Marveling at movie success


By Anna Indelli (@amiindelli)

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is the eleventh Marvel movie made within seven years. All of its movies have been relatively well received, and “Age of Ultron”‘ only boosts that, earning $191 million its opening weekend.
While its movies have experienced obvious success, garnering a new generation of loyal fans for the franchise, Marvel’s world of superheroes and villains wasn’t always a widely accepted interest.
In the past, those who enjoyed comic books were labeled as nerds by their peers. It was considered uncool to be a fan of World War II hero Steve Rogers, better known as Captain America, or to be inspired by Tony Stark, a rich tycoon clad in iron. But with the ever growing popularity of its movies, Marvel is well on its way to erasing its bad rep.
Social science teacher Dave Schnell says there are slight differences between reading the comics and watching the movies, as the comics give you more of a complete storyline.
“Everything [in the comics] integrates into something else,” Schnell said. “You have to integrate yourself more to understand what’s going on.”
Schnell says that every comic’s story feeds into the next, so they need to be read in order to reach their full potential. For example, in “Secret Wars,” a comic book “event” that will last until the end of the year, all comic book worlds are coming together. Additionally, if someone were to read the comic before seeing the movies, they would be able to identify many Easter eggs, secret references and hints planted in the plot.
By contrast, junior Ryan Kopp has read some of the comics and seen the movies, but he prefers the films.
“The movies go deeper into the character than the comics could ever show you,” Kopp said. “[They] more fully address all the aspects of a character.”
To a certain extent, a movie’s success is dependant on who is cast in it and how they perform. According to junior Nikki Matters, the actors do play a small roll in why she likes the movies.
“When my friends and I get together [to watch Captain America], we’ll definitely sometimes sit there and say ‘Oh my god, he’s really cute’,” Matters said.
However, she stresses that’s not the only reason she likes the movies. Matters has grown to love the movies because of their deep and twisting storylines.
However, with eleven Marvel movies released and another eleven in the works, there’s a possibility that their popularity may soon fizzle out.
While there are many reasons for Marvel’s downfall to occur, it’s important to understand that some of the actors are simply losing interest in their roles. Chris Evans no longer wants to portray Captain America, stating he’d rather try his hand at directing once his contract expires. Robert Downey Jr. says he’ll hang up his iron suit after next year’s highly anticipated “Captain America: Civil War” and the 2018-19 two-part feature “Avengers: Infinity Wars,” as he feels it will be difficult to sustain such an iconic character. With main actors no longer interested, many think it would be difficult to continue with individual threads of the franchise.
According to, Marvel is spending more and more money on film promoting. Because of its current popularity, the company is earning any cent and beyond back. But with actors preparing to depart, some story lines can’t be easily continued. It appears simpler to just leave certain heroes’ stories to cool off a bit. Schnell believes that when this inevitably occurs, Marvel will have to take a step back from its movies for the time being.
“The actors are getting tired,” Schnell said. “I think soon we’ll see that they won’t be performing as well, and that will take the movies down.”
Schnell also predicts that after a twenty or thirty year period, Marvel may attempt to revive its movie empire. He expects that reboots of their most popular installments may show up, with a whole new cast for a whole new batch of fans.
And while the idea of anyone other than Tom Hiddleston playing the angst-ridden Loki may devastate some fans, others like Kopp say they’d remain loyal.
“As long as the movies remain enjoyable, I’ll buy a ticket to go see them,” Kopp said.