While every Marvel Studios movie seems to draw high levels of fan interest and anticipation, the clear titans of the MCU are the Avengers films: 2012's The Avengers and 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Sitting at #1 and #2 respectively on the all-time MCU box office chart, Avengers and Age of Ultron - both directed by Joss Whedon - managed to finally realize fans' dreams of what grand scale superhero team-up movies could be, containing breathtaking action while also incorporating multiple characters in a way balanced enough to allow all of them to shine at various points.
Despite the fact that this summer's Captain America: Civil War sort of functioned as an "Avengers 2.5" in the eyes of many, the next true Avengers smackdown isn't until 2018, with the first half of Joe and Anthony Russo's Avengers: Infinity War duology. Finally featuring the introduction of intergalactic arch-villain Thanos to the Avengers fray, the Infinity War two-parter seems likely to take the MCU to even more spectacular heights, while hopefully somehow still managing to balance an even larger roster of heroes than before.
While 2018 remains a long way off, Disney clearly feels that it's never too early to start planning ahead, and have opted to take a step forward in the aesthetic construction of Infinity War. Deadline reports, in a move the Russos previously suggested would eventually be coming, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 has been officially retitled simply Avengers: Infinity War. Avengers: Infinity War Part 2's title is currently in a state of flux, with the studio calling it only Untitled Avengers for the moment. Based on Marvel's titling patterns, it's likely the fourth Avengers film will ultimately receive a different subtitle than Infinity War.
Of course, planning ahead has become one of the hallmarks of Marvel Studios, with the company having long since planned out its release schedule through 2019, and already having carved out release dates for as yet undetermined MCU films in 2020.
Marvel Studios is truly a well-oiled machine at this point, with new characters being introduced into the mix every year, and previously off-limits icons like Spider-Man now firmly in the fold. One might not think that a foul-mouthed talking racoon and a sentient tree would be viable figures on which to base a blockbuster, but Marvel did it with gusto, to the point where a sequel starring that duo is soon to arrive. At this stage, each new MCU installment is expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in profit - with each Avengers film earning $1 billion at the box office.
So, considering the strength of the Avengers brand, it's likely both Avengers: Infinity War and Untitled Avengers are likely to be two more hits for Marvel Studios. But, that remains to be seen when their 2018 and 2019 release dates finally arrive.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.