In case you haven’t noticed, superhero movies are all the rage and have bene dominating the box office. Marvel is finding such huge success with its cinematic universe surrounding the Avengers, and it’s got stuff in the works all the way through 2018. DC will soon beef up its offerings, as well, with a movie slate that extends into 2020. Why is this genre doing so well now, when past efforts haven’t worked as famously?

Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the gents who wrote Captain America: The Winter Soldier and are returning to pen Civil War, keep getting asked this question and they’ve got an answer. As quoted by IGN, McFeely told a small group of reporters:
Why are comic books so prevalent? Why are these movies doing so well? In some ways, we’ve become a genre that you can do well now given the world of computers and perhaps it’s also just a time in the sun. You went to the movies in the 50s and 60s you went to a western. So at this point, you’re going to a superhero movie. It’s taking over that same black hat, white hat myth-making surface. I don’t have a much smarter answer than that.

The advancements in technology behind moviemaking have made Superman-worthy leaps and bounds in the past few decades. From motion-capture (which we’ll be seeing a lot of in Avengers: Age of Ultron), IMAX cameras and CGI, filmmakers are able to pull off the effects required of these characters and pull them off right. No wonder that black-and-white Captain Marvel movie didn’t become as domineering as Guardians of the Galaxy.

But superhero movies are the new westerns? It makes a heck of a lot of sense. As McFeely notes, both sets of characters embody similar ideals about honor and looking out for the little guy. Perhaps, then, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy could be considered the Dirty Harry of the genre.

With the massive surge of comic book lovers coming out of the proverbial closet, audiences have proven they’re ready for a geek-centric slate of movies. As shown through this morning’s 2015 Oscar announcement, they’re even infiltrating the awards race. Captain America 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Big Hero 6 and X-Men: Days of Future Past (all based on Marvel properties, by the way), have earned Oscar nominations. The question is, will this hype ever die out?

Everything eventually comes to an end, even the Man of Steel, but will interest still be as strong by 2020? Marvel and DC are both banking on the fact that people will be coming out to movie theaters by the truckloads to see their two-part Avengers: Infinity War and Justice League releases a few years from now. The former studio has been doing a great job through promotional campaigns, fan events and Comic-Con teases to keep fans excited for these big-time blockbusters, while the latter is just getting started. Still, one wonders if things will ever return to simpler times.

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