It’s no secret in Hollywood that Marvel Studios is facing some serious issues that are now being revealed publicly. Although the challenges Marvel will have to deal with pale in comparison to those the recently reorganized DC Studios must grapple with, the world’s largest superhero film studio is no longer the powerhouse it used to be.
Earlier this week, Variety detailed Marvel’s many current challenges, as well as some plans to reboot the franchise. The report also suggests that there have been discussions about bringing back all the original Avengers stars for a new sequel. Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk never left the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye was already semi-retired before Renner’s fatal accident earlier this year. However, Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) had already been written about. Avengers: Endgame, Cap got a chance to live out his life in the past, but Iron Man and Black Widow both died on-screen.
Of course, in comics death is never really the end. And with the Marvel Multiverse, it will be easier to explain new iterations of Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Widow. Bringing all those stars on board will definitely increase interest in the second the avenger Movies. But bringing back the original Avengers won’t be enough to save the MCU. At least not by myself. Marvel’s issues are so deep that even in the unlikely event an Avengers sequel comes close endgameDespite record-breaking box office earnings, it won’t fix the company’s other problem areas.
In some ways, Marvel is a victim of its own success. Through 32 films released since 2008, Marvel Studios films have grossed approximately $30 billion at the worldwide box office. It’s an unprecedented run of hit movies that has made Marvel one of the most successful studios in the world. Before it was clear how big the MCU was going to become, Disney had the fortune of purchasing Marvel for a mere $4 billion in 2009.
After becoming so big, it’s almost unimaginable to see Marvel struggling creatively and financially at the box office now. The next film in the franchise, via Variety’s report, Miracle, is expected to debut with only $75 million to $80 million at the domestic box office. For an ordinary film, this would be cause for celebration. For a Marvel movie that reportedly cost $250 million or more, these numbers are pretty worrying.
No studio can stay successful forever, and Marvel caught lightning in a bottle for the first time iron Man in 2008. For better or worse, that film became the template for almost every MCU film that came after. iron Man was funny, so almost every next film had to be funny too – until the comedy threatened to drown out the action and lower the stakes to the point where the audience didn’t care anymore. This was the extreme approach adopted by 2022 Thor: Love and Thunder, which marked director Taika Waititi’s next step toward a full-on superhero farce. Who could care about Jane Foster dying of cancer, when she doesn’t even seem all that worried about it?
Marvel’s heavy reliance on humor caused many of these films to feel as if they were interchangeable. Or worse, they don’t care. Some films that went out of the joke era, like Captain America: The Winter Soldier And black Panther, felt like a welcome change of pace. still Guardians of the Galaxy The films, which are quite fun in their own way, managed to carve out a unique niche among the Marvel franchise. A lot of other movies felt like repeats or even worse.
Ant-Man in the Coal Mine
One of the reasons Marvel is so concerned Miracle‘The soft box office prospects are similar to what the company has already seen earlier this year. in February, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Was extremely excited about Moon because it featured the formal introduction of Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, the next big Marvel villain. That promotion got a boost amount Opening to $120.4 million over the holiday weekend. All is well in M’s house, right? But the film then suffered a massive decline, finishing with a domestic total of $214.5 million, down from $216.6 million. Ant-Man and the Wasp Earned in 2018.
The situation was even worse at the international level. Whereas Ant-Man and the Wasp It grossed $622.7 million worldwide, amount It finished with $476.1 million, becoming one of the first non-pandemic Marvel films to lose money. More pressingly, this was the first Marvel film to be rejected by hardcore fans after seeing it during its opening weekend. The repeat business of the film was extremely disappointing, which shows that there was deep dissatisfaction among the audience towards it. This may prove to be a harbinger Miracle‘Fate too.
not so special effect
One of the major complaints of amount Audiences unsurprisingly focused on the incomplete and shoddy special effects. But this wasn’t the only Marvel project to suffer from this problem. she hulk Despite a budget of $25 million per episode, the series on Disney+ had similar issues, making it one of the most expensive television shows of all time.
Victoria Alonso, Marvel’s former executive in charge of VFX, was fired a few weeks later amountPremiere of. And while fans and industry insiders have scapegoated Alonso for Marvel’s FX troubles, a frequent complaint from VFX artists themselves is that Marvel has overworked them for years with nearly impossible deadlines and low pay. . Marvel executives have also had a tendency to wait until the last minute to request major revisions. When dealing with some of the most expensive movies ever made, there’s no excuse for special effects that are anything less than the best in the business, even if it means pushing back the film’s release date.
the author wanted
The most surprising aspect of Variety’s report was about bladeThe upcoming reboot stars Mahershala Ali in the half-human/half-vampire role previously played by Wesley Snipes in the late ’90s and early 2000s. According to Variety, “A person familiar with the script permutations says the story at one point changed to a female-led narrative and one filled with life lessons. The blade was pushed to the fourth edge.
This reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of Blade’s appeal, especially if the main character was actually capped off in his own movie. people went to see the original blade The trilogy sees the title character hunt vampires, fight monsters, and kick ass. They certainly weren’t going for “life lessons.”
Variety notes that logan Screenwriter Michael Green has taken over writing the script. blade, and Marvel could actually produce it for less than $100 million. Considering that most of the recent Marvel movies have cost $200 million or more, this is a huge budget reduction. But it would probably be easier to make a profit on that total amount.
Last month, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Marvel had taken the drastic step of firing Daredevil: Born Again Showrunners Chris Ord and Matt Corman left after determining that “the show wasn’t working.” Unfortunately, Marvel didn’t come to that conclusion until several episodes had already been filmed.
Among the red flags for Marvel were that Ord and Corman’s approach to the show was more of a legal procedural, and Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock didn’t even wear his Daredevil costume until the end of the fourth episode. Once again, this was a fundamental misunderstanding of the character’s appeal. And Marvel has no one to blame but itself, as Ord and Corman’s script had to be approved long before production began.
Rebirth This isn’t the only Marvel Studios TV show to struggle. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law It was remarkably funny for a series that was supposedly a comedy. and two seasons of bottle gourd Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief has gone from one of Marvel’s most interesting villains to a half-heroic shadow of his former self. even Moon Knight Marvel’s answer to Batman was mishandled by copying Oscar Isaac’s dual personality as Steven Grant and Marc Spector.
The push to create original Marvel series for Disney+ came from Disney CEO Bob Iger’s first introduction to the company. And while Marvel’s early batch of wandavision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, bottle gourdAnd hawkeye She had undeniable star power, with the upcoming slate including shows for Echo and Agatha Harkness, who might not even be able to snag her own comic book series. It’s asking a lot from the Marvel brand when two of these 2024 series feature characters that are about as far from A-listers as it can possibly be.
signs of hope
Who is responsible for this mess? The same man who made Marvel such a success in the first place: Kevin Feige. As President of Marvel Studios since 2007, Feige has enjoyed the company’s success. But that also means Feige will have to take his share of the blame when things go wrong. Since 2015, Feige has been given the authority to make the big calls at Marvel Studios, so the responsibility ultimately falls to him. Various reports have also indicated that Feige has been overextended due to his slate of multiple Marvel shows and upcoming films. So the solution seems obvious: Feige needs to delegate, and he shouldn’t be the sole creative executive who has to fix every issue at his company. It is not that there is any dearth of writers who know about Marvel comics.
The good news is that Feige and the rest of the producers at Marvel Studios are now beginning to recognize their problems. It’s better to ignore issues until they get worse. Feige recently hired former Punisher Showrunner Dario Scardapane takes over Daredevil: Born Again And get the series back on track. Marvel Studios is also reportedly hiring executives who have more experience with television to oversee future shows and prevent the problems that occurred in previous shows from recurring.
While all of DC’s live-action movies have languished in 2023, Marvel had two bright spots at this year’s box office. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 It had a good return with $359 million domestically and $845.6 million worldwide. Produced by Sony Pictures Animation Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse lag behind guardian 3 With $381.3 million domestically, however, it followed with a worldwide total of $690 million. But despite all the talk about superhero fatigue, these two Marvel movies proved that audiences will still watch superhero movies and come back to watch again and again if they have compelling stories and characters they care about.
This brings us back to The Avengers. There are two upcoming sequels, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty And avengers: secret wars, Bringing back the original cast for one or both of these films could only help them. But if Marvel wants to recapture its former glory, the studio needs to rededicate itself to making good, and hopefully great, superhero stories. Average superhero movies aren’t going to cut it anymore.