By Christy Reed
It’s safe to say that movie studios are finally equipped with the technology to properly bring comic books to life on the big screen. As we’ve mentioned before in The Metropolitan, it took nearly 80 years for this to happen, but if the box office figures are any indication, the wait was absolutely worth it.
To say that Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War is a box office success would be a gross understatement. The Hollywood Reporter states that movie has already crossed the $800 million mark worldwide and is on track to be the fastest film to reach a billion. From the box office numbers it’s clear that film fans are not getting superhero fatigue. They want more. Black Panther showed that there is an audience looking for more diverse heroes, and with the contracts of the major stars (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth) ending after Avengers 4, the box office success of Infinity War shows that this won’t be a problem as the other characters are just as popular.
One of the big takeaways from the box office numbers is how successful Marvel has been with their plan. With four (soon to be five) Marvel films crossing the billion mark, it may seem obvious now, but back in 2008 it was a big risk to set out a cinematic universe that was all linked together. Marvel Studios didn’t have the rights to their biggest characters (Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four) and when the Avengers was first teased at the end of Iron Man, no one knew whether it would be a success or find an audience. It’s a testament to the interwoven story lines of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that the franchise has exceeded expectations. Not only is it a great storytelling method, it also builds loyalty and ensures viewership for their future movies.
Infinity War isn’t the only recent superhero movie that’s running ahead of the ever-popular Star Wars franchise in terms of worldwide box office sales. Black Panther which was released earlier this year has now made more than $1.3 billion dollars. According to Cinema Blend this puts Black Panther ahead of Star Wars: The Last Jedi when it comes to total sales in the global box office. Two big box office films in the space of months demonstrates that fans are ready for many more Marvel stories.
It is not just Marvel that is making big waves at the box office. Over on the other side, DC’s Wonder Woman became the first woman-directed superhero film. Apart from being a box office success that catapulted actress Gal Gadot to worldwide stardom, it broke down barriers and shone a light on how male-dominated the superhero genre is. Such was the success of the film that other industries are now taking advantage of the female superheroine. Foxy Bingo’s Amazon Queen is a digital slot game that was developed to embrace the growing demand created by Wonder Woman for more female heroes. Marvel is also following suit with female characters taking a much more central role in the upcoming slate of films. Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel will introduce two more strong heroines to the Marvel roster.
Avengers: Infinity War continues to show that the superhero genre is the film genre of the 21st century. The biggest takeaway is that after 19 films, Marvel heroes are still flying to greater heights.
Featured Image by Gage Skidmore, CC By-SA 2.0