Superhero parodies boost porn business

At a cost of more than $100,000,"Man of Steel XXX: A Porn Parody," will be one of the most expensive porn movies made.
Associated Press
Jul 28, 2013

 

We all know he can leap tall buildings in a single bound and bend steel in his bare hands. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that during a time of crisis even the porn industry turns to Superman.

The same week in June that Warner Bros. released the Superman blockbuster "Man of Steel," Vivid Entertainment Group put out its own superhero flick, "Man of Steel XXX: A Porn Parody."

Although it's safe to assume that "Steel XXX" didn't quite match the $116.6 million opening weekend of the Warner Bros. hit, if it performs anything like 2010's "Batman XXX: A Porn Parody," it will become the most-rented and highest-selling porn video of the year. At a cost of more than $100,000, it will also be one of the most expensive porn movies made.

Parodies, once a cheaply filmed niche segment of the adult movie market, are big business these days — filled with expensive special effects, real story lines, actors who can (sometimes) actually act and costumes that even comic-book geeks find authentic.

The movies may also help save an industry looking to rebound from years of Internet piracy, illegal downloads and amateur videos that have caused a serious financial hit, said Mark Kernes, senior editor at Adult Video News. The business has gone from annual revenues of as much as $12 billion a few years ago to about $7 billion today.

"We certainly do have a problem with piracy ... and sadly no one seems to be able to do anything about it," said Kernes.

But now Superman is coming to the rescue, along with Batman, Iron Man and Spider-Man.

All four have taken star turns in full-length, slickly produced films that include hard-core crime fighting and, well, other hard-core scenes — although milder versions were made of some of the same films.

Neither the makers of the mainstream movies nor comic book writer and Iron Man creator Stan Lee wanted to comment. A person who answered the phone at Lee's office said he doubted Lee had heard of the parodies, and then hung up. Lee, himself, didn't respond to an email.

Marvel Comics also did not respond to requests for comment. Warner Bros.' DC Entertainment Division, which makes the Superman and Batman films, had no comment, said spokeswoman Courtney Simmons.

Since the trend toward superhero parodies began three years ago, no porn company making them has been sued. For years the courts have ruled that parodies, like other forms of speech, are protected by the First Amendment.

"Mainstream porn, from a copyright protection, from a First Amendment protection, is essentially the same as any other form of written expression," said entertainment lawyer David Ginsburg, who is executive director of the UCLA School of Law's entertainment, media and intellectual property law program.

"The rules of parody apply as equally to porn as they do to any other form of parody, like 'Saturday Night Live' or Mad Magazine," he said.

The porn parody superhero revolution seems to have begun in earnest around 2010, when veteran adult film director Axel Braun, who boasts of having a collection of DC and Marvel comics dating to his childhood, brought his "Batman XXX" film to Vivid Entertainment Group.

The company's chief executive, Steven Hirsch, initially wasn't that impressed. But when the film became the biggest-selling and renting video of the year, Hirsch said, he quickly realized there was a core demographic his business was overlooking: comic-book geeks.

Soon Vivid was cranking out four to six of the movies a year, timing their release to whenever the mainstream films hit theaters.

Other companies soon followed with their own releases, including: "The Justice League Of Porn Star Heroes" and a parody of the vampire television series "True Blood."

Production costs can be more than 10 times as high as making a traditional pornographic movie, but the parodies sell for three times as much, Braun said.

They are, Hirsch said, the best-selling movies on Vivid TV, "after our celebrity sex tapes."

Comments

zachfromsandusky2

IS this really an appropriate story for this community let alone the Sunday paper? Would you want your children reading this . Come on Westerhold this isn't Hollywood and we don't care about the potbellied industry and approving an article like this in a community like Sandusky is extremely unthoughtful, distastefyl and to me disrespectful!

samantha

ALL TIME LOW

ladydye_5

Because we know so many CHILDREN read the Sandusky Register. As a child I never read a newspaper. Let alone in this day and age of Ipods, Ipads, and Xbox's.

doratheexplorer

I read the paper as a child. We would earn extra credit for finding typos!

zachfromsandusky2

Then you apparently don't know that Sandusky school have the newspapers in class everyday …f the school year for the kids to read.

TrollingRageind...

Hiding reality from children? I hope you don't have any children.

zachfromsandusky2

So what we should allow our children to read about and watch pornography? Smfh

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Pushing smut in the face of children? I hope you don't have any children.

Justme...

Umm, porn is not reality. Hate to break it to ya...

doratheexplorer

Pffffttt

looking around

What no video trailer !

44846GWP

Where can I buy a copy? lol!

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

You’re not fooling anyone by pretending to like heterosexual porn. Sing out Mary.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

More proof that no industry or business is immune from changing times and cultural shifts. Nobody and nothing is safe from it. This trend will eventually burn out and something else will come along to replace it. Because of the very reasons stated in the article, socializing trends and buying habits shift very quickly - especially in any kind of media-based business.

totallyamazed

Ah yes, with all of the important news going on outside of Sandusky the Register reports on a new release of a porn movie. Beautiful {{sarcasm}}

margaritaville88

Imagine a ticked-off Cat Woman (w/claws) took it out on a fellow actor such as Bat Man?? ..at bat with no balls...just sayin (humor intended) LOL

reporter54

you won't get any credit nowadays for pointing out typos or misspellings in the newspaper and believe me, they are still there but I really don't want to see any porn or hear about gay superheroes because frankly I think it's a bit perverse. I also hate seeing my weird neighbor's red underwear hanging on the line. He's bi.

Truth or Dare

So does the SR have to pick up every story from the Associated Press? Good ole porn. They say it's good money you know.

Interview any sexual pervert, an honest one anyways, especially Pedophiles and Serial Rapists who enjoy viewing and are addicted to porn. How about maybe Castro, whom if I recall correctly mentioned in court his addiction to porn!

Will there be a follow-up article in the works on the fact that with far too many, it can and will lead to fulfilling those fantasies by committing crimes of the sexual nature? As well, what might the stats be as to how many involved do it willingly, as opposed to those that are forced? That's referred to as Sex Slavery! Just like what happened in Castro's home! Sickening!!!! Just as sickening, the joke told on WCPZ radio a couple of days ago. The one about the men in the jungle being threatened to be eaten by Cannibals, and what they would have to do in order to save themselves. Bad humor, poor taste there as well! Yep, true colors shining threw here and on local radio!

Unassumer

I want credit! It's 'shining through'. I threw the ball through the window. I know the u is next to the y but it's distasteful. Porn is an awful thing and I thought it was banned but apparently people are still pursuing it with a vengeance. Even couples that watch porn together are kind of weird. I mean, why would you need all that to have a relationship? you don't.

Truth or Dare

Forgive me all you English Majors, that is THROUGH. As in true colors shining through here and on local radio!