CAPTAIN MARVEL is having an incredible run at the box office, with a resounding $153 million domestic opening weekend. As of March 29th, its worldwide total is over $938 million. It has experienced a great critical response too. Every day it becomes more likely that the film will reach the impressive Billion Dollar Club before the end of its run in theatres. The film is undoubtedly a success, despite the efforts of misogynistic trolls. Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers has broken new ground for the MCU, being the first female leading her own film. Additionally, the film has the highest opening weekend for a brand new character. Technically, BLACK PANTHER opened higher at $202 million, but he was introduced with a fan favorite role in CIVIL WAR.

Marvel is most likely celebrating the film’s financial success. After they finish the champagne, Feige will return to working on the upcoming Phase 4. CAPTAIN MARVEL’s success is going to inform the filmmaking in MCU movies to come. So, here are the four biggest things Marvel, and even Hollywood in general, should take away from the film.

1. Diversity

The first major thing Marvel should do is begin to work on more female and minority lead films. With BLACK PANTHER and CAPTAIN MARVEL both being tremendously successful there is no possible reason to not produce these films. The studio’s primary motivation is profit. Therefore they usually bet on low risk, high reward films. For far too long there was a myth that female lead superhero films could not be profitable. However, this was merely a misinterpretation of the failures of bad films like CATWOMAN, ELECTRA, and SUPERGIRL. In 2017 WONDER WOMAN grossed over $820 million, breaking this supposed trend. CAPTAIN MARVEL will most likely make even more money, simultaneously crushing that lame excuse to sideline females.

Image From Marvel Entertainment

The long-rumored BLACK WIDOW film is a great place for Marvel to start. She is a beloved MCU character, who is absolutely deserving of her own feature. Another possibility is a film starring Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, who was introduced in THOR RAGNAROK. Valkyrie is a complete badass and could help expand the Cosmic side of the MCU. Valkyrie could even be upgraded from a secondary character to a titular character in the vein of ANT-MAN AND THE WASP.

2. Explore the Past

The next takeaway is that Marvel should set more films in previously unexplored time periods of the MCU. Samuel L. Jackson did not need much work done to look like he did twenty years ago, but when Clark Gregg appears as Agent Coulson, it becomes obvious how much the de-aging technology has advanced. Even as recently as five years ago it would have been too distracting to produce an entire film using this technology. However, CAPTAIN MARVEL has shown us that the tech has matured to the point where it is viable.

Image From Marvel Entertainment

Setting films in the past has some great benefits, which are exemplified in CAPTAIN MARVEL. The ability to explore a less grizzled Nick Fury was fantastic, and it gave us an entirely new perspective on the mysterious man. Additionally, the film filled in gaps and connected the cinematic universe together. These little nuggets of history in the MCU are fascinating, and they leave the audience wanting to know more.

3. With a Little Help From My Friends 

More Marvel films should follow the “Buddy Cop” style that CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, THOR RAGNAROK, and CAPTAIN MARVEL embraced. THE WINTER SOLDIER starred Chris Evans as Cap, but it also prominently featured Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. THOR RAGNAROK was a more unique situation that lent itself to the format. The distribution rights to a solo Hulk film are tied up at Universal, but they still wanted to incorporate the “Planet Hulk” storyline into the MCU. Their solution, including him in Thor’s intergalactic adventures, worked fantastically.

CAPTAIN MARVEL is the most recent film to adopt this format, teaming up Carol Danvers and Nick Fury. Their dynamic was a large part of what makes CAPTAIN MARVEL great. The heart of the film was the relationship between Danvers and Fury, and the film really takes off once they come together. Their unique dynamic does wonders for the film, giving audiences great moments of action and comedy. Their banter is some of the best so far, and we are over twenty films into this universe. The ensemble style is fantastic in films like AVENGERS or GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, but they tend to minimize smaller characters. When Marvel adopts this “buddy cop” style, they allow the secondary heroes to get developed more. Viewers are given more time to see the fantastic chemistry the actors have grow into heartwarming, believable friendships.

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The “buddy cop” format gives smaller characters an opportunity to shine in larger roles. The character dynamics in these films are some of the best in the MCU. I would propose more solo films crossing over with another character, as long as it is not invasive or detrimental to the story.

4. Why Wait for Summer?

Release dates early in the year are just as financially viable as the hot summer dates. DEADPOOL and BLACK PANTHER both released in February, a time of year notoriously bad for blockbusters, yet they still succeeded massively. Marvel has been pushing big films earlier and earlier into the year, with AVENGERS releases moving from May into April.


Image From Marvel Entertainment

CAPTAIN MARVEL is the latest film to follow this early release trend, and it is seemingly working very well. Most MCU origin movies debut to around $60 to $95 million.  BLACK PANTHER and SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING are the two exceptions to this, but the characters both appeared in an earlier film. CAPTAIN MARVEL did not have this advantage, yet it managed to net over $150 million in its opening weekend. Other studios are more than welcome to hop on to this trend. Hopefully, the drought of large, quality films in the beginning of the year will become a thing of the past.

Bring on Phase Four!

When it was first announced, everyone knew that CAPTAIN MARVEL would be groundbreaking in the MCU. However, even the biggest proponents of Marvel Studios are surprised that CAPTAIN MARVEL captured the box office in such a giant way. Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige are not reactionary filmmakers, but there absolutely are some notes that they should be taking from this film. Let’s hope that after SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME releases, and we hear about Phase 4, we will see the impact of CAPTAIN MARVEL.

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