The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most successful film franchise in the world. With 40 projects released till now and a box-office gross of over $26.6 billion, Marvel Studios has become a benchmark. Many movie companies have tried to recreate their methods, but with not much success. As such, for a long time, there have been conversations about the secret Marvel formula. While many moviegoers praise this formula, others deride it because it makes their movies feel formulaic. Prestigious directors like Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, and more have vocally disparaged Marvel movies. But no one can deny that they are immensely successful and enjoy an enviously large fan following all over the globe. So how has this franchise managed to do it for 15 years without a single flop? Kevin Feige has finally revealed their number one goal, which has allowed them to become a behemoth in the movie-making industry.
Kevin Feige Reveals The First Goal Of Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige recently sat down with The Movie Business Podcast and revealed a lot of secrets about Marvel Studios and how it works. The MCU president has divulged that their first and foremost goal is to entertain audiences. As per Feige, the co-president of the company, Louis D’Esposito, has a quote he uses that basically means that their job is to entertain first.
The Marvel boss said that he and his team sit down after every project and dissect every movie. He refers to these meetings as “post-mortems” but says that they were once known as “what went wrong” meetings. The Marvel Studios president remembered that he was first asked to do this after the “Iron Man” movie. Feige says that he was confused in the beginning because nothing went wrong with the first “Iron Man.” In fact, the film was such a mega-hit that it gave birth to their studio as we know it. But later on, he understood the goal of such sessions. The main aim at the end of every such meeting was to find out why audiences weren’t entertained, what could be improved, etc. This is because their first goal is to enthrall audiences at every possible turn. Now, his words can come off as weird to some. People might wonder if Martin Scorsese’s comment comparing Marvel movies to theme parks was indeed right. However, Kevin Feige says that there’s a reason why they follow the “entertain first” formula.
It’s because irrespective of how many beautiful messages or interesting life theories a filmmaker comes up with, if the movie isn’t entertaining, that message will just fall on deaf ears. Feige is right. Irrespective of what a beautiful movie might want to present, no one will care about it if the film isn’t funny and entertaining. As such, it makes complete sense why they are so focused on making sure that their movies can please as many people from as many demographics as possible.
Marvel Studios: Taking Risks
Marvel Studios and their movies have been endlessly criticized for following a formula that allows them to get box-office hit after box-office hit. Kevin Feige’s interview seems to prove those accusations to an extent. But he or his company isn’t wrong in following their mantra. After all, why won’t a movie studio follow a formula/goal that ultimately keeps on making their films hits year after year? However, this doesn’t mean that Marvel Studios never experiments or takes risks.
After all, they want critical acclaim along with commercial success. Who can forget their relentless campaign to get the “Spider-Man: Far From Home” movie Oscar-nominated? While that didn’t happen, Marvel has continued experimenting with their projects. Many think that Phase 4 was Marvel Studios experimenting with various projects and formats. For example, “WandaVision” was a unique superhero sitcom that paid homage to various decades. “Werewolf by Night” was a special presentation that was entirely black and white. Also, it was a throwback to the classic horror movies from Universal Studios in the 30s and 50s.
Speaking of horror films, “Doctor Strange 2” brought horror to the MCU in a never-before-seen way. Apart from these three, “Moon Knight” experimented with the idea of mental illness and showed its effects. Also, “Eternals,” “She-Hulk,” “Ms. Marvel,” and others experimented with genres and subject matter. Apart from these three, “Moon Knight” experimented with the idea of mental illness and showed its effects. Also, “Eternals,” “She-Hulk,” “Ms. Marvel,” and others experimented with genres and subject matter. But the studio hasn’t always been successful with such experiments. This can be seen regarding the reception of various Phase 4 projects.
However, it would be wrong to blame the MCU’s core audiences for not being receptive to every experiment the studio does. After all, not every project has been up to the mark. For example, “She-Hulk” and “Thor: Love and Thunder” were rightfully criticized for their sub-par writing and CGI. One can only hope that the company learns from its mistakes and creates better projects in the future. But what will be the MCU’s next experimental project? We will have to wait and watch.