2021 marks the first time the Marvel Cinematic Universe has released four feature films in a single calendar year, and they’ve all performed to varying degrees of admiration given the circumstances created by the pandemic.
Black Widow hauled in $379 million at the box office despite a day-and-date Disney Plus release that saw Scarlett Johansson slap the Mouse House with a lawsuit, while Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings went down a storm with audiences and set several commercial benchmarks.
Eternals is the worst-reviewed installment in MCU history but still managed to crack $400 million globally, before Spider-Man: No Way Home arrived to demolish everything in its path. While we’re not expecting any of them to be awards season contenders, the franchise’s quartet of fresh titled have all been shortlisted for an Oscar nonetheless.
All four are among the contenders to make the final list for Best Visual Effects, while No Way Home also landed recognition for Best Sound. That’s not exactly going to quell Kevin Feige’s belief that the Oscars are biased against his lavish comic book adaptations, and there will almost certainly be nominations in the technical categories forthcoming, but at least it indicates the MCU’s CGI wizards are doing consistently great work.