In most every summer for the past 10 or 12 years, we have had a huge Marvel or other comic book company movie release that gets hyped up all year and draws in huge box office numbers. Spiderman and X-Men were the first big movies, and they actually had pretty successful trilogies. X-Men was another newer idea with a huge collaboration of Hollywood stars all smashed into one movie. The series suffered a bit from the feared idea that when you have so many big names and big characters, the screen time and development/background of some of the characters can suffer, which is a real fear for The Avengers.
But The Avengers is doing something completely unprecedented in the movie world this weekend. It is the first time we are seeing a convergence and a collaboration between the actors and characters of 4 completely individual movie series. Iron Man, which already has it’s own sequel, something the other films are working on, Thor, and Captain America have all had their own really successful movies that most all movie goers recognize and liked. The Hulk has had a different past, with two installations being made, once in 2003 and a remake in 2008, and of the three movies being released in the past 8 years with The Hulk, each movie has had a different lead playing the Hulk, Mark Ruffalo playing him in The Avengers. It is worth noting that Ruffalo has signed a 6 picture deal to play The Hulk, so that should be comforting for fans, assuming he does the role well.
The creation of The Avengers movie has been known and incorporated into the movies ever since the first Iron Man movie came out. The man who brings all of these heroes together, Nick Fury, has appeared in both Iron Man films, Thor, and Captain America. Agent Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg, has also appeared in those movies [minus Captain America]. It’s safe to say that people know about this movie, and have for a while. These cameos combined with the incredible ad campaign that this movie has churned out makes me think that this movie could break records this weekend and over the course of its movie theater stay.
Now, along with everyone knowing about this movie, the reviews have been really sound as well. On RottenTomatoes, the only website that I take into consideration for overall critical reception, has an overall review rating of 93%. The more important number, the “Top Critics” percentage, currently stands at 84%. Both of those numbers are really damn good for a comic book movie. Iron Man [94%, 91%] has had the highest review numbers of all of the Avengers movies so far, and rightfully so. That movie was actually such a solid movie. The other 3 films have had very similarly good numbers: Iron Man 2 [74%, 67%], Thor [77%, 64%], Captain America [79%, 78%].