What is Driving the Marvel Juggernaut?

The Marvel franchise has become the lifeblood of Hollywood over the last two decades. While independent movies and original ideas struggle to gain traction, the latest Marvel release is almost guaranteed to bring in box office dollars, regardless of how original, impressive, or entertaining it is. Of course, it’s fair to say that even before big-budget Marvel movies hit the silver screen, Spider-Man, the Avengers, and X-Men were all popular.

From Comics to Movie Icons

Comic books brought these fantastical characters to life as far back as 1939. However, for today’s generation, these superheroes live out their lives on movie screens. And live out their lives they certainly do. Scrolling through the box office statistics for Marvel movies from 2002 to 2022, the numbers are mind-boggling. Although production costs for the average offering are in excess of $150 million and, in some cases, over $350, the investment is worth it. 

Avengers: Endgame has made over $2.7 billion since it was released in 2019. That makes it the second-highest-grossing movie of all time behind Avatar ($2.8 billion). In fact, of the top ten biggest movies in history, four are from the Marvel universe. That’s impressive and the keyword we’ve used here is universe. Marvel started as a series of interconnected comics. Although each character has its own story arc, various collaborations and cameos give us the sense that they all live in the same universe. 

This dynamic has carried over to the big screen which, in turn, creates a greater sense of depth and complexity. However, as we know from observing space, the universe isn’t made up of planets alone. There are stars, meteors, black holes, and other unidentified flying objects flying through space. Therefore, the Marvel universe doesn’t exist with planets (i.e. comics and movies) alone. Hold up a telescope to the franchise and you’ll see that it’s filled with other celestial bodies. One of the biggest constellations keeping Marvel’s juggernaut rolling is gaming.

Games Create Crossovers within the Marvel Universe

All areas of the gaming world have something from Marvel. There are card and board games. There are video games such as Spider-Man, and there is even a library of Marvel-themed casino games. Scrolling through PlayStar’s New Jersey online casino reveals a selection of slots based on movies and popular figures. For example, fans of Jumanji can spin through a world of symbols, bonus features, and interactive bonus games. It’s the same for those who enjoy the stories of Hercules and Spartacus. Branching out to the industry as a whole, you’ll find movie-themed slots based on Iron Man, Thor, X-Men, and every other comic character of note.  

The appearance of Marvel heroes in gaming, particularly something as niche as an online slot, is a sign of the franchise’s popularity. Moreover, it’s another vehicle that drives the franchise forward. Even though entertainment is a broad term, movies and games are still distinct entities. This means movie fans aren’t always gamers and vice versa. However, familiarity often breeds engagement. Therefore, when movie fans see Marvel games, they could be more likely to play. 

Similarly, when gamers see a Marvel movie, they may want to increase their interactions with certain characters by going to watch. Creating links and crossovers helped make Marvel popular when it first appeared in comic book form and it’s a strategy that’s still working today. As long as these links are maintained, the Marvel juggernaut should remain a billion-dollar franchise for many years to come.

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