Despite the fact that DC Comics have recently gotten their act together with high quality releases such as Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad and Justice League, it’s fair to say that Marvel still reigns supreme when it comes to making the quintessential superhero movie. Now, only five months into 2018, Marvel have two blockbusters in Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 currently vying for fans’ affection and this is indicative of the success the franchise has had on the big screen over the last decade or so.
While there is an ongoing debate as to whether Deadpool actually belongs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as CNET notes, the foul mouthed sassy villain certainly belongs in the movie theatre and the figures back this up, as the film’s already brought in more than $312,390,000 worldwide. The big screen success and domination currently being enjoyed by Marvel has lead many to speculate that Marvel is currently riding the crest of a wave the likes of which we have never seen before. But just how big is this boom in the nation’s favorite comic book franchise?
Just Like Hips, The Stats Don’t Lie
When you take a look at the Marvel movies that have been released within the last five years or so, the box office figures are mind-boggling and sitting proudly atop of the list of the highest grossing Marvel movies of all time is one of the most recent releases, Black Panther. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie grossed a little over $200 million in its opening weekend and has amassed almost $700 million in total – with a number of theaters still showcasing the stunning world of Wakanda in all its glory, this figure is set to carry on rising for the foreseeable future.
A more pertinent point when looking at the list of highest grossing Marvel efforts is that of the top 10. Spiderman 1, 2 and 3 (those with Andrew Garfield – you remember him, right?) are the only movies to have been released outside of the 2010s. In fact, the remaining eight movies on the list have all been released within the last six years or less, which really does hammer home the fact that Marveisre going through one of the most successful periods in its history.
The MCU is Relentless and Showing No Signs of Slowing Down
So we’ve established that Marvel is currently kicking butt on the big screen and have been doing so for a number of years. However, in order to keep the MCU juggernaut rolling, the brand cannot rest on its laurels and needs to have the future in mind at all times. Fortunately, the Marvel schedule from now until around 2022 is jampacked with more superheroes than you can shake a stick at and so their dominance looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
First up looks set to be the sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man and unfortunately, it seems that he’s bringing a wasp with him. Scheduled for release on the 6th July, Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly will be returning to our screens in Ant-Man and the Wasp to battle a new and more powerful enemy while simultaneously making us crack up with laughter. After you’ve reached your ant and wasp quota, it’ll be once again time to turn to our favourite eight legged friend for our superhero fix. October sees the release of Venom, Spiderman’s arch nemesis and with Tom Hardy landing the role of the all-black supervillain, you can’t help but think that Marvel has once again outdone themselves in the casting stakes. With Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse following shortly after Venom, 2018 looks set to end with a bang for the MCU and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see either of these titles making an entry into the top 10 grossing list somewhere down the line. For those who want a comprehensive list of upcoming releases from the MCU, feel free to drool and fangirl until your heart’s content (we’ve already done it).
Why So S…uccessful?
There are a whole host of reasons as to why Marvel has succeeded where many others have failed. Before The Avengers hit our screens back in 2012, the idea of a superhero team comprised of characters from separate movies was largely unheard of. Fears surrounding the balancing of screentime for each hero were quickly allayed thanks to the talents of director Joss Whedon, the movie went on to become a box office smash and thus, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born.
With the power of social media platforms such as Facebook now vital to businesses in 2018, the first whisperings of anything Marvel related are now relayed on a global scale faster than you can say, “Nobody can replace Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, so don’t even bother trying.” In addition to this, Marvel have done an exceptionally good job at creating a buzz around their brand outside of the movie theatre and it’s the MCU’s place in pop culture which has created a platform for the brand to be successful on a more global scale. On the gaming front, there are a plethora of superhero related games available for every Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony gaming console than you can possibly think of. Whether you’re a fan of more recent releases such as Lego Marvel Super Heroes, or enjoy a more retro Marvel effort such as 1995’s X-Men 2: Clone Wars, video games based on Marvel characters have always been a hit both their core audience and casual gamers alike. As explained in this Betway Casino article, themed online slots have also increased in popularity in recent times, leading to characters such as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk having their own slot games developed to coincide with the release of their successful cinema reboots. Merchandise has also helped catapult the MCU into the mainstream in a big way, with the Marvel division of Disney reportedly generating around $6 billion in retail merchandise back in 2011 – fast forward seven years and there’s no telling just how much this figure has risen. As well as plush toys, mugs and various items of clothing available on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, it was also possible to smell like The Avengers back when the original movie was released in 2012. With a range of perfumes and colognes based on characters such as Loki, Black Widow and Captain America, Marvel took their marketing to a whole new level by offering fans the chance to smell like their favorite superheros. Nevertheless, whether it’s an Iron Man outfit or Captain America cologne, every little helps when it comes to creating brand awareness.
It would be remiss of us to mention Marvel and pop culture without giving a nod to the memes currently floating around the internet, especially in relation to the ever popular Avengers: Infinity War. If you haven’t yet seen the movie then chances are the memes won’t really make sense but once you have, we suggest that you pull out your smartphone and scour the internet for the best ones. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed (perhaps a little traumatized, but definitely not disappointed).
So… Is This The Most Successful Boom in The History of Marvel?
There’s no doubt that Marvel are currently doing an exceptional job of taking comic book characters (some of which were virtually forgotten around 20 years ago, don’t forget!) and giving them a new lease of life on the big screen. It’s difficult to quantify Marvel’s success due to the fact that they’ve been killing it in the movie theatres and beyond for the last decade or so and continue to enjoy a virtual monopoly when it comes to the superhero genre. However, with recent movies such as Infinity War and Black Panther receiving critical acclaim and smashing the box office, Marvel have certainly never been in a better place than they are now and with a number of exciting projects lined up for the future, it’s an excellent time to be a Marvel fan. Long may it continue.