Spider-Man: No Coming Home Star Alfred Molina is the latest MCU actor to respond to Martin Scorsese’s criticism of Marvel, but does so from a unique perspective. Scorsese is a legendary and highly decorated American filmmaker, however, he has received mixed reactions when it comes to his opinion of Marvel movies. The filmmaker infamously compared Marvel movies and the superhero genre to “theme parks.” Essentially, he expressed the belief that Marvel films are good at providing unique thrills for adrenaline seekers, but failed to be true cinema by refraining from conversing about the human condition. His views sparked debate within the film industry and prompted responses from several Marvel stars and filmmakers.
In an interview with The Independent, Molina responded to Scorsese’s criticism of Marvel movies. However, he approached the matter a little differently by disagreeing with Scorsese’s statement, but also admitting that there is a problem with Marvel movies. According to him, the problem is not that Marvel is a lesser art form, but that its films are way too expensive. When a single movie costs $300 million, it suggests a failure to give all movies an equal chance. Check out his statement below:
“[Film is] a very large church, and there’s room for every kind of denomination. In the end, making these movies isn’t the problem. The problem is the inequitable distribution of the funds available to make films. Do movies really have to cost $300 million? Must these films have spent $150 million to attract an audience? Whatever the accountants say, or whatever the economics, there’s a kind of inequity with that. [I’d like to see] some of that Premier League money goes to the lower leagues. For all the kind of egalitarian shine that we like to give to this company, there isn’t much of it in real terms.”
Why Marvel Movies Are So Expensive
Molina makes an interesting point in his response to Scorsese. While individuals like James Gunn and Tom Holland have addressed and largely dismissed Scorsese’s criticism, Molina is willing to admit that the franchise could have a negative impact on the film industry. The massive budget of these films and their dominance of the box office are sometimes disproportionate to the funds and attention that other films get. However, his discussion also raises the very interesting question of whether Marvel movies really have to be that expensive. While a $300 million budget sounds amazing, it makes a bit more sense when the cost of Marvel movies is broken down.
A big chunk of the Marvel movies budget goes to CGI. Part of the success of Marvel movies is the incredible visual effects they offer audiences. However, these effects are not cheap, and the more visual effects, the higher the budget. This is largely the reason why Avengers: Endgame came with a whopping $330 million budget. Additionally, each movie hires hundreds of artists, producers, and other crew members to make the movies, who each come with a salary.
Then there’s the huge cost that comes with using lead. With the size of the franchise and the star power some of these players have accumulated, they have some serious bargaining power. Robert Downey, Jr. reportedly received an initial salary of $20 million for Avengers: Endgame — and he’s just one member of a massive cast. Meanwhile, once Marvel has spent millions on a movie, they can’t risk the movie failing at the box office. Hence, they invested millions more in promoting the film and securing box office profits. Breaking it all down, it’s not hard to see why Marvel movies push budgets over $100 million. It’s hard, however, to say if they could pull off the spectacle, grandeur, and hype around these movies without the massive budgets. Expenses are part of what makes Marvel movies unique and appealing to viewers. As Spider-Man: No Coming HomeAs Molina pointed out, it’s no secret that Marvel movies are expensive, but what’s harder to say is the impact of those budgets on the rest of the industry.
Next: Marvel’s Perfect Ending Just Ruined Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2Source: The Independent