The Sunken Cost of Marvel Movies

Posted: June 24, 2022

How Much Marvel?

So I'll admit that the title for this came before any content. Quite simply, I want to assess how much Marvel Movie content exists, and whether or not it is worth your time to continue watching them. Also, as a disclaimer, I have seen most Marvel Movies, and a good selection of their tv shows.

So I spent some time trying to determine: How much Marvel content exists. Recently, I spent way too much time browsing individual movie wikipedia pages and imdb descriptions and compiled it all into a spreadsheet (xlsx).

Spreadsheet Takeaways (as of Jn '22)

The core phases of marvel movies would take you 2 and a half days to watch. Now, a diehard marvel fanboy would tell you that you can't just watch that. Spiderman nwh demands watching 5 old spider man movies, and relates to all other sony marvel movies; the X-Men movies will probably also become part of the shared movie universe; and while we're at it, why not include both ghost riders, 3 old fantastic 4's, deadpool, venom and morbius! Now our running total is up to 4 and 3/4 days of content.

But wait! There's more! The trailers for Dr. Strange 2 specificaly mention the events from wandavision, so ovbiously all tv shows must be counted toward our running total. If you were to guess what our running total is, you would probably undershoot. Including everything (made so far) we are at 18 and 3/4 days of content. I discovered that the total runlength for agents of shield is about 4 days (I believe it is also regarded as only partially cannonical so feel free to skip it).

For comparaison, the often laughed at anime One Piece has a runtime of 16 and 1/4 days. Let this sink in: there is more marvel than onepiece.

Sunken Cost Fallacy

I don't think it's worth my time trying to explain the sunken cost fallacy, but simply it's the same reason people still own shares of nortel or hodl some garbage cryptocurrency.

Does this apply to marvel movies?

I think it does. Core-series marvel movies really hit a peak (especially from a story arc perspective) with avengers endgame. Now, it is slowly becoming clear to more people that marvel movies are like the fast food of movies, with them dominating theatres for weeks despite being formulaic and mediocre.

CGI Battle
A meme detailing the mediocrity of new superhero movies (mostly about how nowadays they're mostly all cgi)

A good time to stop would have been after Endgame, and perhaps I'll jump off once mcu phase 4 concludes.


If you have not yet watched much marvel, I would recommend that you do not start. If you do want to watch it, I would recommend only the core series films; let nerds on the internet make "here's everything you need to know before watching x" videos for you to save you weeks of your time. However, do understand that this is still a massive time sink.

If you are a marvel superfan, and saw that I missed something in my spreadsheet, feel free to let me know, but also know that by doing so you only prove my point.