sequel! This is Superman we’re talking about, and with the exception of the airplane/shuttle rescue sequence, there was too much brooding in the storyline, and no real moments for the audience to cheer. Not your usual fare for a summer movie.

    Any Superman sequel needs to introduce more robust and vibrant villians, like Metallo, Braniac or (I really wish…) Doomsday. Singer had a chance to blend “Superman Returns” with the Doomsday/Death of Superman comic series. If he had done that, he could have brought back Superman for the next sequel titled “Superman Lives” or something like it. Well, it’s too late now, but if Superman is ever to reclaim his place in comic filmdom, the sequel needs to generate incredible word-of-mouth buzz & action. A lower budget is no excuse for a less-than-thrilling movie; there are lots of mid-level CGI companies who will bid for the contract and do a great job. The question is will Bryan Singer take a “no-hold barred” approach, or softball the sequel with a ho-hum storyline?


  36. Juan Oskar says:

    The George Reeves TV series was done on a shoe string budget but it had something that Superman Returns didn’t have. A good story line. There needs to be intrigue. How about Kent, Lois, and Jimmy doing a story in Whakastan and finding out that terrorists have a radio active substance with krypnonite in it.

    As a Superman fan over 50…YIKES!!!I feel that some where in the movie Superman has to recognize/show honor to our men and women in uniform. Maybe a simple salute to the American Flag, or maybe before Superman goes to battle against Zod, Lex, etc. he does a fly over at Normandy. Do you realized how many veterans, families of soldiers and veterans would see the movie multiple times just to see a five second scene like that?

    They’ll make their 200 million.

  37. Rob S says:

    $200 Million is reached on 10/22/2006

  38. Kate K. says:

    The movie was incredible!! I saw it in theaters once, but then after a long wait for it to be released on DVD, I have watched it sixteen times in six days!!!!! I have seen the old Christopher Reeve Superman movies to many times to count, I just watched it two times yesterday from my TiVo. I have read all of Christopher Reeve’s books, and I cried when my Superman past away. When I saw one day while seeing a movie a trailer for the upcoming movie Superman Returns, that was all that I could think about! I wasn’t exited just because they were continuing the legend, but the star of Superman was, and is a total hottie!!! I have posters all over my room, and printed pictures plastered over the wall behind my bed. My friends call me the SuperFreak!! If they don’t make a sequel to this absolutely amazing film, I will be SO SO mad! My congrats to Brandon and his to be bride (although I wish I were in her shoes). I hope that your marriage will last. Hope to see Brandon on screen again soon!

    Your #1 American Fan, Kate K.
    PS. I would like to see Brainiac in the Sequel!!!!

  39. Joey Gunz says:

    they sould name the next superman, “Superman Continues!!”

» Leave a Reply