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SUPERHERO MOVIES GLUTTING UP

Guardians of the Galaxy posterFrom Brooks Barnes at the New York Times: On October 28, Marvel Entertainment announced a lineup of nine new movies that will reach theaters between now and mid-2019. The coming attractions include an entire films devoted to a female character, Captain Marvel, and to an African superhero, the Black Panther.

After revealing the roster of films, that includes a two-part Avengers: Infinity War, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, told a packed El Capitan Theater here, “As you can see, we have a hell of a lot of work to do.”

Shares of Marvel’s owner, the Walt Disney Company, promptly climbed 2 percent, closing at $89.93. Investors like long-term film-franchise building because it greatly lessens the risk of fluctuations in studio financial results.

Marvel’s announcement came two weeks after DC Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros., unveiled its own roster of nine new superhero films (with single films for Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern). Add the Marvel and DC slates to plans by other studios to keep mining the comic book genre, and Hollywood is on track to deliver 29 superhero movies in the next six years.

Can the marketplace absorb the glut? Some media analysts warn that superhero fatigue is already setting in, but Feige brushed aside concerns. “If the movies deliver in terms of quality, they will succeed,” he said.

The new Marvel movies for 2016 are Doctor Strange, which is expected to star Benedict Cumberbatch, and Captain America: Civil War, which will co-star Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and introduce Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther. Following, in 2017, will be Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther. In 2018, Marvel will release the first of the two Avengers: Infinity War movies; Captain Marvel, based around a not-yet-cast superheroine named Carol Danvers, who has cosmic powers; and Inhumans, a film that Feige said would introduce “tons” of new characters and is envisioned as “a franchise and perhaps a series of franchises.”

Feige said a version of this splashy announcement event — taking the stage were Downey, Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, and Mr. Boseman — was supposed to have happened at Comic-Con International in July. But Marvel decided to wait in part to see how audiences responded to the unknown characters in Guardians of the Galaxy, which arrived in August. It now ranks as the year’s No.1 domestic movie.

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