Courtesy of Tyger LIgon.

Superhero films are putting Hollywood in danger

By Aadi Mehta, Nov. 15, 2022

Whether you’re watching “James Bond” or “Star Wars,” two movie franchises that build on an existing idea created decades ago, or “E.T.” or “Jurassic Park,” two blockbuster films that opened audiences’ eyes to what spectaculars directors can bring to the big screen, you have avoided the persuasion of superhero films.

Over the past decade, superhero films have been the main reason audiences, including myself, have flocked to movie theaters. Unfortunately, it has also been the downfall of mainstream Hollywood, and the glimmer that once elevated blockbusters based solely on new ideas not taken from a twentieth century comic book.

My generation is being manipulated into a franchise that brings nothing new or spectacular to the movies, while at the same time encroaching upon those that still strive to bring awe and wonder to audiences through different stories created solely by the director or producer.

According to Business Insider, Marvel collects, on average, $700 million per movie. When those numbers add up, the franchise looks unstoppable compared to movies produced by studios like Paramount, Warner Bros. or Lionsgate.

Recently, “Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequel to the 1986 hit “Top Gun,” starring Tom Cruise, surpassed $1.4 billion worldwide and is expected to increase in the coming months. Actor Jon Hamm, who starred in the film, praised the fact that “Top Gun: Maverick” is one of the only top movies not about superheroes.

Currently, AMC and Cineworld are two dominant chains which are pushing superhero films such as Marvel’s “Wakanda Forever,” “Ant-Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” These movies are sequels releasing in November and slated for 2023, respectively.

Courtesy of Tyger Ligon

Why is it that non-superhero films have advertisements played only during previews, while superhero films get the big buzz on social media or TV commercials? Where is notice about the works of indie filmmakers, who, while working on a smaller budget, can produce work that speaks to their creativity and is not under pressure by multimillion-dollar studios?

It is because Marvel and DC have skewed all movie theater coverage towards itself with the help of Disney. Disney+ is also using Marvel to bolster its subscription numbers, while other streaming services like Netflix and Amazon hope to draw viewers in with hit shows such as “Peaky Blinders” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Despite this, streaming services cannot bring a large amount of attention to one film simply because not everyone has access to streaming, and audiences’ preferences are lost in the wide abundance of categories that is available on one platform.

Despite Marvel having control over theaters with their films, moviegoers still have the chance to immerse themselves in different experiences instead of the same story that continues to be about a now overused multiverse.

Rather than watch superheroes, explore the other genres of film like comedy, romance, horror, and western and consider the work of non-Marvel actors. If the public, especially the younger generations, fail to open their minds to films not associated with Marvel or DC, then what has defined Hollywood, films that were not big-budget or consisted of star-studded remakes or reboots, will eventually grow dark.

Movie watchers: save Hollywood, your next movie choice at the theaters depends on it.

Feature image courtesy of Tyger Ligon

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