2010 Preview: Kick-Ass

by Ray Subers

January 15, 2010

Release Date: April 16
Studio: Lionsgate
Genre: Action Comedy
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn (based off the comic book series by Mark Millar)
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicholas Cage, Mark Strong, Lindsy Fonseca, Xander Berkeley
Studio Description: Kick-Ass tells the story of average teenager Dave Lizewski (Johnson), who decides to take his obsession with comic books as inspiration to become a real-life superhero. As any good superhero would, he choose a new name—Kick-Ass—assembles a suit and mask to wear, and gets to work fighting crime. There's only one problem: Kick-Ass has absolutely no superpowers. His life is forever changed as he inspires a subculture of copycats, meets up with a pair of crazed vigilantes—an 11-year old sword-wielding dynamo, Hit Girl (Moretz) and her father, Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage)—and forges a friendship with another fledgling superhero, Red Mist (Mintz-Plasse). But thanks to the scheming of a local mob boss Frank D'Amico (Strong), that new alliance will be put to the test.
Watch the Trailer

Analysis: Relatively unknown when it entered last year's San Diego Comic-Con International, Kick Ass scored some internet buzz and ultimately a distribution deal with Lionsgate, garnering attention amidst the convention's exclusive glimpses at Avatar and Iron Man 2.

Now, the superhero comedy will try to buck the history of a sub-genre riddled with the failures of such movies as Mystery Men, Superhero Movie, Blankman and others. It's a challenge that Zombieland faced and overcame with the moribund horror comedy sub-genre, debuting to $25 million on course to a $76 million total. Kick Ass' marketing has a similar flare as Zombieland's, featuring over-the-top action and comedy and a ragtag group of characters.

Kick Ass takes a satirical look at comic book superheroes, with a recent trailer putting the screws to characters like Batman and Spider-Man. Though not a comedy, Watchmen had comparable elements and resonated with the Comic-Con crowd. It opened to an impressive $55 million but quickly sputtered out a $108 million. Such numbers would be exceptional for a movie like Kick Ass, especially in light of the fact that Mystery Men grossed $30 million in its entire run and other superhero comedies fared even worse.

Similar Movies: Watchmen, Mystery Men, Blankman, The Specials, The Meteor Man, Spider-Man, Batman Begins, Wanted, Shoot 'Em Up, Zombieland

Related Charts: Comic Book Adaptation; Superhero, Showdown: Comic Book Comp Combat

Related Stories:
'Zombieland' Livens Up Horror Comedy Genre
'Watchmen' Rages in the Top Spot
'3:10 to Yuma' Arrives at Top Spot ('Shoot 'Em Up' analysis)

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