We all love superhero movies, whether it’s a Marvel or DC franchise – and why not? With our favorite superheroes jumping up tall buildings and fashionably emerging from the dust and fog, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? But why do we love them so much? What is it about the superhuman heroes and villains that captivates our hearts and minds?
Scientists and psychologists may offer their explanations as to why we love superhero movies. For some, it may be the feeling of nostalgia it brings up from childhood memories of reading comic books or playing with action figures. For others, it could be about the hope of finding strength and courage in the midst of personal struggles. But for all of us, it’s no doubt that the thrilling action scenes and story lines charm our senses.
As far as the business aspect is concerned, the success of superhero movies is no surprise. Despite the high budget spent on SFX and production, their return rate is extremely lucrative. It’s estimated that for every dollar invested in the making of these movies, the return rate is around three to five times. What this means is that our love for superheroes is financially advantageous – which explains why Marvel movies will keep coming our way.
Perhaps the success of superhero movies can be attributed to their relatability. You see, everybody loves a superhero in some capacity. They are larger than life embodiments of on-screen entertainment. But as far as we’re concerned, they have real-life sequences and lessons too. We can all agree that superheroes face difficult dilemmas and battles, be it with an evil-doer or even their own emotions. In viewing these struggles, we take in the roller coaster of emotions – fear, joy, anger – with them and then slowly process them. It’s almost like a surrogate experience that leaves us feeling encouraged and inspired.
The other thing we love about superhero movies is their timelessness. Everyone can enjoy a good action movie regardless of gender, age, or race. Furthermore, they often feature a diverse cast of characters – something that gives us a sense of comfort and assurance that all of us are capable of being superheroes when we put our mind to it.
Another explanation for our liking of superhero movies may come from the idea of empathy. A 2018 research conducted among young adults suggested that watching superhero films increases empathy, particularly when it comes to finding solutions to difficult situations. In their study, scientists found that those who watched superhero films show a greater level of acceptance and understanding of diversity. Additionally, it also noted that superhero movies may contribute to social benefits such as greater civic engagement and moral behaviour since the stories frequently feature protagonists striving to protect the ‘at-risk’ population.
Studies have consistently pointed to the importance of making social or human connection with respect to well-being. So it’s not surprising that the popularity of superhero movies is based somewhat on the idea of connection. Through the cinema, viewers make social and emotional connections to people who live by the same values, goals and standards. As a result, feelings of belonging and recognition are heightened when watching superhero movies as we identify with them.
These days, superhero movies are not just providing entertainment but is also engaging its audience in meaningful discussion. We love them because their narratives emphasize human stories and life lessons that are applicable in our reality. In other words, these films allow us to have conversations about good and evil, justice and injustice, hope and despair. The narrative of comic book characters like Superman, Batman and Wonderwoman serve as a reminder of our power and potential, which is why these films lift our spirits, makes us laugh and cry, and helps us to move on with life in a positive way.
The attraction to superhero movies is not solely about just being entertained, it’s also about self-reflection. Through the nuances and complexities of the characters, viewers may discover something about themselves. In doing so, the films allow us to explore our own identity and how to express it in the society we live in. We see this when viewers don ‘costumes’ to represent each of their favorite superhero. This is just one example of how we project our identity onto the on-screen characters.
Finally, movie goers love superhero films because of its escapism factor. People get to take a break from the reality of their lives. They laugh, cheer, and forget about the expectations and obligations that come with life. When viewers watch these movies, they can be whisked away to an enchanted world, a world that is full of superhuman strength and human frailty.
One can’t overlook the influence of mass media and marketing with regards to the success of superhero movies. Major Hollywood studios have invested heavily in producing these films. The ads have been all over the place, from digital and print media to television, radio and even on the streets. These marketing campaigns serve as a reminder to viewers that it’s okay to accept the ‘fantasy’ and still find strength in their own realities.
The past decade has seen a boom in the number of superhero movies released, and there’s no signs of slowing down – not just in North America but across the globe as well. It’s clear that people enjoy these films in communities everywhere. The world loves superheroes, and so do we. These stories have become part of our favorite culture.
So why do we love superhero movies? Well, it’s pretty simple. After all, superheroes are more than just larger-than-life characters. Beyond the special effects, heavy action sequences and gripping story lines, we adore the message of hope, love and courage that these movies bring us. It’s no wonder why superhero movies keep dominating the box-office – and our hearts too.