Anyone want to take a wild guess at what movie won the box office this weekend? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?
Yea, it was Thor: Ragnarok by a long shot. In fact it made over $100 million more than the next movie on the list, A Bad Moms Christmas, which actually had a decent opening relative to films that aren't Marvel movies. Its box office was incredibly good and pushed the 17-film MCU series past the $5 billion mark in domestic box office and the $13 billion mark worldwide.
The moment any Marvel movie gets brought up there is a contingent of folks who speak up about how the films are too codified and feel the same. I understand where they're coming from at some level. There's definitely a look to them, and in order to execute a cinematic universe you need some things thematically that hold them together, but I'd argue that what Marvel does best is deliver variability within a norm.
While many of the films function in the same format Marvel routinely delivers different genres within it. You've got heist movies, war movies, science fiction, buddy cop, that vary what they're presenting nearly every time. They pull in interesting directors to add a bit of flare, and for the most part these partnerships work (*single tear for Edgar Wright*). And it isn't like putting together a successful comic book film is all that easy codified or not as we've seen multiple times with other failed attempts from other studios.
What do you think? Does Marvel actually make the same movie over and over or are they varying it enough to deserve the success they're reaping?