LOSER: Man of Steel -- Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%, Worldwide Box Office: $662 million
OK, so deciding whether this one's a winner or a loser doesn't just come down to sheer numbers. Man of Steel got a lukewarm reception, but it wasn't critically panned. It couldn't touch Iron Man 3, but it still wound up one of the top 10 highest-grossing movies of the year. That's not a bad result, but this movie also spawned so many different concerns. It could have done for Superman what the Dark Knight Trilogy did for Batman, but (so far, at least), it looks like that's not to be. It could've drummed up much more excitement among comics fans, but instead it seems to have produced a lot of anxiety. Some of the controversial choices made by director Zack Snyder and writer David Goyer are still echoing around the internet, and some comics creators who've worked on Superman in the past even added their voices to the din of disapproval, writing impassioned essays about how this was not their Man of Steel. That's enough to brand this film as something less than what Warner Bros. hoped it would be, but hey, the studio's likely not complaining too much. They have a hit on their hands, they have a sequel and an expanded superhero universe on the way, and they know we'll go see it even if we go kicking and screaming.