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Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND


Bazza
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Saw Black Widow in the theatres on the weekend. Even paid $8.00 for a choc top. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

 

Then again, I do live in a town with very little in way of Covid. 

On 7/1/2021 at 4:21 AM, DoctorImpossible said:

Well, I can do that for you. Look at Loki's eyes from the Thor film and any film apart from the first Avengers film. Green, right? (Except in his blue-skinned, red-eyed, form of course.) That is his natural eye colour. 

 

Now look at his eye colour when he arrives on Midgard to take the tesseract. Bright blue. 

 

Who else has their eye colour changed from whatever it was before to a piercing blue? Anyone being controlled by the stone in his sceptre. When Hawkeye is under his command, mind controlled, he has bright blue eyes, unlike his usual steely grey eyes whenever Jeremy Renner played him in the rest of the MCU. 

 

Loki isn't invading midgard because he was hoping to conquer it. Asgard has always been the only place he cared about, except for his targeting of Jotunheim simply to win his father's approval in Thor 1. Loki is here to attack Midgard as a cover for him first grabbing the Tesseract (and therefore an infinity stone) then also attacking New York (which is, canonically, where the Sorcerer Supreme is, at that exact moment) to get hold of the Eye Of Agamotto and therefore another Infinity Stone, since Earth has the rare distinction of holding two of the infinity stones at the time. Well worth Thanos risking his own infinity stone, carried by a mind-controlled god, to bring him back two more. 

 

You can even see how badly hurt Loki had been, just before he was mind-controlled and sent to Midgard to capture infinity stones, much more so than after Hulk's beatdown. He'd been tortured, for a long time, whether for information or simply to make sure that the mind control would take effect. 

 

How does this make losing a fight to the Hulk into a victory for Loki? Well, much like Dr Selvig managed to resist mind control just enough to include an off-switch for his portal, Loki managed to resist his own mind control enough to pick a fight with the Hulk and then opt to monologue instead of being ready for an actual fight. Which, much like Black Widow's punch to Hawkeye's head to "recalibrate" his brain, was able to reset Loki's mind to free it from the mind control. You may notice that his eyes, after the beatdown, are back to their normal emerald green, instead of the bright blue of the mind control effects. He also suddenly changes from Shakespearean villain monologues, that we know are not his usual mode of speech, to the casual quipster that we are more familiar with.

 

"I'll take that drink, now."

 

Damn. I missed that whole thing. Now I have to watch Thor and Avengers again. 

 

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It would be a real anti-climax to have Kang as the endgame villain reveal when there's been nothing in the actual series (as opposed to "metagaming" from external comic book and MCU knowledge) to suggest it before the final episode.  One commentator noted that, thematically, a Loki variant (or some other Asgard variant, as I think on it - what about a less benevolent Thor?) would be a much more satisfying conclusion.  Fandom could then be appeased with a post-credits scene providing some kind of Kang easter egg, much like Thanos in Avengers.

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I always thought Kang was kind of a boring villain and Time Travel has little appeal to me as a movie concept.  Lets hope the writers at Marvel can do a better job with the character.

 

But right now the comics guys are rehashing old summer events that actually sold comics, so I am not very hopeful.

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2 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

a Loki variant (or some other Asgard variant, as I think on it - what about a less benevolent Thor?) would be a much more satisfying conclusion.

 

A Hela variant that controls time would be terrifying.

 

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Black Widow isn't doing really bang up numbers, but I think that's mostly people are not all that excited by the character, it came out a couple years too late, and people might be getting a little burnt out with superhero films.  Streaming was extremely weak at $60 streaming (compared to Mulan, for example, with $260 million streaming in the first week.

 

The cliff ticket sales fell off second week (almost 70% fewer) I think probably represents everyone really interested in going to see a movie at the theater deciding they don't really care to again, having gotten their nostalgia over with.  Its just a guess on my part but I think people have gotten very used to watching films at home and theaters are going to suffer.

 

That said, if Marvel can (crossing fingers and toes) do Fantastic Four right, they could rekindle real interest in superhero films.  And historically these films go through waves: Superman was great and did well, then tapered off rapidly.  Batman (Burton/Keaton) did really well then tapered off in a hurry.  The genre won't really die but people might be more interested in something else for a while.

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Disney screwed themselves. They shouldn't have released BW on their streaming channel the same day as they released it in the theaters. F9 is doing twice as much and it isn't getting streamed at all. So is the other movie that studio released, the Quiet Place I think.  Disney plans to do the same thing with Jungle Cruise, release in theater and streaming at the same time. I think we're going to see the same thing with that movie also where the initial weekend makes a ton of money, and then the next weekend is nothing.

 

Nobody is going across town to see a movie when they can watch it on their computer or television unless they are like me and want to see things on the big screen

CES 

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I was thinking looked a lot like the Dwayne Johnson Jumanji. That is a complement, as I enjoyed that movie immensely.

Also, i agree with the streaming thing, as far as theaters go. On the other hand, those dollars that would be spent in theaters are going to Disney direct, so not sure they look at it the same way. Cheaper for families to stream on big screen tv.

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Yes, that's right, slikmar. Disney gets all of that sweet, sweet streaming revenue, and they don't have to share any of it with theaters or foreign distributors. They get 50-60% of box office returns domestically and only about 25% of foreign box office, so raking in 100% of the streaming revenue surely feels like a win to them. However, the all-important optics of being a box office smash still mean more from a purely PR perspective than the financials will ever justify, even in the age of COVID. And in that regard Black Widow is another disappointment (along with other MCU "under-performers" like Ant-man).

 

But honestly, even had the theatrical schedule not been torn apart by coronavirus, I don't think Black Widow would have done much better than Ant-man anyway. It's just not the kind of movie that gets that many people excited. For instance, I also don't think that a Falcon and the Winter Soldier movie would have fared any better. In fact, Black Widow might have been better placed as a Disney+ show than as a marquis MCU movie. But Marvel was feeling intense pressure to make another female-led superhero "blockbuster", and so here we are.

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Not just another "female-led superhero blockbuster." As far as movie superheroines go, Black Widow was the only name in the game for years. Fans have been demanding she headline a movie at least since Avengers. Marvel/Disney dropped the ball by waiting so long, IMO mainly because we already know Natasha's future and ultimate fate. There's no real suspense surrounding her in this movie, making it harder even for her fans to get excited over it.

 

1 hour ago, slikmar said:

I was thinking looked a lot like the Dwayne Johnson Jumanji. That is a complement, as I enjoyed that movie immensely.

 

My guess is that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle meets The African Queen will pretty much cover it.

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A podcast yesterday made the interesting point that Captain Marvel was "expendable."

If her movie bombed, the MCU could absorb it and go on.

But if they'd done Widow first and it bombed, they'd be is deeper trouble.

 

It has a corporate kind of logic to it.

 

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4 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Fans have been demanding she headline a movie at least since Avengers. Marvel/Disney dropped the ball by waiting so long

 

Yes, indeed. You did a much better job at articulating the crux of this than I could. My general point about Marvel feeling the pressure still stands.

 

One wonders if Kevin Feige will let fan pressure dictate his production slate ever again though, particularly when it conflicts with his (or his boss's) business instincts.

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