Final verdict on Hulk 2.0

by Paul William Tenny

If Ang Lee's Hulk was considered a failure which must be exceeded by this years second try, your conclusion seems mostly inescapable. Take a look at this graph of the first four weekends for both films, side-by-side, and see what you think.

Hulk 2003 vs. Hulk 2008

As things stand today, Ang Lee's vision ended tracking at $132 million worldwide on a budget of $137 million, less than half what the film needed to break even. This year's "try, try...try again" vision of Zak Penn has pulled in an amusingly ironic $137 million on a budget of $150 million, even worse. DVD sales may be more like a painkiller than a savior, I doubt they'll come anywhere close to making up the difference.

Final verdict: epic fail. Ang Lee's version opened slightly better but both films were pretty big failures and nobody seems to be able to wrap their brains around ridiculous looking cartoonish CGI -- and that's kind of an insult to actual cartoonish CGI like what comes out of Pixar and DreamWorks Animation since those movies are actually good, and make mountains of money to boot.

I make no judgements about either film since I've seen neither, but based on its performance and poor word-of-mouth, I don't plan to waste my time on it anytime in the near future either. It's easy to criticize Universal's decision to let Norton rewrite Penn's script, but it's not like people are falling over each other over Penn's stuff either. I just don't think that kind of CGI that looks like a literal copy of the comic frames plays well in theaters with people who don't read those comics for a reason. Different mediums operate on different rules visually, and nobody at Universal or Marvel seems to understand that.
in Film


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