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As Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame ends its run just shy of James Cameron’s all-time earner, Avatar, the Avengers themselves are starting to move on at the box office.
This June 14 weekend, MCU stalwarts Chris Hemsworth and Samuel L. Jackson went toe-to-toe with new franchise fare — Sony’s Men in Black: International and Warner Bros.’ Shaft. While neither performed particularly well — the sci-fi spin-off leading the weekend with a weak $30 million bow, while the continuation of the action crime series earned $8.3 million stateside — Marvel’s major players have had varying degrees of box office success outside the franchise.
“You don’t need to have a known name to have a big hit Marvel movie,” notes Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice Media, adding that a Marvel movie can catapult an actor to superstardom, or give talent the platform for a career reinvention.
The release of Robert Downey Jr.’s upcoming family film The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle, his first non-Marvel movie in half of a decade, will be a litmus as to the Marvel’s persona-changing power. Robbins notes, “Downey, arguably, did not have that [family] audience before Marvel.”
Thanks titles like Mission: Impossible, the Bourne films and Sherlock Holmes, Jeremy Renner and Downey have buoyed their extra-Marvel earnings, while Chris Evans has appeared in only two Hollywood movies with nationwide releases since picking up his vibranium shield.
Admittedly, notes Robbins, “Marvel is its own star at this point.”
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