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Hollywood tests the limits of superheroes' earning power

Image from Black Panther movie poster
Source: Marvel

Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a billboard for another upcoming superhero movie.

Six years after Marvel Studios launched "Iron Man," comic book heroes are ubiquitous on the big screen. And they're about to get more so, as the last few weeks have seen announcements from two big studios, showing that the trend has no sign of abating.

"For next five years until 2020, we are going to be inundated with it, a huge slate of superhero films unlike we've ever seen before," said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations Co.

Audiences show little sign of fatigue since Marvel Studios launched its so-called shared cinematic universe six years ago, analysts said, but the next few years will likely test the endurance of the genre.