The general practice right now is for comic book movies to have prequel stories released in the run-up to the film release, along with reprints and deluxe graphic novels of classics stories which brought the characters to the masses in the first place. This is all well and good, and does go some way to bolstering the takings of publishers and film studios, but a lot more could be done to ensure the comic-buying public will go and see the films, and the film-going public will stop by a comic shop and try a few issues out.
“And what, oh bald saddo who actually kinda liked the 1990s variant covers craze, is your suggestion?” I hear you mumble.
Well, why not literally bring comics to the screen and set a film in actual comics continuity? Have a story begin in print, and then continued with massive set-pieces and revelations on the big screen, then returning back to print comics for the fallout and aftermath of the movie story, with a continuation of that arc. A good example of this idea is the first X-Files movie, aka The X-Files: Fight The Future, aka “The X-Files film which wasn't that cheap sequel”.
That film took place in the ongoing continuity of the TV series that spawned it, and after the events of that movie, eyes returned to the TV show to watch the continuation of the story. Granted, it's a different medium entirely, but if there's a way to get people to truly embrace a film with trans-media leanings, then it's to tempt them with more story to discover, more action, and a tantalising look at where the characters went and what they did after the credits have rolled. Plus, with comics after your film, you won't have to sit behind some cretin with an oversized head and a tendency to faff about with their phone through the whole thing.
Seriously though, the comics industry has been struggling to really embrace the idea of feature films out there based on their creations, and the film industry is relying far too much on the same old origin story scripts for films, so why not try something more adventurous and pull fans from every market into one franchise? Granted, there is way too much continuity in a lot of comics, but that can be dealt with without too much of a jump from medium to medium (especially now that companies such as Marvel and DC have started their universes over from scratch). The Batman reboot, Avengers 2 or other big titles have the potential to be part of something bigger than their running time. Maybe it's time for some bigger chances to be taken. We know how these characters get to be who they are, now give audiences some stories that last longer than a trip to the local multiplex.