Marvel Might Release New Superhero Films Quarterly
Since 2011 Marvel has been pushing to release two films a year. Last year gave us ‘Iron Man 3‘ and ‘Thor: The Dark World‘ with this year offering both ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ while 2015 will bring ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron‘ and ‘Ant-Man.’ And as the studio keeps having hits, they may expand their slate to release three to four films a year.
I think television is filling some of that now, in terms of bringing out more product. That’s certainly the idea with the Netflix shows. But I don’t know that we will necessarily say “Okay, we’re now moving strategically to three a year, now we’re moving to four a year.” What I think is more likely – if [knocks on wood-like table] the next group of movies work and people want to see additional stories – we’ll have too many franchises and you can’t do one of each franchise every two or three years. We’d have to move to three a year, but that would have to be a natural move if it were to occur. We’d have a [script] draft, we’d have a filmmaker, we’d have a character the audience wants to see – let’s slot in a place for a third one. Or a fourth one.
But it’s hard enough to deliver two quality, hopefully bar-raising movies a year.
What may test the ability to release three or four Marvel movies in a year will be how well ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ does. The film is set to open April 4, and it has a good chance of being the highest grossing film to ever come out in April. The current highest grossing April title is ‘Fast Five,’ which made over two hundred million domestically, but after that the second highest grossing film is the fourth ‘Fast and Furious’ movie, which cleared $155 million. Basically, ‘Cap’ is on track to be either the highest or second highest grossing April film ever. But it wasn’t until recently that April was considered anything other than an off season.
What we’re also seeing is that Hollywood no longer is using the summer months (or, to be fair, May through the first week of August) and winter months (actually, more like just November and December) to place blockbusters. If ‘The Winter Soldier’ can break $250 million it will join the October release of ‘Gravity‘ and this February’s ‘The LEGO Movie‘ as off season blockbusters that prove it’s the movie, not the release date. But attitudes can change as March (over the last ten years) has become prime real estate, with such blockbusters as ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ and ‘The Hunger Games’ all making well over two hundred million. As the calendar becomes less of an obstacle, having a new Marvel movie every three months or so makes sense… If the quality is there.