Over 37% Of MCU Fans Said This Was The Best Phase 2 Movie

(Welcome to Survey Says, a feature where we conduct a movie-related survey for a random group of people and explain why they're completely right, completely wrong, or somewhere in-between.)

Phase 2 of Marvel's massive cinematic universe was where the franchises really began to grow, for better and worse. Some of the movies followed their Phase 1 origin stories, like "Thor: The Dark World" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," while others introduced entirely new characters to the MCU, like "Guardians of the Galaxy." We asked 635 fans in the U.S. about their opinion on the best MCU Phase 2 movie, and the results were a tiny bit surprising. 

Going Gaga for the Guardians

Alright, so it's not that surprising that more than 37% of those surveyed chose "Guardians of the Galaxy" as the best Phase 2 MCU movie. The flick is a blast and features a huge ensemble cast of beloved TV and movie stars like Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista. Bradley Cooper voices a talking raccoon and Vin Diesel is a giant tree-man! What's not to love? 

"Guardians" is one of two movies introducing new characters to the MCU in Phase 2. The other, "Ant-Man," only got about 12% of the overall votes. So why did "Guardians" do so much better than "Ant-Man?" For one, "Guardians" was written and helmed by James Gunn, who makes movies that are a lot of stinking fun. "Ant-Man" had a seriously rocky development, with director Edgar Wright leaving over creative differences in 2014. The movie was eventually directed by Peyton Reed, who would go on to helm its sequel, "Ant-Man and the Wasp." While "Ant-Man" has a great protagonist in Paul Rudd's Scott Lang, the movie's jumbled script left more to be desired.

For their part, the "Guardians" would go on to have one of the more popular Phase 3 entries with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," and Gunn and co. are already set to make "Vol. 3" in the near future

Sorting the Sequels

So where did the rest of the Phase 2 movies fall? Following "Guardians," the most popular entry was "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" with nearly 17% of votes. Just behind that was "Iron Man 3" with nearly 16% of votes. Both "The Winter Soldier" and "Iron Man 3" are sequels to Phase 1 movies with previously established characters and themes, so it's no surprise that they have their own devoted fanbases. Just after that was the aforementioned "Ant-Man," then "Thor: The Dark World" with less than 10% of votes. "The Dark World" was panned by critics and audiences alike, so the low ranking makes sense.

The big surprise comes with the lowest-ranked movie: "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Sure, the second team-up wasn't nearly as exciting as the first time we got to see all of the Avengers together, but it wasn't worse than "The Dark World." Perhaps the biggest issue with "Age of Ultron" is the villain, Ultron. Loki was a great villain in Phase 1 and Thanos is utterly terrifying in Phase 3, but Ultron is kind of just there.

Whatever the reason, the fans polled just really didn't like "Age of Ultron." Maybe they just really liked Loki's scenes in "The Dark World." That's my theory, because everyone loves Loki.