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Did Marvel’s Marketing Machine Do Civil War Justice?

Marvel has turned into a proverbial fountain of money in recent years. Year after year they churn out blockbusters that wet the appetite of hoards of comic book fans the world over.

The Avengers in 2012 remains the fifth biggest grossing film of all time, according to The Numbers, and many other Marvel films aren’t far behind, either. In fact, The Avengers: Age of Ultra and Iron Man 3 sit in seventh and tenth place respectively. So, how did Marvel’s notorious marketing team do when it came to getting Captain America: Civil War out there prior to its release?

Pretty good.

The film did over $200 million in its first week, which included breaking Box Office records in Brazil, Mexico and Philippines. If you didn’t see the billboards, the streams of merchandise, the endless buzz online then maybe you were locked away in an underground bomb shelter waiting for the end of the world to come.

By far the most ingenious strategy by Marvel’s marketing team was pitting fans against each other like Iron Man and Captain America going to war in this latest release. Asking fans to choose their sides in the make-believe civil war resulted in huge merchandise sales. But here’s the genius thing. Not only did Marvel use the pulling power of Captain America, Iron Man and slew of Avengers they also brought in their biggest marketing character of all, Spider-Man.

Spider-Man has garnered the movie house over $1.3 billion in merchandising sales, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Utilizing the collective pulling power of all their biggest assets has meant Civil War has already shown itself as a money-making behemoth. Although no reports have been released yet of the merchandising milestones in terms of revenue it has reached, Civil War is expected to break records worldwide.

Marvel has done deals with thousands of local and international fashion labels to have the film’s characters emblazoned on t-shirts and hoodies across the world, and it will bring in billions. The addition of the ‘whose team are you on?’ dynamic has made the design interesting and given fans a reason to get behind their favorite superhero.

Additionally, Marvel has sold the commercial licenses to their official games to platforms such as Gala Casino in the past who host a ton of their games including the uber popular Iron Man 2, Hulk, Avengers and Captain America: The First Avenger slots, which have become a huge hit among their loyal player base. This has been a very effective way to make money and they’ve begun doing the same with this latest release. Equally, updates to the highly successful LEGO: Marvels Avengers have been downloaded by millions of fans in the lead up to the film’s release.

You can watch the trailer for the upgrade below:

All in all, the complexity of Marvel’s marketing reach is vast and unbelievably powerful. When a Marvel film is due to be released, you better believe every website on earth is writing about it to garner visitors through Google searches. The amount of infographics and games that have been spawned from the film is a testament to Marvel’s global popularity and it’s quite evident they will continue to prevail due to their unwavering fan base.

Civil War


Anthony Russo, Joe Russo


Christopher Markus (screenplay), Stephen McFeely (screenplay)


Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Sebastian Stan, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie

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