Originally Posted by Tony Stark
I think Marvel is being smart in establishing themselves like fellow Disney company Pixar, as being the quality brand in comic book films. This will allow them to develop the lesser known heroes like Ant Man without having to promote much. When people see a Pixar film is coming out, you'll go see it wheather it's a known entity like Toy Story, or an original attempt like Up or WALL-E.
I think between the Iron Man films and TIH, and with Thor getting very positive reviews, as well as getting credit for film efforts from other studios like the Spider-man movies, people know when they see the Marvel Logo what they are going to get.
They should get the rights back to Fantastic Four next year, as Fox has no intentions on doing anything more with the franchise. They faked a script and listed actors being attached who weren't contacted, just to try and retain the rights, but their bluff was called. So there's even more they can do to expand the Marvel brand.
I think they'll always have a hard time getting the general audience to tell the difference between a Marvel Studios film and a film from Fox that has a Marvel logo on it.
After Avengers, though, people will start picking up on the connections between these films and the shared universe that they're constructing. I sometimes see people misunderstand the interconnectedness as decadent fanservice; it's an emulation of the marketing genius that made 60s Marvel as huge as it was: the stories all touch each other, regardless of genre. It doesn't matter if you never pick up a MOON KNIGHT book in your life, you'll eventually see MOON KNIGHT when they drop him into a story with a character you're already reading. Maybe you'll then be curious enough to check out what's going on in his title.
Crossover stories get exhausting when they sprawl out of control in comics. In these films, they're far more compressed and manageable. Going to see Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers feels the same to me as going to see Harry Potter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Marvel Studios' challenge right now is making the general audience see this the way I do.
Unfortunately, the transfer of the Fantastic Four rights happened a very long time ago and I have no idea the terms of that deal allow them to revert to Marvel in the way Luke Cage and The Punisher did. Marvel don't need Fantastic Four now, they needed Fantastic Four when they were putting their movie studio together. FF are so foundational to Marvel storytelling that it's hard to start without them, hard to integrate them once you've started. The bright side: Fox apparently only control a selection of specific characters from FF comics and no others. Marvel Studios is free to develop Black Panther and Inhumans films, even though those characters first appeared in FF. In contrast, even if they never show up in the X-Men movies, Marvel can't put Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in the Avengers because Fox apparently got the rights to every single character who's a mutant.
That Avengers cartoon running right now seems like a prototype for the FF- and X-less "MCU" they're building. It's a bit like watching a dog learn to walk with three legs. (It happens to be a dog who's consistently producing better summer tentpole films than anyone else in the industry.)