After the release of The Batman‘s trailer, the socials exploded. Many fans broke down the trailer scene by scene trying to spot clues, while others nit-picked and complained about nothing (what’s new?). What was interesting, though, was the number of people who asked why Warner Bros. and DC continue to make Batman movies.
Ironically, the answer can be found in The LEGO Batman Movie when the Brick Knight jokingly says DC is the house that Batman built. While he wasn’t the first big hero for DC, there’s no doubt that he’s the biggest right now. In most cases, his sales figures keep entire divisions afloat.
Simply put: Batman movies make bank.
Even the supposed worst and lowest-performing film in the franchise, Batman & Robin, was still the 13th highest-grossing movie of 1997. The numbers don’t lie. You put the Bat on a movie poster and the audience will flock to it. For a studio like Warner Bros., it isn’t about to turn down easy money because it’s “tired” of making Batman movies.
Also, let’s look at the comics side of the business. A Batman-related title appeared five times in the top 20 bestselling comics of September 2021. In fact, it often takes a major event book or brand-new #1 issue to take the top place ahead of the Dark Knight. So, it isn’t surprising that DC pushes out more Batman books every week, since they’re guaranteed hits and the readers buy them.
In a supply and demand market, it’s evident that the world isn’t sick of the Caped Crusader just yet. If everything he touches turns to gold, you can’t blame the likes of Warner Bros. and DC from persisting with more Batman movies and comics. The moment the sales drop, however… Then, it’s a different story.
At the same time, Batman movies haven’t scratched the surface of the 80-plus years of canon.
There are hundreds of stories begging to be adapted, featuring characters that haven’t appeared in the films yet. You could even go back a decade to find at least five good comic book stories that’d make excellent films.
In addition, Matt Reeves’ The Batman isn’t exactly throwing us another typical Batman vs Joker romp. Instead, it has the Riddler and Penguin—two villains who last appeared in a Batman movie over 25 years ago—and appears to be reinventing the characters for a new generation. Also, by the time of its release, it’ll be the first solo Bat film since 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.
Remember, Ben Affleck’s Batman never got his own movie…
In the same breath, you could ask where’s the criticism for Spider-Man. Since 2002, the longest break between live-action Spidey films has been five years. In December, there will have been 8 Web-Head films in the past two decades, while The Batman will mark the Dark Knight’s fourth solo outing since the turn of the millennium. So, tell us again, who is overexposed here?
At the end of the day, the choice sits with you, the viewer. If you’re tired of Batman movies, the solution is easy: just don’t watch them. That said, there’s no point in being a killjoy for others who might be looking forward to them. Support what you want rather than complain about what you don’t.