In 2021, the total box office collection in the US was $4.45 billion, out of which Marvel movies accounted for $1.35 billion, which is about 30%. For years, the House of Mouse has been doling out fan-favourites, but in a year where coronavirus affected theatrical releases, Marvel achieved this spectacular feat in terms of ticket collections mostly due to ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home‘, which shattered records. However, the franchise had several other strong entries including ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’, ‘Black Widow’, and ‘Eternals’.

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Considering that nearly 400 movies hit American theatres last year, this record is all the more impressive. The gap between superhero movies and films of other genres have become all the more evident. To put this in context, in 2018, Marvel releases including likes of ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ made up 18% of the domestic box office. 

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While the power of Marvel’s cinematic experience is laudable in its ability to bring out viewers to the theatres, even amid the pandemic, it spells trouble for films that do not belong to major franchises. Notable releases from top-notch directors like Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ and Ridley Scott’s ‘The Last Duel’ have not fared well. 

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Problems were compounded since Warner Bros went with both theatrical release and a release on HBO Max (their OTT service) at the same time. Naturally, this cut into the viewership as people already scared to step out now found no reason to do so to watch films in theatres. Notably, Warner Bros has done away with this strategy for 2022. 

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While 2022 has some interesting releases coming and could promise a respite from this situation, Marvel is likely to dominate once again with its roster of movies including ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’, and ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’.