It seems like in recent years, superhero movies have taken over the movie industry, with major studios pumping out big-budget blockbusters one after the other. But are these superhero films really ruining cinema and streaming, or are they simply taking advantage of an ever-evolving audience, offering an experience that viewers have come to expect? To tackle this complex question, it’s important to explore all aspects of the debate.
It’s no secret that superhero movies have become increasingly popular. Over the past decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe alone has grossed over $20 billion at the worldwide box office. In fact, one in every five movies released in 2018 was a superhero film, with the genre’s share of the market increasing steadily year on year. But while these films may be financially successful, they also rely heavily on established characters, known franchises and cookie-cutter storylines. This could be seen as a symptom of a lack of originality and innovation in the movie industry, which some viewers find disappointing.
From a streaming perspective, the statistics are equally concerning. Studies have shown that 85% of the top 10 streaming movies in 2018 were superhero films, with this genre dominating the airwaves in many countries. This is likely due to the increasing popularity of streaming services, as well as the convenience of watching films from the comfort of one’s home. However, it could be argued that this abundance of superhero films has led to a decrease in variety, as other genres are being increasingly overlooked.
Despite all of this, it’s important to remember that the real villain is not the superhero genre itself, but rather the business model that is driving it. Studios are driven by the need to maximize profits, and to do that, they have to produce films that are financially successful. Thus, it’s not that superhero films are dominating cinema and streaming, but rather that studios are focusing on creating these films due to their potential for financial success.
Nevertheless, one could argue that if studios and streaming services are committed to creating a theater-like experience, they should be investing more in non-superhero films, offering viewers the opportunity to watch a wider variety of movies. By doing this, they would be able to capitalize on the diverse tastes of modern movie-goers while still offering a unique cinematic experience.
Alternatives to Superhero Movies
It’s true that superhero movies may be dominating the movie industry at the moment, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a variety of other genres. One example of a genre that has seen success in recent years is the horror genre. This genre has seen a surge of interest in recent years, with a number of highly successful films being released in the last five years, including titles such as Get Out, A Quiet Place and Hereditary. Streaming services have also gotten in on the action, with Netflix producing a number of highly successful horror films and series.
Another genre that has seen a resurgence is the drama genre. While dramas may not be as profitable as superhero films, they can still be highly successful. This is especially true with streaming services, which are more willing to take a risk on under-the-radar titles due to their lower overhead costs. Indeed, a number of Oscar-winning films in recent years have been dramas, with films such as Moonlight and Manchester By The Sea showing that this genre can still be profitable and successful.
Finally, it should be noted that animated films can also be highly successful, even though they may not be quite as popular as the other genres mentioned above. Animated films such as Zootopia and Coco have been both box office and critical successes, showing that this genre can still draw in crowds and generate profits. Moreover, animated films are often beloved by both children and adults, furthering their market potential.
How Streaming Services Can Support Smart Investment
It’s clear that streaming services have had a major impact on the way that films are made, consumed, and marketed. By making films more accessible to a larger audience, streaming services have allowed a wider variety of films to be released, giving viewers the opportunity to watch films from different genres and different perspectives.
In this sense, streaming services have the potential to be a major source of support for smart investment in the movie industry. By investing in under-the-radar films and giving them the opportunity to reach a broader audience, streaming services can help promote films that may not have received the attention they deserve from traditional theatrical releases. Moreover, this investment can also help support filmmakers from different backgrounds, as films from less well-known directors can still find success on streaming services.
That being said, it is important to remember that there are still some limitations to how much streaming services can support smart investment. For instance, streaming services can only invest in films that they believe to be profitable, meaning that they may still rarely invest in films from more niche genres. This means that while streaming services can and should be an important part of supporting smart investment in the movie industry, filmmakers should also look to other sources of support such as crowd-funding and independent distributors.
Academy Awards as a Potential Solution?
The Academy Awards have long been seen as one of the best indicators of quality films in a given year, and many have argued that films that win or are nominated for Oscars are usually a good benchmark for what films are “good”. However, in recent years, a number of films that have won or been nominated for the Oscars have been superhero films, leading some to argue that the Academy Awards are no longer an accurate measure of quality films.
It’s important to note that this criticism of the Academy Awards is not entirely unfounded. While it is true that superhero films can be excellent films and deserve the recognition that comes with awards, it is also true that they often overshadow other films in terms of awards and overall recognition. This means that films from less popular genres may get lost in the shuffle, leaving them with fewer opportunities to be seen and appreciated by a wider audience.
In order to prevent this situation from occurring, it could be argued that the Academy Awards should be structured differently. This could mean having different awards for different genres, or having separate awards for films from different directors and backgrounds. By doing this, the Academy Awards could become more inclusive and better reflect the quality films of the year, thus providing the perfect platform for films of all genres and backgrounds to be equally recognized.
The Future of Superhero Movies
It’s clear that superhero movies have had a major impact on the movie industry in recent years, with these films dominating box offices and streaming services alike. However, it is important to remember that the success of these films is due in part to the fact that studios and streaming services have focused heavily on producing and distributing them. This means that if studios and streaming services were to invest more in other genres, it is likely that these films would not be so dominant in the future.
It is also important to note that superhero films may not be as successful in the future as they have been in the past. This is due in part to the fact that there is only so much that these films can do before they become repetitive and stale. As such, it is likely that in the future, studios and streaming services will turn to other genres in order to ensure that their films remain fresh and interesting to viewers.
Finally, it should also be noted that there is already a push for diversification in the movie industry. This is evident in the recent success of films such as Moonlight, Get Out and Roma, all of which have been Oscar contenders despite being from less well-known directors and genres. These films have shown that there is a demand for films of all types, and that films from different genres can be both critically and financially successful.
The Impact of Superhero Movies on Pop Culture
It’s clear that superhero movies have had a major impact on the movie industry in recent years, but what about their impact on pop culture? Indeed, the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other superhero films has had a major impact on popular culture, with these films becoming the source material for a wide range of products such as toys, clothing and even books.
Moreover, the success of superhero films has also led to the production and popularity of other media based in their universes, such as books, television shows, and even video games. This means that these universes have become larger, and more immersive, creating an ever-growing web of content that fans can explore. This has also allowed for a more immersive viewing experience, as fans can go deeper into the worlds of their favourite superheroes and explore their stories in greater detail.
Finally, it is important to note that the success of superhero movies has also helped to legitimize the genre in the eyes of viewers. This is evident in the fact that superhero films now attract some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, with actors such as Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth all taking on leading roles in these films. This has helped to show that superhero films can be intelligent, well-made films, and that they can attract stars of the highest caliber.
In conclusion, it’s clear that superhero movies have had a major impact on the movie industry in recent years. However, it’s important to remember that the success of these films is due in part to the business model that is driving them. While studios have to make financially successful films, streaming services can play an important role in supporting smart investment in the industry. Moreover, changes in the structure of the Academy Awards may be an effective way to ensure that films from a variety of genres and backgrounds are equally recognized.