Tired of superhero flicks? You’ll get a brief respite after “X-Men: Apocalypse” opens this weekend, but far more full years ahead of slated movies.
“X-Men” is the fourth major superhero movie to open this year, with “Deadpool” having kicked off the season with an impressive box office take in February, and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Captain America: Civil War” continuing the money-making trend.
Given that “Civil War” has now surpassed $1 billion worldwide, it’s unlikely the superhero trend will die out any time soon – much like Marvel’s characters themselves.
There are only two more superhero movies scheduled to be released this year – DC’s “Suicide Squad” on Aug. 5 and Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” on Nov. 4 – but the next few years will have packed schedules now that DC/Warner Bros. is following in Marvel’s footsteps and releasing standalone hero movies with the team-up flicks.
Next year, Marvel will release “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and a previously unscheduled “Spider-Man: Homecoming” now that the deal with Sony has been made and “Civil War” has made Spider-Man/Peter Parker popular again.
DC will again release two movies – “Wonder Woman” and “Justice League Part 1” – and Fox will release an untitled Wolverine sequel, as well as another movie, which will likely be “Deadpool 2.”
In 2018, Marvel with release “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” while DC will release “The Flash” and “Aquaman” in between the two “Justice League” movies that are separated by a year. Another flick is also slated for DC, which may be a sequel to “Suicide Squad” if the film does well, or possibly the Harley Quinn movie that was announced to be in the works thanks to early positive reviews and interest for Margot Robbie’s portrayal of the character.
This could also be the spot for Ben Affleck’s standalone Batman movie that is already greenlit and in pre-production but does not yet have a release date.
Unlike Marvel and DC, Fox has not yet released its entire schedule for years to come, so there is no word on when other movies may appear. The Wolverine series will likely be over since Hugh Jackman will no longer play the character that shot him into stardom, but there are still more in the line-up for Fox.
The New Mutants will be featured in the next live-action movie in the “X-Men” franchise, “Gambit” with Channing Tatum is supposed to be released at some point though facing roadblocks for potential quality issues, and there is still the question of whether or not Fox will retain the rights to “Fantastic Four” and risk releasing another movie.
After 2018, there are still spots for “Captain Marvel” – Marvel’s first female-led superhero flick that got pushed back thanks to “Spider-Man” – as well as the second parts of both “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Justice League.”
DC also has more standalone features, including “Cyborg” and as of yet one unconfirmed film that many already think will likely be the Green Lantern Corps.
All in all, it’s a busy schedule that has movies premiering in early spring through the popular November timeframe for Marvel. And that schedule could mean a lot less non-superhero blockbusters on the table considering a studio likely wouldn’t want to compete with Marvel on an “Avengers” opening weekend.
There isn’t an end yet in sight for superhero movies, but as Marvel moves further into its “Phase 3” and actually considers killing/removing characters from the roster (Robert Downey Jr. is still hanging around as Iron Man for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Avengers” and even a potential fourth standalone movie if Marvel wants it), there could be room for re-consideration of the genre.
The current roster of actors and heroes are what got audiences interested, and it still remains to be seen if the next group of heroes can see the same success. The box office already isn’t that kind to any of the “Thor” movies or “Hulk” movies, so it’s possible that the response to the new films may also be lackluster – or at least far less than what “Civil War” has seen in the last two weeks.
It’s also important to note that Iron Man was a B-team character with no name recognition before the first film’s release, and I’m not sure I would have placed money “Captain America” would do as well as it has in its trilogy when the first movie was announced. It will be anyone’s guess if something can pull a “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Deadpool” and rise to fame despite lack of knowledge of the characters.
It’ll be years before critics and audiences see where this genre takes us, and maybe those will be long ones for those who prefer to see comics stay on the page and off the silver screen.