The stratospheric success of The Avengers has validated Marvel’s gamble when they started making their own movies with Iron Man. Think about how they have parlayed the coin they made off the back of Tony Stark’s virgin adventure into ever-more-successful outings. They have skillfully gambled the profit they made on each film, increasing the size of their stake and gambling that to turn it into an even bigger stake, and thereby an even bigger profit. Fortune favours the brave, and the strategy reached its apogee with The Avengers’ huge return. Now the studio is ready to invest again with phase two: Iron Man 3, Thor 2, the as-yet unannounced new franchises (Black Panther? Ant Man?) and, eventually, The Avengers 2 and 3.
I was late to catch The Hunger Games. I only got around to seeing it last week and was pleasantly surprised on two counts: first, the screening at the Odeon in Leicester Square was sold out a couple of months since the film’s release and, second, that the film was good. I mean: really, really good. I haven’t read the novels and so cannot comment on how accurate the film’s portayal of Suzanne Collins’ world is, but the disjuncture between the flamboyant technology of The Capitol and its dandyish denizens and the gritty natural world represented by Katniss and Peeta worked superbly well. It was also a treat to see a film aimed at younger teenagers with such a strong female lead. Katniss is fully-realised and credible, and offers a strong role model to young girls. As the father of a new baby girl, I can definitely get behind a film like this.