So for all intensive purposes I want to clear this piece up early by saying we are fully aware of the contractual aspects to the studios and I am not speaking to that. I am aware that different film rights are owned by different companies, but for this we are speaking to what this year means to Marvel as a full entity, it’s characters, and their benefits to their merchandise. As an entire franchise 2018 may be their best year as filmed content goes. I know that’s a pretty bold statement, but I definitely want you to stay with me before you write this one off.
So it’s only right we kick this off with the work Black Panther has done. Beyond being a box office smash it reinvigorates and resets the bar for heroes first feature films. Currently sitting in second all time for highest grossing Marvel films, Black Panther is the only movie in the top five to be the first full feature film of the character. That says something honestly. The film was the introduction of the character for most. Beyond those that didn’t see the scene stealing performance in Captain America: Civil War, there are many that knew little of the character whatsoever. This shows great promise for Marvel and future first movies. Touted as the new king of the MCU, the Black Panther‘s impact to the franchise may be something we can’t fully comprehend until years down the line.
Next is the movie we have literally been waiting on for years. Marvel has done a phenomenal job setting up a quality build leading to Avengers: Infinity War. There have literally been references, Easter Eggs, reoccurring underlying themes, and so much more, all set on an intricately planned timeline. On top of all that this may be an ensemble film like nothing we have ever seen before. Avengers: Infinity War is slated to feature well over 60 different characters from the Marvel Universe. That means it’s a given there will be someone for anyone who goes to see the film. Even in its first instance Infinity War is preparing itself for greatness. It’s pre-sale has already set the record for most first day pre-sale tickets in history. What’s felt should easily be the best Avengers film to date, Infinity War already has impressive momentum and it’s yet to release.
For those reading like he kept it all in the MCU, why the disclaimer? This is where I blur the lines a bit. Who doesn’t love a good sequel? I know for me when the first installment is solid I can definitely get into a sequel. This year we have three very different sequels that are all being anticipated. One was an unexpected box office hit (Deadpool 2). Another a film with a solid foundation and potential, but happened to have some execution issues after production changes (Ant-Man and The Wasp). The third was one of the better new Netflix series when it came to us just two years ago (Luke Cage: Season 2). Deadpool was another one of those films we waited on for years and thought we may never get. However, when we finally did it was far better than expected. The movie seemed to be perfect for Ryan Reynolds, and he flourished in every moment in the film. The original Ant-Man movie definitely had a warranted mixed reception. With that said, Black Panther and Spider-Man: Homecoming weren’t the only ones to benefit from their features in Civil War. Civil War gave us a glimpse at Giant Man which many felt would not make it to the silver screen. That along with Lang showing he could hold his own amongst the higher regarded Avengers, this upcoming sequel definitely has some things to look forward to. After these two the next sequel to look forward is season two of Luke Cage. The 2016 standout Netflix series has so many different directions it could go and has viewers eager to see how it plays out. I’m personally just hoping to see them bring back Cotton Mouth which actually happened in the comic books.
Beyond these sequels we are getting the villain spin on things with Tom Hardy’s upcoming Venom. Hardy’s Bane is my personal favorite villain for his work in Dark Knight Rises, so I am looking for to his take on The Black Suit. That along with Marvel Universe Live which has been a hit for many families, this has truly set to be a solid year. This will do wonders for future stories and narratives, as well as merchandise which should definitely see an uptick. With the only year partially through, there is still a lot of time for things to go to another level. BUT, as of now it’s looking like one of the best years for Marvel as a brand and fans worldwide should definitely cherish it.