No rest yet for the Marvel superhero, Norse God or not

Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:10pm EDT
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By Rollo Ross and Patrick Graham

LONDON (Reuters) - Launching his 20th blockbuster in a decade in London on Tuesday, studio exec Kevin Feige is dismissive of any suggestion that the superhero movie is near its sell-by date.

Feige is one of the main movers in the Disney-owned Marvel Studios operation that has grown steadily since emerging as competition for "Batman" just over a decade ago.

With franchises including "Spider-Man", the "X-Men", "Iron Man" and last year's "The Avengers" they have scored well above $10 billion at the box office since expanding from cartoons into live action film around the turn of the Millennium.

But is there no hint of creative fatigue creeping in?

"I don't know if there's an infinite amount of expansion that we can do," Feige told Reuters ahead of the premiere of "Thor: The Dark World" in London. "But if you look at the comics, they've been telling a story a month for 50 years or so, so there's a lot of stories we can tell.

"I'd like to think that as long as we keep surprising audiences, as long as we keep taking chances and evolving characters in our movies so that they can't quite pin us down or tell where we're going to go next, that we'll keep the audiences engaged and they'll keep coming to see it."

So far this year, the Superman reboot "Man of Steel" has cleared $662 million and "Iron Man 3" some $1.2 billion worldwide, double what the first two movies in that franchise pulled in individually, according to the ticket tracking website

"There's a certain amount of spectacle and scale with superhero movies that makes people think its time to drive out and see them on a big screen," Feige said.   Continued...

Actor Chris Hemsworth arrives for the world premiere of "Thor : The Dark World" at Leicester Square in London October 22, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor