Will Marvel Studios Expand To Releasing 3-4 Movies Per Year? [Updated]

Published 1 year ago by , Updated July 23rd, 2014 at 7:45 am,

Official Marvel Studios Logo Will Marvel Studios Expand To Releasing 3 4 Movies Per Year? [Updated]

The release of The Avengers in 2012 was an exceptional year for Marvel Studios, not only because it represented the assembling of their heroes for an unprecedented, box office record-breaking team-up event film, but because it was the production house’s only release that year. After Iron Man 2 in 2010, the plan for the young studio going forward was to release two features annually, beginning in 2011 with Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, followed by The Avengers and Runaways in 2012.

At the last minute, Marvel canned Runaways however and instead chose to focus all resources towards launching the flagship property of the franchise. Going forward, Marvel Studios is back to at least two films per year, but with so many properties and characters earning attention from fans, executives at Marvel and interested filmmakers, could Marvel expand their capacity to develop three or even four releases per year?

There were always rumors that this could be the case, with additional films coming from micro-budgets and more obscure characters being introduced via short films attached to theatrical releases of Marvel’s major releases, but that hasn’t been the case, at least so far. And as the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands onto television, there’s less of a need to split resources and make four big budget features per year since characters as recognizable as Daredevil can find their live-action origins told on the small screen (see: Marvel-Netflix deal).

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Logo 1024x575 Will Marvel Studios Expand To Releasing 3 4 Movies Per Year? [Updated]

When our own Kofi Outlaw spoke with Feige at the Thor: The Dark World junket last fall and asked about Marvel increasing their production capacity to three films per year, he indicated that it’s possible, but unlikely anytime soon.

“There are no plans for it. Sometimes, depending on what’s ready when, it may fall that way, but we’re in a very nice rhythm right now. We’re built – the entire studio is built to confidently deliver two movies per year that we’re proud of.”

Speaking on the same topic last week during the Captain America: The Winter Soldier press junket, specifically on whether or not moviegoers could see more than two films in one year sometime during Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Feige told Badass Digest the same thing, indicating that it would depend on the timing and situation.

“I think television is filling some of that now, in terms of bringing out more product. That’s certainly the idea with the Netflix shows. But I don’t know that we will necessarily say ‘Okay, we’re now moving strategically to three a year, now we’re moving to four a year.’ What I think is more likely – if [knocks on wood-like table] the next group of movies work and people want to see additional stories – we’ll have too many franchises and you can’t do one of each franchise every two or three years. We’d have to move to three a year, but that would have to be a natural move if it were to occur. We’d have a [script] draft, we’d have a filmmaker, we’d have a character the audience wants to see – let’s slot in a place for a third one. Or a fourth one… But it’s hard enough to deliver two quality, hopefully bar-raising movies a year.”

Marvel currently has two unannounced films with summer 2016 release dates, one in 2017 with a guaranteed second coming that year as well, and while we won’t find out what these are until closer to the summer, we do know that there will be one new property introduced in each of the two years. Knowing that, if Marvel Studios follows the plan Feige hinted to us, that means we’re already going to see the start of a problem Feige hinted at in the quote above – that there won’t be room in the current ‘Phase’ structure for timely sequels to all their sub-franchises.

Unannounced Captain America 3 Logo Will Marvel Studios Expand To Releasing 3 4 Movies Per Year? [Updated]

Captain America 3 and Thor 3 are both happening, both have writers, and in the case of the former, even have directors – but if both come in Phase 3, that leaves no room for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 if the plan remains to introduce new properties in each of those years. One of those new properties is unofficially confirmed to be Doctor Strange (Marvel is looking for a director) with the other being the biggest mystery release from the studio to date. Traditionally, reports and leaks made it easy to speculate in the past, but this time around there are so many options, from Black Panther and Ms. Marvel to Planet Hulk, The Inhumans and more.

We continue hearing rumors that Ms. Marvel may yet be another new superpowered hero to be introduced in The Avengers: Age of Ultron - alongside surprise recent addition Vision (Paul Bettany) - with the character a contender to get a movie in Phase 3. Similar to the talk of Scarlett Johansson getting getting a Black Widow standalone feature,  the Ms. Marvel rumor conflicts with what Feige said to Badass Digest about the studio already having a rough idea of what films are coming in 2016-17 and having no current plans for a female-led film among them.

Captain America 3 will be shooting next year and a likely May 2016 release, so if Guardians of the Galaxy is ripe for a Phase 3 sequel it’s possible that Thor 3 is held back until Phase 4, that is, unless we get more movies than we expected which is a definite possibility…

Avengers 2 Age of Ultron Inhumans Will Marvel Studios Expand To Releasing 3 4 Movies Per Year? [Updated]

Of course, there’s the curious “merging of brands” that Vin Diesel talked up when describing his meetings with Marvel to potentially play a central character in a new property come 2016-17, one we speculate could be The Inhumans, a film that may tie into some of the things we’re beginning to see in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and what could play a part in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Interestingly, that timeline Diesel hinted at also coincides with what Marvel President of Consumer Products for Marvel Paul Gitter mentioned three years ago about some master plan at Marvel Studios culminating in some sort of event for 2017. Could The Inhumans help bring the Guardians of the Galaxy to earth in time for The Avengers 3?

That’s another question for another day so for now, we wonder if when Marvel begins making some more official Phase 3 announcements, if we could start seeing more than two films per year, sooner rather than later, providing they fit into the master plan and offer something ‘different’ – a requirement for projects according to Kevin Feige. If Captain America keeps getting sequels, and films like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Guardians are all going to get sequels – in between new properties – then Marvel might be forced to release more films per year to avoid long waits in between series installments.

What’s your ideal Phase 3 release schedule? Let us know in the comments!

[Update: The Answer is YES and we’re getting three Marvel Studios movies in 2017. Check out the Phase 3 release dates here!]


More: Marvel Has Movies Planned Through to 2021


Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!

Sources: BD

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  1. Quality not quantity.

    If Marvel Studio produced more CBMs in favor of lackluster story telling, then Marvel fans will react negatively.
    Besides if there are too many CBMs out in the market, the average movie goers will eventually get bored with the genre.

    The current licensing agreement with Sony & Fox is doing well at the moment. Except with Universal, who have yet to develop a Namor movie.
    Netflix deal was a good move in my opinion.

    Anywho, that’s my 2cents. Make Mine Marvel.

    • Marvel/Disney does have the capacity with some work, and credit-rating, to increase their productions. However, I do agree that while I would welcome an increase, I would not want it to be at the sacrifice of quality or become too rushed just to get more titles out there. We don’t want slap-dash work in our comics films, i think many of us will agree. I do think expanding through Netflix (one of my favorite entertainment mediums) was a good idea. Perhaps Moon Knight or Black Panther may find a home there some day (I could see BP as a secondary hero like Falcon was in a Captain America movie, however, if not in Avengers #3). I am in no hurry for Guardians of the Galaxy #2 (#1 still has to prove itself to me), but I would rather see Inhumans first. One of my BIG priorities is to see Goliath (Hank Pym) or Giant-Man and Wasp introduced in Avengers #3 if not before. That is probably very near the top of my list. getting Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in there was pretty high in my priorities as well. Vision would probably be beneficial to the team. Perhaps a few other things I would like to see like Kang, Whirlwind, maybe Diablo, a REAL MANDARIN, and Skrulls will materialize eventually out of my fantasies and onto the big screen over time?!

    • Quality not Quantity. Nice. But when you have N teams broken up like a surgical strike team, they can do both. It isn’t like taking 12 men working on one film and making it four 3 man teams…………

  2. Going to oversaturate the market

  3. Gotta be honest… I itch for these movies like a crackhead. That being said, they guaranteed have my money, sometimes multiple times per movie release and it probably has to do with the fact that they keep me wanting more.

    In other words, 2 movies a year is perfect. Three is risking it while four is just a bad idea.

  4. My list would go
    Cap 3
    Doctor Strange
    Thor 3
    The Inhumans

    Over saturation is most definitely a weary factor but Avengers 2 seems jam packed with characters as it is and if they really want to do the Infinity Gauntlet story justice I think they should just pull a Peter Jackson and shoot Avengers 3 as one giant movie that’s split up into three parts but released every 3-4 months throughout 2017.

    • @ Drew Manning

      Fantastic idea for Avengers 3. If not one mega movie consisting of 3 parts, then I think it should be one mega movie, of at least 2 parts.

      If only Avi Arad, had not interfered with the production of Spiderman 3, by insisting on Venom’s inclusion, and just let that movie lay the groundwork for Venom’s appearance in a button scene at the end, with a properly fleshed out story in Spiderman 4………then I think we could have got a satisfying end to Sam Raimi’s time at the helm of Spidey.

      This is why I hope Thanos, and the Infinity Gauntlet saga, will be a minimum of 2 parts, to do the scale of this story true justice.

      • You guys could be right, the Thanos Infinity storyline might be better served being a two part film. The only problem with that is Whedon probably wouldn’t be sticking around to shoot that many films, he’s only signed on to shoot ‘Avengers 2′ as is, though I still think in the end he will return to shoot ‘Avengers 3′ if only for the fact he wants to be around to put the finishing touches on what he started in the first ‘Avengers’ film.

  5. I wished WB/DC would do the same by releasing atleast 2 films per year. Instead of one every 3 years. Theres other heroes besides Batman & Superman franchises to start on.

  6. Flooding the market with films, is not something that they should be doing. Two films a year is working just fine. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

  7. I currently think that they have the right balance and that trying to put out 3 movies a year could be a hard task and I would rather have 2 good films a year than 3 average movies. So with the other characters I think they could do plenty with them on TV AoS has been lacking but hopefully the Netflix deal will produce some quality viewing.

    • people keep saying ‘quantity over quality’, which wouldnt be the case, with each film having different directors/actors it wouldnt be a problem making 3 or 4 great movies a year. I do however agree about the over saturation thing.

  8. Everyone wants to see more Marvel movies, but really it shouldn’t happen.

    Like already pointed out, it should be quality over quantity and that’s something we’ve been getting AND Marvel know that… Which is why they wouldn’t change their current formula.

    And with the Netflix deal, the planned sequels for X-men and Amazing Spiderman, there’s already an abundance of Marvel films planning to hit the market. Like ColdFlames (above) said, it would just oversaturate the market.

    Their overall arc is obviously already planned out, with movies already selected for their release dates (I’m talking a ways down the road) and I think that they’re just being coy about it; which is great!

    It’s a good marketing technique/strategy; they allow speculation to occur, meaning they’re always a talking point which only enhances the power of the studio/brand.

    Anyways, they should keep it the way they have been doing it and I think they will :)

    • People still don’t understand studio rights….

      X-men and Spider-man don’t have anything to do with this. They are not made by Marvel.

  9. Doctor strange
    The black panther
    Captain America 3
    The inhumans/ Guardians of the galaxy 2

  10. Can’t believe how fast Disney is going to make all their money back from purchasing Marvel… then its all cha-ching!

    • Wheee! Thanx, Looking Forward—!

  11. Why don’t they just combine movies to bring in new characters instead of giving them stand alone movies? Cap 3 might need a boost like that if its to go up against Batman.

    • honestly I could see them doing it for the Captain America movies since it makes sense but not the others.

      • Maybe something with Black Widow as well? Not sure who though? Possible throw Black Panthers origin into a Black Widow movie maybe? He’s not a majorly well known character. Then again neither are the Guardians. Only other two birds with one stone thing could be Inhumans and Guardians sequel.

  12. It’s possible that Marvel already plans for the end of the line here. Nothing lasts forever, comic book movie success is no exception and it will wane in time to be replaced by the next big thing. Upping volume is a good way of reaping as much revenue as possible before the fickle winds of moviegoers’ interest change. That’s why I’ve always been kinda worried for DC – their attempt at creating a cohesive film franchise are moving with the pace of a pregnant glacier and the well might dry up before they really get the thing rolling.

  13. If we have two per year, my guess would be like this

    Phase 3:

    Ant-Man (2015)
    Thor 3 (2016)
    Doctor Strange (2016)
    Captain America 3 (2017)
    Inhumans (2017)
    Avengers 3/Nova into to help fight Thanos (2018)

    Four per year for Phase 3:

    Ant-Man (2015)

    Thor 3 (2016)
    Doctor Strange (2016)
    Captain America 3 (2016)
    Black Panther (2016)

    Guardians of the Galaxy 2/Introduce Adam Warlock (2017)
    Nova (2017)
    Inhumans (2017)
    Captain Marvel (2017)

    Avengers 3(2018)

    Seems pretty epic and it covers more ground. However who knows if it’ll have the quality.

    Also for those who are saying “Inhumans/Guardians” meaning the same thing have clearly never read a Guardians comic. Blackbolt only appeared in a couple of Guardians issues bcuz he was ruler of the Kree Empire for a very brief event and that’s it. Plus I doubt the said people I’m referring to even know of that event lol

    • @guardianoutlaw
      Bro, I forgot all about Black Bolt being king of the Kree Empire! That made me even more excited for an Inhumans film!

      • For them to do that in the MCU tho, they would have to introduce Blackbolt as already bring a ruler of the Kree. As much as it sounds out there, it is likely bcuz we now know that Ronan the Accuser is apart of the Sakaaran Pirates. We know that we won’t be seeing our traditional Kree Empire.

        • *being* a ruler

        • Ronan is definitely a Kree in the movie. We know this, the actor who plays him told us so. But apparently Korath is not?? (Just judging on his appearance)

          • Never said Ronan isn’t a Kree.

          • I wonder if Korath is an Inhuman.

    • What?? Inhumans have definitely had more than a couple run ins with BOTH incarnations of Guardians. And the fact that they share such a huge history with the Kree, who are in the guardians movie, and who also shares a history with Guardians, it’d be pretty silly if the didn’t interact in the MCU, which isn’t the comics 616 universe anyway, the MCU is an alternate reality that exist along side the comics. But anyway I see the Inhumans movie starting out on earth/moon first. I also really see the Guardians being Marvels biggest post Avengers film yet, and a sequel will be fast tracked with the Guardians, Bug, Warlock, Ronan and Dick Rider Nova fighting against Ultron/Phalanx. It’d be a perfect way to redeem Ronan, resurrect Adam Warlock and bring back Spader/Ultron while adapting the Guardians most epic battle!

      • War of Kings was the only time Blackbolt and his Inhumans interacted with today’s Guardians. After War of Kings, Blackbolt died and then the next we see the Kree Empire is in Infinity. In Infinity, the Supreme Intelligence is ruler again.

        Obviously the Kree are in the Guardians movie. Ronan has the signature blue skin. I think you’re misinterpreting what I’m saying.

  14. I personally would welcome 3 or 4 movies a year as long as they kept the quality they have now (or got better). The issue really only comes down to if Fiege can keep it all in line with the Marvel movie way. I could see 2 or 3 different franchise telling their own stories separately. Something along these lines:

    Avengers going on about their business with the Infinity story throughout all of their properties.

    Midnight Sons starting up with Blade, Ghost Rider, Nightstalkers, Dr. Strange all up against Mephisto as their major villain

    Defenders on Netflix with the group they have going.

    Fiege oversees the whole thing on a high level, Whedon in charge of the Avengers, and someone in that same role on the other 2 projects. They don’t have to intertwine as the Avengers already have, but have what happens in each project’s major events have ripple effects into the other projects, and have them know the others exist.

    Just a broad thought of what they could do. I think it would not oversaturate as Midnight Sons is VERY different from the Avengers and Defenders are on Netflix as a serial.

  15. Ive had this idea forever and i know why it wouldnt work, but why not Grindhouse style 2 Marvel movies? Especially something like Inhumans and Guardians 2 back to back with elements crossing over. Id see it.

    • “Could The Inhumans help bring the Guardians of the Galaxy to earth in time for The Avengers 3?”

      No. The Inhumans were formed within the Sol System and center focus around Earth. Their capital is on Earth’s moon. Guardians of the Galaxy takes place in the Andromeda galaxy. Last I checked, the Sol System is in the Milky Way Galaxy.

      It would be the Nova Corps or (pointing at) Rhomann Dey who would bring the Guardians to Earth in order to fight Thanos. Rhomann Dey in the comics after all came to Earth to find a successor to fight the Son of Thanos, Zorr the Conqueror.

      • Assuming any of that is used in the films. It’s the Infinity Stones they’re after and The Inhumans may have one – that could be a driver to bring Nova/Guardians to Earth if baddies are after it.

        • Marvel Studios thus far has honored the origins to the characters. I’m sure Blackbolt and his gang will be starting out on or near Earth. Blackbolt can have an Infinity Gem, yes. However that doesn’t bring Blackbolt near the Andromeda Galaxy.

          Why I keep saying Andromeda, Gunn formspringed that the movie takes place in the Andromeda Galaxy and Xandar in the comics is in the Andromeda Galaxy.

        • However if you are implying that Nova/Guardians come to Earth and meet with the Inhumans, yeah that can happen. However if they come to Earth, not only the Inhumans should be contacted, the Avengers and Shield should too. Richard Rider can also come into play at that point.

      • Zorr is not the son of Thanos. No relationship between the two has ever been mentioned. While Nebula has claimed to be Zorr’s daughter and Thanos’ granddaughter most of her claims have been chalked up as lies.

        • “Most of her claims have been chalked up as lies.” How do you know if this claims isn’t apart of most of her lies.

          • Dude, Zorr isn’t Thanos’ son. No one has ever made that claim but you and you’re putting two seperate claims together to come to that conclusion. At one time Nebula claimed to be Zorr’s daughter. Another time she claimed to be Thanos’ granddaughter, but neiter she or anyone else has ever claimed Zorr is Thanos’ son. She also claimed to have killed her father, but Zorr was killed be Nova Prime. The only confirmed family connections for Zorr was his brother Kraa.

            • Both Zorr and Nebula are Luphomoids. She could of lied about killing her own father. Also, at one point she attacked Nova for killing her father (Zorr) and she even took out part of Xandar bcuz of it.

              If Nebula is Thanos’ granddaughter, one of her parents must be Thanos’ offspring. There is a possibility that Zorr is his son.

              However whether Zorr is or isn’t is still up for debate. Plus we’re talking about the MCU, they can alter anything they want to best fit the story while still honoring the source material.

              • Thanos himself has said that Nebula is not related to him. During the Infinity Gauntlet, he turned her into a zombie like creature becuase he was offended by her false claims.

              • There’s really nothing to dabate, Zorr has never been confirmed as Thanos’ son. Nebula might be related to Zorr, but she’s not related to Thanos as Thanos himself has stated. Sure their history can be changed in the movie, or reconned in the comics but from the looks of the GoTG trailer I suspect Nebula will be a Kree in the cinematic universe.

  16. Anyone watched the special an hour ago? The preview for AoS:Uprising showed Deathlok with his cyber leg exposed and the gauntlet acting like Iron Man’s which is intriguing; isn’t that where his centipede brace-thing is?
    Also got to see the Maximoff twins’ concept art! Looks more legit than the DoFP version imo (Pietro).
    AoS was referred a few times as sort of a connecting bridge to the movies and all I can say is it only clearly happened during the Sif episode. The rest just gave subtle references and nods.
    Stoked for the Netflix series though! If only it weren’t limited to Netflix as not everyone like me has one :(

  17. strike the iron while it’s hot…this is America, if you don’t over saturate the market with your product it will be looked at as a lost opportunity by those who fund it…money talks.

    they have enough material to release a movie every month…but what usually happens when something becomes popular, the quality goes down.

    • Exactly.

      The sad truth is: the more they release…

      … the less I become interested.

      –insert counter *continue to BUY BUY BUY* response below—

  18. Calling it right now, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be Annihilation: Conquest. It will introduce, Bug, Adam Warlock and Richard Rider Nova, and will see the redemption of Ronan the Accuser.

    • Against Ultron/Phalanx.

  19. did anybody catch the special on tv tonight? Assembling a Universe, so sneak peeks at what Ultron looks like and QS and Scarlet Witch

    • Ya I checked it out. I forgot how excited I was when the Marvel CU started. It made me want to go back and re watch all of the films.

    • I jumped out of my seat when they showed the concept art of Hulkbuster Iron Man fighting Hulk in Avengers 2.

  20. I certainly hope marvel will be able to obtain the prince namor( sub mariner) movie rights soon. Universal continue to sit on their asses when it comes to that property and there is so much that the world of namor can bring to the marvel universe. He alone could be a worthy foe and eventual member for the avengers, not to mention the spectacular story telling that can be told for his own movie. Really hope marvel gets those movie rights reverted back to them soon.

    • I could picture myself watching a Namor movie and enjoying it…!

  21. This goes along with an earlier comment…
    But let’s get a few more interweaving franchises culminating in a big team-up film: Thor can join Guardians and Inhumans in an Annihilation/War of Kings event.
    Ghost Rider, Blade and Iron Fist can join Dr. Strange in a mystical/Sorcerer Supreme event. (Introduce Brother Voodoo & Damien Hellstrom)
    Really the possibilities are endless. I just hope Red Hood is added to the Netflix series!

    • If we’re talking hardcore cosmic, f* Thor in Annihilation/War of Kings, bring on Beta Ray Bill!!

      • Dude Beta Ray Bill on film will look so awesome!

        • Uh, he looks like Mr. Ed playing dress-up in a Thor Halloween costume.

      • Too bad Silver Surfer is with Fox >_<

        • Yeah, Annihilators down the road would of been epic.

  22. If that is possible, do you think that will mean more films per phase or more phases doing short runs?

    • Also you can stop calling her Ms. Marvel, she is da Captain now

      • Stark was also with the Guardians and Bronze Tiger hasn’t been in the New 52 Suicide Squad since it started but hey, go with what most people know, right?

        Plus with the Kree, they can show them as either being badass types or pure evil and then there’s the one Kree that shows audiences that there can be inherent good amongst the species when they introduce the original Mar-Vell.

        • Kevin Feige refers to her as Captain Marvel so that’s what I think she should be referred to now.

  23. My schedule through 2020:
    2014: Cap 2, Guardians
    2015: Avengers 2, Antman
    2016: Cap 3, Doc Strange
    2017: GOTG2, Avengers 2, Black Panther
    2018: Thor 3, Antman 2, Inhumans
    2019: Doc Strange 2, Cap 4, Avengers 3

    • Honestly I’d rather see a Hulk movie or Hawkeye movie than an Antman sequel. Planet Hulk would be cool…maybe they can set that up in Avengers 2 since they show Hulk fighting Stark in the Hulkbuster armor as a concept sketch.

    • Why do you have Avengers 2 in 2015 and 2017?

  24. I think the market would only support 3 big budgeted movies a year. A late spring/early summer release ala Cap WS. A late summer release, ala GoTG and a late fall/winter release, ala Thor 2. Or they could stick with doing 2 big budgeted movies a year and release a smaller budgeted movie during the January, February, March time frame. It’s not only quality that matters, but you don’t want the movies to be released to closely and potentially leach revenue from each other and you also want to provide enough time to properly market each movie.

  25. The “Make A Marvel Knights Movie” Facebook campaign brought this to my attention hours ago and hoped that we’d see low budget movies for characters like The Punisher thrown in there, not guaranteed to succeed but to expand the Marvel universe further at least, show there are more characters out there in the wider world and introduce them for future appearances in the major Avengers films.

  26. SCHWING!! Hear that…? That’s the sound of Wakandan Vibranium!


  27. So does that mean there will two infommercials, I mean specials a year too ?