This article about the reasons for the success of Batman movies and the failure of the recent Superman movie raises some interesting questions and makes a couple of good points. This paragraph, however, is probably a bit off.
So let's break this down into superheroes and its current trend in film. “Superman Returns,” the 2006 Bryan Singer dirge, didn't fail because audiences no longer resonate with a super being that can fly, shoot heat from his eyes and is immune to bullets. It failed because Superman is the epitome of good morals and justice, which today's audience find boring and childish.
I disagree with his reasoning here. I don't think that "today's audience" finds that boring at all. Success for Superman and for Batman do not have to be mutually exclusive things. I think, rather, that it's entirely more probably that people going to see a movie went with the idea that they'd see a Superman movie. Instead, they got something else. I'm not sure what that something else was--all I know is that it wasn't good by any reasonable standard. They got a lame plot. They got too much nostalgia and too little adventure and excitement. It failed because it wasn't a good movie.
I've been compiling a list of athletes (among others) who are called Superman. The Bleacher Report has done a short one, too, but with the added critique of pointing out how everyone on the list is not Superman for one reason or another.