Warner Bros. needs Superman to fly

The early raves of Superman Returns are in: Newsweek, Time, Variety, and Hollywood Reporter. Good for Bryan Singer, who is without a doubt a fabulous director of digital spectacle.

But having seen the film, we have serious misgivings about whether this particular superhero revival will inspire the repeat viewings essential for the studio to recoup its reported $250 million-plus investment (if you throw in marketing costs and all the early development with other writers and directors, it’s hard to imagine how much WB actually spent).

Warner Bros. needs enormous box office like Metropolis needs the Man of Steel. Poseidon, not exactly an indie film, completely capsized, and the rest of its summer seems to be relying on many, many women going to see The Lake House and, from what we can tell from the split-personality trailer, hardcore Paul Giamatti magical fantasy-horror film fans to show up in droves for M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water. None of which seems very likely.

It’s almost enough to make you root for Ocean’s Thirteen. Well, OK, not really.