Cue the ominous intensifying music and dark scenes teasing obscured symbols of everyone's favorite superheroes. Dear god, you think to yourself, please let this just be an advertisement for one of those superhero movies coming out on DVD. Nope. Throw in more clips of our beloved superheroes paired with dialogue about how they stand before an enemy so much bigger than them, that they might not be able to defeat it this time. SPOILER ALERT: they can, and they will. If they don't, Marvel will just make another movie the following year to finish off their enemy just in time to introduce another one.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good superhero movie. But the trailer Marvel teased during their big announcement at the El Capitan theater back in 2014 was nothing special. In the short clip now leaked on the Internet, scenes from previous "Avengers" movies were mashed together and culminated with the foreboding image of our obvious villain for the upcoming film. In the background of the clip you can hear the fans in the theater cheering excitedly. But why? That trailer tells us nothing, and yet we all know exactly what will happen and how it will end. At the same event, Marvel shared the news that we would not be blessed with just one Avengers movie, but two. There would be two parts for "Avengers: Infinity War," one coming in May 2018, and the next in 2019. In late 2016, however, Marvel released a statement that these two films would no longer be based off of one another and would instead be released as two independent movies.
Even though some of us may be completely over the superhero movie trend, you can't deny that the original film was a hit. The first "Avengers" made $1.5 billion worldwide at the box office because it was fresh and exciting. Instead of one superhero saving the day, there was the thrill of getting all of the heroes to unite in one action packed film. Sprinkle that plot with witty banter and comedic personality clashes between a few of the characters and you get a winner among all age groups. Its diversity of heroes appealed to a variety of demographics, which also contributed to its wide success. But just like every overused subject matter, the theme eventually lost its sparkle, evident with the slight box office drop for the sequel, "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Will the two coming "Avengers" films build up enough hype to achieve similar box office success as the original did? Or will fans be so over the superhero trend by then that the films will tank? We can only hope they'll be somewhat successful, since "The Inquisitr" reported that "Avengers: Infinity War" will cost an estimated $1 billion to produce.
So why do we love superhero movies so much? What makes audiences come back for more despite the repetition of their content? There's the theory that superhero films are basically the modern day equivalent of Western films, which could explain their attractive quality through time. I asked for some input from Zachary Clark, a recent graduate from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, who currently works in film and television development, to further explain this theory:
“While audiences flocked to theaters for western films, they quickly grew tired of the same storylines and bits of action to the point where western films are seldom made today. When they are made, they are deemed high risk with little international value. Westerns failed due to their inability to present audiences with fresh content which is the exact direction that superhero movies are heading in.”
There are clear parallels between the old western films and the present day superhero movies. There's the typical battle between good vs. evil, but now we have more impressive and unique special effects than ever before. The superhero films are suffering the same fate as westerns as fans are getting bored of the lack of diverse plot lines. So the only question left for us is, what's next? What genre will take over and become the source of obsession for action packed films in the coming years?
At the end of the day, Marvel, I think it's in your best interest to start exploring other plot lines and potentially different characters. But please, no more Avengers movies. We've had enough. That being said, I'll probably still go to see these movies when they're released, filled with curiosity, or simply because of Chris Evans.
Reach Staff Reporter Shea Lenniger here.