In less than two weeks since its release, Avengers Endgame has amassed a whopping US$2 billion at the box office worldwide. The movie set a record with its opening weekend haul of US$1.2 billion. Endgame is the conclusion of 22 Marvel movies that have been released over the past 10 years and is the defining cultural phenomenon of this decade. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MKCU) is to this generation what the Star Wars franchise was to the previous one. Moving forward, one should expect some major changes in MCU movies and plotlines considering the events that occurred during Endgame.
Future story arcs
With one of the most beloved characters of the MCU, Iron Man, dead by the end of the movie, the saga of Tony Stark has come to an end. Another critical character, Captain America, aka Steve Rogers, grows old from time travel and passes his shield to a longtime friend, Sam Wilson, who has till now been known as The Falcon. Moving forward, many expect to see Sam as the new Captain America. However, given that Sam does not have the same superhuman powers that Steve had, it is to be seen how the MCU will be able to position the new Captain America as a “superhero” equal in status to Rogers.
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Black Widow sacrificed herself in Endgame. However, MCU has a Black Widow movie coming up in 2020. It is unknown whether the movie will take place in the past or in the present. In the latter case, Black Widow will have to be “miraculously” brought back to life. Meanwhile, the Hulk has one of his hands damaged. The studio might use it as an excuse to shelve off the character for some time.
At the end of Endgame, Thor can be seen joining up with the Guardians of the Galaxy on their ship. Since the third installment of the movie is scheduled to come out in 2022, there is speculation that Thor might end up being a part of it. Other MCU movies in the pipeline include Black Panther 2 and Doctor Strange 2, both to be released in 2021. A new set of characters will be introduced through two movies — the Eternals in 2020 and Shang-Chi in 2021.
Marvel has also brought back rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties. Over the next few movies, characters from these universes might also make an appearance. As to the Avengers team, one would expect characters like the Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Scarlett Witch, and Captain Marvel to take center stage.
Special show for US troops
Marvel Studios recently surprised everyone by screening Avengers Endgame at U.S. military bases in Afghanistan. Disney CEO Bob Iger said that it was their way to give a special thanks to the troops who serve the nation. The idea for holding such a screening came from Kat Lancaster, the wife of an airman stationed in the country.
“I saw a tweet from Mr. Iger about the movie and felt compelled to speak up and ask if he could get it to the troops sooner rather than later… I didn’t think it would get any traction, took a nap, and when I woke up my phone was lit up like the 4th of July… This gesture exceeded any expectations I had,” she said to People.
Meanwhile, Avengers Endgame has passed Titanic to become the second highest grossing movie of all time. By May 5, Endgame had earned close to US$2.19 billion. It is currently eying to dethrone the 2009 film Avatar as the number one highest grossing movie. Avatar has a gross collection of US$2.79 billion. Given that Endgame has only been released for 12 days and will be in theatres for a few more weeks, most box office experts expect it to beat Avatar soon.