COLUMN: Is the MCU expanding too far?

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Destiny Blanchard, Columnist

Last week Disney had their 2021 Disney+ Day, a day to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Disney Plus streaming service. On this day Marvel studios announced several upcoming movies and shows and gave sneak peeks into a few of them. There were 12 different titles announced, to add to the already long list of shows and movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a huge Marvel fan, I make it a point to see all of the content that is canon to the MCU, which at this point includes over two dozen films and four shows that are currently streaming on Disney+. I have been involved in the MCU fandom since I was ten and am more than excited to see where the franchise is headed. From the perspective of someone who isn’t a fan of Marvel movies, the franchise could seem overwhelming given the existing amount of content and influx of even more.

As of August of this year, the MCU became the highest-grossing film franchise in the world, the Harry Potter and Star Wars franchises following behind. The MCU also has the honor of being the franchise with the most movies of all time, with 26 movies. This is only one more movie than the James Bond franchise, with 25 movies.

At the time that “Iron Man”, the first movie of the MCU, came out there’s no way someone could’ve predicted how far it would expand. With the fanbase being as big as it has become, and with the amount of content there is to go off of the comic books, it’s likely that we will continue seeing Marvel films and shows for the next few decades. It’s possible that by the end of this decade we could have nearly 50 movies in the MCU franchise.

Despite my excitement for the upcoming Marvel content, I have to wonder if there will come a point when there are too many movies to watch. Movies about superheroes are very popular right now, but I wonder if we’ll ever get to a point of oversaturation with the films. Although it’s not a part of the Marvel franchise, the Batman movies are a key example of this. There have been nearly a dozen live action Batman movies, with the character appearing or being mentioned in other films as well. Most recently the next Batman film starring Robert Pattinson has been set to be released in 2022. The character of Batman has been used for several years and yet each new movie continues to make billions of dollars. If Batman can be this successful with the continued use of the character, maybe the MCU can do the same.

As skeptical as I am about the viability of a franchise that has a source material that includes hundreds to thousands of characters and storylines, I can only hope that the MCU continues its success over the next several years.

Destiny Blanchard is a senior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]