Given enough time, anything will destroy itself. Marvel Studios hopes that history will not repeat itself, in the movie business at least. For the better part of a decade they have dominated each summer with blockbuster movies that always win at the box office; and often with critics. Jon Favreau's "Iron Man" gave birth to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008; and, in doing so, a new era of American film. Heroes and villains that were once only known to the fringes of society, have been welcomed into our homes. On DVDs, within books, and as action figures.
For the foreseeable future, Americans will pay an ever increasing price to watch humans, aliens, Gods, and a tree riding raccoon in their quest for the five infinity stones. (The McGuffin of the Marvel universe which grants unlimited power). Like those sought after stones, Marvel hopes that their dominance will reign for eternity, unchecked by waning interest, and competition. How long can their dominance last? Are they just one sub-par movie away from a steep decline?
Marvel has made an unprecedented string of great decisions. Every movie under their umbrella stands up as a solid, if not great film. "Thor: The Dark World" has been their least quality outing; yet it moves the overall narrative along effectively, and does not embarrass. An advantage that this movie enjoyed was that it was released at the right time. The public wanted to like every addition to the universe. As long as a movie wasn't a complete disaster, the machine would keep moving. Danger lies when the public is apathetic to the universe. When the public believes that it has seen all that is worth seeing, that quiet disappointment will turn to venom. It will eat away at the reputation, and start the decline.
Of course competitors for movie dollars will try to speed up Marvel's demise. DC is the obvious candidate. They are building a universe of their own with the most famous characters of all time. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have every bit the pop-culture clout that Spider-man, Captain America, and Iron-Man have. If done correctly Warner Brothers, and DC have what it takes turn the tide. They are taking what Marvel has done, and doing it themselves; will Marvel's head start be an asset, or detriment? In any case, DC is not the only invading army; an budding powerhouse lurks just down the hall from Marvel Studios. Poised, and able to take the throne from their sister company.
Few movies have been as anticipated as the return to a galaxy far away. Die-hard, and casual fans alike will come out in droves to see what JJ Abrams has in store for them in this winter's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Planned sequels and spin-offs will rival Marvel in quantity. Beloved characters that have been passed down generations will keep fans coming over and over. Will there be room in the crown for both of Disney’s crown jewels?
There is no shortage of factors that will weather the Marvel Cinematic Universe down until it is no more. DC, Star Wars, and a fickle public will eventually take their toll. With movies planned for the next five years, and a revitalization of the Marvel's most popular wall-crawler; I wouldn't bet that things will change any time soon. I just thought the end would be easier to handle, if we prepare for it.