How Do These Thor And Captain America Sequels Fit Into Marvel's Phase Three?
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Marvel is super-psyched about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, enough to welcome back directors Joe and Anthony Russo for a third film in the series. And yesterday, Marvel went ahead and hired writers for a third Thor. These are the first sequels to Phase 2 film thus far: Iron Man 3 was a billion dollar success, but the sky-rocketing price tag on Robert Downey Jr. suggests that franchise might rest for a bit as Marvel fine-tunes their other projects.
And yet Marvel is marching ahead with no confirmed titles announced for Phase 3, only release dates. The only confirmed film from Marvelís Phase 3 is Ant-Man, which will follow the second Avengers film and hit on July 17th, 2015. Marvel has earmarked three more dates, but May 6th, 2016, July 8th, 2016 and May 5th, 2017 remain mysteries. Since these dates were announced last year, Marvel CEO Kevin Feige has preached patience in refusing to confirm what those films might be. The excitable early word, however, suggests that Captain America III and Thor 3 are likely two of those three films. But which ones?
Probably not that first date of May 6th. Itís a weekend Marvel has dominated for a few years now, and as the yearís best release date, itís served as a launchpad for the massive debuts of all three Iron Man movies, as well as Thor and, most memorably, The Avengers. If it isnít a Marvel Studios film on that date, itís surely one of the Marvel projects set up at other production companies; Sonyís Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be the SEVENTH straight Marvel movie to book this date, and Marvel-associated films have the slot locked up until 2019.
Getting the Russo brothers back suggests a quick turnaround is sought for part three, but how quick? Counting Avengers: Age Of Ultron, it would be the third appearance of Chris Evansí Captain America in a little more than three straight calendar years. This just happened with Thor, who debuted in 2011 and has showed up in two more blockbusters since, but judging by the numbers, Captain America is one of Marvelís weakest franchises. Captain America: The First Avenger grossed $370 million worldwide, while the first Thor landed at $449 million, and the first two Iron Man films scored in the vicinity of $600 million. Its domestic tally of $176 million is comparable to the $134 million taken in by 2008ís disappointing The Incredible Hulk stateside, a movie which didnít have the 3D-pricing that Captain America utilized. Moreover, The Winter Soldier is scheduled for an unusual April 4th release date, a good distance away from the rest of the summer.
Talking up a third film is a good way to gin up support for the second, but poor Evans still has the lowest Q-score rating of any of the Avengers actors, and it seems like a stretch that his movie would nail that coveted spot as the first Avenger back into action in the wake of Age Of Ultron. Of course, maybe Cap is the last Avenger standing at the end of Age Of Ultron.
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