Thanks largely to ‘Avengers: Endgame’, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has generated $5.02 billion at the box office in 2019 alone! In addition to ‘Endgame’ ($2.795B), this year saw the release of ‘Captain Marvel’ ($1.128B), and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ ($1.097B). ‘Far From Home’ is still in theaters. This is a mindboggling amount of money for any three movies to make combined, but for those three to all be from one film franchise is unparalleled.
That doesn’t actually mean that Marvel STUDIOS made that amount. Keep in mind, ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ isn’t a Marvel Studios/Disney film. It hails from Sony, but it’s still set within that storyline and it’s not as though Disney is weeping over that lost revenue. On the upside, ‘Captain Marvel’ far exceeded the performance of Warner Brothers’ ‘Wonder Woman’, to become the first female-fronted superhero movie to cross the one billion threshold. As for ‘Far From Home’, it’s now the highest-grossing ‘Spider-Man’ movie of all time.
Not to sound cynical, but this may be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. There may never be another ‘Endgame’. That epic served as the culmination of 11 years worth of storytelling with over two dozen superheroes in their most sweeping battle against their ultimate foe. It now stands as the highest-grossing theatrical movie of all time, with inflation not factored in. It will likely hold that title for many years to come, as it’s unlikely that any movie– by Marvel or otherwise– in the foreseeable future will be able to dethrone it.
While Marvel has a full slate lined up for the next two years, in a sense the studio is starting over, building a new universe with some returning familiar faces like Doctor Strange and Thor, in ‘Multiverse of Madness’ and ‘Love and Thunder’, respectively, and setting up the potential superstars of tomorrow with ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ and ‘Blade’. But it remains to be seen if the Marvel brand is powerful enough to succeed without Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, etc. So far it’s doing pretty well, as ‘Captain Marvel’ made all of its money without Brie Larson’s lead character being established elsewhere before her solo movie.
In another new twist, part of the MCU moving forward will unfold on TV, in a series of shows on Disney+. Once again, it remains to be seen if the fans of the movies will sign up for the new streaming service in order to continue following the exploits of favorites like Loki, Hawkeye, and the Scarlet Witch, and the evolution of Falcon (Anthony Mackie) into the new Captain America. It also remains to be seen just how integral the Disney+ shows will be to the new movies.
And once again, walking that line of cynicism, it’s entirely possible that many fans viewed ‘Endgame’ literally, as the “End” of the MCU. Casual fans may have said their goodbyes and are moving on.
What do you think? Are you still looking forward to the future of the MCU?
If so, look out for ‘Black Widow’ on May 1, 2020, ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’ in fall 2020, ‘Eternals’ on November 6, 2020, ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ on February 12, 2021, ‘WandaVision’ in spring 2021, ‘Loki’ in spring 2021, ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ on May 7, 2021, ‘What If?’ in summer 2021, ‘Hawkeye’ in fall 2021, and ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ on November 5, 2021.