Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s recent accolades allow the trilogy to accomplish a record Marvel Studios has failed to for over ten years.
The recent success of the Guardians of the Galaxy series in the MCU allows the trilogy to accomplish an impressive record that no other has done for Marvel Studios in over 10 years. 2023 was a big year for the Guardians of the Galaxy series with the release of the third and supposedly final movie in the trilogy. Not only was the film considered a return to form for the MCU regarding critical reception, but Guardians of the Galaxy 3’s box office profit was an increasingly rare success for both Marvel Studios and the wider Hollywood industry.
When watching the Marvel movies in order, the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy has a film in Phase 2, Phase 3, and Phase 5 of the MCU’s sprawling timeline. This allowed the titular Guardians to play a major role in the broader story of the MCU which means the success of each film benefited the overarching tale the franchise was telling. While it is currently unclear how the Guardians will play a role in the upcoming list of Marvel movies, the previous success of the trilogy highlights a record Marvel Studios has not achieved for over a decade.
The record in question concerns the MCU’s Oscar nominations and wins. Since 2008, the MCU’s main form of Academy Award success has come in the realm of visual effects. While the Black Panther movies broke new ground in seeing a Marvel movie nominated for the more prestigious categories including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress, there is no denying that Marvel’s Oscar recognition is largely attributed to the visual appeal of the productions.
This is also the case with the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, with all three installments being nominated for an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. This is a record Marvel Studios has not accomplished in over 10 years, as the last series with more than three films to receive an Oscar nomination for each entry was the Iron Man trilogy. Not since 2013’s Iron Man 3 has the MCU had a series of films in which each one has been nominated for an Academy Award until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was nominated for Best Visual Effects.
While many would argue that Best Visual Effects is not a prestigious category at the Academy Awards, there is no denying that the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy’s Oscar record is important to the overall franchise. If anything, this record proves that it is possible for the MCU to still tell stories of high quality. Many have criticized the MCU’s track record since Avengers: Endgame, yet Guardians of the Galaxy 3’s recognition proved the franchise is still capable of producing high-quality films and stories.
Similarly, Guardians of the Galaxy’s Oscar record proves that the franchise still holds sway over the so-called elite of the film industry thanks to its Oscar recognition. Despite the franchise not being as wildly popular as it was between 2012 and 2019, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s Oscar nomination proves that the MCU can still impact the upper echelon of film awards. This is important for the franchise given the lack of faith audiences seem to have in it of late, a faith that the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has always seemed to reignite over the years.