With another big budget comic book adaptation on release with 'Thor: The Dark World' and a plethora of superhero films on the horizon, how long will the current fad for comic-book movies last?
(WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES) - Fresh from launching his 20th blockbuster in a decade, studio executive Kevin Feige is dismissive of any suggestion that the superhero movie is near its sell-by date.
Feige is a key figure at the Disney-owned Marvel Studios, which has grown steadily since emerging as competition for "Batman" just over a decade ago.
With franchises including the "X-Men", "Iron Man" and last year's "The Avengers" Feige has scored billions at the box office since expanding from cartoons into live action film just over a decade ago.
"There is an infinite amount of expansion we can do. There are a lot of stories that we can tell and a lot of avenues that we can go," Feige told Reuters.
He also put the popularity of Marvel's movies down to a number of factors.
"The fact there's a certain amount of spectacle and visual splendour in superhero movies makes it worth people's time to see something on a big screen. And the characters are relatable because everybody likes to see a hero overcome their flaws," Feige told Reuters.
There are a plethora of new and existing comic book adaptations coming to multiplexes soon, including 'X-Men: Days of Future Past', 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2', 'Captain America: Winter Soldier', 'Doctor Strange', 'Ant-Man', 'Batman vs. Superman', and 'Guardians of the Galaxy', to name a few. The director of the second "Thor" movie, Alan Taylor, agrees that the run of superhero movies will not be ending anytime soon.
"Any wave of culture is a fad. It's going to end at some point, and there are market forces driving this as well as cultural stuff," he said. "I don't think we're anywhere near the end of it yet."
Like its predecessor - which took more than £200 million worldwide - "Thor: The Dark World" is an action movie about Thor trying to save Earth.
For Australian-born Chris Hemsworth, riding a wave of critical praise for Formula 1 movie "Rush", there is no sign of fatigue with superhero films.
"They seem to certainly be at the forefront of pop culture and what kids are talking about. It's great to be in amongst it, at its height when there's this much enthusiasm," he said.
'Thor: The Dark World' is already doing big business making $109.4 million dollars outside North America. However, its overall success will be measured by its opening weekend in North America which starts from Friday (Nov. 8).