Throughout Phase Four of the MCU, viewers have begun to see a trend throughout all the movies and TV series. This is the use of cameos being used to introduce new characters. This formula started off working really well for them, however, as some of the box office numbers are showing now, it isn’t going to work for long.
NOTE: There are some series that did not have any cameos, like Moon Knight, and we will not discuss these series. Also spoiler warning for all of Phase 4 movies out to this date.
When did this formula work?
This formula was first tested in Spiderman: No Way Home, which made $1.901 billion at the box office. This film brought back a lot of cameos from the old films such as Andrew Garfield, Willem Dafoe, Tobey Maguire, Jamie Foxx, and Alfred Molina. This film was purely made for nostalgia and did a great job helping Peter Parker grow his story. The hype for Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield was a huge topic discussed on social media prior to it’s release. Therefore these cameos truly made Marvel a lot of money.
This formula also worked with their next blockbuster film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This film made $954.9 million at the box office. It wasn’t as big of a hit as Spiderman, but that was because most of the cameos only lasted about 15 minutes. They brought in Hayley Atwell, John Krasinski, and Patrick Stuart to cameo in this film. The audience was excited about these cameos and thus the film did rather well considering other Marvel Films.
When did this formula fail?
Marvel tried this formula on their third blockbuster film for Phase Four, Thor: Love and Thunder. This film only made $699.5 million at the box office, making it the lowest Phase Four movie to date. Natalie Portman, Idris Elba, and Russell Crowe were cameos in this film but the film did not do as well as the previous films in this Phase. Natalie Portman was highly included in promoting the movie and though she was highly anticipated by some fans the film just did not do as well.
We also saw cameos from some Disney Plus series. While not exactly cameos, the Disney Plus series would have a big name such as Hawkeye but be about a total different character that the MCU was trying to introduce, in this case, Kate Bishop. They did the same thing with Loki, making it more about Sylvie, than actually Loki. Thus, these characters everyone knew were essentially cameos to help the new characters have a place to launch off. Ms Marvel and the Falcon and the Winter Soldier are the only exceptions to this formula, as they are actually about the characters the story is about.
The impact on the future
With She-Hulk around the corner, many people began to complain about the CGI and the fact that they did not want a She-Hulk story. Everyone knew that Mark Ruffalo would star in this series to bring a big name to the series when it isn’t about him, but it seems like he was not enough for She-Hulk to be a hit. In the latest trailer for She-Hulk we see Benedict Wong appear as Wong and Charlie Cox teased to be returning as Daredevil. In fact, Daredevil is being talked more about then She-Hulk. Marvel is hoping that Daredevil will be able to carry She-Hulk.
However, cameos are not always going to make movies great. Sure, they are good here and there but people also want to learn about the character the movie is supposed to be about, not the cameos. With Secret Wars and the Multiverse, I suspect we will see a lot of cameos, and while some will love the cameos, viewers will begin to want more and then Marvel will need to come up with a new formula. What are your thoughts on so many cameos carrying movies and television series? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks to youtube.com for the featured image and thanks to Google for the Box Office information.
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