Hulk Not So Incredible When Faced With Puny Box Office

Click to viewApparently, the Hulk can't help but get smashed at the box office, according to a recent Reuters story. Five years after Ang Lee's psychoanalytic take on the Jade Giant, Ed Norton's remake of The Incredible Hulk is set to be just as (un)successful as its predecessor, dooming the character to guest-spots in the Avengers movie.

According to the Reuters piece,

After four weekends, the Louis Leterrier-directed "The Incredible Hulk" has earned $125 million, the same as what "Hulk" had pulled in at the same time in its run. "Hulk" finished with $132 million, and its successor is unlikely to do much better... Despite the similarity of the Hulk films' theatrical runs, industryites suggest the lighter tone of the second film makes it more the vehicle to generate sequels, and some suggest the remake will prove a more lucrative DVD title than the Eric Bana-starring original. On the other hand, production costs and marketing expenses were steeper the second time around, totaling more than $200 million. The first film cost about $150 million to make.

More expensive but not more successful? Is there anything that could save Bruce Banner's franchise potential?

"Hollywood is always about perception," said David Davis, managing partner and entertainment analyst at Arpeggio Partners in Los Angeles. "The first Hulk (movie) had such high expectations after the NBC-Universal merger and was supposed to be critical-favorite Ang Lee's breakout commercial blockbuster.

"Then with the new Hulk film, Marvel was able to underplay the importance of the success after the great success of 'Iron Man' this summer," Davis said. "So the new one overdelivered, relative to its underpromise."

On that logic, expect to hear that The Incredible Hulk 2: This One's A Stinker, It Won't Even Make A Dime announced by Marvel any day now.

Latest "Hulk" may not spawn a sequel [Reuters]