Are Marvel Movies Still Worth The Hype?


Marvel movies have taken the film industry by storm ever since the release of the original ¨Iron Man.¨ With Endgame earning the title of the highest grossing movie in box office history, it’s clear that public reception to Marvel movies is generally positive. Or at least, it was.
Marvel movies have been some of the biggest moneymakers Disney has ever had, other than the Star Wars franchise. Through 2009-2019, Disney has made over $18 billion dollars in the box office alone from Marvel, and that doesn’t even include the merchandising. With huge profits to be made, it only makes sense that Disney would start to pump out superhero movies consistently. At the beginning of the MCU, an average of 1-2 Marvel movies were made each year, one in 2010, two in 2011, and one in 2012. That pattern continues with Phase 2 of Marvel having around two movies being released each year. However, fast-forward to 2017, and a consistent three Marvel projects are being pumped out every year, from 2017-2020, with four being released throughout the course of 2021.
With such an increase in production, it’s only natural that the quality in movies would take a hit. Marvel’s “The Avengers” (2012) was one of the most popular superhero movies at the time of its release, receiving a score of 69 on Metacritic and being a commercial success–it had multiple sequels. It combined some of the most popular comic book characters in a way that felt both funny and serious, with a fast-paced plot and fantastic script. Compared with something like “Eternals,” (2021) that received a 52 score on Metacritic and was not nearly as successful as some of the older Marvel movies, at least review-wise. One of the reasons for such a decrease in popularity is attributed to the overall increase in repetition found in Marvel movies. In other words, people are starting to find superhero movies in general formulaic, and less innovative. When “Captain America: The First Avenger” came out, it was hailed as an innovative adaptation of the classic Captain America origin story we all know and love, with genius casting and incredible music. It was a risk Marvel took, and it felt different than every other superhero movie on the market at the time. The public consensus on Marvel movies now is that they all seem to be more of the same: action packed, little focus on story, and incredible CGI. Famous director, Martin Scorsese, even voiced some complaints about the feel of Marvel movies, saying “It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.” There is no denying that a large majority of the population still thoroughly enjoys these hero flicks, especially with surprise hits like “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which had a lot more identity than many other superhero movies coming out alongside it. If there was not at least a substantial following, Disney would still not be releasing Marvel movies as it is now. This is not to say that Marvel superhero movies are not becoming more and more saturated as more are being released, as the originality found in some of the classic movies are being lost. With the overall decreasing quality in superhero movies, we can only hope that Marvel can pick up its slack, put a lot of time and money into a unique concept, and revolutionize the MCU with another “Iron Man.”