When you think about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and credits sequences, your mind is going to wander right towards the end of the movie in question, where the franchise always delivers a little additional snippet of footage to set the stage for what’s coming next. This is something Black Widow obviously adheres to.
However, opening credits are nowhere near as popular in the MCU as you might expect, with Scarlett Johansson’s solo blockbuster just the fifth of the franchise’s 24 installments to date that feature an introductory montage, and the first in over a decade outside of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy duology to do so.
It’s one of those little things that you probably don’t even notice until somebody points it out, with the majority of Marvel Studios’ big budget superhero epics typically waiting until the end to thank the various cast and crew members responsible for bringing the project to life. In Black Widow‘s case, it also serves a narrative purpose by filling in some of the gaps in Natasha’s whereabouts between the 1995-set Ohio prologue and the bulk of the story, which unfolds in the immediate aftermath of Captain America: Civil War over 20 years later.
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The first MCU movie to get an opening credits sequence was The Incredible Hulk, often regarded as the red-headed stepchild of the shared universe, with Iron Man 2 following suit a couple of years later. Despite the franchise’s second and third-ever movies opting to begin with visual exposition, it’s only happened three more times in the eleven years since.
For decades, opening credits have been a staple of cinema, so it’s strange to think that the most commercially successful string of films the industry has ever seen largely tends to avoid beginning in a similar fashion, but perhaps Black Widow will kick off a resurgence of sorts.
Source: The Direct