Is Marvel losing their touch?

Will the MCU survive?


Consequence of Sound

A picture of all of the MCU’s films and series set in the Phase 4 era.

I’m sure you’ve HAD to watch a MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) movie before, or maybe even just a Marvel movie itself. Whether it be Iron Man, the movie that started it all. Or maybe Avengers: Endgame, arguably the most popular MCU movie by far. The hype and excitement for MCU movies were always huge after the series caught attention, and people were wondering if you had watched the new big Marvel movie. But anyone who keeps up with Marvel movies will know that people aren’t too certain about the MCU’s future, with newer films having many mixed reviews. Will Marvel be able to keep the success they’ve gained over the years?

The MCU has movies organized in Phases. Before we talk about Phase 4 and 5, the newer movies, let’s discuss the success of the MCU leading up to Endgame, basically the end of Phase 3. Phases 1 and 2, along with the start of Phase 3, helped set up characters and get us familiar with them, such as Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and other popular Marvel heroes. The movies themselves were successful for the time they were made. However, when Marvel began gaining popularity, this is when the money started coming in. According to Box Office Mojo, The Avengers made $1.5 billion dollars, Avengers: Age of Ultron made $1.4 billion, Black Panther made $1.3 billion, and Captain America: Civil War made $1.1 billion. This is naming just a few of the movies before Endgame.

Now, Endgame was essentially the end of the line for a lot of characters’ stories, like Captain America, Iron Man, etc. This was one of the main reasons why it was such a big hit. The movie basically wrapped up all of the phases before it. Endgame was able to net in nearly $3 billion dollars, at $2.7 billion dollars, making it the second highest grossing movie ever. According to New Vision Theatres, out of the 25 highest grossing films, 7 of the MCU films before Endgame are on the list, all making over $1 billion dollars.

Now, to talk about new MCU movies. Phase 4 starts off with the film Black Widow, which by Marvel standards, didn’t do amazingly well. It brought in $379 million. This movie was also criticized for its bad CGI and story. Phase 4 is very confusing, since some films didn’t do too well money-wise but were praised by audiences. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a good example, where the film may not have been extremely profitable like other MCU products, but was very well-received by audiences. The movie got praise such as great action sequences and also being the first Marvel movie to have an Asian lead actor.

However, some films made a lot of money but weren’t very praised and weren’t liked by audiences. For example, Thor: Love and Thunder was extremely profitable, yet was heavily criticized for having scenes that didn’t make sense, making this film more of a comedy than a serious movie, and not using its vilian, Gorr, to its fullest potential, according to Movie Web. Movie Web also criticized Eternals, another film that was seen as a failure. It gained $400 million dollars, but had a budget of around $236 million. This means it only gained a $150 million dollar profit. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania are also films that have been criticized. 

With all this news, is it possible that Marvel will lose its audience and fall into failure? In my opinion, I think Marvel has a chance to still come back. Were there problems with Phase 4? Yes. Can Marvel learn from their mistakes and make their films better? Also yes. Marvel has released great films during this era, such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Shang Chi, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. The main problem with most of the Phase 4 and 5 films is that the writing seems poorly written and forced, and the recent CGI are created very badly, looking like terrible effects. If Marvel can fix these problems, then I think they can get back on track and produce amazing films.