Plenty of movies flop every year and many of them are sequels to movies that were adored by fans but just couldn’t recapture the magic of the previous entry. Case in point: Kick-Ass 2. The first entry in the franchise grossed over $96mil worldwide when it was released back in 2010 but last year’s sequel made less than $61mil on a comparable budget. What went wrong? If you believe Chloë Grace Moretz, it was pirates.
Digital Spy caught up with the Hit-Girl actress to see if fans of the character would be seeing Moretz returning to the role.
Sadly, I think I’m done with the character,” Moretz said. “Hit-Girl was a very cool character, but I don’t think there will be any more movies. You make these movies for the fanboys, but nowadays everyone seems to pirate them rather than watch them in the movie theatre.
Interesting. So, it wasn’t the controversy surrounding Mark Millar‘s tendency to depict rape in his comics, or Jim Carrey’s public bashing of the movie while refusing to promote it, or even the fact that the movie took a lot of the fun out of the series and tried to put a more serious twist on the film. Apparently, none of this attributed to the relative failure of the film. It was all piracy.
Kick-Ass 2 was one of the number one pirated movies of the year, but that doesn’t help us because we need box office figures. We need to prove to the distributors that we can make money from a third and a fourth movie – but because it didn’t do so well, we can’t make another one. If you want more than one movie, everyone has to go and see movies at the cinema. It’s all about the numbers in the theatre.
Not sure where Moretz heard Kick-Ass 2 was one of the most pirated movies of the year, especially considering the movie was one of the least anticipated movies of the year (see, Chloe, we can all make up ‘most’ and ‘least’ lists out of thin air too). The sequel carried a budget of about $28mil and grossed over twice that amount. Does that make it a bonafide hit? Not by a longshot. However, many would argue that it was far from a flop. Did it make the money the first entry made? Nope, not even close, but chances are that the original audience has moved on since that entry. After all, consider the overall quality of all of the superhero movies that have been released since 2010.
Marvel has set the bar for comic book adaptations and knows just how to create a great story on screen. Since the release of Kick-Ass, moviegoers have been treated to the Captain America and Thor movies, as well as two new Iron Man movies. This year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier showcased performances that are almost award worthy and X-Men: DOFP found the perfect way to up their game by reuniting the cast of the original X-Men movie and having them work with the prequel cast fans met in First Class. Those are some of the successes. Some of the failures include Jonah Hex, Green Lantern, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and I, Frankenstein, none of which blamed their failure on piracy. As a matter of fact, if you would like to compare apples to apples, 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine was leaked onto the web about a month before its release, yet it still managed to pull in a worldwide gross of over $373mil on a $150mil budget. By all accounts, Wolverine was a forgettable movie, at best, but the leak didn’t hurt its numbers.
Recently, there have been arguments made that piracy doesn’t hurt the box office and may instead actually add to the draw, especially if the movie generates positive reviews prior to the release. That’s not to say piracy isn’t a problem – it simply means that Kick-Ass 2’s issues extended way beyond fanboys with access to torrent sites. We may never see Kick-Ass 3 and for that, many are grateful. For now, Moretz can console herself by hanging out with Sly Stallone and talking shit about pirates while they continue to deny their failures.