In May the eleventh Marvel Studios movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, will hit theaters as the movie studio rides a wave of unbelievable success. Over the last seven years, Marvel Studios has released ten movies, two television series, and it looks like they’re just beginning. But why do people flock to their movies? Why was a movie about unknown characters with a talking raccoon one of the highest grossing films of 2014? Here are five reasons:
The Marvel Cinematic Universe
It’s all connected. The movies, the television series, and Netflix. Everything exists in the same shared universe. I’ve seen some people bashing the Marvel movies for doing this, thinking they should be self-contained, but that’s completely wrong. They’ve made a shared universe to mirror the way things work in the comics, and that’s why the Marvel Studios stuff works so well. Everything can have repercussions in other movies, making even the smallest event something that can come back in a much bigger way down the line.
They Embrace the Fantastic Nature of Comics
Ever since Fox released X-Men in 2000, comic fans have been cursed with a “grounded in reality” approach to the movies. Hollywood’s belief was that general audiences wouldn’t buy a comic book movie if it was as unrealistic as comics have the tendency to be. Once Marvel started making their own movies that belief was tossed out the window, and in a few years we’ll have the mind-blowing Infinity War on the big screen. That’s something Fox would never be caught dead making…
They Get the Characters Right
People like to blur the lines where Robert Downey Jr. ends and Tony Stark begins, but that’s not even the best example of Marvel perfectly nailing a character in the MCU. From the very beginning of Captain America: The First Avenger, Chris Evans was 100% the Steve Rogers from the comics. Even now, nearly seven years after Iron Man first hit the screen Marvel has yet to make a colossal character stumble like turning Galactus into a cloud.
They Aren’t Afriad
Guardians of the Galaxy is proof that Marvel doesn’t care what other people think, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Marvel has earned the ability to do any comic character they want in live action. Ten years ago people would’ve rolled their eyes at a Guardians of the Galaxy or Inhumans movie. Now it’s exciting to see where Marvel is going to take this universe they’ve been building.
They Have a Plan
Apparently Marvel’s Kevin Feige has a map on his office wall planning out the entire Marvel Cinematic universe into the late 2020’s. The rumor is there are more than 20 movies beyond Phase 3 being planned right now, so everything you see happening in the upcoming Marvel films have a purpose. People like to think there will be an implosion of comic book movies and people will stop making them. As long as Marvel sticks to their plan and winning formula, that probably won’t happen…