The MCU and You

The MCU and You

What Phase 2 and beyond really means for us, the consumer audience.

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By JCRT - 2/7/2013
Rumour is abound with the talk of a Planet Hulk movie and a World War Hulk storyline in Phase 3, and while everyone has their own opinions on whether or not it will be good or bad, right or wrong no one really seems to be addressing the issue at hand - what it means for the audience.

Phase 1 was a global success, it's hard to fault that. With a total budget of $1 billion and earning close to $3 billion it's easy to see that people loved the Phase 1 movies.

Now in just a few short months, Phase 2 begins with Iron Man 3. Phase 2 will be pretty much more of the same (IM3, Thor 2, Cap 2) which is a good, safe move from Marvel. This ensures that the brand recognition they've built up in Phase 1 carries over.

While The Incredible Hulk was a good movie, I'm glad that Marvel are swapping this out for a GOTG movie. As someone who doesn't know a thing about GOTG, I'm going to be eagerly looking forward to seeing this, being introduced to new and fresh characters and a new perspective.

I'm sure many of the audience members are in the same boat I am in regards to GOTG and while it is a big risk taking it away from Earth into the cosmic sphere it is still a just move. At the climax of The Avengers we saw Iron Man take a nuke out through a portal into space.

This short, simple scene highlighted that beyond our world/mythology there is a greater world out there with all manner of aliens. If we didn't get a GOTG movie or something similar in Phase 2 then I would have been surprised.

Introducing the audience to a cosmic side both splits the MCU and combines it;

Splitting it -

From here Marvel can now do so many things. It can have Earth-bound stories or stories deep into space and on other planets. This ensures a greater variety of storytelling, and allows the MCU not to become stagnant with just the "aliens invade Earth, heroes have to stop them" storyline.

While some may believe that the cosmic side won't be believable (A talking raccoon? Pah!) We have to see that in many other films we've had anthropomorphic animals/plants/whatever and no one has batted an eyelid.

I don't see why GOTG has to be any different.

Green Lantern wasn't a bad movie because Hal Jordan went into space and interacted with a bunch of talking space aliens, let's just put that right there.

Combining it -

Drawing together different aspects of the entirety of the Comic Universe(s) can allow further integration between characters. Iron Man is linked with GOTG, and there's certainly no reason why Thor couldn't be.

Marvel's 'grounded' heroes such as Cap, Hawkeye and Black Widow might jar with the cosmic side of it, but therein lies great potential and conflict.

Remember in The Avengers when the heroes were squaring off against each other? The audience loved that, and it is easily one of the most memorable bits about the film. Now imagine Captain America coming up against Groot or Star-Lord and wondering 'what the hell is this?'

Movie. Gold.

With that, Phase 2 is done.
But Phase 3 is shaping up to be less sequels (which is good) and more lesser-known properties.

Ant-Man and Doctor Strange are confirmed and the audience may not know much about these characters now, I have a feeling by the time their respective films come around they will. Each little post-credits scene in Phase 2 may just build up to The Avengers 2, or they could easily get creative and leave hints for Ant-Man, Doctor strange and others.

Personally, I would much rather see hints for Phase 3 in the Phase 2 post-credits rather than a build up to The Avengers like we got in Phase 1.

While the Phase 1 post-credit scenes were important, and allowed a universe cohesion, this no longer needs to build up to The Avengers as we know it is coming, and has already been explicitly stated that only Captain America 2 is going to have any sort of major SHIELD presence.

In IM2 and Thor 2 they are done with SHIELD (for now) so it doesn't make any sense to try to reign them in again.

I shall end with this:

The general audience will snap up anything that Marvel will have to offer, at least for the next two phases. Why? Because Marvel has captured their attention and garnered their interest.

Until Marvel slips up horribly and earth-shatteringly the general audience will be fine.

Comic fans, as we all are, may be a bit more cautious in regards to the plot lines and characters they use but again unless Marvel slips up horribly we will go and see what they have to offer.

I've used Green Lantern as a previous example and I will do so now. With a budget of $200 million (roughly average for a CBM nowadays) in it's opening weekend it generated $50 million dollars, an ok figure.

However with it being a critically panned movie, by the second weekend the movie was dead in the water. Word of mouth had killed it and so the general audience weren't likely to go and watch it.

This is the only way I can see Marvel losing traction over the next two phases - one slip up, bad press and word-of-mouth negative connotations.
Source: JCRT
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15 Comments
avengers72 - 2/7/2013, 5:25 AM
Very well written and I agree with everything. I've been saying since the beginning that the thing that will keep ant man from not failing in the box office is people's faith that marvel will continue to bring them great films
marvel72 - 2/7/2013, 7:59 AM
a great selling point will feature on every poster....

"from the studio that brought you the avengers".

i don't think anyone is expecting any of the phase 2 movies to fetch the same sort of dollar that the avengers did,of course the avengers sequel has the potential of reaching the billion again & maybe iron man 3 has the best chance of hitting a billion out of the others.

JCRT - 2/7/2013, 8:23 AM
@Marvel72

None of the films individually go to a billion dollars (sans Avengers), but cumulatively they did. Iron Man 2 is actually the highest grossing out of the lot (sans Avengers again) but even that only got 600 million.

The rest made 260-580. I think each of the individual films could make that kind of money again.
sikwon - 2/7/2013, 9:27 AM
Great article.
TheFirstAvenger97 - 2/7/2013, 10:23 AM
Good stuff. ;-)
SpoonWielder - 2/7/2013, 12:13 PM
The only thing I disagree with you on is the after the credits scenes. I still think each of them will either tease the next movie coming or another Avengers. Just because WE know all the movies coming out in Phase 2, doesn't mean that the general audience does. They need those little teases to go, "Oh man Cap 2 is coming out next summer! I can't wait to see that!" And most importantly, those teases are needed to let the general audience know that films like Guardians of the Galaxy is indeed a Marvel film. Looking back that's exactly what the Thor teaser at the end of Iron Man 2 was for. I remember explaining what it meant to my friends, and what it could possibly mean for the future e.i. The Avengers.

But anyway, good article, good read.
marvel72 - 2/7/2013, 1:34 PM
@ LEVITIKUZ

ant-man is phase 3 it comes out after the avengers 2.

@ JCRT

yeah i know they all made decent profits for their roughly $150,000,000 budgets,but i do think iron man 3 has the best chance out of the phase 2 movies to hit the billion mark,iron man is popular with the general public & coming out after the avengers should increase its box office numbers.

same with captain america 2 & thor 2 both of them should see an increase at the box office gross over their first movies.
GuardianDevil - 2/7/2013, 2:38 PM
Iron Man 3 and Cap 2 are the ones I'm most excited for, GOTG..eh I'll give it a chance. Thor? I'll watch it but I don't like Hemsworth in the role, I also hope that they show just how tough Thor is. I mean in comics, Thor was Superman-level and he could bust planets, but in Avengers they made it seem like he couldnt even break out of a little glass box. I just think they are majorly playing down Thor's abilities, I wish a Hulk solo would've been made instead of one of those.

Anyways, it was a nice read.
bHrUuLcKe - 2/7/2013, 3:17 PM
@ Fenix122
I feel exactly the same way about what they've done with thor's powers so far, but that's why i'm looking forward to it the most.

Maybe this one will get it right.

I hope.
bHrUuLcKe - 2/7/2013, 3:19 PM
Very good article
Jollem - 2/7/2013, 3:39 PM
i hope wave 2 is better than wave 1
GuardianDevil - 2/7/2013, 6:03 PM
@bHrUuLcke
Yeah, I hope so too. Like I said they NEED to showcase just how tough Thor really is...I hope they do so.
Sturmpionier - 2/11/2013, 7:00 AM
One of the big upsides to the way Marvel is advancing its various properties, from a business perspective, is that it is spreading the risk across multiple franchises. Let's say they make a stinker somewhere in Phase 2 (or 3). Let's just say Ant-man bombs and they decide "ok, no more Ant-man movies." Well, they can still give the character some fan service by including him in an Avengers movie. No one film, or character, carries the weight of the Marvel franchise. The Hulk is a great example. His own movie only performed moderately well, but putting him in the Avengers has put his character back up to possibly having another movie again.

Look at the flip side. By having these isolated super heroes, DC/WB puts all the eggs in the character's latest movie basket. Superman 4 was a turd so we had to wait 19 years for another outing since 4 "killed" the franchise. Batman & Robin did the same thing to the Batman franchise causing an 8 year hiccup in the Batman series. (Although, no one went to jail for making it, so it wasn't all bad, I guess.) A lot of weight then fell on Green Lantern to be the "Iron Man" of the DC/WB. That one seriously underperformed and lots of people are saying that it seriously hurt other plans (Justice League.) Now, basically all that weight has fallen on Man of Steel's shoulders. If it doesn't do that well, that could be a Justice League killer and you can forget a Flash or WW (or Manhunter, or Firestar, or Deadman, or a Superman's Pal Jimmy, er Jenny Olson movie.)

Marvel has it now so that, let's say, Cap 2 under performs, do you think that kills Avengers 2? or 3? No. At least one of the other films will make enough to justify it. This also means, creatively, Marvel can take some chances. Plant Hulk may sound out there, but at least we don't have to put up with another origin story.
AmazingFantasy - 2/12/2013, 9:28 PM
If it's got " The studio that brought you THE AVENGERS and IRON MAN", with a MARVEL logo, people will see it.
AvengersRock - 2/17/2013, 10:09 PM
So long as the movies are quality movies and they are well scripted with enjoyable stories, I think people will come out for them.

Marvel has really hit on all cylinders with all their movies. One slip is not going to doom the whole genre.

They need to be careful of the properties they pick to build a movie for. AntMan is a risk, but I was at the ComicCon when they showed the AntMan clip, and it was awesome. If they can make that exciting, they can make just about anything exciting.

I'm giving them a wide creative berth until they don't deserve it. They've earned that much and more.

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