The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a unique part of film history. The film franchise has spawned 27 films and grossed over 24 billion dollars worldwide (at this moment) over the last 14 years. It remains one of the most successful franchises in history. This made me think about where this franchise is going and where it will end, but then a different question entered my mind; will the the MCU ever end? Could the MCU pull off the trick that almost no franchise has ever done before and actually go on forever?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has released hit after hit with no apparent end in sight. Even after the Avengers defeated Thanos (the villain all these films have been building up to) the movies are still going and appear to be building up to a massive event involving the multiverse. We're even at the point where the surviving original Avengers are passing down their titles to different (and in some cases) younger people. Many franchises often end because the quality of the films go down, audiences lose interest, or the actors/creators get older and want to move on. However Marvel hasn't reached any of those points.
While some of the films are far from perfect, the MCU holds a pretty good track record, with critics and audiences. As many of the original heroes like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are getting older, new heroes are constantly being introduced like Shang-Chi and Ant-Man. It almost feels like, under the right circumstances, this franchise has the potential to just go on forever. However, that does have me questioning the limits of this franchise. How much is too much for the MCU.
While this hasn't been reflected in the reviews or box office, many are beginning to feel slightly fatigued about super hero content. It feels like this series has been going non-stop for a decade and a half (which it has been) of endless people in suits fighting CGI monsters and bad guys. While that's an oversimplification of these films, to the outsider, they come across as extremely similar. In order to survive long term, the MCU will have to really shake things up in terms of genre.
I usually dread doing articles that try to predict the future because it's nearly impossible to grasp how things will be received in the future based on the context of the present. Audiences could remain just as hungry for super heroes or they could easily get sick of them soon and move on to something new. The audiences is never as predictable as Hollywood insiders like to think they are. I'm more interested in wondering how long Marvel can keep the MCU going. Will it meet the same end that most franchises meet, or will it achieve a form of immortality rarely seen in most film series. No one can say, but it's interesting to ponder how they keep going after all this time and how they plan to continue this story into the future.
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