Are Superhero Films and Shows Overdone?
It’s no secret that superhero films are profitable, whether the MCU or the DCEU
Avengers: Endgame is the second highest-grossing film of all time, Avengers: Infinity War is the fifth, and The Avengers is the ninth. And, since Hollywood finally noticed that creating movies for an established, loyal, diverse fanbase as comic book readers is profitable, superhero films have only grown in popularity.
For example, the success of the new Batman (2022) has led HBO Max to produce a spin-off titled The Penguin, featuring the character played by Colin Farrell. Craig Zobel will be directing the series. The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Four included WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If…?, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and Phase 5 has even more shows.
Many fans were happy to see that the DC Extended Universe would be willing to explore other characters through their stories, but others expressed that yet another spin-off for a side character was too much, even if it wasn’t the MCU through Disney+. However, the success of the films from a box office level doesn’t necessarily translate into their success from a storytelling standpoint. Some of the movies have contrived plots or have little diversity in their cast.
More importantly, these successes at the box office have perpetuated the idea that everything with superheroes will be successful. Thus, all the good films with big budgets will have to be superheroes. This eventually evolved into streaming. So, this begs the question: does every superhero, sidekick, minor breakout character, and villain deserve a movie or a series?
Many film fanatics believe that superhero movies are bigger now because all pre-internet kids who loved superhero stories grew up and have the money to see these characters duke it out on the big screen. As this superhero demographic grows, studios might turn their eyes to the younger ones that didn’t grow up with them, and the superhero genre might wane. In the past, it was sci-fi films. Before that, it was westerns. There’s also Nope (2022) by Jordan Peele, which combines these two and horror, but that’s another topic.
With almost a century’s worth of comic books and characters, the MCU and DCEU have enough material to make movies and streaming shows for a lifetime. And, they might be overdone by this point, but they have people willing to watch the movies and shows, so we’ll see a lot of them for quite a while.