Deadpool & Wolverine trailer becomes most-watched trailer in the history of trailers

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken its lumps lately. Between Deadpool & Wolverine on the one hand and Fantastic Four on the other, is a revival on the way?
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool/Wade Wilson in Marvel Studios' DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2024 20th Century Studios / © and ™ 2024 MARVEL.
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool/Wade Wilson in Marvel Studios' DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2024 20th Century Studios / © and ™ 2024 MARVEL. /

This past weekend, on Super Bowl Sunday, Marvel dropped a trailer for the third Deadpool movie, which we now know is called Deadpool & Wolverine. Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman will return to their iconic superhero roles for two hours (or so) of violence, meta jokes, and tomfoolery:

Conventional wisdom has it that the superhero movie boom of the last 15 years is quieting down, but Deadpool 3 was always going to be a hit. Reynolds and company are fantastic at manufacturing media events, and this is no different. In fact, according to Deadline, the Deadpool & Wolverine trailer was watched 365 million times online after it dropped on Sunday. That makes it the most-viewed trailer ever in that time span, beating out the record previously set by the first trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home, which was watched 355 million times in 24 hours.

In fact, with today's announcement that everything-everywhere-all-at-once actor Pedro Pascal will be joining the cast of Fantastic Four movie, there seems to be genuine hype around the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and this following a year when tentpole movies like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania underperformed and The Marvels outright bombed. Is Disney's strategy to give us a "reduced volume" of superhero movies and shows actually working? At this moment, fans may dare to hope.

Of course, this doesn't mean that all superhero movies are salvageable...

Madame Web gets wretched reviews ahead of weekend release

This weekend will see the release of Madame Web, a Spider-Man-adjacent story about a clairvoyant superhero usually depicted as an elderly string-puller in the comics but played in the movie by 50 Shades of Grey veteran Dakota Johnson.

Although Madame Web is technically a Marvel character, her movie is being released by Sony, not Marvel, for intellectual property rights issues involving the Spider-Man universe that we don't need to get into right now. The reviews are in and they are terrible. A sampling:

  • The Guardian: "There is something sickly compelling about how disjointed and thoroughly incompetent Madame Web is, less as so-bad-its-fun Midnight Movie and more studio film-making in the 2020s at its very worst case study."
  • Deadline: "Madame Web embodies the pitfalls of mainstream superhero cinema: films not driven by story and character but seemingly by studio mandates, and franchise considerations."
  • Austin Chronicle: "A car crash would be more interesting. Madame Web is a fender bender -- nothing calamitous, just a time suck. An annoyance. A waste."

People do seem to enjoy Dakota Johnson's work in the movie, for what it's worth, but she can't save the film.

Low-rent also-ran movies like Madame Web are part of any Hollywood trend, and superhero movies have been trending for a while. Sony kind of specializes in these sorts of failures; the last superhero movie it put out was Morbius, another movie that gained a reputation for being, at best, so bad it's good.

It's up to Marvel, which kicked off the superhero boom with Iron Man way back in 2008, to set the standard and keep the trend alive, if it can. Deadpool & Wolverine and Fantastic Four both seem like hits in waiting, which is great news for the superhero faithful.

Madame Web director recalls making "great" pilot for canceled Game of Thrones prequel. dark. Next. Madame Web Bloodmoon

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