Friday, February 26, 2016

Marvel Vs Marvel

This week everyone's buzzing about the new Deadpool movie, which has already made a skajillion dollars and is on track to become the most successful R-rated movie ever.

A lot of people are congratulating Marvel Studios for pumping out yet another huge box office hit. Trouble is, this isn't a Marvel movie. Marvel Studios had absolutely nothing to do with Deadpool! It was made by 20th Century Fox.

See, Fox owns the movie rights to all the various X-Men characters, as well as the Fantastic 4Deadpool is considered an X-Men character, so Fox got custody of him. Sony owns the movie rights to Spider-Man (although they've recently made a complicated deal allowing him to appear in Marvel Studios films). 

Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, everyone in The Avengers, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Ant-Man all belong to Marvel Studios.

I can see how it could be tough for the average movie goer to figure out what movie was made by which studio, but it's actually pretty simple. There are two different Marvel logos, one for movies made by Marvel Studios, and one for those that aren't.

Non-Marvel Studios movies like The X-MenFant4stic, Spider-Man and Deadpool sport a simple logo on a red field.

Films actually made by Marvel Studios, like Iron Man and The Avengers, also feature a Marvel logo on a red background, but with the addition of the word "Studios" below.

See? Pretty simple. When the movie starts up, look for the word "Studios" in the logo. If it ain't there, then it's not a Marvel Studios picture.


There's another way to tell if Marvel Studios actually made a movie or not, that involves the opening credits.

Non-Marvel Studios movies, such as Deadpool, begin with a series of comic book images falling into place, much like a flip book.

A two dimentional Marvel logo then slowly moves into view over the "flip book."

As the logo moves farther back, it becomes more distinct.

Eventually the comic pages fade away...

Leaving just the Marvel logo on a red field. 

Additionally, there's no special musical fanfare for the Non-Marvel opening. You simply hear the movie's theme song played over the sequence.


The Marvel Studios intro is much more elaborate.

For one thing, Marvel Studios films all start with the Marvel fanfare. It begins with an urgent, staccato string intro, followed by a soaring, important-sounding brass theme.

Once again, we get the "flip book" effect...

However this time the images are mapped to a three dimensional Marvel logo.

The logo starts out vertically, and then slowly rotates until it's horizontal.

It continues to pull back as the entire word comes into view.

It pulls back some more...

Eventually the comic images fade from the three dimensional letters.

And the flip book fades as well, leaving the logo on a red field.

Then a bright, Abrams-esque lens flare appears below the logo.

It travels across the screen...

The flare fades away, revealing the word "Studios" under the logo. Note that at this point the logo is still three dimensional, and is casting a shadow on the red background.

The logo then flattens and becomes two dimensional. That's how you know you're about to watch a true Marvel Studios film!


It might be better if the Non-Marvel Studios Marvel movies had a different colored logo to help avoid confusion, like this.

Personally I don't think Marvel Studios should label movies they didn't make with their logo at all! Marvel Studios had to know that 2015's Fant4stic was going to be a box office stinker. Plus I know from personal experience that a good portion of the movie-going public assumed it was a Marvel Studios film. What possible purpose did it serve Marvel Studios to let people think they dropped that particular cinematic deuce? If anything it harmed their brand rather than helped it.

If they were smart they'd completely remove their name from films made by other studios. Or at the very least come up with an alternate logo that explains it.

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