Repeating the mantra he chants to himself in the mirror every morning, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara has told Variety that of course the movie-going public hasn’t lost its appetite for superhero movies, because otherwise a major movie studio might blow an amount of money equal to the GDP of several countries on an ambitious slate of films that no one wants, and that’s the sort of thing that people lose their jobs over. Who, he’s not entirely sure.
“The key thing is that the movies and the television shows and the games, everything looks very different,” Tsujihara said, making direct eye contact to show how confident he was. “You have to be able to take advantage of the diversity of these characters,” he said, noting that just because all of his company’s superhero movies have a similarly self-serious worldview doesn’t mean that they have to be that way. “The worlds of DC are very different,” he added, repeating his earlier point in a persuasion technique he learned from a series of self-help cassette tapes. “They’re steeped in realism, and they’re a little bit edgier than Marvel’s movies.”
Of course, even if the American public is growing weary of costume-clad movie heroes—so weary, in fact, that even the writers of the tired institution known as the Oscars knew to make fun of the phenomenon—that shouldn’t really matter to Tsujihara. With Warner Bros., along with most other major movie studios, increasingly relying on foreign box office to keep their tentpoles upright, Neil Patrick Harris and Jack Black can do all the gently mocking musical numbers they want. But if Chinese moviegoers decide they’re sick of Superman, he‘s screwed.