Star Wars, by a longshot. I tend to gage by the long-term. As I’ve said, I see a far brighter future there. MCU has a limited, brilliant window. But windows close.
Marvel is different from Potter, Star Wars, and LOTR in that it is a collective of marquee properties that each drive their own franchises, and then combine into Avengers events. In order to work, it actually needs to pump out multiple movies each year. And it also has fifty decades of monthly storytelling to draw on. LOTR has four novels by Tolkien, which have already been adapted, and lots of notes. Rowling keeps her Wizarding World on a short leash. Star Wars, with the old EU, has a lot of story depth, but Disney abandoned a lot of it (mostly the third generation Skywalkers), and they seem reluctant to tap into stuff like KOTOR and Tales of the Jedi which would open up all kinds of storytelling possibilities.
I still think Potter, in its heyday, was bigger than Marvel is now. I’m looking at intensity of interest and cultural penetration, not box office receipts. A lot of people seem to be going to Marvel movies, but it seems like the fanbase is more casual, and people don’t live and breathe Marvel like they did Potter and Star Wars.
Merchandising is also another area. Star Wars once ruled here, but the last few years have a seen a catastrophic drop in interest in the merch. TFA and RO action figures still pegwarm at Walmart, and it doesn’t look like they’re even stocking Solo toys. I don’t really see a lot of Marvel merchandise in stores, looks like Walmart gets a case of whatever action figure wave comes out, and there are posters and insulated tumblers, but it doesn’t seem to move a lot. Again, Rowling seems to keep her franchise on a short leash; in stores I see mostly trinkets like Hogwarts house related keychains and the like (and the stuff usually looks picked over at Target, with Slytherin stuff on the mostly empty pegs), and more high-end collectibles at Barnes & Noble. Tolkien stuff is rare, only seeming to appear when there’s a movie. (Saw a nifty-looking “Sorcerer’s Stone”-inspired chess set there the other day I almost picked up.)
Randomly looking at the North America 2018 list today, and the top two movies of the year so far (both Marvel), have made almost exactly the same as the #3 through #13 films.
That is some pretty mind-boggling dominance, perhaps not healthy overall.
It’s Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Deadpool, X-Men, Spider-Man, and Fantastic Four. Marvel is a collection of franchises.
But, if we’re talking value, I’d rather own DC because it has Batman and Superman. Those are powerhouse properties that have stood the test of time and are two of the most recognizable characters in the world. The DCCU might be tanking, but Superman and Batman will always be famous the world over for the rest of my life.
And you can see that as part of the problem. People’ve been saving their money for two and three visits to those movies to the exclusion of other movies. That’s how giant blockbusters always happen. They’ve chosen to ignore other movies because there’s something that’s drawing all the attention. In years past, when there were fewer movies being made, it was a lot easier, and far fewer movies being made specifically to become blockbusters. But now that the schedule is dominated by that kind of material, there’s going to be a lot of big losers. Having a giant blockbuster like Infinity War open a few weeks ahead of Solo was always going to be a losing proposition for one of them. Disney knew that but gambled that they could mitigate it by spreading them out a little. They lost. Well, won and lost. But you get what I mean.
Yeah, obviously for me too. It’s 16 franchises and $3 bil in box office alone every year. And it’s just had it’s biggest movie ever whereas Star Wars has 2 disappointments.
Going further Star Wars hasn’t had a hit beyond stories about the original cast. It’s caught in their shadow and Hamill is the only one left (and they ruined Luke). Star Wars hasn’t proven it can exist beyond that first crew. Lotr is the same, can’t exist beyond Hobbits (so far). At least Potterverse has a couple of movies away from the core series.
One thing I think could be a safe-bet for LFL is a trilogy set between the original series and the new films, centering again on Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and Lando, which would let them bring back Ehrenreich and Glover (who I would imagine are both signed to multiple films) and build from there. It’s a story that even fans who hated the Last Jedi or were disinterested in Solo actually want to know about (the rise of the First Order, Snoke’s back story, the Knights of Ren, etc). I could see that being the GoT guys’ trilogy and Johnson’s being a jump ahead from Episode IX.
I also think there’s a difference between “fatigue” and “lack of novelty” that articles like this miss. I wouldn’t come close to saying I have superhero fatigue, but there are enough superhero films, coming out often enough, and I’ve seen so many in the last ten years that I don’t have the same impulse to see every one of them right away. If it’s something I’m already all-in on like the MCU, then sure. And something like Logan and Wonder Woman got me to the theaters right away. But I had no problem skipping Suicide Squad and X-Men Apocalypse when those came out.
I think with Solo/Star Wars, it’s a case of the novelty/urgency of a new Star Wars film being gone, these side films being non-essential by design, and then all of the external bad buzz aligning to keep people home. I think LFL really needs to rethink or retire the side films, for a couple of reasons. One, look at what they have planned. Outside of hardcore fans is ANYONE desperate to see an Obi-Wan or Boba Fett film? R1 was successful, but I think a decent amount of that was curiosity about what a non-saga film would be (the novelty thing, to an extent). Solo never justified its existence beyond, “Hey, you all like this character, right?” And I think an Obi-Wan or Boba Fett film could run into the same problem.
From a movie perspective and from a box office and money making perspective, marvel is killing it.
I was coming more from an exposure standpoint.
Marvel appeal has broadened, it must have to make those BO numbers. At its heart though it is still something that skews in appeal to mainly young males.
My mum is never watchjng a movie or reading a book about Tony stark.
Potter makes less money, but I expect must have more penetrance.
Star wars is just wierd. I kind of agree with Jim that Disney have fucked it, but I have no clue how to fix it, and of all these properties star wars is my major love.
I have spent 1000s on merchandise over the years and read all the books and ckmixa up until about 5 years ago.
I think some of what Been says, about star wars being something slightly different to everyone, and so it being impossible to please everyone is a bit true.
In contrast I think marvel is one thing to all.people and they’ve done it well and consistently.
I remain staggered by the achievement the MCU represents.
I have to wonder if one factor in Solo eating shit at the box office is because TFA ruined the character? When we saw that Han Solo had become a lonely old man who lost the Millennium Falcon and got murdered by his own son, it really makes me not want to see more of the character.
So far, the whole sequel trilogy has made it hard for me to even enjoy the original trilogy knowing that after the Battle of Endor, everything the characters went through and sacrificed was all for nothing. The Empire’s still around. The New Republic went down in flames. Luke’s Jedi Academy also went up in flames. The only Skywalker offspring is an asshole. Anakin never balanced the Force. It casts a horrible pall over the first six movies. There’s no victory, no redemption. Eberything was for nothing. It’s just a fucking bummer. Star Wars shouldn’t make me feel bad. The new trilogy shouldn’t make me not want to watch the movies I loved.
Jeez… What the hell were they thinking?
Having read a ton of epic fantasy, not to mention superhero comics, I’ve never been bothered by temporary victories or winning in the moment.
There’s clearly something not right in the minds behind the sequels. Han’s kid turn bad so he abandons his wife, moves in with his old buddy and farts around ripping people off like he’s 22 and selling joints in college. Luke hides on an island and refuses to help. And the great hero Leia who saved the entire galaxy loses all her friends and has no-one who’ll help her. They treated them like sad sacks of shit, and for what? Darth 4chan, magic pixie girl and a stormtrooper janitor? And this is the franchise for appealing to boys? They’re all failures. All of them are terrible characters.
And on top of all that they ape A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back so heavily you can almost play them in sync with the new movies.
The prequels sucked, but at least they were fresh and they tried. The sequels are just awful every way you look at them.
Like I’ve been saying, Disney broke Star Wars and there’s no getting out of it. They’ll shit out chapter 9 (with beats that match Return of the Jedi) and then who knows? Movies like Solo that no one wants? New trilogies with characters we don’t care about?
The massive rejection of Solo isn’t about marketing, or timing, or casting, or behind the scenes gossip. It’s normal people saying we’re done with Star Wars. Disney went from #3 all time to this years biggest bomb. That’s amazing ineptitude.
Simply based on my niece and nephews, Star Wars is pretty much a non-starter. The new stuff hasn’t grabbed them anywhere near as hard as Marvel. Star Wars seems loved only really by the geek and nerd kids now. When it’s Halloween or fancy dress party it’s all Marvel. I’ve had plenty of people say they’ve never had watched a Star Wars movie but I’m don’t think I know anyone under 40 at all who hasn’t watched at least 1 MCU film. Merch wise Marvel destroys Star Wars right now.
So yes, as an IP, and based on MCU continually showing they can raise their BO through planning and strategy, I would 100% prefer to own it. Right now or in 10-20 years.
It’s the total loss of hope in the new Star Wars movies that gets to me… I genuinely don’t understand what they were thinking. Drop the John Williams and have Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” instead for your main theme…
If I’m honest I genuinely understand when people love TLJ, there is definitely room for taking the franchise to darker places, the original trilogy was built on that, but they really were about 5 episodes off on the timing here - decimating everything that came before in just 4 or 5 hours of screen time is a mistake that they are going to pay for if Abrahms doesn’t somehow right the ship completely. 40 years down the road you need a stronger transition period to new characters. That should have been focused on in the new trilogy and then break that down and move on when people love the new characters and are ready. Half the SW audience aren’t ready to move on yet and they’ve been given no good, emotionally resounding reason to. Now there’s all this resentment.
TFA is all about hope, and Last Jedi feels like everything falling apart (not unlike the OT). The third film will be the heroes having their victory.
The third film will feature a daring rescue from an underworld gangster, a visit from ghost Luke and a lightsaber duel on board a massive space weapon while the rebels fight for their lives in the background.
And Ewoks most probably.
There has to be a shield they have to disable somewhere.
And a CGI Carrie Fisher dies. Weeeee!
Carrie Fisher’s last big fuck-you was dying before the Star Wars movies had the chance to kill her off.