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Will Audiences Still Care About the Avengers by the Time Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars Release? – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Will Audiences Still Care About the Avengers by the Time Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars Release?



The Marvel Cinematic Universe has faced some challenges recently, with Phase Four leaving many fans disappointed due to the pandemic, an oversaturation of content, and a lack of compelling stories. Now, with Phase Five underway, the trajectory remains similar, with mixed reception to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and a reliance on established series like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to generate excitement.

Marvel Studios has recognized the issue of too much content and is spacing out and delaying projects, likely due to the ongoing WGA strike. The delay of the two new Avengers movies to 2026 and 2027 raises questions about whether audiences will still care by then.

While the MCU is still a major Hollywood franchise, its hold on audiences has become less secure. While successes like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever exist, there has been dissatisfaction with films like Eternals, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Additionally, the constant stream of new Disney+ series has made it challenging for casual fans to keep up.

Looking ahead, there is still time for the MCU to course-correct and regain audiences. Upcoming projects like Deadpool 3 and Captain America: Brave New World have potential to generate excitement, and the rest of Phase Five and Six have promising projects like Thunderbolts, Blade, and Fantastic Four.

One challenge is the seven-year gap between Avengers movies, with no clear core films to ground the expanding universe. This has made it difficult to follow and has caused the franchise to feel directionless and meandering. The upcoming Avengers movies may win back fans, but they could also rely too heavily on the multitude of characters and projects introduced in the meantime.

Overall, the MCU has faced challenges but still has potential to regain its hold on audiences with carefully crafted projects and a more focused direction.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been on a pretty bumpy road as of late. After Phase Four of the MCU left a lot of fans generally disappointed, as a mixed result of a global pandemic, an oversaturating of the Marvel content and a lack of great stories, the MCU really needs to win audiences back with Phases Five and Six. However, Phase Five has, so far, continued the same trajectory that Phase Four established.



Ant-Man and the Wasp Quatumaniawhich kicked off the Phase and introduced the new big bad Kang the Conqueror, wasn’t received very well and failed to excite audiences at the box office. While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has done pretty well for itself, that’s more of a testament to the strength of that series and James Gunn’s writing and directing abilities.

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Now, Marvel Studios has seemingly acknowledged they have a problem with too much content, as they have begun to really space out and delay all of their new projects which were announced last year. This is also likely the result of the ongoing WGA strike, which is having an industry-wide impact. The biggest announcement of Marvel delays came just a couple of weeks ago, as Disney announced a newly restructured release calendar.

Many upcoming Marvel films were moved around and delayed, but, most notably, the two new Avengers movies were delayed to 2026 and 2027 respectively. With the current trajectory of the MCU, will audiences still care to see an Avengers movie three years from now? Here’s what we know:



The MCU is Losing Momentum

Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

There’s no arguing that the MCU is still the top dog in terms of major Hollywood franchises right now. With that said, though, the series’ security in that position has begun to become less secure. After the release of Avengers: Endgame in 2019, the MCU was on top of the world with one of the highest-grossing and most talked about films of all time. While Marvel has certainly had successes since then, such as Spider-Man: No Way Home and Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverthe MCU has also been producing more by-the-numbers content than ever before.

Audiences have been vocal about their dissatisfaction with films such as Eternals, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. On top of that, the never-ending stream of new Disney+ series has made it essentially impossible for casual MCU fans to keep up with the ever-expanding universe.

Shows like WandaVision and Loki have done well, but others like Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and, unfortunately, Moon Knight have failed to leave a lasting impression. This trend is continuing into Phase Five, as the excitement from the general public in the lead-up to the premiere of the new show Secret Invasion has been nearly nonexistent.

Related: Why the MCU’s Phase Four Was So Disappointing

Looking Ahead at the Schedule

Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson in Deadpool
20th Century Fox

With Avengers: Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars still several years away, that means that there is plenty of time for the MCU to course-correct and get general audiences back on board. In some good news for Marvel Studios, it looks like, on paper, several of the studio’s upcoming projects are perfectly crafted to achieve the same kind of audience excitement they once did. While the next film this year, The Marvels is a bit of a wildcard, there is a near-certainty that Deadpool 3which promises the return of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and likely other X-Men characters, will make waves when it debuts in May 2024.

Following that will be Captain America: Brave New Worldthe feature film debut of Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson as Captain America, which promises a lot of Hulk action as well with numerous characters returning from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk and Harrison Ford stepping into the role of Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross.

The rest of Phase Five is then rounded out with two more films, Thunderbolts, and Bladewhich have solid potential, as well as a handful of new Disney+ shows ranging from Echo to Ironheart, Daredevil: Born Again and Agatha: Coven of Chaos. Phase Six then kicks off with the much-talked-about Fantastic Four in May 2025. While Kang Dynasty is set for May 2026 and Secret Wars May 2027, there are also nine other MCU projects set for release over the three years of Phase Six as well. While many of these projects have been dated without a title for the sake of scheduling, we can assume that Armor Warsthe Wonder Man series, the fourth Tom Holland Spider-Man movie and potentially a sequel to Shang-Chi will release in this time.

Related: Why It’s Good That Disney Is Slowing Down Marvel Releases

Seven Years Between Avengers Movies

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

One of the biggest problems that the MCU is facing in the build-up to the new Avengers movies is the length of time between films. By the time Avengers: Kang Dynasty hits theaters in 2026, it will have been seven years since Endgame was released. This would be less of an issue if the MCU was more broadly taking a break and allowing audiences to miss the franchise, but it’s clear to see that is not what’s happening.

Throughout the first three Phases of the MCU, the Avengers films (and other semi-Avengers movies like Captain America: Civil War) were the glue that kept the whole cinematic universe together. The overall story of the universe was much easier to follow because there were clear core films that needed to be seen, while everything else was supplementary.

With no Avengers movie in Phases Four and Five, the MCU is now expanding and telling its story exclusively through what used to be supplementary stories, and there are more of them now than ever before. The issue with this is that it has become increasingly difficult to follow the universe as it expands, and there has not been any clear reason to do so. There is not a single film to get ready for every year or two. Instead, audiences are being asked to stay caught up in order to prepare for a movie that may or may not hit theaters until 2026. The MCU has become way too stretched and expansive without a stabilizing Avengers movie to ground the entire thing.

Because of this, the franchise is starting to feel directionless and meandering, which is losing fans at a fairly quick rate. While Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars may be able to win these fans back with the promise of revisiting the Avengers team, the films could just as easily lose audiences again if they’re too reliant on the dozens of random projects and characters that will have been introduced in the seven years since Endgame.

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