Marvel Studios celebrated its 10-year movie-making anniversary in 2018. And with multiple movie releases during most of those years, the numbers really start to add up. With a major release happening next year, you might be wondering just how long this superhero movie thing is going to last.
How many Marvel movies are there so far? And how do they all relate to each other? Read on to find out which ones are must-watches and which you can ignore.
Why Avengers: Endgame isn’t ‘just another superhero movie’
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, having made over $14 billion in total at the box office. And they’ve made a lot of movies based around characters from Marvel comics — and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Is superhero movie fatigue discouraging you from rushing to yet another midnight release? Think twice before skipping it’s biggest movie of 2019.
For fans of the MCU, Avengers: Endgame is more than just another addition to an ever-growing (and highly successful) film franchise. It’s likely the end of an era, and will probably phase out several characters who have been part of the franchise’s overarching storyline for over 10 years.
It’s going to be a big deal. In other words, if you’re planning on catching up before April, you should probably start now. Here’s how to do that.
List of Marvel movies in order
When you hear your friends joke about how there are over a dozen movies in the MCU, they’re not exaggerating. Actually, a total of 20 films have been released, with three more scheduled in 2019. Films are broken into “phases” of which there are currently three.
- Iron Man
- The Incredible Hulk
- Iron Man 2
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- The Avengers
- Iron Man 3
- Thor: The Dark World
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: Civil War
- Doctor Strange
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Black Panther
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
If you’re going to watch every movie documenting significant events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s probably best to watch them in order of original release and not by the time period in which they take place.
Iron Man technically begins the story, despite the fact that Captain America: The First Avenger primarily takes place decades before. It makes a lot more sense once you start watching.
But if you don’t have time to watch 21 Marvel movies before April 26 (Captain Marvel releases in March 2019), there may be a few you can afford to skip.
Which Marvel movies can you skip?
You don’t technically have to watch all the movies in the MCU to figure out what’s going on. There are some stories you can afford to skip over along the way.
For example, you really don’t need to see The Incredible Hulk to know that Bruce Banner is a very smart scientist but sometimes turns into a giant green rampaging monster. Unless you’re very invested in Tony Stark’s backstory, you probably don’t need to watch either of the two Iron Man sequels, either.
Also optional viewing material: Thor: The Dark World. Do watch Ragnarok, though, for some Infinity War context.