How Black Adam and Wakanda Forever Refute ‘Superhero Fatigue’

How Black Adam and Wakanda Forever Refute ‘Superhero Fatigue’

Hollywood always worries about so-called “superhero fatigue” in audiences, but Black Adam and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever show it’s nowhere close.

While the box office numbers are not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, Black Adam is poised to cross $100 million domestically and $250 million globally in its second weekend. In a few weeks, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever stalks a box office debut that will rival the pre-pandemic era. Yet, regardless of how they perform, both of these films are another data point suggesting that if “superhero fatigue” exists, it’s still a long ways away.


Just four years ago, Black Panther debuted, and it was a sensation. It grossed over a billion dollars, and it was a cultural moment for the cultural diversity at play in the film. In 2022, Black Adam and Wakanda Forever feature multiracial casts, with heroes, villains and every archetype in between. What makes these films so exciting is that they tell stories in places that are still very new to even diehard superhero film aficionados. That is why the notion of superhero fatigue is, at best, a vague guess about audience preferences based on history. Even with two decades of “modern” superhero storytelling, it’s still only the beginning. And with the hype for Wakanda Forever and another milestone passed for Black Adam’s box office, it might even be fair to ask if superhero fatigue is a real concern.

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