The Avengers Already a $178 Million Hit Overseas; Marvel's Kevin Feige on "Sequel-itis"
04.30.12 by Ryan
Looks like The Avengers 2 is quickly becoming a reality, even as Marvel's adaptation of The Avengers has yet to debut in America.
Early last week, box office records were shattered as The Avengers began to open overseas, and, after opening in 70% of foreign markets this past weekend, the movie has made back the better part of its $220 million budget. According to Deadline, Disney is reporting that The Avengers has already earned $178.4 million overseas in five days of release. Should The Avengers open in the U.S. as strongly as anticipated, a sequel is a foregone conclusion.
Combining the efforts of all of Marvel's previous efforts —
2008's Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk; 2010's Iron Man 2; and last year's Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger — The Avengers concludes what Marvel president of production Kevin Feige has called Marvel Cinematic Universe "phase one." Marvel is already planning more sequels for 2013, first with Iron Man 3 and followed by Thor 2, with Captain America 2 opening in 2014. The Avengers 2 should join that list soon enough, raising the question: how will Marvel handle a potential overload of comic book movie sequels? Luckily, Feige already answered how Marvel plans to "prevent sequel-itis" to io9 earlier this month.
The next thing is proving that taken away from a juggernaut of a movie like Avengers, that Tony Stark/Iron Man has a different story to tell. That Thor has different worlds to go to. And, frankly, explore Steve Rogers' life in the modern world. And taking him to unexpected places, and doing it in ways that we hope will surprise people.
So, basically, the answer Marvel has is to make better sequels, which the studio doesn't have the longest track record of doing. While all of Marvel's movies have been prequels to The Avengers more or less, Iron Man 2 is Marvel's sole sequel to date, and was seen as disappointing to many fans. However, Feige says better sequels will be possible because the characters have so many great stories from their decades-long comic books history.
I'd love to say we've cracked a great formula and we have a big secret for it, but the truth is, we have the comics. The best of our characters have had great stories, and not just one great story, but multiple great stories. When you're producing a story a month for 45 years, there are going to be good ones, bad ones, and great ones. And there are enough great [stories] that a 2, a 3 or a 4 after a movie shouldn't hinder people from seeing it.
They take risks with characters in the comics, they change them up, they take them to unexpected places, the trick is to have the guts to do that in the movies as well. And that's how we made the first Iron Man film, and that's all of these movies. Making Captain America a period piece wouldn't have been very popular in the general Hollywood logic. But we believed that was the way we had to make that movie. We're continuing that with Iron Man 3 with the next Thor movie in ways that I think will prevent sequel-itis... We won't use 2s, 3s and 4s on all of them. The notion of Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan — I think that's cool, I like those kinds of titles, Captain America: The First Avenger. I assume the next Captain America film will be Captain America: To Be Revealed.