Sunday, December 7, 2008

Can The Punisher Franchise Finally Die Now?

Punisher: War Zone Bombed and Bombed big-time. See Here

Box Office Mojo reports that the film's opening take was 4 million... ouch. (EDIT: It did say 8 million when I first typed this up at on sunday night)

I never really liked the Punisher Character. He's just a guy that goes around shooting people. We've got plenty of that nonsense in the real world. Do we really need another film like this?

The bigger problem with the Punisher is that in essence he's really a villain, but I guess he just looked so cool that Marvel just had to migrate him over to the hero column, but to me he's just a cold-blooded killer and nothing more.

Additionally, the Punisher has a brand problem in that he's really a straight-up crime comic star in-disguise as a superhero comic star. This makes for all kinds of confusion for folks outside of comic book fandom. There weren't any crime comics being published (thanks to the CCA) back when the Punisher debuted so tame crime adventures had to appear in superhero adventures. Crime comics are back nowadays, as Sin City proves, but the Punisher appeared too early and so he will always be one of those guys in spandex... but a guy in spandex that shoots and kills folks... but he's a good guy... huh?!

Besides all that, it's not really a great time for action films either, and that's just another tide that War Zone is fighting against. Plus the reviews chewed up War Zone and spat it out.

Sadly, Frank Castle simply has too much comic book baggage. Yeah, Yeah I know some fun stuff was done with him in the comics these last few years but it's too little to late for a Franchise.

The failure of the latest Punisher is just another reason to hate the Comic Code Authority, among other things, IMO....

Ray Stevenson does look like the Frank Castle character though, so if this is really the end of the Punisher film forever then it goes out looking fantastic... unlike the previous Punisher films.




Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Didn't like 8 guys play the Punisher at one time or another? I always hated that character.

TF said...


For me he will always be Pullo.

Arkonbey said...

The Onion makes a valid point: how hard CAN it be to make a decent Punisher movie?

It's too late for a Punisher movie, I mean after Deathwish, what's left?

Rev. J. Marshall Sanders said...

8 Million? I thought I had read it was only 4 million?

rob! said...

8 million, 4 million--either total is generous for a movie that (to me) looked like a USA Network TV movie.

The Punisher just isn't that great a concept outside his context in the Marvel Universe.

Overdroid said...

He should have been played by Nicolas Cage.

Dean Wormer said...

Two words: Van Damme.

pidomon said...

couldnt agree with ya more SB!

Eaglewing said...

I'm a huge fan of the Garth Ennis Punisher Max run, but thats because it's a straight up crime comic / character story - no Jigsaw in sight.

I just can't fathom how they can have 3 kicks at it and still not get it right when the script's right there in the Max run. On top of that, who wants to watch a bloodfest in December? Should've put it out in January - it could have been next year's Rambo blood bath to ring in the new year.