This is going to sound like an absurd statement, but something I think Marvel/Disney doesn’t get enough credit for the success of its cinematic universe. One obvious benchmark–even with Marvel there to copy–is the fact that no one else yet has managed to pull it off. DC/Warners has managed to avoid losing any money yet, but they perennially seem to be one bomb away from blowing the whole thing. I have to say, either Justice League or Wonder Woman better be an actually terrific movie. That’s what they need more than a big hit, really.
Meanwhile, Fox can’t get the Fantastic Four off the ground. This means they have nothing to merge with the various X-Men properties, including Deadpool, who really isn’t conducive to appearing in their more mainstream films anyway. Hugh Jackman is going to stop playing Wolverine. There’s a lot of problems there, including the fact that most of the X-Men movies have been OK instead of really good.
And, of course, there’s Universal. Horror is a hard sell these days, and no one’s ever managed to pull off tent pole horror, probably because size and money don’t mean much (or actually hurt) where horror is concerned.One reason monster movies have died, I think, is that there’s almost nobody doing medium-sized movies anymore. You have cheapie TV or DTV flicks, like the woeful Syfy movies, or attempts to make gigantic blockbuster films. Monsters probably work best in that middle ground. Maybe following the success of Stranger Things somebody like Netflix will start tilling that field.
The Mummy has already proved workable as Indiana Jones-style action/horror, so Universal’s trying again but upping the straight action action. Getting Tom Cruise to star in this is probably the best thing they could do, but is it what audiences want? And does that mean action-inflected Dracula, Frankenstein Monster and Wolfman films? I remain dubious.