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From bankruptcy to billions: How Marvel Studios came to dominate Hollywood in only a decade

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When Marvel Studios first released “Iron Man” back in 2008, they could have never guessed that a little over 10 years later, their interconnected series of films would come to dominate the global box office.

Out of the highest grossing movies of all time, Marvel studios has four in the top 10 and with record pre-sale tickets, “Avengers: Endgame” is on track to be their fifth.

As the genre has dominated the box office throughout the 21st century, superhero films have grown beyond popcorn flicks to include critically acclaimed and Oscar winning fare such as “Black Panther” and “The Dark Knight,” and expanded beyond the standard PG-13 mold to audiences of all ages, from the R-rated “Deadpool” to the PG “Teen Titans Go To The Movies.”

Though “Avengers: Endgame” marks the epic end of the Marvel’s 22-installment series, the superhero genre show no signs of stopping. 2019 alone has 10 wide release movies based on comic book properties, with over 15 more movies being released in the next two years.

Today on FilmWeek, we talk with Ben Fritz, author of "The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies" and our critics Amy Nicholson and Wade Major about Marvel’s movie legacy and the future of superhero films.

Do you have superhero fatigue? What do you think has been the impact of Marvel Studios on the cinematic landscape? And what would you want to see going forward in the world of comic book movies?


Ben Fritz, a Los Angeles bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal; author of "The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018); he tweets @benfritz

Amy Nicholson, film critic for KPCC, film writer for The Guardian and host of the podcasts ‘Unspooled’ and the podcast miniseries “Zoom”; she tweets @TheAmyNicholson

Wade Major, film critic for KPCC and