Comic book movies provide an escape from the bleak and mundane
Comic book movies allow the audience to escape real-world problems and live in a world of superheroes who can seemingly solve any problem.
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The popularity of comic book movies grew in the early 2000s but they didn't really take off until 2008. The reason for this is escapism. With the Great Recession in 2008, people flocked to theaters to escape dire reality. For just a few hours, people could forget that their house was going to be taken by the banks and the economy was tanking. Instead, they could watch Batman and the Joker go toe to toe, or Tony Stark build his first Ironman suit. Once the economy rebounded, there was no stopping comic book movies. People had become accustomed to escaping reality and entering the world of the superhero a couple of times a year. Marvel had already laid the foundation for an empire, and audiences were eager to see what was coming next.
While comic book movies are a form of escapism, so are countless other movies like the Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Fast and Furious franchises. Escapism does play a role in comic book movies' success, but it isn't unique to comic book movies. Thus, escapism on its own doesn't explain why comic book movies have seen so much success.