Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is Taking Over the… Well, Universe
In 2016, I don’t think it’s really necessary to go in depth about the success that Marvel has found with their film franchise. Suffice to say that this is an unprecedented string of successes for a company that didn’t really get a taste of big screen success until 2008. But what really makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe so interesting is its incredible pervasiveness. For some time now, there have been two Marvel films in theaters per year. Each has its time on top, releases on home media, rakes in more money and then gives way to the next film. No film serves to overshadow the ones that come before or after it. Rather, they continue to build. Adding pieces to the universe as a whole while pulling in preexisting assets. If Marvel Studios was a factory production line, it would bring a tear to Henry Ford’s eye.
The characters and films of the MCU are truly everywhere you look. Good luck walking through your nearest superstore without seeing at least one Marvel product on 50% of the aisles. Toys, video games, clothing, home goods. Everywhere. A simple Google search brought me to this site, Casino.com, which has at least a dozen Marvel casino games. Yes, we live in a world where you can gamble the day away with all of your favorite superheroes from the movies.
And when I speak of this pervasiveness, I don’t just mean in merchandising and on the screen. These films are important in the minds of a huge number of people across the world. You may doubt that, but consider this: the most recent Marvel film Captain America: Civil War recently became the first movie of 2016 to reach a billion dollars at the box office. We are no longer surprised when these films are smashing successes, but we need to stop and consider some elements of this film to truly appreciate what this means. Civil War is the third in the Captain America series and the thirteenth in the MCU overall. Most film series experience the law of diminishing returns when it comes to box office return. However, this series has only gotten stronger with each successive release, culminating in Civil War breaking into the top 20 grossing films of all time in the first month of its release. It hasn’t yet reached the dizzying heights of the Avengers films, but it is well on its way. What is truly exciting as a fan of the MCU is just how enthralled everyone else was by the movie. We here at NerdSpeak of course loved it, but the critical and audience reactions alike were equally as positive as ours. If we look back only twenty years ago, even the best superhero films could only dream of such critical and financial success.
But here we are in 2016, where you are just as likely to see a series of Spider-Man memes posted by your aunt as you are to see pictures of her latest cross-stitching masterpiece. Just as the films and characters are everywhere, everybody is talking about them. It’s a wonderful time to be a nerd, truly. Let’s just hope DC can get their act together and we can all happily join hands and sing kumbaya while watching all of our favorite heroes on the screen.