Posted by Bob Greenberger on May 7, 2012
Yes, The Avengers is an incredibly enjoyable movie that has crossed over from making the diehard Marvel zombies giddy to include the far more casual fan who may know the characters only from the previous films. The press today is filled with news that the official domestic weekend gross of $200.7 million is a record, one of many the feature has justifiably earned over the last few weeks. There’s no reason to think the movie will not continue to set records as it hurtles towards the $1 billion mark.
The major success not being discussed is that for the first time, four franchises have been strategically designed and executed to culminate in the launch of a fourth franchise. There have been numerous all-star films where actors arrive and perform thinly veiled versions of their famous screen personas (and we had a trailer for the latest such examples, The Expendables 2) but this move is unprecedented. While there have been previous winks and nods to a larger universe in other films and television series based on comic books, this team film was carefully planned, laid out, and executed.
Starting four years ago with Iron Man, the Marvel Movie Universe has been carefully structured, taking the very core elements from the 1960s comics, filtered through the 2000 Ultimate Universe and distilled in an easily adaptable essence. Each film was not without its flaws and they didn’t all work with Hulk going 0 for 2 but still considered a key piece of the puzzle. But, when we first saw Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) waiting for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) after the first film’s credits and heard about “The Avengers Initiative” we knew what was coming. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »