Marvel’s Decision to Reduce It’s Output in 2023 is Advantageous for Many Reasons
Published on March 1st, 2023 | Updated on March 1st, 2023 | By FanFest
As Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige discussed the upcoming release of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, he also unveiled plans for a decreased output from the studio. Whilst this doesn’t mean that only one movie will be made per year, it is an indicator that each project and particularly those released on Disney+ are to have more emphasis placed upon them. This comes at a fortuitous time as recent years saw near monthy releases of Marvel content – something which requires slowing down in order to reinvigorate fan interest.
When the MCU Began, They Only Made Two Movies a Year
When Marvel Studios began the journey in 2008, their initial idea was to steadily grow by releasing only two movies annually. There were aspirations of eventually getting to a more substantial number yet for starters, it seemed wise to take it slow – especially due to factors out of their control such as Sony and Fox owning the film rights for crucial characters from Marvel Comics. Thus, with no way of managing how many movies based off Marvel would be released each year, they chose caution.
Marvel Increases Its Output, Thanks to Disney
This strategy was remarkably effective, prompting the studio to limit their production to a maximum of two features per year. It wasn’t until 2017 – almost ten years into its tenure – that this number was upped to three motion pictures annually. That soon became the norm for the remainder of the decade; although it wouldn’t last long as drastic changes were imminent due to corporate upheaval within Disney, who owned them at that point in time.
As The Mouse House set out to compete with Netflix, Disney+ was born and all of its entertainment divisions were asked to create original productions for the platform. Marvel Studios quickly followed suit by entering into TV show production – leading to a dramatic increase in their annual output. This number only continued rising when COVID-19 created an influx of Marvel projects that needed releasing!
To top off all the good news, Disney had acquired 20th Century Fox and its Marvel character film rights as well. On top of that, Sony was collaborating with Marvel Studios on Spider Man movies, though they also created their own comic book features. Having more control over when to launch these films allowed them to shape popular culture according to their vision. As a result of this strategic maneuvering in the new decade, the number of rival Marvel adaptations coming from other studios did not pose much concern any longer.
2021 and 2022 were groundbreaking for Marvel Studios; these two years saw the release of five seasons of original TV shows, four theatrical movies, three further films in theaters and two television specials on Disney+! This rush of MCU projects meant that both the cinema-goers and streamers got to experience new stories from their beloved universe. It was truly a remarkable time for us all! This meant that eight to nine Marvel Studios projects were now dropping annually, a staggering increase from the norms of years past.
The Consequences of the MCU’s Spike in Releases
The significant upsurge has undoubtedly guaranteed that Disney+ is not short of “content,” however it’s also ensured that even passionate fans of this franchise have been inundated with choices. Instead of having a thrilling experience receiving two to three Marvel Studios projects annually, we’ve become habituated to the reality where MCU TV shows are frequently in the middle of a new season around the same time as a brand-new MCU movie is hitting cinemas. With very little space for pause, it has been more difficult than ever before for individual ventures to be noticed. It’s hard to appreciate the meal you’ve just eaten when you’re being hurried off to the next table to scarf down something else.
Disney may have expected that their strategy of launching one Marvel show after another would accomplish the same effect as HBO does when it ends a major program before starting up another in just one week. Yet this usually works for shows with entirely separate tones and atmospheres – such as transitioning from the season finale of Barry to The White Lotus‘ season premiere, using this purely theoretical example. However, sadly, Disney’s rapid-fire release schedule has not yielded an increase in viewership for individual Disney+ programs. But having too many programs in the same universe released one after another can cause distraction rather than inspire habitual viewing. If a show is not captivating, it becomes much easier to become frustrated with and lose interest in what you’re watching.
Will Marvel and Disney Stick to Their Word?
Even though the public has made comment about Marvel Studios cutting down on productions, it’s hard to say if they are making a significant reduction in output. Even with only two series releases–Secret Invasion and Loki season 2–scheduled for 2023, there remain numerous live-action shows waiting to be released along with four new theatrical films slated for next year. What’s more is that Disney+ recently reported losing two million subscribers; thus, an increased range of projects could be expected as a means to bring viewers back onboard. We’ll have to wait and see if Marvel Studios sticks to its promise of producing fewer movies but with higher quality content. It’s a wise decision that could potentially ensure their enduring place in popular culture.
Covering superheroes, anything dark, horror, and more! Lead writer for Fan Fest