Fans Are Going Through Marvel Fatigue?

A new survey has revealed an interesting trend among MCU fans: Marvel Fatigue over the amount of content out there.

By Renee Hansen | Published

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have a new diagnosis for what ails them: Marvel Fatigue. Variety reports that in a recent study conducted by Fandom, it was discovered that about one-third of Marvel fans are feeling the weight of the massive amount of content thrown their way. With numerous theatrical releases as well as the vast catalog now available via Disney+, fans of the MCU are feeling fatigued. 

Fandom’s study surveyed 5,000 entertainment and gaming fans aged 13-54 years old and what Fandom categorizes as “proprietary insights” from its platform. The study revealed that Marvel fans are franchise loyal, and will watch anything released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In contrast, DC film fans will likely stick with a favorite superhero and view movies and shows featuring that character. With the number of projects in the MCU, it is no wonder fans are experiencing Marvel Fatigue.

In our current entertainment world, it isn’t good enough to just be a fan or superfan; Fandom has taken their research further, categorizing fans into subgroups, leading to the discovery of Marvel Fatigue. Analyzing the type of fans digs deeper into the layers and pinpoints their areas of interest, which is a genius idea to aid in marketing to the fandoms.

Fandom has broken fans into subcategories, The Advocates, the die-hard fans, and The Intentionalists, who make up the most significant part of the fandom and are a bit more discerning than The Advocates.  The Culturists are the fans who feed on the buzz surrounding fandom, and The Flirt is a fan who is more invested in legacy shows that allow them the freedom to come and go while being able to engage with others. 

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Marvel is comprised mainly of Advocates and Intentionalists, which seems to be a promising finding. But this can also harm a franchise and cause something like Marvel Fatigue. Where 81% of Marvel fans will watch almost anything released, and 38% are only interested in a specific superhero; this explains why DC fans aren’t feeling the same fatigue as Marvel fans. 

Advocates and Intentionalists are the ride-or-die types of fans that are integral to the success of a fandom, but for fandom to succeed, they need to have a vast number of Culturists and Flirts in the mix. These two categories keep the legacy of the fandom as they are the watchers and re-watchers of the content. The ones who replay as background and watch to find common ground with their friends, family, and coworkers. And these groups don’t experience Marvel Fatigue as they don’t need to watch as soon as the content is released. 

Despite the findings of Fandom studies, it is doubtful that the MCU will slow things down. Although fans are experiencing some burnout, most Advocate and Intentionalist fans will be sorely disappointed if Marvel decides to cut back on future projects. And Marvel Fatigue will be the least of the MCU’s worries. These are also the fans that are very vocal, positive or negative, and can really be detrimental to a fandom.