Ever since the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hollywood Trades have been trying to shove a myth of “Superhero Fatigue” down your throat in the hopes that you would believe it. This myth says that people have become so tired of superhero movies that the genre has hit a wall and they’ll stop being massive hits. When in reality it’s nothing more than a segment of Hollywood who hates and resents the big blockbusters and will do anything they can to have to stop covering them.
Last week Steven Spielberg compared the superhero genre to Westerns in the 50s and that it’ll eventually go away. The reason why you saw his comments covered by so many sites is because they had a major name trumpeting the narrative they want to be true so badly. Just listen to most of the big “film blog” podcasts and you can hear the distain they have for superhero movies when they have to talk about them. Why do you think Birdman won Best Picture? Because it was a strong anti-superhero genre movie and it fit this warped narrative that Hollywood wishes the general public will buy into.
Even though Age of Ultron didn’t make as much money as the first Avengers (only $1.4 billion worldwide), causing these people to peg it as a “failure”, its performance didn’t affect Ant Man much as that movie failed to end Marvel’s #1 opening record. Then we have the Marvel Phase 3 movies coming, not to mention DC’s new cinematic universe and Fox’s Mutant stuff. If you’re a fan of superhero movies, this shouldn’t give you fatigue. It’s the most exciting time for the genre.
With Marvel Studios now fully under the control of Kevin Feige, Phase 3 has the potential to blow all previous Marvel movies out of the water. They have the freedom to make the movies leading into Infinity War as good as they can be, with that two-part Avengers epic ready to melt faces in IMAX. Then on the DC side people freaked out over how awesome Suicide Squad looked, and that’s not even mentioning the fact that we have two Justice League films on the way.
Thankfully most people realize how bad Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four was, so we don’t see many people trumpeting that failure as an example of “Superhero Fatigue”. But don’t be surprised if we start hearing this all again leading up to the release of Captain America: Civil War. It’s a calculated campaign to try to manipulate the general movie-goer to buy into a narrative that Hollywood wants, just so their delusional dream of boring Oscar-bait being embraced by the normal human being would come true.