No genre or franchise remains dominant at the box office forever. Westerns and musicals, for example, were go-to sources of box office success in the first half of the 20th century before sputtering out in the 1970s. Dystopian young adult novel adaptations, meanwhile, seemed omnipresent in pop culture — until they suddenly weren’t. There will also come a time when the Marvel Cinematic Universe is no longer a massive pop-culture juggernaut. Like the nefarious Thanos, it’s unstoppable. But it’s always been a question of when this will happen, with several seemingly opportune moments for a backlash against the franchise (like bungling “The Avengers” and inspiring a wave of resentment towards the shared universe concept) never developing further.
The initial box office performance of “Black Widow” not being as gigantic as the most lucrative MCU features inspired some to wonder if this is it: Is this the moment people finally get tired of Marvel movies? Answering that question is a complicated process that requires delving into the various reasons why the Marvel Cinematic Universe may have finally overstayed its welcome. It also entails exploring if the “Black Widow” box office stats are a harbinger of doom for this franchise or something more nuanced. “Are people getting tired of Marvel?” is a question that’s been on the lips of many for a while, and now is a fitting time to explore the answer to that query.