Marvel has Become Theaters Only Hope for Survival
There has been plenty of talk over the past two years as to the state of the film industry, its eventual progression into the future, and just what the status of theatrical releases could be in the coming years; and if they have proven anything, ist that Marvel has become the theaters only hope for survival.
Any way that you approach the most recent history of the box office, it seems to be a shell of its former self, a shadow of the industry that dominated the entertainment sphere of the world and was the biggest way for audiences to take in stories on a massive scale.
For years streaming platforms have threatened the theatrical stranglehold on the market, and have made their best attempts at turning over viewers from theatrical releases, to digital availability; with one side gaining and one side periling in the epic struggle.
The COVID-19 pandemic was the ultimate catalyst for that struggle, as it presented what many feared could be the final nail in the coffin of that long hard-fought battle, and stood as the true death sentence for a theatrical market base that was only dwindling.
Two years removed from that pandemic and theaters haven’t died out the year- even seeing a strong resurgence in this past year- but one thing is absolutely certain, the market is as unpredictable and unforgiving as it has ever been, and there is seemingly only one guarantee for profit; the MCU.
That is why Marvel has become theaters’ only hope for survival.
In a report from The Direct, it was revealed that Marvel’s 2022 releases- a slate that is among their weakest financially and critically- grossed $1.7 billion, with the upcoming November release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever likely outdoing both Doctor Strange 2 and Thor 4.
Those films are coming a year after Spider-Man: No Way Home collected a whopping $1.9 billion on its own, a feat that made it one of the most successful comic book films of all time, despite it taking place not even a year removed from the pandemic.
The 2022 Marvel Studios earnings are even more jarring when put into perspective of the year as a whole, as the entire box office for this year only earned $7 billion; with Marvel collective the lion’s share of that by far.
There is no telling what the future of the unpredictable theatrical format will be, but one thing is absolutely certain, a massive part of the story will be how Marvel films are being received.