I predicted this last week and now my prognostication is coming true. I want no credit for it, because it’s horrible. Watchmen is getting Superman Returned. By that I mean the world at large pretends that it was a huge flop that everyone hated it even though it made money and was well liked when it was released. Watchmen is only three weeks into release but apparently it was such a horrible failure WB has vowed to do a 180 and start making only family friendly superhero movies from now on. This viewpoint of course, has nothing to do with reality, since in reality Watchmen is probably going to end up making money and received largely positive reviews.

It’s unfortunate however, that reality will not be used as a measuring stick where Watchmen is concerned. Not just because Watchmen deserves better, but because of the far reaching impact labeling it as a failure is going to have. IESB reports that their sources inside WB tell them that the studio is ditching the notion of making R-rated superhero movies for adults from here on out, and focusing solely on making more PG-13, family-friendly superhero flicks.

It’s not all bad. They’re not talking going Fantastic Four with the genre, they just want more Dark Knight, which is to say superhero movies that skirt the PG-13 line but don’t ever really have the balls to go past it since doing so will hurt their box office. Because apparently even though $55 million worth of people went to see an R-rated superhero in March (not a prime movie season mind you), no one shows up to see R-rated movies.

Look we’re living in a post-TDK world. From now on any movie that doesn’t make a billion dollars like The Dark Knight is going to be considered a failure. Great though TDK was, it looks like Hollywood is taking the wrong lesson from it. Rather than making more smart, complicated superhero movies the studio system is just rushing to make dimly lit movies about guys in capes who never use the “F” word. It’s pretty depressing, especially for anyone hoping Chris Nolan might eventually show us Batman’s penis. The batsuit has had rubber nipples, why not a rubber foreskin?

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