Why Kick Ass 2 Was Mostly Ignored By Audiences

Kick-Ass took the summer by storm in 2010; Even though the R-rated comic book flick didn’t get Marvel numbers, Kick-Ass still made twice its budget so it’s only natural that a sequel was confirmed to the popular film. Three years later, Kick-Ass 2 saw the return of Dave (Kick-Ass), Mindy (Hit Girl), and Red Mist, with the addition of Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes. Dave teams up with a bunch of amateur superheroes as Red Mist gathers a team to get revenge on the two people who killed his father. Unfortunately, Kick-Ass 2 was bombarded with negative reviews upon release and stands at a low 32% on rotten tomatoes. Now, Kick-Ass 2 was far from a complete financial flop as it did manage to recoup its $28 million production budget by ending its run with a total of $60.80 million worldwide. Though, that number was lackluster compared to the first film, which garnered $96.20 million worldwide. Kick-Ass 2 failed to generate heat and it’s safe to say that Kick-Ass 3 will never be greenlit. So, what happened? The first film generated a nice cult following that should’ve resulted in a bigger box office hit. Let’s dive into the reason that audiences mostly ignored Kick-Ass 2.

Kick-Ass 2 Wasn’t A Good Movie

In truth, Kick-Ass 2 just wasn’t on par with the first film. There was a certain charm that the original film had in its crude, over-the-top, and violent story, but all that charm was mostly gone in the sequel. The Mindy/Hit Girl high school plot was a generic mean girl story that didn’t add anything new to the conversation. Still, Hit Girl was the most entertaining aspect of the film. The violence was ramped up in the sequel, but none of it stands out and actually detracts from the film a bit. Dave/Kick-Ass’s story felt more like a teenager wet-dream than a meaningful message. Granted, Kick-Ass didn’t exactly have a meaningful message, but the film played its cynical message effectively and the two scene stealers (Hit Girl and Big Daddy) had more to do there. With Hit Girl being sidelined until the end, there’s nothing particularly interesting about Dave and his story. Red Mist gathering villains for revenge is fine, and Mother Russia is a standout here, but there’s nothing particularly special about him or the plot either. Jim Carrey does what he can with the material, but he isn’t the standout in this sequel. Of course, fans of the first film ignored the negative reviews and checked out the movie for themselves; however, bad word-of-mouth travels fast and Kick-Ass 2’s negative reviews from critics and fans saw many people opt against purchasing a movie ticket.

The Controversy Surrounding Kick-Ass 2 Didn’t Help

Let’s be clear, Kick-Ass itself has always been an offensive movie. It’s essentially the anti-superhero film. Hell, Universal Pictures International’s Simon Hewlett was marketing the film as “irreverent, dark and often offensive.” However, the controversy is due to Jim Carrey deciding against supporting the film’s violence after the tragic Newtown shootings. Carey said in his tweet, “I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.” Now, I don’t believe that this was fully the reason that most audiences backed away from the film as Kick-Ass has never hidden what type of movie it is, but the tragedy that took place short before its release may have contributed to the lack of ticket sells. Kick-Ass 2 was violent and there’s a portion of people who didn’t want to watch an ultra-violent movie. Plus, Jim Carrey was the biggest star in the film at the time. While his star power wasn’t as big as it was in the 90s, he still had enough influence on his target audience.  The box office wasn’t particularly strong that weekend as Lee Daniels The Butler hit number one at $24.6 million, with We’re the Millers at No. 2 with about $18 million, so Kick-Ass 2 should’ve gotten the number one spot with ease due to the first film being generally loved by critics and fans. This was the exact pattern for John Wick, who didn’t pull big box office numbers, but strong word-of-mouth generated enough smoke for the film that it became a huge franchise that expanded its audience. Unfortunately, the goodwill of Kick-Ass just didn’t translate here and the other factors surrounding the movie didn’t help. There was a tease of a Hit Girl standalone feature, but it’s been nearly eight years and those rumors have vastly died down by now.

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