According to a new report, Marvel Studios has set a new limit for its MCU releases in any particular year.
After record-breaking output throughout Phase 4 of the super-powered franchise, the MCU is in a bit of a soul-searching period heading further into Phase 5 and then eventually Phase 6.
Word of delays and shuffling of the MCU schedule has become routine, with "a massive correction" coming to the franchise in an effort to seemingly reduce costs and improve overall quality.
But what does that actually mean? Fans have come to expect seven or so MCU projects a year. But with things getting pushed and a slower drip of content on the horizon, what will that do to the Marvel Studios calendar?
Marvel's New Movie Limit
A new report revealed that Marvel Studios seemingly mandated a new limit of content it can release on a yearly basis.
Speaking on The Hot Mic podcast, Above the Line's Jeff Snieder revealed that he has heard "Marvel's target output has been reduced." This means that instead of around "four shows and four movies a year," fans can expect "two shows and three movies a year:"
"Marvel's target output has been reduced. I don't know if this has been reported, or if this was a line in the trades, or whatever, but I'm told that the target output has been reduced from four shows and four movies a year to two shows and three movies a year. And of course that's malleable. You could get one on either side of that, or whatever."
While this slowing down of the Marvel Studios machine has been the subject of much conversation as of late, this does mark the first time an actual number has been put on what this new content strategy will look like.
Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige recently spoke on the output of the studio, remarking that they are aiming to have each and every MCU project "hit the zeitgeist" and give everything a chance to shine, something that could be better achieved with a more conservative release schedule:
"I do think one of the powerful aspects of being at Marvel Studios is having these films and shows hit the zeitgeist. It is harder to hit the zeitgeist when there's so much product out there — and so much 'content,' as they say, which is a word that I hate. [Laughs]"
This "three movies a year" move would require a bit of shuffling as, according to Disney's most recent release slate (published in February), three of the next four years (2024, 2025, and 2026) currently have four Marvel movies scheduled to release.
See the full Marvel Studios movie slate as announced below:
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 - May 5, 2023
- The Marvels - November 3, 2023
- Captain America: New World Order - May 3, 2024
- Thunderbolts - July 26, 2024
- Blade - September 6, 2024
- Untitled Deadpool Movie - November 8, 2024
- Fantastic Four - February 14, 2025
- Avengers: The Kang Dynasty - May 2, 2025
- Untitled Marvel Movie - July 25, 2025
- Untitled Marvel Movie - November 7, 2025
- Untitled Marvel Movie - February 13, 2026
- Avengers: Secret Wars - May 1, 2026
- Untitled Marvel Movie - July 24, 2026
- Untitled Marvel Movie - November 6, 2026
Getting Back to What Works at Marvel Studios
With the woes that seem to be facing not only Marvel Studios, but the content industry as a whole right now, a slower drip feed of content is probably what is best for the MCU going forward.
The last few years for the MCU were executed under a "saturate the market" sort of approach, with audiences never being more than a few weeks away from something new from Marvel Studios.
However, that may have also cheapened the product. It meant that fans never got a chance to miss the series. And the creatives were never given the time needed to execute the way they may have wanted to.
And this "two shows and three movies a year" is not that new to Marvel Studios. Yes, the streaming series aspect may be, but back during Phases 2 and 3, this three-movie mark was very much the norm.
This would likely see the studio releasing movies at three times of the year, hitting those February, May, and November marks, that they seem to favor, doing away with the July dates they currently have scheduled on the Marvel Studios slate.
Would mean further delays for some of these films, leading to the Multiverse Saga being extended out another couple of years? Yes, yes it would.
Given the financial state of the world (and in turn the entertainment industry) is in right now a pulling back was due. It just so happens that outside of the financial aspect, Marvel Studios may have needed a move like this anyways.
Marvel Studios' next release will come with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in theaters on May 5.