Number 10: Guardians of the Galaxy
This probably remains Marvel Studios’ greatest success story. A film with no connection to the Avengers featuring a raccoon and a talking tree became a monster hit. Just like with Joss Whedon and The Russo brothers, Marvel found an ultra-talented filmmaker in James Gunn who fully understood a property.
Largely basing his take on the beloved Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning update on the Guardians, this proved immediately accessible for audiences. Thanks to its charming characters, unique sense of humor and awesome mixtape, Guardians proved a monster hit and showed the MCU wasn’t just the Avengers’ turf any more.
Guardians also opened up a new genre for the MCU with action comedy in a space setting that could ultimately be used to introduce even more characters.