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Freshly Popped Culture Presents: The Summer 2017 Box Office Game of Games

A.K.A “We all make some crazy box office predictions for Summer 2017, and wait to find out who was the least crazy.”



Is there anything more fun than the summer box office? Why, yes, two things — gambling, and making your friends and peers look foolish. Thankfully, a Summer Movie Wager accomplishes all three of these things!

The concept of a Summer Movie Wager is simple: assemble a bunch of people, have them create a list of what they predict will be the 10 highest grossing films of 2017, and bask in how stupid everybody looks a few months later. Shamelessly cribbed from the concept popularized by the /Film crew, we here at Freshly Popped Culture very much wanted to get in on the fun of looking foolish in hindsight, so four of us (Matthew Legarreta, Jared Russo, Justin Powell, and Jeremy Sollie) have gotten together to make our predictions on what will reign supreme at the box office this summer.

At the end of the summer movie season (a.k.a. Labor Day), we will return to tabulate the scores, and determine who is the least wrong of us all. That is the height of success in the Summer Movie Wager: you’re either wrong, super wrong, or least wrong. There is no right.

In any case, here’s how our internal point keeping system works. We run things a little bit differently than some of the other Summer Movie Wagers out there, so pay close attention. It might seem completely arbitrary but, trust me, it totally is.

The scoring system is thus:

  • 10 points for hitting a movie dead-on on the list
  • 7 points if your pick was only one spot away from where it ended up
  • 5 points if it was two spots away
  • 1 point if your pick is anywhere in the Top 10
  • 3 points for each dark horse that makes it into the Top 10
  • 5 points if your prediction on total domestic box office is within $10 million dollars

The scoring is tabulated so that you get the SINGLE HIGHEST point value for each pick- that is, if you get number ten right, you don’t get 13+3, you only get 13.

The winner gets to pick a thing the others have to watch or listen to or play, as long as it doesn’t run for over 3 hours in length.

Without further ado, let’s kick off our predictions!


1. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5)

Predicted Gross: $400 million

This is a no-brainer for pretty much everyone. I haven’t seen an audience fall in love with what is essentially a new IP (for most people, anyways) in a VERY long time, and the enthusiasm for the first film will propel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol . 2 to massive heights. More than any other film on this list, EVERYONE wants to see Guardians 2. And by my estimation, everyone will.

2. Despicable Me 3 (June 30)

Predicted Gross: $375 million

I have learned the dangers of underestimating the Minions (and the company that created them, Illumination Entertainment) many times over, so I won’t be making the same mistake this year. Somehow, someway, Despicable Me is one of the biggest franchises in the world, and Illumination is one of the most successful studios. Yeah, I don’t get it either.

3. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Estimated Gross: $315 million

Spider-Man is and always will be my favorite superhero, and clearly I’m not the only who shares that sentiment. And more than perhaps anything else in the world, I REALLY want another great Spider-Man film. But will the over-saturation of the character from the Amazing films cause this one to not soar to the highest of box office heights? Maybe, but the addition of the character into the MCU and his scene-stealing role in Captain America: Civil War will still make this one a massive hit. How massive, though, is the question.

4. War for the Planet of the Apes

Estimated Gross: $225 million

I would have never expected this to be the case a decade ago, but the new Planet of the Apes series is probably my favorite film franchise currently running. Yes, even more than the MCU, or John Wick, or even Star Wars. That’s how much I was absolutely blown away by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and how much I am looking forward to War for the Planet of the Apes. It’s the kind of passion and excitement that I can only hope will lead to even greater success for the film. At the very least, it’s my most anticipated release of the summer. I can only hope I’m not the only person who feels this way.

5. Cars 3

Estimated Gross: $210 million

Cars is huge — we all know this, as Disney and Pixar won’t stop making the damn things. And though Cars 2 did not quite reach the pinnacle of the first film, I still think Cars 3 is going to be pretty successful. It seems like, in response to the poor reception to the sequel, Cars 3 will be going back to the basics here, and try to deliver something of actual quality. If they can do that, Cars 3 will easily best its predecessor…but probably won’t triumph of the original all-the-same.

6. Transformers: The Last Knight

Estimated Gross: $205 million

Even though we all talk about the Transformers series with the most hyperbolic hatred imaginable, it is important to notice that the film’s have been making less and less the more they go on. Of course “less” for the Transformers series is still multiple millions of dollars but, hey, we should just take what we can get at this point.

(I would mention the fact that the series is still making over a billion worldwide and will probably do the same with The Last Knight but, c’mon, I really don’t want to bum everyone out again. Let’s just stick with the last reassuring thing I said)

7. Wonder Woman

Estimated Gross: $200 million

Is the public starting to turn on the DC Expanded Universe? I would say yes, and that’s why I don’t see Wonder Woman being a huge, breakout success. It will do fine, but will be the first sign for Warner Bros. that they can’t keep making shitty movies and expecting the people to show up. Of course, they’ll probably just view the film’s relative failure as a sign that women can’t headline big blockbusters…because they are assholes.

8. Dunkirk (July 21)

Estimated Gross: $195 million

With the success of EA’s Battlefield 1, Call of Duty’s return to World War II, and the incoming real-world reboot of the entire series, World War’s are quickly coming back into the popular consciousness. That makes this a perfect time for the release of Dunkirk, and I think Christopher Nolan’s film will very much be able to capitalize on that. Because, believe it or not, older adults want to watch movies during the summer too. And at the height of July, this will probably be their choice.

9. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26)

Estimated Gross: $180 million

Ten years ago, a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie might have been the biggest hit of the summer. But, once again, that was a decade ago. There was no MCU, and no new Star Wars films. There’s still a cultural cache for the Pirates series, but it won’t be as deep as it was before. But Disney shouldn’t freight — foreign grosses are going to be insane. Their Johnny Depp tolerance hasn’t been broken yet, it seems.

10. Baywatch (May 25)

Estimated Gross: $120 million

There’s always at least one R-rated comedy that breaks out over the summer, and my guess is that Baywatch will be that film. The Rock is simply that big of a star, and his last comedic film, last year’s Central Intelligence, made over $100 million. And, yes, broke into the Top 10 of the summer for that year. With the name brand of Baywatch, I expect similar results for Baywatch.

Dark Horses

  1. The Mummy (June 9) — I don’t think The Mummy is going to be all that successful for Universal (is anyone really excited for this film?), but it might be able to eek out a slot on the list. Tom Cruise is a name, after all.
  2. Rough Night (June 16) — Rough Night has a crazy good cast and, if it’s good, could become the surprise comedy hit of the summer, ala Bridesmaids or The Hangover. Hell, it’s opening in the same “mid-June” timeframe that made the latter film such a massive success. Clearly that’s what Sony is hoping for the film, but we’ll see if it reaches the same heights.
  3. Alien: Covenant (May 19) — It’s an Alien movie, so it will make money. But will it make enough to breach the top 10 (a.k.a. over $120 million). Not so sure, mostly because I’m not so sure about the quality of the film itself. But hey, that’s Ridley Scott for you! It will either be gold, or shit.


1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 10)

Estimated Gross: $410 million

This is the obvious selection for number one, and yeah it’s the lazy, easy way out. No-brainer. Early release date, weak competition, first movie that over performed at the box office in AUGUST, it has everything going for it. Name recognition, baby Groot, advertising, MCU connections, soundtrack, colors, Kurt Russell’s beard, the works. This is the juggernaut of the summer and the clear film to beat. Let’s just hope a ‘Finding Dory’ upset doesn’t happen over a Marvel movie like last time or else I’m screwed.

2. Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7)

Estimated Gross: $395 million

This is the risky pick that everyone on this list takes at some point, trying to differentiate their rankings from the competition. I did not have the guts to place it first, because as the biggest Spider-man fan here I knew that winning this competition meant more than unjustifiably wishing Homecoming made more than Guardians. That won’t happen, I hope it does, but I really do think this is the year of Marvel, and just like after 9/11 we needed the web head very badly. And with the way things are going nowadays, the apocalypse is very close, so we need Peter Parker more than ever. Save us Spidey!

3. Despicable Me 3 (June 30)

Estimated Gross: $375 million

Kids movies are always a lock for high grosses, more so than super heroes. This year it’s sort of different, but that won’t stop this stupid fucking thing from making a ton of money. I will never see anything with a minion in it, I will never understand the appeal, or why adults allow themselves to be subjected to such cruelty when they can skip the theater experience all together and just turn on Netflix for their kids. I will also never understand the appeal or reasoning behind adults voting for republicans or third party, but that’s another story. Save us Spidey, from stupid adults and children who like minions!

4. Cars 3 (June 16)

Total Gross: $225 million

I could post the same paragraph from above and place it here, again, but this is a chance for me to do a different rant. Cars? Really America? Fucking Cars? Why the hell is this such a popular Pixar franchise? Are you really buying that many toy cars from Disney? Who the fuck told you to do that? Your dumb kids? Fuck them, they’ll like what you buy for them or they can deal with it.

5. War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14)

Estimated Gross: $215 million

Here is where the list starts getting interesting for this game, and hard for all of us rankers. There is no real middle class for films anymore, just super big blockbusters that take all the money, and the losers and have-nots. Sounds like our economy of late. Anyways, the game is won from correctly predicting 5–10, because anything is possible and a lot of stuff doesn’t reach over $200 million domestic anymore. Last year’s slate sucked in comparison, but I imagine good word of mouth and a strong title could get this sequel to squeak over the competition and land at five. Or it’s what I really want to happen, because fuck pirates and transformers.

6. Transformers: The Last Night (June 23)

Estimated Gross: $205 million

No seriously, fuck these stupid movies and anybody who likes them. You’re bad and you should feel bad. The numbers keep getting lower and lower as Bay cranks out more and more, so fatigue will drop this piece of shit to six. I think. I hope.

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26)

Estimated Gross: $200 million

Same with this tired and dead franchise, but with a slightly lower estimate because Depp turned out to be a scumbag and I’m not sure he can carry a movie anymore. Alice Through the Looking Glass, anybody?

8. Wonder Woman (June 2)

Estimated Gross: $175 million

I really did not know where to place this fucking movie; it was as high as 3 initially, and then the more I thought about it, the lower the total went. It fell to 8, and I don’t feel great about it. But the lack of marketing push behind this thing, the lack of buzz, the release date, and the toxicity of DC films previously could really impact it. I’d like to think that a woman leading a super hero movie would be enough to really make this a success, but if it’s bad, then no way it has legs. And if people didn’t vote for a woman president, they might not want to see ANY empowered females. Morons.

9. Baywatch (May 25)

Estimated Gross: $150 million

The trailer for this has: the Rock, jokes, boobs, and the promise of Hasselhoff. That should be enough, right? It could be the biggest comedy hit of the summer. Adults go, teens go, beach weather, horny kids, sure why not?

10. Dunkirk (July 21)

Estimated Gross: $100 million

Both Wonder Woman and Dunkirk are about old grey wars that will bum people out. The Chris Nolan name is overrated in terms of box office revenue, and a lot of people keep thinking that audiences either know who he is, or give a shit. They don’t. This will be a disappointment money wise, and that pains me to say it, because I love Nolan and I’m so down for this in 70mm, but I’m not seeing a real path to success for this one.

Dark Horses

1 . The Mummy (June 9) — Tom Cruise makes money. He prints it. The Mummy series was super huge back in the day, people loved that crap when it came out. It’s been a while, so yeah this could be a hit.

2. Alien: Covenant (May 19) — The only reason this didn’t make the top ten for me, which I wavered on, is the release date being suicide. But it’s an R rated horror film with clout, good trailers, and you never know. It has the word Alien in the title, it’s real easy to see why this could do well.

3. Captain Underpants (June 2) — I fucking love these books, so do millions of other people, and everything about this screams smash hit. I really think this could do well, and knock out things like Dunkirk, but I don’t have the balls to rank it higher. But I really think this could be the surprise of the year.


1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5)

Estimated Gross: $400 million

The Mouse has built a juggernaut in The Marvel Cinematic Universe. Returning with the sequel to the surprise box office 2014 film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 looks to take Marvel’s annual spot of having a Top 3 Highest Grossing Film of the year in the US, as they have done every year since 2012. Maybe Marvel’s truest four quadrant film series, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 probably will be the box office king of 2017…until The Mouse shows us the power of the darkside, of course.

2. Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7)

Estimated Gross: $375 million

The Big 3 of Superheroes are Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man. So if any Big 3 superhero film is going be released, it’s probably going to be one of the biggest films of the year. Even if it’s bad like Batman v Superman or The Amazing Spider-Man. But I’m not thinking about those film when I’m thinking Spider-Man: Homecoming, I’m thinking about 2002. When Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man debuted around this time 15 years ago, it was earth shattering (maybe 9/11 had something to do with that, to be fair.) The largest opening weekend box office of all time. $400 Million domestic gross. That doesn’t seem like that much now, but in 2002, only Titanic, Star Wars, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial had made more money. Coming of the boost of Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming will push Spider-Man back to the Big 3 box office king on July 7th.

3. Despicable Me 3 (June 30)

Estimated Gross: $365 million

So what movie could came close to replacing Spider-Man at #2 on this list? A children’s film, of course. I don’t want to write Despicable Me 3 off, as I saw the original 2010 film and enjoyed myself (you show the clip of the little girl saying “IT’S SO FLUFFY”, I’ll laugh right now) but I’m in my early 30s, I have no kids or nieces and nephews, & I don’t know what kids like. Case in point: two years ago, Minions came out and I thought “This looks stupid!” That film made a Billion Dollars worldwide. So even if the collapse of Western Civilization occurs on the last week of June 2017, this film would still make at least $325 Million US.

4. Wonder Woman (June 2)

Estimated Gross: $342 million

This is kind of the a shot in the dark, but let me explain. Man of Steel, a movie that’s nearly universal maligned film, is still the best of the DC Extended Universe (for the record, I’ve kind of grown on me over the years). That’s why I’m saying this is a shot in the dark — I want this film to be good so bad. Please! Now, he’s why it’s not really a shot in the dark. Man of Steel made $291 Million US, BvS made $330 Million US, and Suicide Squad made $325 Million US: despite their perceived lack of quality, these films make money. So I’m hoping the best part of Batman v Superman, Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince, works and makes money it actually deserves. And it should, especially since it seems like it’s copying more from Captain America: The First Avenger than any other DCEU film.

5. Transformers: The Last Knight (June 30)

Estimated Gross: $280 million

People will go see Transformers film no matter what. I know this because, despite everything, I’ve seen all four Transformers films in theaters. But this film is going to be utterly ridiculous, because it contains the following things all in one film: Knights of the Round Table, Nazis, Supercars, Giant Robots fighting, Jerrod Carmichael, and a hundred million dollars worth of hero shots of US Special Force soldiers. Add Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, & some of the characters from the original trilogy and I’m in. Plus, every Transformer films has made at least $245 Million US, so…

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26)

Estimated Gross: $265 million

I’ve long advocated that Johnny Depp needs to go away for a while (because he’s made only two good film in this past decade), but I’d assume it cost Disney close to Downey’s $50 Million salary for Captain America: Civil War to reprise the role of Jack Sparrow six years after the last film. And, if that’s true, I really can’t be mad at him. These films, like the Transformers films, cost incredible amounts of money and are critic proof, so ultimately, this film will end up making monstrous sums of money. And because I don’t care about spoiling it, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are in the movie, so that will help.

7. War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14)

Estimated Gross: $230 million

Unexpectedly some of the best Sci-Fi of the last few years, this new Planet of the Apes series has shown a lot of promise. And under the guidance of Matt Reeves again, I’d imagine that The War for the Planet of the Apes tops the box office of the 2014 film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

8. The Hitmen’s Bodyguard (August 18)

Estimated Gross: $205 million

For some reason, America loved Deadpool, to the tune of 350 + Million Dollars. Well, Ryan Reynolds is back using profanity and shooting guns, but this time, he’s brought America’s favorite profanity spouting hitmen, Samuel L. Jackson, with him. This movie doesn’t look the best, but once you saw that red band trailer, you said to yourself “Sure, why not. It’s probably better than Deadpool.

9. Cars 3 (June 16)

Estimated Gross: $200 million

Everyone loves Pixar, and largely, they are correct too. But the Cars series, widely regarded as the bottom of Pixar Library, is still going to make a lot of money. How much is the question?

10. The Mummy (June 9)

Estimated Gross: $193 million

So despite the fact that Tom Cruise is older than Brendan Fraser, The Mummy is being rebooted with him, because Tom Cruise is more famous, and a better box office draw than Brendan Fraser. I mean, when was the last time you heard the name Brendan Fraser? The answer is probably the last time he was in a Mummy film. The modern Mummy property wasn’t ever a massive hit, but I think adding Tom Cruise can booster this film to better the returns than previous trilogy’s best — but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Dark Horses

1.The Emoji Movie (July 28)So this thing is going either be a massive hit or a massive flop. What do you say about a film that’s based around a mode of communication? You could say it’s the absolute bottom of the barrel…but then there’s the previously mention last five years of Johnny Depp films we have been given, so not really.

2. Baywatch (May 25) — Is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson the most likable person alive? Seriously, have you ever heard someone seriously say “Fuck that guy”? Thinking that, why not do Baywatch? Baywatch was a totally self serious, ridiculous tv program about lifeguards fighting crime on the beaches of South California. It was also the most popular program in the world for five years. It’s ripe for mockery, and the fact that they went full R rating should make this a hit.

3. The Dark Tower (August 4)This is the trickiest film on my list, because I don’t know what to make of it. The first Dark Tower book by Stephen King is 35 years old, but this is a highly touted projected that has been in development for years. Putting Idris Elba opposite Matthew McConaughy gives this smaller budget film a chance to become a hit too.


1. Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7)

Estimated Gross: $375 million

I’m going out on a limb with my number one pick… Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets!

My actual pick is Spider-Man: Homecoming. Every Spider-Man film has made less money than the one before it. 2002’s Spider-Man still sits high with $403 million, with 2014’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 only pulling in $202 million. Audiences seemed to be burned out on the web-head until he popped up in Civil War, and they suddenly remembered what a blast the character could be when done well. So I’m predicting a high turnout for his first solo film under Marvel’s watch, especially since Robert Downey Jr. accompanies him. That still may not be enough to match the first film, but it could be enough to win the summer.

2. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (May 5)

Estimated Gross: $350 million

Guardians of the Galaxy performed so well that I’m unsure if Vol. 2 will perform that much better. People who loved the first should come back for the sequel, but will there also be people who missed seeing the first in theaters but show up for this? I’m not sure, so I’m predicting a gross only slightly higher than the original.

3. Despicable Me 3 (June 30)

Estimated Gross: $325 million

Big jump in grosses here to my number three, the third film in the Despicable Me series. This could easily outperform my prediction, but I’m placing it just below Despicable Me 2 and Minions, since series usually hit a saturation point around the fourth or fifth entry. But these are such huge grossers that hitting the saturation point would still result in $300+ million.

4. Transformers: The Last Knight (June 23)

Estimated Gross: $230 million

While I think there’s a chance this will underperform and not hit $200 million domestic, my faith in humanity — though bolstered by the Apes films — is not strong enough to bet on it. People keep showing up to the see these things, and even though this film involving “history” and “professors” might put some of them off, it’s still going to make too much.

5. War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14)

Estimated Gross: ($225 million)

In a lone positive sign for humanity, the recent Planet of the Apes films have done remarkably well. Dawn added about $30 million to Rise’s domestic gross, and I’m predicting a similar increase for War. Dawn, one of the best films of the decade (don’t @ me), handles its action scenes with dread, and a sizable portion of the film is apes communicating through broken English and subtitled sign language — and it made over $200 million. Audiences showed up for — and largely enjoyed — that film, so the sequel, which seems to up the conflict, should perform even better. I sense a ceiling — around $250 million — for films like this, but I would love to be proven wrong.

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tale No Tales (May 26)

Estimated Gross: $210 million

I’m unsure if there is anything this film — or Johnny Depp — could do that would result in Pirates 5(!!!) performing below $200 million. People keep showing up for these films, despite the series never topping the first entry (that wheel fight, though). Even though I suspect this will draw a smaller audience than the previous four, a smaller audience means less than $240 million, which is what the last one made. Think on your sins.

7. Cars 3 (June 16)

Estimated Gross: $205 million

This was in my number two spot before I checked the grosses of the earlier films and realized Cars only made $245 million domestic, while Cars 2 only made $191 million domestic. That doesn’t seem right! But it is, apparently, so here Cars 3 rests, five spots below where I originally had it. After shifting gears with a James Bond riff, the Cars series is once again about racing, with Cars 3 focusing on Lightning McQueen recovering from an injury and training to win again. I was sure this would make about twice this, but I’m clearly not as devoted a Cars fan as my Lightning McQueen bed would suggest. So, going by past grosses — $205 million. Ka-chow.

8. Wonder Woman (June 2)

Estimated Gross: $200 million

Ideally, the first female-led superhero film since Elektra and Æon Flux would place much higher on this list. But Wonder Woman is hitting during a busy time, and after a couple years of DC being told to go home and get its shine box. This is a superhero film, so it’s still going to do well, but the marketing shows a film with a sense of humor but no sense of action. Unless this is secretly great, and word of mouth brings DC apathetics like me to the theater, it’s going to be DC’s lowest performing film.

9. Dunkirk (July 21)

Estimated Gross: $175 million

Interstellar proved that Christopher Nolan isn’t a guaranteed hitmaker, even with an all-star cast. The subject matter and casting of Harry Styles will likely attract both dads and teenage girls, respectively, and Nolan’s name still has some pull. However, so far, the marketing has consisted of brief glimpses of war spread out between land, air, and sea, with no sense of character or emotion. People tend to want those in a war film. While those may be present in the film, keeping them out of the trailers may result in moviegoers feeling a little cold towards the film, and this doing very well, but not great.

10. Alien: Covenant

Estimated Gross: $150 million

Coming after the solidly grossing Prometheus, and an excellent marketing campaign that focused on the series’ return to horror and Xenomorph kills, Alien: Covenant should do well, even in a packed debut month. I’m not sure that this generation of moviegoers has any real affinity for the Alien series, but despite its increasingly complicated mythology, many of the entries boil down to people fighting against, and getting picked off by, creepy aliens. That’s what attracted people to the original films, and it should do the same for Alien: Covenant. If it’s good enough, this could actually end up as one of the highest grossing films of the summer, but I’m not confident enough in my prediction to have it reflect in my ranking.

Dark Horses

1. Baywatch (May 25) — Audiences love the Rock, and seem indifferent to Zac Efron, so the two of them together… could be successful? This one could go either way, it’s the ideal dark horse pick.

2. The House (June 30) — Do audiences still like Will Ferrell? We’ll find out in June, when this comes out. The pairing of Ferrell and Amy Poehler would have killed a decade ago, but could still be successful now.

3. Logan Lucky (August 18) — Not because it’s the return of Soderbergh — ideally, that would be enough — but because it’s Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig in a heist movie. And the NASCAR setting should mean it does well in the South.

And there you have it, our complete predictions. Have a good summer movie season — we’ll be back to see who won four months from now!

…I mean, we’ll still be here like, writing articles and things, but you get my point.

Also published on Medium.



Avengers: Infinity War Crushed My Dreams in the Dumbest Way, and I’m Okay with it

We might never see Secret Wars properly adapted to the big screen, and I am at peace with that now.



Spoilers ahead, so be forewarned. Although at this point it’s impossible for this article to spoil what could possibly be the biggest blockbuster of all time, on a website nobody reads, but consider yourself warned. And a loser, let’s be real here.

So first and foremost: I very much liked this movie, and so did most of you, from what the box office tells us. I very much look forward to seeing it again to crystallize my real thoughts on it, because time ends up being the best critic of them all. It’s too soon for the test of time to enlighten us on where this thing ranks amongst the pantheon, but most of what has been said and written about is true; it’s a landmark, a milestone, impressively crafted and a miracle to watch. The ending has emotional stakes (though not real ones),  and it really leaves an imprint. And yet…

The link above is a terrific examination about what I’m talking about, but I’m only really here to somewhat facetiously let you into my head beat by beat as the characters we love turned to ash and floated away. Mouth agape, I thought “they can’t be seriously doing this”. And most of you did the exact same thing! But I was referring to something else entirely, and as the screen cut to black, and Thanos’ big dumb expression still lingering fresh in our minds, my fellow audience members and space travelers all collectively gasped. Everyone did it for reasons that seem normal, “oh no our favorite heroes are dead and we have to wait a whole year to find out what happens!”. Except me, because I have a one track mind and was somewhere else entirely (and I’m not going to get suckered into believing anything that happened in that film actually has any consequence whatsoever, in terms of plot or story or the ability for Disney to make money and sign actors to long-term contracts).

No, I gasped because I actually thought Kevin Feige had the balls to go where I didn’t think they would ever go, and I yelled out in the crowded theater, in the pitch black surrounded by strangers, at the screen with credits rolling slowly:


I didn’t actually yell that, I said it quietly to the brunette in the college sweater next to me who I was trying to hit on before the movie started. There was a seven foot tall teenager in a business suit sitting in front of me, blocking the lower left quarter of the screen, and he turned around at the same time as his mother, who loved him very much and was proud of her son in that suit I tell ya, and they asked “what is Secret Wars? Is that the title of the next Avengers movie after this?” And I replied:


I didn’t actually say that either, but in the final moments of Infinity War I kept expecting the disintegrating bodies to reveal the truth: they weren’t dead, just going somewhere else, potentially the mirror dimension, or another parallel universe, or a representation of hell inside the Soul Stone. And then I realized that the only other gigantic crossover storyline not used so far in these movies is Secret Wars, which would have been the most amazing and ideal way to segue into next year’s Avengers 4: Secret Wars. Imagine, the most famous comic book story for Marvel (also seen on the 90’s Spider-Man cartoon) redone on the big screen: the possibilities endless, the potential for blowing minds unfathomable for fans.

But alas, no, they did not go there, and instead left the cliffhanger to just sit with us. In the dark, no answers, like a gut punch from the screen to our seats. I’m not going to explain why Secret Wars is worth doing, or what it’s about — the cover below says everything you need to know, really. Just look it up online after this, or read the original run, or the newer ones. It’s unreal they didn’t go for this, they had the chance and they blew it!

I like the ending in a vacuum, on paper, but we don’t live in a vacuum anymore. We live on the internet, where every production has leaked set photos and breakdowns, every project in development has casting choices ruined and surprises sold off to the highest bidder. The next five years are set in stone, the signatures already in ink, and it only lasted five minutes before I realized the head fake ending would have been better off being done without the obvious sign that A) the original team of old heroes and actors who should have died and said they’re about done all lived B) all the new characters and actors that are the backbone of Marvel’s future all died C) they already shot the untitled sequel so it’s not like they did that whole movie / marketing without Spider-Man and Black Panther and D) I’m going to end this run-on sentence being mad they didn’t finish the FOX merger fast enough to do Secret Wars.

Infinity War Crushed My Dreams

Secret Wars, the only way to naturally introduce a space alien getting stuck to Peter Parker’s suit so the symbiote travels back to earth to battle Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. Secret Wars, the only way to seamlessly transition the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the MCU, by forcing them to battle on Battleworld for the enjoyment of the masses. But no, they didn’t show those characters on a new planet. They didn’t bring in Ant-Man and the Wasp and the original Wasp (Michelle Pheiffer) through the subatomic quantum realm. They didn’t hint at the Beyonder, or She-Hulk, or Spider-Woman, or Titania, or Absorbing Man, or Kang the Conqueror, or Molecule Man, or Silver Surfer, or Volcana, or the Wrecking Crew, or Galactus! They didn’t bring back older villains sans Red Skull (good job on that one, actually) to fight and die again against different heroes (how hard is it to just show Ultron fighting without him talking?).

Oh well. I’m not actually that upset, and the odds of that were low enough I’m not shocked. I just really thought they were going in that direction, and now they are not, and that makes me sad. A man can dream, though. Infinity War was pretty good all things considered, even if the stakes they focused on are really just not doable anymore, in this culture of capitalism and engineering fandom into capitalist milk udders. Just milking us nerds dry, with no regard for anything but the almighty dollar. What can you do about it, honestly? At least my favorite characters aren’t being handled by Warner Bros.

Tune in next time when I write an article about how Thanos was just stealing all of his ideas and motivations off of Bill Maher, thanks for reading true believers. Excelsior!

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It Took The Entire Kitchen Sink, But Marvel Has Reclaimed The Highest Grossing Opening Weekend of All Time Record

The combined might of the Avengers, Black Panther, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy was the only thing that could take down a galaxy far, far away.



Going into Summer 2018, there was no question whatsoever whether or not Avengers: Infinity War would end up being a success. There’s a reason we all chose it as the de facto box office champ in our Summer Movie Wager, after all — there was no chance in hell this movie wasn’t going to make money. In fact, the only question we were all asking about Infinity War’s box office was just how well it would do — were we just talking pretty massive, or record-breaking massive? We’re only one weekend into the film’s release, but the answer has already presented itself as the latter, with the film already breaking one of the most important box office records out there: the highest grossing opening weekend of all time record.

Which, as you might recall, used to belong to Marvel not too long ago. The studio first earned the laudable accomplishment back when The Avengers came out in 2012, snagging an (at the time) insane opening weekend of $207 million. The team-up film was able to hold onto that record for years, with even its sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, unable to topple the number. But in June of 2015, a challenger appeared from out of nowhere — long-in-development reboot/sequel, Jurassic World. Apparently, demand for dino action was at a high with audiences, as the film managed to barely take the record away from Avengers with an opening total of $208 million. Jurassic World wasn’t able to hold on to that record for long, though, as a little movie called Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out mere six months later to take the crown — and by a huge margin too (over $39 million, in fact.) For a long time, it was unclear what if any big movie could ever top such an insane number.

But leave it to the crossover film to end all crossover films to do such a thing. Even with estimates putting it just slightly beneath The Force Awaken’s opening (between $225 to $245 million were the predicted numbers), the film managed to outpace its expectations by a significant degree. Taking in a total of $257 million in its first three days of release (well, four if you count Thursday previews as a separate day…which Hollywood for some reason doesn’t), Infinity War indeed has a gross to match its scale. And things look even better when you factor in its worldwide launch — at a total of $640 million, it easily became the highest grossing global opening of all-time, surpassing previous record holder Fate of the Furious (yes, really.) That’s even more impressive when you consider that the film didn’t have a China opening, as it won’t be bowing in the Middle Kingdom until May 11. Then again, China seems to be the only place that DIDN’T get the film this weekend, what with Disney’s decision a few months back to push the film up in many major markets.

Either way, Disney certainly won out no matter how you slice it. As I wrote about back at the beginning of the month: the Mouse House has been working overtime to sell Infinity War as the event film to end all event films. And the gigantic opening weekend take, both domestically and globally, certainly proves their work paid off.

The only question now, really, is whether or not the film will prove to have legs. On that, I’m rather torn. While there’s a part of me that believes the film isn’t as crowdpleasing as Avengers, Force Awakens, or even Jurassic World, I certainly know that my first instinct after seeing the film was the desire to see it again. Is that the case for many others? Time will tell, but if it wants to beat current MCU champ Black Panther, it will have to play the long haul, not just the opening sprint. Case in point: Black Panther is still in the Top 5 this weekend, even with Infinity War coming out. Either way, Disney is facing a competition amongst themselves, no matter how you slice it. I doubt they (or Marvel for that matter) have much to complain about no matter which film ends up on top.

Also published on Medium.

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In Which I Rank All The Current MCU Movies, As Internet Law Demands All Movie Bloggers Must Do

Kevin Feige has marked me for list-making, and now the internet must feast on my hot takes and controversial rankings.



For the most part, blogging about movies is a ton of fun. Vomiting your opinion all over the internet is of course a millennials favorite pastime, and when I get to do it in honor of a medium I love as much as film, even more so. However, the gig does have its drawbacks — mainly in the form of a disheveled, hungry Kevin Feige coming to my home in the middle of the night and demanding a ritual sacrifice of Marvel movie rankings come next Avengers Eve.

Yes, I’ve heard rumblings for years that Kevin Feige installs a curse on all movie bloggers to write detailed, thousand words essays on the various films that make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And, sure, I’ve heard rumblings of the cruel, perverse punishment that’s instilled upon those who don’t present their work to the internet in time to tie into the release of Avengers: Infinity War (a 24 hour, back-to-back marathon of Inhumans AND Iron Fist…in 4DX! *shiver*) And, to be fair, when I registered this domain, I read the terms and conditions, which specifically pointed out I was obligated to present my thoughts on how The Incredible Hulk and Thor: The Dark World compare to each other to, like, no one in particular at some point in the near future. I knew what I was getting myself into by creating this blog, but that still didn’t prepare me for the horrifying image of a withering Feige pressing his palm to my face, whispering “RANKER!,” and scurrying off into the night.

Regardless, the mark of the beast is now upon me, and it is my obligation to feed him in the only way I can — meaningless organization and endless bloviating. Those are my two true superpowers, and like a certain Marvel character said, with great power comes…well, he never said it in the MCU, so who the hell can remember anyways?

Without further ado, let’s get this show on the road. Here are all 18 current MCU movies, ranked.

18. The Incredible Hulk

Of all the MCU films so far, The Incredible Hulk is the only one I would say has aged poorly. At the time, I rather enjoyed the reboot (and felt it an improvement over Ang Lee’s disastrous Hulk), but upon re-watching it earlier this year…oh boy. Not only does it now feel out of place within the rest of the universe (Edward Norton as Bruce Banner makes the whole thing feel very much “out of canon,”), but it also feels stunningly old-fashioned. While conceptualizing the Hulk story as a Bourne-esque chase thriller was a novel concept in 2008…it’s mostly just dreadfully boring now. There’s some fun to be had in the smash em’ up action of the climactic scene, but even that feels rather retro in a cinematic world that includes The Battle of New York and Sokovia. There’s simply nothing fresh or, hell, even interesting about The Incredible Hulk, which has only become even more apparent in the decade since its release.

17. Iron Man 2

For years, I thought Iron Man 2 was the nadir of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But in my MCU rewatch, I realize it was not…but only because The Incredible Hulk aged worse, not because Iron Man 2 aged better. No, Tony’s Starks second adventure is as messy and unfocused as I remember it being, a cacophony of chaos that, ultimately, leads to not much of anything. It routinely whiffs on every single plot development it comes across, and not even Robert Downey Jr.’s aggressive charm can make something like the mindless, ugly climax any more interesting. Years ago, I thought my lack of passion for Iron Man 2 was because it tried to squeeze in to much Avengers set-up (like the completely boring version of Black Widow that shows up for no goddamn reason.) But now that we’re 18 films into this series…nah. Even on its own merits, the film just isn’t very good.

16. Ant-Man

Ant-Man is…fine. Paul Rudd gives it his all in the central role, and some of the shrinking mechanics leads to inspiring places. But the heist movie concept never really pans out conceptually, with the superhero movie failing to ever feel like anything else but, well, a superhero movie…and a rather bland one at that. And yes, I will never not be able to think about what Edgar Wright could have done with his version of the film every damn time I think about it. Unfair, maybe. But if the film itself was more interesting, I like to imagine it wouldn’t even be an issue to begin with.

Luis is cool, though.

15. Thor: The Dark World

Thor: The Dark World isn’t as bad as everyone says it is. But that is mostly due to the fact that everyone thinks its REALLY bad. In my mind though, the film is just pretty mediocre. I like how it expanded the scope of the Thor universe, and I think the ending action sequence is a lot of fun, but the worst villain in the MCU really kills the momentum of the film dead. That being said, there’s a lot of great Thor/Loki work here, and I do appreciate the film on that front. But after the release of last Thor movie, let’s just say this one suffers by comparison.

14. Thor

Yes, the first two Thor movies are really close in my mind, and I think the original is only a smidge better than The Dark World at the end of the day. While the sequel improved on the action and scope front, the original far better handles the dramatic moments, most likely due to director Kenneth Brannaugh’s experience behind the camera. While the Shakespearean tone ultimately proved to be too limiting for the character and his world in the long run, as a way of establishing his origin and setting up the tragedy of his and Loki’s relationship? It does the trick quite well. Too bad the superhero stuff surrounding it is rather weak. Even as a New Mexican who craves every ounce of acknowledgment possible, I can’t quite figure out where the decision to throw the Asgardian god of freaking thunder in Nowheresberg, New Mexico came from.

13. Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange has some really neat visuals. And, as always, I applaud Marvel on its casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as the central hero (they really know how to cast their iconic characters, don’t they?) But, man, as an origin story, this one might fall more flat than any of the other ones in the entirety of the MCU. Stephen Strange’s journey to becoming the Sorcerer Supreme is both unoriginal AND poorly defined, with a lack of real growth plaguing the character’s transformation at every turn. There’s a lot of cool abilities and skills that Doctor Strange has in his arsenal, and seeing him learn how to harness such abilities would be really fun…if the film gave a crap about that at all. Instead, Doctor Strange seems determined to plow through the character’s origins as quickly as possible, taking the titular character from asshole doctor to THE BEST SORCERER OF ALL TIME in the span of one shaving sequence (if any film is in need of a training montage, it’s this one.) On the one hand, it makes a lot of sense — all the best things in Doctor Strange (namely the inventive action sequences) come AFTER the characters training is concluded, and the movie begins in kind. But because the film failed to lay the foundation for the transformation in its first half, none of it feels as riveting as it should. The arc is simple here (too simple, if we’re being entirely honest): Strange is arrogant at the beginning, and through the course of the film, he becomes humble. Except the film fails to really show its work time and time again, primarily because it wants to squeeze in another cool action scene into the mix. But, man…are those action scenes really damn cool.

12. Iron Man

I like Iron Man! It’s really fun and, re-watching it now, you really do have to commend it on how well it sets up exactly what a Marvel movie is, and what can be done with the universe and its characters. But like all good starting points, it also allowed plenty of room for its follow-ups to grow and become even better. I don’t have any substantial problems with Iron Man, but it’s really a testament to Marvel Studios talent that this film is barely the tip of the iceberg for how great the franchise can be. But, boy, what a fun tip!

11. Iron Man 3

Now, Iron Man 3? Iron Man 3 is dope as hell, and I just want all of you naysayers out there to know how wrong you are, with your naysaying. Sure, the bad guy is a bit weak and some of the plot gets a bit muddy towards the end…but it’s Shane Black directing a Marvel movie. And that’s as positively delightful as I would expect it to be. It’s the best Iron Man movie, hands down.

Also, Trevor Slattery is a Top 5 MCU character. Nothing you can possibly say will convince me otherwise.

10. Spider-Man: Homecoming

I’ve written tons about how much I love Spider-Man as a character, but very little about what I thought about his latest movie outing. To simplify the shit out of it: I thought it was pretty great! Tom Holland is perfect, the film’s version of Peter Parker is perfect, and a lot of what it does with the concept of Spider-Man brings out everything I love about the character. It also features probably my favorite MCU villain in Michael Keaton’s Vulture character — he’s just the right amount of sympathetic and relatable, while reliably nasty and menacing when he needs to be. And the second act twist involving his character is one of the best ones I’ve seen in a blockbuster film in a LONG time (that car scene, my god.)

Honestly, the film would be a lot further down the list if it wasn’t for one element: the action sequences, which were shockingly kind of lame and unexciting. The dynamism and energy of Spider-Man lends himself to amazing set pieces (the train one from Spider-Man 2 is still unmatched in superhero cinema in my eyes), but Spider-Man: Homecoming fails to utilize his skillset to any memorable degree. I mean, the film doesn’t even have any web swinging sequences! I get it was purposely trying to stay focused on the “friendly neighborhood” angle, but having a movie where Spider-Man doesn’t swing across skyscrapers is like having a Superman movie without flying, or a Batman movie without the Batmobile…it’s just unforgivable. I can only hope that the film’s forthcoming sequel will rectify the mistake. The humor and heart of the character is there in spades, though. Throw a little “wow” factor on top, and we can end up with the perfect Spider-Man movie. Next to Spider-Man 2, of course.

9. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Look, I just wrote a fucking treatise on Spider-Man: Homecoming there, so I don’t want to spend a lot of time with Avengers: Age of Ultron. Just know I probably like it a lot more than you do, think the final action sequence is some of Marvel’s best material, and will really miss what Joss Whedon brought to this corner of the franchise. Also, Hawkeye is the MVP of the movie. Hell, the MVP of The Avengers overall, really. Don’t @ me.

8. Guardians of the Galaxy

The Chris Pratt, talking raccoon, anthropomorphic tree movie is so damn good, you guys. And I love the MCU for letting me write that sentence. Much has been said about how miraculously good the Guardians franchise is considering just exactly what it is about, but that’s the charm of the whole thing, isn’t it? The fact James Gunn was able to take this and make it A) uproariously funny B) stylistically unique and C) surprisingly riveting is one of the 21st centuries best unexpected blockbuster stories. I think the first film suffers a bit by its origin nature (and its incredibly weak villain, which comes part and parcel with that element), but boy is Guardians of the Galaxy a hell of a lot of fun. And if that’s not a defining factor in what makes a strong Marvel movie, what the hell are we even doing here?

7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

But — HOT TAKE — Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is even better. Getting the origin stuff out of the way proved to be a massive boon to the series, as its main story and characters were able to fly far higher without all the set-up baggage. The jokes come faster, the action is bigger, and the emotions hit harder — WAY harder, in fact. There was always a sneaky heart at the center of the first Guardians, but this one’s extend run time and thematic focus allows that heart to come front and center. While the brunt of Guardians of the Galaxy was spent just seeing a bunch of wacky misfits learn to work together, Vol. 2 has something to say about family and relationships and the way in which we chose to focus on the people in our life. It does that through low-brow dick jokes and pop-rock action set pieces, but also through moments of spectacular gravitas and heart. Vol. 2 builds up on what made the first Guardians great, and for that it stands as the superior movie in my mind.

6. Thor: Ragnarok

But as much as I really like the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, the space adventure comedy that really captured my heart is, surprisingly, Thor: Ragnarok. It’s the funniest movie of the MCU, while also serving as its most creative and skillfully created. Taika Waititi is one hell of a director, and in Thor: Ragnarok he finally imbues this sub-section of the MCU with the style and tone it always deserved. It’s the rare third superhero movie that actually works, and works so well that it retroactively made the ones before it worse…and made me regret that this couldn’t have been the tone of the trilogy to begin with. Mostly, I’m sad we didn’t get three movies of Korg. Please, Marvel: give us more Korg. #KorgDiesAndWeRiot

5. Black Panther

What more can be said about Black Panther in 2018 that hasn’t already been said? Undenaibly the cultural event of the year (maybe even more so than Infinity War), the best thing about Black Panther is that its completely deserving of all the hype. Ryan Coogler delivered yet another knockout with this one, and single-handledly upped the dramatic game of the MCU by creating one heck of a dramatic narrative for King T’Challa’s first standalone outing. How it combines Game of Thrones style intrigue with thought-provoking social commentary is a marvel (it’s my first time using that word in this context for the ENTIRETY of the list — give me a break!), and the story that unfolds is completely unique and riveting for the superhero genre. It might lack the strong humor of the other Marvel movies, and doesn’t have the best action set pieces of the MCU…but Black Panther honestly doesn’t need those elements. The story is good enough on its own to still shine amongst its superhero brethren.

4. Captain America: The First Avenger

As you might have noticed, most of the Phase 1 movies are towards the bottom of my rankings, something I didn’t even realize until I kicked off my MCU rewatch in the past few months. It’s not to say those movies are bad (honestly, I don’t think any of the Marvel Studios movies have sunken quite that low yet), but I do think that the MCU has developed and changed mostly for the better since the days of Thor and Iron Man. All that being said? Captain America: The First Avenger still rocks. It’s earnest as all hell and, even at the time, felt rather old-fashioned in its design. But you know what? That just made me love it either more. As you’ll see in the remainder of this list, Captain America is probably my favorite MCU character, and he couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling start to his journey than this movie. It’s Marvel’s best origin story, and a movie that just fills me with such joy and optimism everytime I see it (even with the fantastically somber ending.) And at the end of the day, those feelings are what makes the entire concept of superheroes so great, aren’t they?

3. The Avengers

The Avengers is great, and everyone in the damn world knows it’s great. The film already has its place in the annals of modern film history, so I doubt anything I write here could do more to increase its status as a cultural milestone. Just know that the Battle of New York is purely perfect blockbuster filmmaking, and I could watch it on repeat forever. And, with luck, I can do just that come Avengers: Infinity War!

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I remember being filled with doubts about Captain America: The Winter Soldier when it was first announced. Despite my love of Captain America: The First Avenger, I was worried that a sequel to the film would could easily go the route of Iron Man 2. After all, without the setting and characters that made the first film such a winner, how could Winter Soldier succeed? Certainly not by having The Russo Brothers at the helm, two TV directors who seemed like the cheap, “work for hire” choices to bring the sequel to life. Obviously, Winter Soldier was doomed to be an inferior superhero sequel, right?

Nope — not even a little bit, in fact. Instead, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is kind of amazing, and The Russo Brothers turned out to be one hell of a movie directing pair. How The Winter Soldier takes the character of Cap and throws him into the modern age is inspired, and the whole Hydra storyline remains one of Marvel’s most captivating plot threads. The Winter Soldier makes for an absolutely spectacular little conspiracy spy thriller, and what it says about government surveillance and our inherent trust in institutions is relevant not just to the character of Captain America and what he represents, but our modern world in general. Throw on some of the best action sequences ever put to film (DAT ELEVATOR FIGHT), and you have the recipe for one of Marvel’s most ably crafted films. But not quite it’s best. As close as Winter Soldier gets to that status, it was bested by a hair just a few years later with…

1. Captain America: Civil War

If there’s any sort of running theme throughout the first ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s this — Marvel Studios is adept at taking things that absolutely should not work, and making them work in ways that you can’t possibly even imagine. Washed up movie star Robert Downey Jr. hunting down terrorists in a rocket suit (while making quips the entire time!) shouldn’t have worked. Throwing said character in a movie with four other huge characters (plus Black Widow and Hawkeye) and telling a strong story utilizing all of them shouldn’t have worked. The aforementioned Chris Pratt talking raccoon anthropomorphic tree movie (yes, I just wanted another excuse to type that phrase, humor me) shouldn’t have worked. The movie about the ant guy who hangs out with Michael Douglas shouldn’t have worked. And combining half a dozen main characters into the film of one main character, whilst making them fight, whilst also continuing the story of two other branches of a franchise DEFINITELY shouldn’t have worked.

But it did. And it did so spectacularly.

I’ve ranted and raved about Captain America: Civil War in the past two years of its release, and there was a small part of me that worried revisiting it now would curb my massive enthusiasm on the superhero epic. But…nope! I’m still as high as ever for this miracle of a movie. What the Russo Brothers created here is astounding: a superhero movie that not only serves as the perfect closing chapter of its main character’s trilogy, but also operates as the dramatic crescendo of the entire damn franchise. Civil War manages to pull on everything we know about the MCU and the characters who populate it, blowing it all up in exciting, often heartbreaking ways.

Much has been said about the grand airport battle at the center of Civil War, and of course I’m not going to disparage it much here (it truly is something to behold, even now.) But for me the real high of the film is its final action sequence, which pits Captain America, Winter Soldier, and Iron Man in a brutal, no holds barred three-way duel. It’s a hell of an action sequence, but also one that pulls on nearly a decades work of character building and relationship work. Marvel knows we love these characters, and seeing them come to blows over real, human conflict is just the kind of sting that only a dozen films worth of set-up and character development can really achieve. Thor: Ragnarok might be fun, The Winter Soldier might be expertly crafted, and Black Panther might have a strong thematic issue at its core. But when I think of just what the Marvel Cinematic Universe can be at its best, and the kind of expert films that only they could possibly craft, Captain America: Civil War absolutely takes the cake.

…But will The Russo Brothers once again be able to top themselves yet again with Avengers: Infinity War? We shall find out this weekend but, if this list is any indication, they have their work cut out for them. That’s just how consistently good the MCU movies are, at the end of the day — they truly make up a league of their own in the world of crowd-pleasing blockbusters. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Also published on Medium.

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