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Sometimes as a blogger you have to make a tough scheduling call. For me that meant missing the NY press screening for Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. So, last Friday afternoon I made my way to a Manhattan movie theater to catch up with what many of my colleagues were calling one of Marvel's best movies yet. What would have been a pretty standard theater experience was suddenly interrupted ahead of the trailers, when a group of young men in black slacks and white dress shirts came in and made an unexpected announcement.
They told us they would like each of us to participate in a survey concerning Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. At first, I thought this might be those mysterious Cinema Scores we've referenced so often. But these men made it clear they were from Marvel Studios. With friendly smiles they offered me a 2-page survey and a tiny pencil, the kind you get at miniature golf courses. But what did they want to know? Check it out with my snapshots below. Click each to enlarge. (Apologies for the dimness, it was a dark theater and my iPad doesn't have a flash function.)
As you can see, they begin with simple demographic questions, like age, gender, race (at bottom of page 1) and whether or not you brought kids with you. Next came basic marketing questions about what sold me on seeing Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. (Internet/Online Blogs, obviously!) Then they go more into depth, asking what about Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier's marketing campaign most appealed to me as a moviegoer. And of course, what Captain America merch do I spend my moneys on?
Page 2 was supposed to be answered after we watched the film. These questions focused on how our expectations were met and if we'd recommend the movie to others (and other demographics). From there, Marvel wanted to know what impressed viewers most about Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier and how we'd describe it to our friends. Following that are more questions on merchandizing and marketing for this movie as well as for other Disney properties, Maleficent and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Most curious of all these questions though is section 29, asking which Marvel movies you'd be interested in seeing. Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant Man, Thor 3 and Captain America are already in the works. But Iron Man 4 is a bit of a surprise as there has been a bunch of back and forth over Downey's future in the franchise. We've previously expounded on why Iron Man 4 would never be, but since then the possibility re-emerged with the Mandarin One-Shot seemingly setting it up. Could this survey mean Iron Man 4 is go? Or is Marvel gaging interest before green lighting another massive production? My guess is the former. After all, Iron Man 3 made $1.2 billion worldwide. If they have Downey on contract again, why not roll the dice one more time?
From a business perspective, this survey makes sense. But is it hedging Marvel in creatively? Shouldn't they be leading the charge on projects they believe in?
What's most shocking to me is an omitted question. Why is there no entry for a Black Widow movie? Sure, there's a couple of questions about whether or not her involvement in Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier spurred audiences to see it. But on a survey targeted specifically at those who went to see a Marvel movie opening day, there's not even the suggestion that a Black Widow movie is in the works. Still, I'm hopeful that Natasha Romanoff will have her day as the lead hero. After all, they gave her a ton of setup in this movie.