How Blade Changed Superhero Movies And No One Noticed
- Published: 23 June 2019
- Not only was Blade a surprise hit for Marvel, its influence can still be found in some unexpected places. To honor that legacy, we're looking at how Blade changed superhero movies, even if you didn't always notice.
Marvel characters have been hits on television since The Marvel Super Heroes cartoon debuted in 1966. But film success came much harder. The first feature based on a Marvel comic was the infamous 1986 flop Howard the Duck, and things somehow went downhill from there, with The Punisher and Captain America both turned into low budget disasters. It's enough to make any comic book fan sick.
That changed in the 90's, though, thanks to Blade, which became a certified hit, earning over $70 million at the domestic box office. Marvel itself, however, saw very little benefit from this financial boom. Struggling to emerge from bankruptcy in the late 90's, Marvel only pocketed a measly $25,000 from Blade's success.
But even that had a silver lining. After earning so little from Blade and other films like X-Men and Spider-Man, Marvel decided to make their own film production company in order to retain all the profits from their characters. The result was the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which may never have existed without Blade.
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Marvel's first movie success | 0:11
A writer's turning point | 1:09
A new goth craze | 1:45
Plucked from obscurity | 2:18
Not just for kids anymore | 3:00