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Exclusive: Marvel Studios Hasn't Changed Stories Based on Box Office Success

Kevin Feige reveals that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never changed their film slate based on box office results. Earning more than $18 billion across 20 movies in 11 years, the MCU is the highest grossing franchise of all time. Kicking it off by taking a huge risk in Jon Favreau's Iron Man, the  franchise has continued to expand over the following years, posting its biggest commercial success in last year's Avengers: Infinity War.

Fresh from its latest smash hit, Captain Marvel (already on its way to earning $1 billion globally), the MCU's next film on the docket, Avengers: Endgame, has the potential to become the franchise's highest grossing film since it'll be the culmination of everything that has transpired in the universe. But regardless of its commercial performance, it will not affect Marvel Studios' upcoming slate of films. As important as earnings are, Feige says that the box office doesn't dictate how they're planning for future films.

Related: Highest Grossing Franchises At The Box Office

Speaking with Screen Rant during the press junket for Captain Marvel, Feige reveals that they've yet to alter course because of a movie's box office performance. That said, he admits that they're taking into consideration how certain characters, such as Black Panther and the people of Wakanda, can be utilized more given people's reception of them.

It's no secret that Captain Marvel is being positioned to be the center of the MCU. However, it seems that the mega success of Black Panther was understandably unexpected. And his future presence should increase. How do you change the future storylines based on the success of characters?

Kevin Feige: The truth is we haven't done that honestly. I mean we've had plans, we always hope films will do well enough that we can make more films. Panther did and then some as you point out. But none of the stories as we've wanted to tell them, have altered yet based on somebody's box office success. That being said, of course, Wakanda and Panther and his amazing, amazing, group of characters will be seen in many different ways in the future.

Currently, the MCU only has two confirmed films on their slate - Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. There are rumblings about future projects such as Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow solo film, The Eternals and Shang-Chi - all of which have locked in their respective directors. There are also sequels such as Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but Marvel Studios have yet to release any official statement regarding them. But looking at their Phase 3 slate announced in 2014, they've generally stuck to it except for a few changes like adding Spider-Man: Homecoming to the lineup and taking out Inhumans. It's curious if Feige will ever pull another line-up announcement like that one, but his recent comments hint that they might be taking their time disclosing their future plans.

Despite the franchise's undisputed success, the Marvel Cinematic Universe still had some major stumbles. After Iron Man's release, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 weren't as greatly received, putting the franchise in a precarious place. But they moved forward anyway with Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, which paved the way for The Avengers. Had they backed out, the universe may not be where it is today. They wouldn't have been able to craft a film series with a primary plot through-line if they allowed the box office to dictate how they planned out their movies. And it's safe to assume that Marvel Studios will stick to this scheme in the phases to come.

More: Kevin Feige Calls First Wave of MCU Films The Infinity Saga

Key Release Dates
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
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