Now, amidst all the broken records, billion dollar box office grosses and shock Sony deals, it may seem a little tricky to identify one aspect of #MarvelStudios' rise to prominence that is more impressive than the rest. After all, we're talking about a company that managed to make a guy called Captain America a fan-favorite in countries that hate America, transformed perennial punchline Robert Downey Jr. into the world's most bankable star, and turned a movie about a talking raccoon and a monosyllabic tree into the breakout hit of 2014. Marvel Studios is, for lack of a better phrase, doing pretty darned well for itself.
With the studio's latest release, #DoctorStrange, currently soaring up the box office charts, though, it's perhaps worth considering whether they might actually be one part of #Marvel's success that really is more impressive than the rest: The fact that, after 14 big-budget movie releases, Marvel Studios is yet to have an outright failure. Now, sure, 2008's The Incredible Hulk didn't make a whole lot of money — but it was still widely seen as an improvement upon 2003's critically derided Hulk — and while Iron Man 2 is seen by many fans as a low point for the #MCU, it still raked in $623 million worldwide. Marvel's "failures," in other words, are what a whole lot of other studios call "qualified successes." That trend, though, has long been under threat — which perhaps makes it unsurprising that...
'Doctor Strange's Director Was Terrified Of Screwing Up The MCU's Winning Streak
Indeed, as #ScottDerrickson (the director in question) recently revealed during in an interview with ComicBook.com, he took the weight of his responsibility very, very seriously indeed:
"Marvel Studios has never made a really bad movie... This is our fourteenth film; thirteen well-reviewed movies, thirteen financial hits in a row. No one has done that. Not even Pixar has done that. No one has a better track record than them... I was living with that pressure, but I also weighed that very carefully before I really signed on for the job... I was like, 'I'm going to take this, I am going take the responsibility'..."
And, while we could split hairs about exactly how accurate Derrickson's description of Marvel Studios' unblemished past really is — the likes of Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 2 and Avengers: Age of Ultron all received their share of criticism, for instance — it's impossible to deny that he managed to live up to it. Doctor Strange, after all, is well on its ways to making an extremely large amount of money at the box office, and received some of Marvel's most glowing reviews yet, all while introducing a lead character few non-comic-book fans knew all that much about. As Derrickson went on to add, though:
Marvel's Winning Streak Will End Someday
As Derrickson himself put it, having been asked by Marvel Studios head honcho #KevinFeige how he felt about the success of Doctor Strange:
"I said to him, 'Well, Kevin, I feel relieved! That’s how I feel!'” He said, 'Yeah, yeah.' I said, 'Here’s how I feel: I feel like, one day, somebody’s going to make a bad Marvel Studios movie, but it ain't gonna be me!' He laughed pretty hard at that, which I considered a big win! That’s still how I feel; I still just feel really relieved, more than anything, that it worked."
The big question now, of course — assuming you agree with Derrickson's premise that hasn't been a truly "bad" Marvel Studios movie up to this point — being who'll be the one to stumble, and just how long the current streak can continue. Could Marvel really can keep this going indefinitely? Stranger things have, after all, happened. Heck, we live in a world where an orange reality TV star is about to be sworn in as the President of the United States, the Cubs just won the World Series, and Ben Affleck is (successfully) playing Batman. We're already through the looking glass here, people.
What do you think, though? How long will Marvel's winning streak continue — or has it already been broken a while back? Let us know below!