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Are This Summer's Superheroes Really Boring?

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Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" has earned $153 million in North America since its release on May 2, a lofty figure that is still below where "The Amazing Spider-Man" was at a similar point after its release in 2012. Which isn't to say superhero movies are flagging -- "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" has made nearly $700 million around the globe, while "Spider-Man" is nearing $600 million in international ticket sales -- but that there are some cracks starting to show in the genre's armor. Perhaps the fatigue has something to do with the actual filmmaking, which has become increasingly homogeneous. Here's critic Matt Zoller Seitz:

The problem isn't that the movies are product—most movies are product, and always have been—but that they can't be bothered to pretend they're not product. That's the difference between popular art and forgettable mass-produced entertainment: the mass-produced entertainment flaunts its product-ness, then expects us to praise even minor evidence of idiosyncrasy as proof that we are not, in fact, collectively spending billions on product. The marketplace rewards each new superhero movie with a reflexive paroxysm of spending, guaranteeing each $200 million tentpole a boffo US opening that follows a boffo international opening (the new release pattern flips the old one). It's an entertainment factory in which the audience is both consumer and product. Its purpose is not just to please consumers but to condition and create them.

Seitz, writer Tim Wainwright and HuffPost Entertainment editor Christopher Rosen joined Ricky Camilleri on HuffPost Live to discuss superhero movies and the state of Hollywood blockbusters. Watch the full segment here; weigh in with your thoughts on the flood of caped crusaders in the comments below, and answer this question: Are you tired of superhero movies?

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