Avengers: Endgame takes Marvel to another level at the box office


With Avengers: Endgame’s first numbers at the box office, Marvel has reached new, all-time heights. Potential spoilers for Endgame are below.

During its opening weekend, Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame crushed the worldwide box office by a landslide, having earned $1.2 billion – making it the first film in history to have a billion-dollar box office opening.

By its second weekend, it crossed the $2 billion mark, making it the second highest-grossing film of all time to do so. The film passed James Cameron’s Avatar with a $2.19 billion box office achieved in just eleven days. The previous record for fastest to a $2 billion box office haul was held by Avatar which took 47 days.

According to Box Office Mojo, Marvel Studios now holds five out of the top ten worldwide grosses of all time. The Marvel films that managed to crack the top ten club are Avengers: Endgame ($2.19B), Avengers: Infinity War ($2B), The Avengers ($1.5B) and Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.4B) and Black Panther ($1.3B).

This success is derived from dedicated fans of the MCU that fell in love with not only the actors and the characters they portrayed, but the stories that played out on the big screen.

Marvel Studios has broken barriers with having the first superhero film in history with a person of color as the lead with Black Panther. The following year, we were introduced to Captain Marvel, the first female hero to lead a Marvel film, a film that also joined the $1 billion box office club not too long after its release.

You may find yourself asking “How come DC’s Wonder Woman didn’t cross the one billion dollar box office line, despite being the first superhero film with a female lead?” or “Why aren’t there more films from the Star Wars saga in the top ten worldwide box office?” Well, there’s a firm answer, a few answers actually.

The Post-Credits Scene

It is clear that Marvel Studios simply does things differently than its competitors. Marvel has the expertise to create a saga that bridges 22 films together without taking away from the main plot.

Marvel has mastered this with their signature post-credits scenes that keep the bridge between movies exciting for fans. For instance, after the credits of Iron Man 2, the camera showed the audience Mjolnir in a ditch, signifying the next film, and the next Avenger to be introduced in the MCU, Thor. In the post-credits scene for Captain America: Civil War, the camera panned out to a giant statue of a Panther, signifying Black Panther’s solo film. The pattern repeats over and over all throughout each of films. Most recently, in Avengers: Infinity War, Nick Fury, before vanishing from The Snap, is shown holding a pager that flashed Captain Marvel’s logo; we find out about the history of that pager ten months later in Captain Marvel.

Marvel also keeps fans involved with the “What is going to happen next?” factor that keeps fans on the edge of their seat with their signature “[insert name here] will return.” at the end of the end credits, telling the audience if  that person will be back for the next film.

Marvel got a real kick out of this during Ant-Man and The Wasp. In the post-credits scene of that film, we saw Hank Pym, Janet and Hope van Dyne (The Wasp) getting snapped away by Thanos, leaving Scott Lang (Ant-Man) trapped in the Quantum Realm.

After cutting to black, Marvel placed “Ant-Man and The Wasp Will Return.” before adding a question mark to the statement, earning a gasp fromthe audience on opening night.

Referencing of the Stones

The first 22 films revolved around what we now know as the “The Infinity Saga.” However, it isn’t until 2011 that we are introduced to the first Infinity Stone, the Tesseract (aka the Space Stone) in Thor and quickly revisited Captain America: The First Avenger. The Tesseract made another appearance the following year when our heroes team up in The Avengers to stop Loki.

We were then introduced to the Reality Stone in Thor: The Dark World and the Power Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, it is revealed that the Mind Stone was in Loki’s Scepter and that’s how Vision is born. In 2016, Doctor Strange introduces the Time Stone, and it isn’t until Infinity War that we are introduced to the Soul Stone. The writers purposefully placed each of the Infinity Stones throughout the line of films, and showed us what the stones are capable of.

This gradually tied them together in the end, but it wasn’t until we saw the bigger picture in Endgame that really made it click for the audience.

Consistency in the MCU

Marvel has mastered this ability like no other. Let’s bring one of Marvel’s direct competitors, the DC Extended Universe, to the table for the sake of discussion. With all respect to the DCEU, there are just some things that Marvel does differently that allows it to achieve greater box office success.

For instance, in the most recent film Shazam!, the writers brought in Superman to have lunch at school with Freddy, who was bullied for saying he knew Superman. That seemed really cool for fans, until you realize they didn’t show Superman’s (Henry Cavill) face, and it was just a shot from the neck down.

Meanwhile, in Thor: The Dark World, we were given a brief Captain America cameo, played by Chris Evans himself. Marvel even gave us an entire fight scene with Ant-Man and Falcon in Ant-Man. It’s heartwarming for fans to see their favorite franchises crossing over with one another and shows that these heroes do come into contact with each other outside of their respective films.

Time and Release Dates

In the time that it took the DCEU to release all of their seven films from Man of Steel in 2013 to Shazam! in 2019, the MCU released 16 films, which allowed the stories to stay relevant, consistent, and unpredictable.

More from Marvel Cinematic Universe

As mentioned before, the MCU refers back to each of their other movies in the franchise to keep certain events, characters, and details on the viewer’s radar. The DCEU doesn’t keep fans “in the loop,” while Marvel does. With the way the DCEU has set up their films and the gaps between films, it’s very difficult to build the same anticipation that Marvel Studios has created, which can be the cause of a lack of enthusiasm at the box office.

Similar to the DCEU, the Star Wars saga does have a large gap of years between the films. Star Wars, of course, is a legendary saga with timeless films, and a star-studded cast. While the franchise does manage to have successful openings the box office, they don’t have the same fan anticipation that Marvel has managed to crack. Marvel Studios have completed 22 films back in a little more than a decade, whereas Star Wars has a relaxed schedule of releases.

Major Team-Ups

One thing fans love most is when big-name superheroes team up to take down a villain. It’s refreshing and fun for the audience to watch their favorite characters team up.

There are significant differences between DC’s first superhero team-up, Justice League, and Marvel’s first team-up, The Avengers.  For starters, Justice League was similar to a pilot episode for a series in which we were being introduced to new characters such as The Flash and Aquaman as the movie went along.

Meanwhile, The Avengers was the last page in a chapter. The film was a finale to Phase One in which we fans were already introduced to the big four heroes, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Hulk in their solo films. In those films, fans got to see their humor and  personalities, as well as the way they react to things in depth, which is very significant when understanding how these characters work.

After being introduced to each major character, fans feel a sense of pride in seeing their favorite heroes side by side. This was also a big reason fans were very hyped to see these iconic heroes unify; especially in that famous 360 shot in the final battle of The Avengers, which received a deafening roar of applause in the cinema when it was shown again in Avengers: Endgame.

In fact, that famous 360 shot wasn’t even showing yet – the cheers in the theater began when the screen just had “NEW YORK – 2012” on display in front of the New York City skyline. Fans instantly knew what this meant, and exactly what they were about to reference. Mind you, that famous 360 shot is seven years old now and still had fans riled up.

References to Past Films

Endgame referenced various MCU films that hit home with audiences over time. With every single MCU reference in Endgame, whether it was Quill dancing to “Come and Get Your Love” from the first Guardians of the Galaxy film or seeing Loki asking for that drink (referencing The Avengers), it reminds fans of how much planning went into this saga. The famous elevator scene from Captain America: The Winter Soldier was even recreated, which just goes to show one thing: fans don’t forget these things.

So yes, there are different factors that Marvel Studios have mastered that allow them to shatter records and make box office history. The difference between Marvel Studios and its competitors is that the MCU was able to release 22 films that connected flawlessly in under ten years, without lacking an ounce of quality, and Avengers: Endgame further proves that. The writers were able to adapt the comics (which have countless different endings) into solo trilogies and connect each of them with a chilling overarching plotline: “The Infinity Saga.”

Now with Spider-Man: Far From Home just around the corner to close Phase Three, I wouldn’t doubt that Marvel Studios has a whole new set of surprises up their sleeve for Phase Four.

Next. 100 greatest superhero stories. dark

After the last two years of back-to-back billion dollar box office releases, the chances of Marvel stepping down from global box-office domination is highly unlikely.