Summary

  • Fans want great films, not just more content. Quality over quantity is key for Marvel Studios’ future success.
  • The MCU’s 11-year build-up to Avengers: Endgame worked because fans were rewarded with quality projects.
  • Marvel Studios is shifting focus to producing better-quality projects to regain audience trust and revive the franchise.



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The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s recent failures have often been attributed to audience fatigue, but that isn’t really the case. Marvel Studios has released 33 films since the MCU’s start in 2008, so it makes sense in theory that fans were bound to get fatigued and overwhelmed by the output eventually. However, Disney’s CEO’s latest opinion on the matter is the right direction that Marvel Studios should start heading in.


At a recent conference, Disney CEO Bob Iger pushed back on superhero fatigue and said that audiences will show up for a genuinely good film (via The Hollywood Reporter). Iger’s point makes complete sense, especially regarding the MCU. Although plenty of Phase 5 Marvel projects haven’t resonated with audiences, there have been glimpses of brilliance in quality projects like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Loki season 2. Putting the MCU’s failures entirely on superhero fatigue underestimates fans, and Marvel Studios is seemingly beginning to recognize this.

A lot of people think it’s audience fatigue, it’s not audience fatigue. They want great films. And if you build it great, they will come.

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Audiences Were Engaged In The MCU’s 11-Year Avengers: Endgame Build-Up

The MCU’s climax thus far was undoubtedly the conclusion to the Infinity Saga. Avengers: Endgame was a blockbuster event that wouldn’t have been possible or as effective without the MCU’s 11-year build-up. Starting with Iron Man in 2008, every film released afterward created some stakes in Endgame, which is what made the payoff so rewarding. The MCU is currently trying to do the same thing in the Multiverse Saga by building up to Avengers 5 and 6, but fans have been losing faith in the franchise instead.

11 years is a ridiculously long time for any franchise to last, and the case for audience fatigue could’ve been made way back amid the Infinity Saga. However, Marvel fans were genuinely excited about most Infinity Saga projects despite the waiting because they could expect to be rewarded with quality. It’s clearly possible to keep fans and casual audiences engaged throughout a long period, and the Multiverse Saga just has to strike up the right formula to do so.


How Marvel Studios Is Correcting Course

Loki as the God of Time in Loki season 2's final shot

Marvel Studios is seemingly on the right track in regards to regaining audience trust and attention. There have been plenty of slowdowns in the upcoming MCU slate to ensure that the franchise is producing quality over quantity, with only one MCU film being released in 2024 for the first time in years. Marvel also took feedback from the reception of their Disney+ series and has since promised to restructure their TV production. Only time will tell if these changes will be effective, but Marvel Studios is at least trying to correct course and produce better-quality projects for their fans.


Audience fatigue with superhero movies has often been one of the go-to arguments when it comes to MCU criticism. However, Disney CEO Bob Iger has a point in that audiences will show up for quality projects no matter the state of the franchise. The MCU’s 2024 proved this with some very big success despite the overall downward track, and Marvel Studios is swiftly attempting to correct course to a quality-over-quantity approach. Keeping fans in mind with every decision going forward is what the MCU needs to do to reinvigorate audiences and move away from franchise fatigue.

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