Marvel Studios and the Curse of High Expectations

Now sensible people can certainly debate the artistic and narrative benefits of Doctor Strange 2as well as whether Sam Raimi’s directorial style fits the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and whether the film moves the MCU forward as a whole.

And to be sure, the movie’s B + rating on CinemaScore (only the third Marvel movie to receive it, with all other MCU movies earning an A or A +) and a heartbreaking 67 percent box office drop in its second weekend are signs of , that this film is will not be as widely loved as e.g. Captain America: Civil War or Spider-Man: No Way Home. It also follows three previous MCU films—Black widow, Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten ringsand Eternal– it did not exactly blow the doors of the cinemas.

But our guess is that Marvel will be okay and that Feige will not feverishly send tractor trailers full of money to Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans front yard yet. If anything, Marvel is now the victim of incredibly high expectations, both on the creative and financial front, and anything that does not meet these standards is somehow considered a disaster, which is certainly not a healthy thing.

Billion Dollar Box Office Snare

There is no doubt that in their first decade, Marvel Studios and MCU have had an unprecedented box office in the history of Hollywood. While including Spider Man film co-produced with Sony Pictures, MCU has had 28 straight film debuts at number one in the box office over the course of 14 years. All but six have earned more than $ 500 million worldwide at the box office, while 10 of those films are members of the $ 1 billion club.

Stop for a moment: We said 10 MCU movies earned a billion or more at the box office, right? They include all four Avengers film, two of the Spider Man excursions, Captain America: Civil War (which is a kind Avengers film, really), Black Panther, Iron Man 3and Captain Marvel.

There are specific reasons why all 10 of these movies earned billions of dollars. That Avengers films, especially the last two, merged all of the other films, and again in the case of the last two, they brought a massive narrative arc to the end. Spider-Man, always Marvel’s most popular character, got the MCU reboot fans had been waiting for. Black Panther and Captain Marvel represented cultural game changers for representation in MCU and Hollywood blockbusters in general.

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