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Just how many actors has Marvel Legends replaced with AI?

The latest box office numbers for The Marvels suggest a shift in audience enthusiasm. Despite topping the charts with $47 million domestically in its opening weekend, this figure pales in comparison to its hefty $275 million budget and is notably lower than previous Marvel releases. 

This outcome begs the question: What’s going on with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? Let’s take a look at the “legends” deck and everything it has to offer.

A Superhero Fatigue or Something More?

The dip in The Marvels‘ performance can’t be pinned solely on the film’s quality. Even Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, which garnered mixed reviews, managed a stronger opening. It’s not about the lack of appeal for women-led superhero movies either – Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman have already proven that wrong. Instead, this trend points to a broader issue within the MCU. Is it superhero fatigue, a decline in storytelling quality, or something else entirely?

Sam Barsanti from A.V. Club suggests that the MCU is in a “weird transitional period,” akin to what sports teams call a “rebuilding year.” The need for a clear direction is crucial. Mary Kate Carr voices a similar sentiment, noting a decline in engagement with the current Avengers lineup compared to the original roster. The MCU’s recent releases, while successful, haven’t matched the excitement of earlier films like Winter Soldier.

Saloni Gajjar adds that Marvel seems to be struggling with franchise fatigue. The rush to replicate the success of Avengers: Endgame may have led to a drop in quality. The excessive interconnectedness of the MCU and delays in highly anticipated projects like X-Men and The Fantastic Four further add to the challenges.

“The Marvels”

The Viewers’ Perspective

William Hughes, a selective Marvel viewer, observes that the offerings in the MCU have become less appealing over time. He points out that the magic of the MCU’s expansive storytelling, from Iron Man to Endgame, was its novelty, which might be hard to replicate.

Despite the current concerns, there are still aspects of the MCU that fans are looking forward to. Iman Vellani’s portrayal in The Marvels and her potential role in the Young Avengers are highly anticipated. Projects like Echo and Deadpool 3 also hold promise, though the overall excitement for upcoming MCU releases has dampened.

The relationship of fans with the MCU has evolved. Gajjar mentions a shift from awe to a sense of weariness with repetitive story arcs and CGI-heavy finales. Barsanti has started skipping Marvel movies that don’t appeal, a departure from his earlier enthusiasm for the franchise. The Legends deck is clearly the one on most people’s list.

What’s Working and What’s Not

Iman Vellani’s performance stands out as a positive, but the overall material and storytelling approach of the MCU are areas of concern. The focus on interconnected universes seems to be taking a toll on the heart of individual stories. There’s also a call for a revamp in the core Avengers cast and a potential shift towards characters like the X-Men.

The MCU might benefit from focusing on solid, standalone character pieces while maintaining an overarching narrative. This approach worked in the past and could be the key to rejuvenating interest in the franchise. The MCU’s future depends on its ability to adapt and evolve, keeping the magic of its world alive for new and old fans alike.

So, as we ponder the current state of the MCU, one question remains: Can Marvel rekindle the excitement and wonder that once defined its cinematic universe?

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