If there was ever an equivalent of “too big to fail” in the film industry, it has to be Marvel. The company has enjoyed yet another fantastic year of commercial success, thanks to highly anticipated projects such as Spider-Man: No Way Home which has already grossed over an astonishing $1.3 billion at the global box office.
Curiously, the quality of the films themselves have no impact on the box office numbers since a well-received productions such as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and a heavily criticised project like Chloe Zhao’s Eternals ended up making the same at the box office – around $400 million – which says a lot about the Marvel phenomenon.
While some filmmakers such as Denis Villeneuve and Martin Scorsese have criticised Marvel films for being formatted, manufactured products from the same factory which do not bother innovating because of profit incentives, others have defended superhero films and Marvel’s work as a necessary element of the landscape of modern cinema.
Among the latter is Paul Thomas Anderson, who recently came out with his own film, Licorice Pizza. Anderson claimed that after the abysmal year that was 2020, superhero films were the only major attractions bringing money into the film industry even though he recognised that the oversaturation of such projects was a problem.
Anderson was certainly right in his statement about the financial aspect of things because according to the latest reports, Marvel made 30% of the overall $4.45 billion earned at the global box office in 2021. Although Marvel released only five films in the last year, it managed to grab a significant chunk of the market which saw the release of more than 400 films in theatres.
Watch the new trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home below.