Commenting on the critics with Simon Columb…
This weeks ‘quote’ is very short, from Edgar Wright, on Twitter…
Received this in the mail. What can it mean? twitpic.com/9hnn6t
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) May 5, 2012
There is no full article to read on this, despite a little coverage on /Film.
Avengers Assemble has made over $200m in its opening weekend in the US. By now, it must’ve made over $700m worldwide. This will continue to grow as The Avengers has such rewatchability. As a teacher, I know multiple children who had seen the film twice on the weekend of release in the UK, whilst many friends of mine discuss the second viewing they hope to plan out in the near future. It is more than a ‘craze’, it is a fulfilling of a promise Marvel set out to complete in 2008. An example of a 4-year ‘hype’ that has culminated in a worldwide, record-breaking opening weekend.
Edgar Wright tweets a picture [we assume is] about Ant-Man and then, today, he tweets a less-mysterious … but very connected:
Just saw ‘Avengers’ again at the Vista in 2D on 35mm with a full house clapping throughout.
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) May 7, 2012
Let us consider what normally happens when a film makes a ridiculous amount of money. First off, they are automatically given the green-light for a sequel. We know Avengers Assemble will have multiple sequels – Thor 2, Iron Man 3 and Captain America 2 are all in pre-production to some degree or another. Mark Ruffalo has signed on to a further 6 projects as Hulk, but Marvel knows they need to do more than this. In film-mathematical terms, ‘more’ films = ‘more’ characters = another actor-combo film to make money similar to The Avengers. Think about the excessive four baddies in Iron Man 2, think about the OTT Spider-Man 3. When a film pulls in big money, the productions up-the-ante by adding more cast members and more characters.
But this isn’t your average planned sequel, is it? This is not the ‘next’ in the line of sequels. The Avengers is not ‘Marvel Film 6’, though for all intents and purposes it is. This series is a ‘universe’ which has yet to be fully created and, rather than squeeze in multiple characters in the next film, they will now set off on origin stories for those characters yet to be established. I have a feeling that this success has, unofficially, green-lit a bunch of character films which Marvel originally held back on. The guaranteed successes will be the sequels to the already-established Avengers properties. They know that they will make enough money to continue the films safely for at least another three years … until The Avengers 2. But the question is ‘how do we make more money?’
The answer is simple – more films connected to the franchise.
I also think that this over-the-top, too-much-too-soon approach will eventually destroy the dream. Inevitably, one of these films will fail. It could be that the production doesn’t get much attention from its producers and the final product simply isn’t up to standard. Maybe the rush into production means there is not enough clear planning from the outset or perhaps, for a producer-driven franchise, a director will divert too much from the Marvel vision and it won’t gel with the rest of the franchise – who knows.
The Avengers brand now has enough money to take risks – and Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, Cable, Iron Fist, Nighthawk, Vision and Black Panther are risks – that’s why they haven’t been seriously considered yet. All these characters are worth a fortune with a small ‘Avengers’ banner on the title card – and Marvel already owns them. Personally, I would love it if Sony and Marvel split the profits of a ‘Spider-Man-meets-The Avengers’ story, but that would cost money. These other properties are already owned by Marvel and can be made as soon as possible.
With this in mind, I think Ant-Man has been green-lit and Edgar Wright finally has the opportunity to make the film. But who else has received such packages in the wake of The Avengers‘ success? I have a feeling that by the time The Avengers 2 is released, Marvel will have many more characters to ‘play’ with…