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PSA: You Don’t Need to Ridicule Other Films When Praising ‘Avengers: Endgame’

There has never been a film quite like Avengers Endgame. As the 22nd chapter in this 11-year story, the film manages to successfully bring several of our favourite characters’ stories to a close while also setting up a bright but mysterious future. Upon its debut, Endgame earned great critical acclaim and broke several box office records, raking in over a billion dollars in its opening weekend and will soon cross the $2 billion dollar mark. Simply put, the film is a massive success for Disney, Marvel, and the fans. That being said, I’ve noticed a recent trend amongst certain Marvel fans. In praising Avengers: Endgame, they also decided to trash other films and franchises. This Marvel superiority complex that they perpetuate stems from the fact that no other studio has done what Marvel has accomplished here. While that is true, it does not mean that Marvel is the be all and end all. 

Fandom wars are a dime a dozen in this day and age of entertainment. Star Wars vs. Star Trek, Game of Thrones vs. Lord of the Rings, and of course, DC Vs. Marvel. Look through several of the tweets I posted here and you’ll see these “fans” act as if Marvel’s massive success means that DC films are meant to drift away. It’s the same argument as the one I prepositioned in my earlier piece about the Wonder Woman Vs. Captain Marvel debate: why can’t we have both? It’s amazing to see people online act as if Marvel is the only one who should be making movies and vice versa. The superhero genre, while in its golden age, is still growing and evolving. As the genre becomes more diverse and inclusive (a sect DC has really taken by the horns) more films will continue to be made, which means more content and entertainment for fans. 

Sure, DC has never made a film like Endgame; but why is this even a talking point? The DCEU has released seven films so far, not 22. But besides this point, both Marvel and DC have several exciting projects on the way. Marvel is developing Chloe Zhao’s The Eternals, Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, Captain Marvel 2, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Shang-Chi. For DC, they’ve got Ava DuVernay’s The New Gods, Cathy Yen’s Birds of Prey, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, Shazam! and Aquaman sequels, The Batman, and Wonder Woman 1984. By using the earlier logic, should none of these films get made? How can you call yourself a superhero film fan and not get excited by this massive slate of films I just listed here? If I can use some Twitter lingo here, “we’re literally being fed so well by Marvel and DC.”

In what will come as a shock to some people, the highest grossing film in history is not a Marvel, DC, or even Star Wars film. Director James Cameron reigns atop the highest grossing films list as the number 1 and number 2 spots are two of his films: Avatar at $2.7 billion and Titanic at $2.5 billion. Both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Infinity War have both come close to those totals but couldn’t overtake them. Now, Avengers: Endgame is poised to gross around Avatar’s total, setting up a new king of the box office mountain. Once again though, you’ll see in the tweets here that people have taken to criticizing Avatar in comparison to Endgame. It should be noted that yes, Avatar has clearly not had the same cultural impact as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it does hold the top box office spot, most casual movie fans do not even know the film’s lead characters. But, that does not mean that the film isn’t beloved by many and that the film still managed to gross that much money while not being a sequel or a part of an established film franchise.

The impact Avatar had has reverberated throughout the film industry in many ways. It helped launch the career of Zoe Saldana, contains ground-breaking visual effects, and has four sequels on the way. Considering the amount of time James Cameron has taken to develop these scripts, and how far technology has come, it can be assumed that the four Avatar sequels will be some of the most awe-inspiring films ever seen. That being said, it is completely fine to be someone who doesn’t enjoy Avatar. Film is subjective and I would never criticize someone who doesn’t like a film that I enjoy. However, just because Avengers: Endgame is doing immensely well, does not mean that Avatar should be blindly criticized for being nothing. Why does praising Endgame mean insulting other things? Why is it so hard for people to just enjoy things for what they are? 

Marvel has done something here that most studios dream of: create a long lasting film franchise with an incredibly dedicated fan base. I love the MCU, always have and always will. I remember sitting in the theatre at 11 years old, ready to watch Iron Man. Who knew that 11 years later, The Avengers would join forces with Black Panther, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange to fight Thanos and his army. I loved Avengers: Endgame and it will always be the quintessential marvel movie for me. But, I will not sit here and act like Marvel is the one and only company to be successful.

I won’t act like every other film and studio is inferior to Marvel because they haven’t made $2 billion. By this logic, no film franchise will ever come close to The Lord of the Rings because none have the critical and commercial acclaim, in addition to the sheer number of awards won by the franchise. It’s okay to love Marvel, just like it’s okay to not enjoy their films. This fandom and superiority-war that Twitter users perpetuate online creates a toxic and monopolistic environment that really isn’t good for anyone. It is 100% possible to enjoy Endgame and not criticize anything or anyone else whilst doing so. The DCEU is on a hot streak right now with more films on the way, Avatar has four sequels on the way, Star Wars has several films and TV series in development, The Lord of the Rings is getting a billion dollar/budgeted TV series, and Marvel has a variety of new projects on the way.

I’ll never understand the logic behind fandom wars. There is no “my franchise is better than yours.” There is only “I enjoy this, and you enjoy that, and that’s totally fine”. Avengers: Endgame will always be a monumental success, so you don’t have to argue with anyone online about why other films are lesser. Besides, the real winner here is Kevin Feige, and I can promise you, he doesn’t care about this online toxic war fans keep fuelling with fire. 

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