August 27, 2019
The Hollywood Reporter revealed today that early preview copies sent to retailers of the 80th-anniversary collection, Marvel Comics #1000, included an essay by Mark Waid that accompanied an image of Captain America by John Cassaday and Laura Martin. However, in the issue set to hit stands tomorrow, the essay—seen by comics retailers in issues sent out as previews—was replaced with what THR describes as a “less critical piece, also credited to Waid, that is more directly tied to Captain America, and notably less critical of the United States.”
With summer coming to a close, we can finally say goodbye to what was arguably the most horrendous movie season in the history of summer movie seasons. Good riddance.
Profits dipped and quality plunged. Ticket sales in the United States and Canada are projected to total $4.33 billion, a 2% decline from last year, according to the media analytics firm ComScore. But the fine print is what’s important. Disney monopolized the summer to a vast degree, meaning a disconcerting amount of that revenue belongs to one studio alone. Even sequels that seemed like surefire hits for rival companies — Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and Sony’s “The Angry Birds Movie 2,” for example — fell short of expectations.
The studio has been consuming its rivals – and creating a film industry devoid of the innovation championed by its founder
This kind of Hollywood imperialism is not encouraging news if you fear that reduced competition begets reduced creativity, even as Disney’s substantial fanbase – umbilically bound by the childhood nostalgia in which the corporation trades – zealously cheers it on. What other acquisitions are on its wishlist? Are we seeing a return to the rigidly controlled Hollywood studio system of the 1940s and 1950s – only with one studio effectively as the system? If so, a movement not dissimilar to the demands to break up big tech currently rippling towards Silicon Valley might be in order.
Yet Disney has rather cunningly advertised itself less as one monopolising entity than as a contrasting collective of minds and voices, as tellingly suggested by distribution president Cathleen Taff’s statement
Coming not so shortly: a new helping of either Star Wars or Avatar for every Christmas between 2021 and 2027. Disney’s latest release schedule also promises eight more Marvel comic-book adaptations by 2022. Meanwhile, this year will see the spawn of not just behemoths such as Avengers, X-Men, Frozen, Toy Story, Spider-Man, The Lego Movie and Star Wars, but also less obvious franchise-launchers such as Godzilla, Men in Black, Shaun the Sheep, Angry Birds, Kingsman, Zombieland, Shaft and even Rambo. Never before have film sequels been so many and so varied.