Maybe it was a surprise, but really it wasn’t at all if you’ve been awake over the last six months. The campaign to make The Avengers one of the biggest box office hits started when Robert Downey Jr. agreed to become the superhero named Iron Man, and decided to knock it out of the park. I know, and you know, that the executives started to assemble just about then, if not earlier, and scrambled to set up a future for this potentially dominating franchise. You got success of Iron Man that paved the way, with the sequel hot in its heels and proving to be a worthy second chapter, and then we bring along Captain America and Thor, both greatly successful in the box office. Never mind the built-in audience from the comic book series, which will inevitably bring in followers on any first installment. Which is funny -- because it’s obviously not a first installment, but it is. Sort of.
The perfect storm The Avengers created stems from a first installment type anticipation, combined with a sequel’s built in audience, with already loved characters and the actors who play them, which is really the recipe for at least a solid weekend at the ticket booths. What is really amazing about The Avengers movie, and it’s collection of movies past, present, and future, is the caliber of acting they convinced to join them, and who they have cultivated into stars. Robert Downey Jr. is, in my opinion, is as high caliber of an actor as you can find in the world today, and for much of the movie he is covered up by an iron suit. And of course, he still kills it. Then, just for kicks, let’s bring along three of the coolest actors in the last couple decades with Samuel L. Jackson who plays Nick Fury, Mark Ruffalo who plays The Hulk, and Jeremy Renner who plays Hawkeye. Also, we get arguably or unarguably the hottest actress in the last decade in Scarlett Johansson. In addition to these guarantees, the franchise has built up a couple semi-newcomers in Chris Evans who plays Captain America, and Chris Hemsworth who carries the hammer as Thor, and both do an outstanding job. Sprinkle in Gwyneth Paltrow for the Coldplay fans and you got a stellar cast. There’s no question that on paper this business plan is seemingly foolproof, but it’ll still be interesting to see how this franchise flourishes in the future.