In case you haven't heard, Marvel Animation and Lionsgate Films has four more films to release before the end of their eight picture deal. The contract stipulates that each feature must be a good seller right off the bat or the contract can be canceled.
The studio's first three pictures, Ultimate Avengers, Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Black Panther and Invincible Iron Man did really well in their initial sales. In fact, Iron Man continues to sell well twenty months after its release, no doubt due to the blockbuster movie.
Doctor Strange, the studio's fourth picture, didn't do so well. Likely due to the Sorcerer Supreme not being an A-List superhero like the Hulk, Iron Man or Captain America. The DVD didn't sell well and there were rumours of Lionsgate pulling out. But lucky for everyone that didn't happen.
Next to be released is Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow on September 2 which is expected to do much better than Doctor Strange. I think this is partly because the movie will feature Iron Man and the Hulk, two heroes that had successful motion pictures this summer. They are surefire winners.
It's that fact that two out of three of the next three films will feature the Green Goliath. The Hulk will be the focus of the upcoming Hulk vs. to be released January 13, 2009 which pits the Hulk against Wolverine and Thor. Fans will also be able to see the Hulk return in Hulk: Planet Hulk in 2010. Sandwich Thor: Tales from Asgard in the middle (just in time for the live action Thor movie) and we have the rest of the eight films!
My question is if the studio is willing to take a risk with their films so that we can see some of the more obscure characters? The Hulk will be a featured character in five out of eight of these movies. Do we really want to see another Hulk movie? Or would we rather see Cloak & Dagger, Generation X or the Age of Apocalypse? Every movie doesn't have to feature the lesser known characters, but it would be nice to see them take a little risk.
Rumours are that Ultimate Avengers 3, Invincible Iron Man 2 and Captain America will be on the list if the contract is renewed for another eight films.
Thanks to Marvel Animation Age for some (most) of the information for this article.