While DC Comics is still experiencing identity and profitability concerns, Marvel, which we thought was untouchable, finally draws up a financial and critical assessment of its phase 4 below expectations, and with respect to the previous phases. Explanations as the MCU moves towards its phases 5 and 6, which must be more ambitious.
A disappointing phase 4?
Black Panther : Wakanda Forever released on November 9, officially marks the end of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinetic Universe. And while we await the final return to the global box office of the film directed by Ryan Coogler, the balance sheet of the phase started in July 2021 with Black Widow can already be done.
And the conclusion is almost without appeal. On the side of the figures, the press and the spectators, this 4th act remains well below from the previous ones and mainly from phase 3, which saw the MCU be at its peak. Indeed, the critical and box office successes ofAvengers : Infinity War ($2 billion) and Avengers : Engame ($2.7 billion) ranks in the top 5 highest-grossing films of all time. In question, ultra credible characters, like Iron Man, played by Robert Downey JR., a charismatic villain like Thanos, and a plot that has won the hearts of fans.
Faced with this, phase 4 pales in comparison, the revival brought by Marvel obviously suffered from the thundering finality ofAvengers : Endgame. The numbers bear this out. Despite the successes of Spider-Man : No Way Home or of Doctor Strange 2some feature films have not been up to par, Black Widow grossed $379.8 million on a budget of $200 million, Shang-Chi432.2 million for about the same budget, and The Eternals, 402 million (budget of 200 million also). What if Phase 4 made Marvel in total $6 billionthe eleven films of the previous one brought in more than 13.5 billion dollars at the worldwide box office, i.e. about twice as much. Nevertheless, the Covid that hit the film industry in 2020 and 2021 weighed in the balance.
critical side, the movies mentioned above didn’t get very high ratings. Whether Spider-Man : No Way Home, or Doctor Strange 2 have largely obtained the average, and are appreciated by the fans, The Eternals or Black Widow barely exceed it. To compare, I don’t care exceeds the score of 7/10 on SensCritique, and Infinity War comes very close. Furthermore, even the latest adventures of the Webweaver or the Sorcerer Supreme struggle to live up to the big films of the earlier phases. Of course we quote Iron Man and the very first Avengers of the first phase, or Guardians of the Galaxy of the second, which are considered the top Marvel movies.
refocus for phases 5 and 6
Thereby, Marvel must restore its image in anticipation of phases 5 and 6 to come. And in this regard, the group already seems to display its ambitions. This materialized last July with a desire to quickly end the current phase in order to plan for heavy work with the announcement ofAvengers : The Kang Dynasty (released in May 2025) and Avengers : Secret Wars (released November 2025), which will represent the two huge Phase 6 hits. Objective, to refocus its narration on a brand new villain (hopefully) charismatic in the person of Kang the Conqueror, and under a new title that speaks volumes: “The Multiverse Saga”. In addition, Marvel has announced to develop fewer films during the next phases in order to obtain a quality boost.
The highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3followed by season 2 of the series Loki (summer 2023 will launch the start of what Marvel hopes will be a conclusive new turn for the sequel to its MCU, before closing its Multiverse saga with (as far as we know so far), The Fantastic Four, then Avengers : The Kang Dynasty et Avengers : Secret Wars in 2025.
Source: Hitek : actualité geek et tests high tech by hitek.fr.
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