Lots of big news when it comes to superheroes in recent days:

  • Marvel Studios is getting the rights back to X-Men and the Fantastic Four, the former opening the door to Avenger/X-Men crossovers, and the latter allowing for more mediocre F4 movies.
  • Netflix is considering MORE Marvel shows, alongside Defenders, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil.

Audience appetite for superheroes seems endless. But isn’t that always the case with bubbles?

This thing will eventually pop. Or at the least, returns will peak and start to recede as people get sick of the genre. It’s a testament to Marvel’s inventiveness  that they haven’t already. It was a wise move to blend in other genres, from heist (Ant-Man), to spy thriller (Captain America 2), to fantasy (Thor 1-3).

The only other movie genre that had such sustained dominance was Westerns, which ruled the box office from 1930-1960. It’s doubtful that superheroes will last as long, given the fast pace of cultural change.

When superheroes fade, what takes their place?  Action movies seem a likely candidate, since they share many traits with Marvel films, minus the superpowers.

Another option is that studios will try to recreate the luck they had with supers, perhaps with science fiction or horror.  A massive, interlocking set of movies has a natural financial appeal.

What do you think?