Are Superhero Movies Dying?

With the growth of new superhero movies and TV shows, entertainment executives have been focusing more on quantity of shows and episodes produced over the quality of the product leading to a dissatisfied consumer base.

Bhargav Kuniki, Photo Editor

With massive franchises like “The Avengers” and “Batman,” superheroes have been a massive part of the media for more than a decade. But for the past couple years, the demand for superhero productions has steadily declined. Marvel and Warner Bros. are making significantly less productions, with recent attempts like “Shazam 2” and “Qunatimania.” 

With the release of “Ant-Man Quantumania,” Marvel grossed 436 million in total revenue–much less than past Ant-Man movies. “Ant-Man (2015)” grossed 515 million and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” grossed 623 million. “Qunitimania” was a relative disappointment to critics and fans despite the “Ant-Man” saga being a continuous story similar to the “Iron Man” saga. DC and Warner Bros. did even worse with the release of “Black Adam,” which only made  393 million and “Shazam 2” grossedonly 133 million worldwide..

The introduction of superhero TV shows like “The Flash” and “Green Arrow” that were widely loved and successful in the mid 2010’s grew the demand for faster paced TV shows that featured lovable superhero protagonists from classic comics like the “Flash,” “Green Arrow,” and “Supergirl.” But in recent years, production studios focused more on quantity over quality. CW, for example, was criticized for rushing the last few seasons of “The Flash” and reducing the review and quality control process.

In recent years, Disney and Warner Bros. have been consistently pushing out new media. The MCU alone released 30 different movies and eight different TV shows on Disney Plus. But the quantity is not the problem — it’s that these shows are low quality compared to past MCU movies. Shows like “She-Hulk,“The Punisher,and “The Powerwere received as low quality and rushed by fans and critics. 

Massive industry leading companies in recent years have been more focused on pushing out as much content as possible to grab the attention of audiences, all while competing for viewership from competing genres on the same streaming services. The past holds great movies that have been carefully written and put together like the “Iron Man” franchise and “The Batman” saga.  The focus needs to be shifted to a quality over quantity premise to keep audiences interested instead of treating viewers as passive consumers, unable to differentiate between good and bad content.

What a lot of fans want in the future is more focus on what is being produced then how much content is out. Good example of this is the “Loki” series and “WandaVision”, which are examples of good writing and directing that has a lot of time and thought put into the final product.

Most big name entertainment companies are not cutting the cost of production but cutting down on how much time they show or movie has to be developed. This is most likely caused by the high demand for superhero content more specifically the want for more content quickly which results in low quality content and rushed writers. Because of this there is opportunity for production studios to slow down the quantity of shows released and focus more on extending or finishing unfinished stories to keep up with demand, instead of releasing new shows that are rushed. But at the same time give more attention to newer projects and let them develop over time.