The marvel cinematic franchise, owned by Disney, who are the third biggest media conglomerate, and bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009, has become hugely popular globally over the years and the franchise became one of the first to put into action transmedia storytelling.
The Marvel Franchise, which has a revenue of 22.9 Billion dollars (Statista, 2021), has moved on from its initial publication of comics in 1939 to the well-known films produced by Marvel studios, as well as other media formats such as Television series such as Wandavision on Disney plus (2021), and video games such as Marvel Avengers Alliance (2012) which has allowed for this franchise to be successful when looking towards the global media culture . Ruth, states that “the conglomeration of the American and television industries has increasingly privileged franchises over original content.’ (Ruth, 2019). This is perhaps why the Marvel franchise has gained such traction globally because of its ability to be transcultural and transmedia.
The Marvel franchise has been so successful, in terms of transmedia being that ‘transmedia storytelling requires a complete and unified view of the world.’ (Moving Images, Multiple screens, 2017), as although the films are based around superheroes, it is something individuals globally can enjoy and although they can’t relate to the premise of the storylines, the way that superheroes are anomalies in everyday is something they relate to meaning there aren’t any cultural barriers. Furthermore, the themes and hidden messages within the films allow the viewer to relate and ‘viewers get even more out of the experience if they compare notes and share resources than if they try to go it alone’, hence the 63% of adults who view themselves as fans of the franchise.’ (Shevenock, 2019)
‘A transmedia story unfolds across multiple media platforms, with each new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole.’ (Jenkins, 2008). Each marvel film released, opens new doors to new and existing characters, meaning the viewer will build a connection to each character, and when new media formats are released, they are persuaded to delve further into the franchise world.
When noting the Marvel Franchise, they have been able to keep their branding throughout the whole franchise, through continuing plot lines from movie to movie, as well as showing recaps from all prior events to keep the audience in the loop of the universe. As well as this, the franchise has gained such traction by, ‘providing the audience with a truly immersive experience that lasted even after they left the theatre.’ (Akshay Pai, 2021). A final example of codes and conventions of transcultural media used by the franchise, is cross-promotion. By involving another similar company to promote your product and continue brand awareness to viewers who wouldn’t have come across the franchise before. An example is this promotional video used to promote the Captain Marvel movie.
It’s clear the conglomerate of the Marvel Franchise and universe has been a huge success over the span of its time, which is why it is still so popular reaching audiences globally. The way the Marvel franchise and universe utilise their different media platforms keeps people involved in the universe and in hopefully bringing new audiences in, from all over the world. They are attached to the characters who keep coming back film after film, and they want to fully dive into the world of marvel as much as they can because they are products of the media ultimately and the franchises wouldn’t be nearly as successful without the international support. As well as this viewers embrace new media formats released such as games and TV series, leading to global success for these franchises that we see today.
Akshay Pai (2021). Marvel: Building Cinematic Universe with strategy – TheStrategyStory. [online] TheStrategyStory. Available at: https://thestrategystory.com/2021/03/29/marvel-cinematic-universe-strategy/ [Accessed 26 Nov. 2021].
Entertainment, M. (2019). Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel | Monday Motivation: Taking Flight. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b8rukjThTs&t=43s [Accessed 26 Nov. 2021].
Jenkins, H. (2008). Convergence culture : where old and new media collide. New York ; London: New York University Press, Dr.
Moving Images, Multiple screens. (2017). Transmedia storytelling of Marvel Universe. [online] Available at: https://filmtvmovingimage.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/transmedia-storytelling-of-marvel-universe/ [Accessed 26 Nov. 2021].
Ruth (2019). An Overview of the Media Franchise – From Jaws to the Avengers – Edinburgh University Press Blog. [online] Edinburgh University Press Blog. Available at: https://euppublishingblog.com/2019/06/06/an-overview-of-the-media-franchise-from-jaws-to-the-avengers/ [Accessed 26 Nov. 2021].
Shevenock, S. (2019). DC vs. Marvel? For Fans, It’s More Like DC Plus Marvel. [online] Morning Consult. Available at: https://morningconsult.com/2019/07/17/dc-vs-marvel-for-fans-its-more-like-dc-plus-marvel/#:~:text=When%20looking%20at%20overall%20popularity,behind%20them%20at%2059%20percent. [Accessed 26 Nov. 2021].
Statista. (2021). Highest grossing film franchises & series worldwide 2021 | Statista. [online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/317408/highest-grossing-film-franchises-series/ [Accessed 26 Nov. 2021].