(Coyote Chronicle) — When renowned filmmaker Martin Scorcese said, “I don’t think they’re cinema,” many questioned the value of superhero movies. However, with films such as Spider-Man: No Way Home grossing just over 1.9 billion dollars during the pandemic, it’s clear that these films are keeping cinema alive. Love them or hate them, superhero films have earned their spotlight and should continue to have their moments. 

They may not be made for everyone, but they tend to fill the most seats. For example, one of the highest grossing films of all time is Avengers: Endgame at 2.7 billion dollars, surpassing Titanic, Avatar: Way of Water, and its own predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War, according to the latest Box Office Mojo Top 10 results.

The Industry also demands this success. The Motion Picture Association reports that over 2.74 million jobs are created for the cinema entertainment business — this includes VFX artists, costume designers, and the superhero genre is known for employing some of the most talent (hence their massive budgets). 

Speaking of talent, actors and the like have come together to voice opposition to the idea that superhero movies are ruining the cinema experience. Robert Downey Jr. has been among the most vocal. 

“There’s a lot to be said for how these genre movies — and I was happy to be part of the ‘problem’ if there is one — denigrated the era, the art form, of cinema.” And when asked if he believes Martin is upset about Marvel movies’ success, he simply said, “Yes, yes I do.” 

Robert Downey Jr. discussing the superhero comments from Martin Scorcese on Howard Stern’s radio show.  | Photo By: Howard Stern SiriusXM

The downfall of the moviegoing experience has been a topic of concern since the start of the pandemic. Per The Hollywood Reporter, thousands of movie theaters worldwide shut down. Less people were going to the movies at the start of the pandemic which led to smaller-scale theaters to close while bigger chains such as AMC and Regal struggled to refill seats. 

That part is well documented. At the same time, it was the Marvel movies that kept moviegoing traditions alive, promising massive event titles like Spider-Man: No Way Home which featured, get this, three Spider-men and multiple villains. Even the animated film, Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse saw almost $700 million dollars of box office success.

One of the films inspired by Martin’s own Taxi Driver was 2019’s Joker. This supervillain movie was a psychological and incredibly violent take on the Taxi Driver story, and yes, it made over 1 billion in the box office. By contrast, Martin Scorcese’s own Killers of the Flower Moon of the same year saw $156 million. 

However, this success goes past ticket sales. Film aficionados such as Quentin Tarantino & Christopher praise film and cinema technology such as IMAX, 70MM, and high definition projectors. This push for moviegoers to see films on the big screen is elevated when it comes to superhero movies. Why see the Avengers time travel on a small bedroom TV when you can go to the movie theater, grab a bucket of popcorn, and enjoy a grand experience? Superhero movies do a great job of selling this technology. 

Looking ahead, movie theaters must find balance. With the bulk of ticket sales coming from superhero movies, it’s clear which they should prioritize to have. However, the beauty of film isn’t limited to one genre. The marketing for films such as Scorcese’s, Tarantino’s, or Nolan’s should be elevated on their studio’s end to compete realistically. Trying to undermine an entire genre of best-selling films is bad press, especially with the dire struggle many theaters already face across the world.

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