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Top 10 Annoying Things About Cinematic Universes

VO: Matthew Wende
Written by Garrett Alden With the rise of cinematic universes and almost every studio wanting their own, many suffer from the same failures and shortcomings, all in pursuit of money! WatchMojo presents the Worst Things About Cinematic Universes! Join us as we discuss everything from Marvel, DC, to monster movies! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to bobbylashley18 for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Annoying+Things+About+Cinematic+Universes

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No universe is perfect. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Annoying Things About Cinematic Universes.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the things that bug people about large interconnected film franchises, as well as the films that aspire to be part of one.

#10: The TV Spinoffs Never Seem to Affect the Movies

Cinematic universes are, as their name implies, vast and sometimes that scope includes properties on both the silver and small screens. However, despite many of the events in the films influencing those on the television shows, the reverse is rarely seen. Characters introduced on TV have a negligible chance of appearing on the big screen, which is a shame since many of them are every bit as entertaining and worthy as those in the films. This can be frustrating for fans of TV spinoffs, since it often feels as though the small screen stories are secondary or disconnected from their movie parents.

#9: The Crossovers Are Predictable

Cinematic universes naturally need to feature movies or series that act as larger crossover events for their various subseries, but so far most can be divided into two categories – stories where the characters team up or where the characters fight each other. While the two are far from mutually exclusive, it does seem like a pretty limited field of options as far as stories go. Why not tell two stories in parallel and have them collide at the end? That’s just one more possibility, and there’s bound to be many more that could and should be explored and experimented with.

#8: When They Reboot & Start Over

Reboots are a played out trend that Hollywood will keep doing until it stops making money, and cinematic universes have seen their share. Oftentimes reboots will occur so as to introduce a character into a cinematic universe who had previously been absent from it, for whatever reason. In other cases, reboots are done to set up entire cinematic universes. Whatever their reason, reboots, while necessary in some cases, can lead to franchise fatigue, as seeing the same characters and concepts for the umpteenth time in a slightly different way can sour us on what would otherwise be something enjoyable.

#7: Waiting for Post-Credits Scenes

Ever since Marvel started doing them, cinematic universes have usually featured scenes after or during the credits of their films. While this isn’t a problem when watching them once they’ve been released onto home video formats, since the scenes can simply be fast-forwarded to, the wait can feel like an eternity in the theater; particularly since most films these days have more visual effects crew members to credit than the population of some small towns. Some films alleviate this by having visually interesting credits, but they’re few and far between. Worst of all, though, is waiting for a scene that’s disappointing - or when there isn’t one at all!

#6: The Plot Holes

One problem with creating an interconnected universe of films and shows is that many challenges could probably be fixed by just picking up the phone and asking a certain somebody for help. “Oh, you’re in trouble with a bad guy? Sure, I can help.” Boom – done! At best, these discrepancies are given lip service, with someone stating that so-and-so can’t help because they’re in a remote location or one of several other go-to excuses. Most of the time, though, it’s not brought up at all, and the protagonists are on their own.

#5: Too Many Characters

A cinematic universe means a proverbial universe worth of characters. With how large they can get and how fast they can expand, it’s easy for a lot of characters to get lost in the mix, particularly for casual audiences. In addition, having so many characters can make it difficult to give every character the screen time they deserve or even require. This has led to some characters that could or should receive spinoffs of their own not receiving them, which can be especially irksome for their fans.

#4: They’re Just Copying the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Yep, it’s the elephant in the room – every other cinematic universe is only being made because of the MCU. It seems like every franchise these days wants to be one, and it’s hardly surprising. Given how successful Marvel became in less than ten years, is it any wonder that other studios have started imitating their business model? Thus far, none of the nascent cinematic universes have quite matched Marvel’s consistent quality and success, but it may only be a matter of time before one of them figures it out.

#3: You Basically Need to Watch Every Movie

Although most cinematic universes feature films that more or less stand alone, as they get larger their interconnectedness increases as well, which means audiences almost need to watch every film to have context for what’s going on and who’s who. From a marketing perspective, this is part of what makes them so profitable. However, as a viewer, it can be frustrating to want to see a film starring a favorite character and then be confused when a different character that we don’t recognize appears or something happens for reasons we don’t understand, making it less impactful. Supplemental viewing is a relatively new phenomenon to film and we’re still getting used to it.

#2: Too Much Set-Up

One of the most crucial mistakes the people behind a cinematic universe can make is focusing too heavily on setting up more films. Sprinkled teases and gradual buildup are fine, as long as it’s secondary to the plot of the film. However, when it feels like the filmmakers are trying to sell us the next film before they’ve even sold us the one we’re watching, that can be a huge downer on any cinema experience. First and foremost, studios need to focus on quality, and then quantity will follow naturally.

#1: The Studios Rushing the Movies Out

One of the biggest reasons for the previous entry is that studios are in a hurry to rush movies out. Every other studio is in a hurry to catch up to Marvel, which has had a big head start on the rest. Films are cobbled together with rushed scripts and often feature set-up for further films about as unsubtle as whatever that Flash cameo in “Suicide Squad” was. Marvel created a successful cinematic universe by building a foundation of solid films and then combining them in crossovers. Skipping ahead and hurrying things only results in subpar films that don’t hold up as well.

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