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The Ultimate Marvel Cinematic Universe Bracket

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Which movie will be declared the best?

This week at SB Nation, we are dove hard into the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) given that Black Widow was supposed to have already debuted in theaters. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the release date has been pushed to Nov. 6, meaning we have to wait just a bit longer to see how the MCU opens up its next slate of films after the epic, sprawling “Infinity Saga.”

The silver lining of it all is that it gave us a chance to be a little more reflective about the franchise that we have been able to experience over the last 12 years. Because we are sports fans thirsty for competition, we released The Ultimate Marvel Cinematic Universe Bracket.

We polled fans on Twitter, Instagram, and this page to crown the ultimate winner. After 150,000 votes over an entire week, we have a decision.

The Ultimate Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Endgame.

If you can’t see the voting box, click here

Here’s how the voting played out all week.

The Final Showdown

(1) Avengers: Endgame vs. (1) Avengers: Infinity War

“I am...inevitable.”

This was not a pre-determined tournament of results, but there’s a reason these two movies were the top two seeds overall. Some would argue that this should count as one two-part story, but Marvel doesn’t and neither will we. So now our readers are left to decide with which part of the epic conclusion they prefer. Is it the unraveling of a universe at a breakneck pace that Infinity War provides or the slower, contemplative and nostalgic Endgame that takes home the final prize? We’re about to find out.

Poll

(1) Avengers: Endgame vs. (1) Avengers: Infinity War

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Avengers: Endgame
    (204 votes)
  • 50%
    Avengers: Infinity War
    (205 votes)
409 votes total Vote Now

Thursday’s Final Four results

(1) Avengers: Endgame vs. (1) Captain America: Civil War

This is the first time that the website vote didn’t totally match up with the Twitter and Instagram push, as Civil War took the cake on Instagram to push itself to a slim victory. The three biggest Russo Brothers films remain.

Poll

(1) Avengers: Endgame vs. (1) Captain America: Civil War

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Avengers: Endgame
    (355 votes)
  • 26%
    Captain America: Civil War
    (127 votes)
482 votes total Vote Now

(1) Avengers: Infinity War vs. (1) Thor: Ragnarok

Ragnarok’s post-credits scene segues right Into the beginning of Infinity War, so this matchup felt destined to happen. Thor’s arc through both of these films is tremendous.

Poll

(1) Avengers: Infinity War vs. (1) Thor: Ragnarok

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Avengers: Infinity War
    (259 votes)
  • 46%
    Thor: Ragnarok
    (223 votes)
482 votes total Vote Now

Wednesday’s third round results

I Love You 3000 Region

(1) Avengers: Endgame vs. (2) Iron Man

The movie that started it all gets to showdown with the movie that (unofficially) ended the Infinity Saga. This should be a fun one to track.

Poll

(1) Avengers: Endgame vs. (2) Iron Man

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Avengers: Endgame
    (473 votes)
  • 26%
    Iron Man
    (168 votes)
641 votes total Vote Now

America’s Ass Region

(1) Captain America: Civil War vs. (2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Some have argued that the seeds should have been swapped between these two movies, but now it doesn’t matter. Pitting the second two Cap films against each other almost feels dirty, but we are running a competition here.

Poll

(1) Captain America: Civil War vs. (2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Captain America: Civil War
    (286 votes)
  • 54%
    Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    (349 votes)
635 votes total Vote Now

I am Groot Region

(1) Avengers: Infinity War vs. (2) Guardians of the Galaxy

Our third chalk matchup of the day so far takes us to Josh Brolin’s first appearance as Thanos in Guardians compared to his finest appearance as the Mad Titan.

Poll

(1) Avengers: Infinity War vs. (2) Guardians of the Galaxy

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Avengers: Infinity War
    (377 votes)
  • 41%
    Guardians of the Galaxy
    (267 votes)
644 votes total Vote Now

Point Break Region

(1) Thor: Ragnarok vs. (2) The Avengers

Perhaps the MCU’s funniest movie now goes up against the first ensemble team-up. Both films also feature fights between Thor and Hulk, and Ragnarok specifically has callbacks to the first one.

Poll

(1) Thor: Ragnarok vs. (2) The Avengers

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Thor: Ragnarok
    (403 votes)
  • 37%
    The Avengers
    (240 votes)
643 votes total Vote Now

Tuesday’s second round results

I Love You 3000 Region

(1) Avengers: Endgame vs. (4) Ant-Man

This showdown pits Ant-Man’s first appearance in this universe against arguably his best and most important appearance. We think we know how this matchup is going to go, though.

Poll

(1) Avengers: Endgame vs. (4) Ant-Man

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    Avengers: Endgame
    (572 votes)
  • 8%
    Ant-Man
    (53 votes)
625 votes total Vote Now

(3) Black Panther vs. (2) Iron Man

This is easily the most interesting matchup in the first round. Both of these films sent shockwaves through pop culture following their release and Black Panther would even go on to earn a nomination for Best Picture. Robert Downey Jr. proved to be a perfect casting and if that did not work, this franchise may not exist as it does today.

Poll

(3) Black Panther vs. (2) Iron Man

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Black Panther
    (293 votes)
  • 53%
    Iron Man
    (337 votes)
630 votes total Vote Now

America’s Ass Region

(1) Captain America: Civil War vs. (4) Captain America: The First Avenger

Tuesday’s matchups signal the sign of the heavyweights entering the arena and Civil War is one of the biggest and most important Marvel films there is. But does the size of the film outweigh the charm of Cap’s first appearance? That’s for you to decide.

Poll

(1) Captain America: Civil War vs. (4) Captain America: The First Avenger

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    Captain America: Civil War
    (465 votes)
  • 25%
    Captain America: The First Avenger
    (159 votes)
624 votes total Vote Now

(3) Spider-Man: Homecoming vs. (2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The second Captain America solo film had a legitimate case for a one-seed, so we will see how that affects it moving forward here. Homecoming scored a very comfortable win over Iron Man 3 to advance to the second round in this tournament.

Poll

(3) Spider-Man: Homecoming vs. (2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Spider-Man: Homecoming
    (224 votes)
  • 63%
    Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    (397 votes)
621 votes total Vote Now

I Am Groot Region

(1) Avengers: Infinity War vs. (5) Avengers: Age of Ultron

Age of Ultron scored the first “upset” of the tournament by knocking off Thor: The Dark World, but now finds itself in the way of a speeding freight train that might be destined to make it to the end of the week.

Poll

(1) Avengers: Infinity War vs. (5) Avengers: Age of Ultron

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Avengers: Infinity War
    (584 votes)
  • 6%
    Avengers: Age of Ultron
    (40 votes)
624 votes total Vote Now

(3) Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 vs. (2) Guardians of the Galaxy

Pitting the two Guardians movies up against each other hurts our hearts, but it is the way that the seeding broke down. It comes down to deciding on if you prefer the simpler original or the weirder (in a good way) second installment.

Poll

(3) Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 vs. (2) Guardians of the Galaxy

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
    (117 votes)
  • 81%
    Guardians of the Galaxy
    (504 votes)
621 votes total Vote Now

Point Break Region

(1) Thor: Ragnarok vs. (4) Ant-Man and The Wasp

We probably know how this matchup is going to shake out, but these are arguably two of the most fun movies in the entire franchise. It is impossible not to crack a smile throughout either of them.

Poll

(1) Thor: Ragnarok vs. (4) Ant-Man and The Wasp

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    Thor: Ragnarok
    (568 votes)
  • 9%
    Ant-Man and The Wasp
    (57 votes)
625 votes total Vote Now

(3) Spider-Man: Far from Home vs. (2) The Avengers

The second Spidey solo film in the MCU now gets to take on the movie that really kicked this franchise into high gear. The original Avengers movie looks so simple and low stakes compared to what came after it, but it holds up and is still a ton of fun.

Poll

(3) Spider-Man: Far from Home vs. (2) The Avengers

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Spider-Man: Far from Home
    (149 votes)
  • 75%
    The Avengers
    (465 votes)
614 votes total Vote Now

If you can’t see the voting box, click here

Monday’s first round results

Byes: (1) Avengers: Endgame, (1) Avengers: Infinity War, (1) Thor: Ragnarok, (1) Captain America: Civil War, (2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier, (2) The Avengers, (2) Guardians of the Galaxy

I Love You 3000 Region

(4) Ant-Man vs. (5) Thor: The Dark World

Ant-Man emerged somewhat late as one of the more likable heroes in the MCU, while Thor: The Dark World was a big reason why it took Marvel so long to make the titular character of Thor someone that audiences could gravitate towards in Thor: Ragnarok.

Poll

(4) Ant-Man vs. (5) Thor: The Dark World

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Ant-Man
    (1531 votes)
  • 10%
    Thor: The Dark World
    (172 votes)
1703 votes total Vote Now

America’s Ass Region

(4) Captain America: The First Avenger vs. (5) Doctor Strange

It hurt us to have the first Captain America adventure ranked so low, but it was the first one that we watched, and it speaks to the quality of the films that came after it. Doctor Strange is another character that felt ranked low, but is more a testament to what was ranked ahead of him.

Poll

(4) Captain America: The First Avenger vs. (5) Doctor Strange

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Captain America: The First Avenger
    (965 votes)
  • 43%
    Doctor Strange
    (741 votes)
1706 votes total Vote Now

(3) Spider-Man: Homecoming vs. (6) Iron Man 3

Tom Holland’s solo film debut as the wall-crawling superhero is a delightful outing that pretty much nailed the modern high school experience and aesthetic with a tremendous plot twist to set up the third act of the movie. Iron Man 3 is just kind of...there. And the twist with The Mandarin is quite frankly mostly insulting.

Poll

(3) Spider-Man: Homecoming vs. (6) Iron Man 3

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Spider-Man: Homecoming
    (1404 votes)
  • 17%
    Iron Man 3
    (288 votes)
1692 votes total Vote Now

I am Groot Region

(4) Thor vs. (5) Avengers: Age of Ultron

This one pits Thor’s first appearance up against Thor’s fourth appearance in the MCU. Chris Hemsworth’s blonde eyebrows in the first one are ridiculously distracting, but that does not take away from the fact that the movie is otherwise a pretty good time (outside of all of those Dutch angle shots, of course).

Poll

(4) Thor vs. (5) Avengers: Age of Ultron

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Thor
    (663 votes)
  • 60%
    Avengers: Age of Ultron
    (1036 votes)
1699 votes total Vote Now

(3) Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 vs. (6) The Incredible Hulk

Some would argue that the second Guardians movie is better than the first. Almost absolutely nobody would argue that the Edward Norton Hulk film is in the same breath as any of its peers in this universe.

Poll

(3) Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 vs. (6) The Incredible Hulk

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
    (1781 votes)
  • 6%
    The Incredible Hulk
    (124 votes)
1905 votes total Vote Now

Point Break Region

(4) Ant-Man and The Wasp vs. (5) Captain Marvel

The second film in the Ant-Man series is a heck of a lot of fun and has an argument to be ranked higher than the first one. Captain Marvel’s place in the universe makes significantly more sense when you watch in story order.

Poll

(4) Ant-Man and The Wasp vs. (5) Captain Marvel

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Ant-Man and The Wasp
    (917 votes)
  • 45%
    Captain Marvel
    (754 votes)
1671 votes total Vote Now

(3) Spider-Man: Far From Home vs. (6) Iron Man 2

The second Tom Holland solo outing here is another great movie with a very good villain and performances. The same cannot be said for Robert Downey Jr.’s second Iron Man film. One of these certainly outshines the other. While Iron Man 2 develops some important characters (looking at you, Rhodey), it doesn’t do much in the grand scheme of things story-wise.

Poll

(3) Spider-Man: Far From Home vs. (6) Iron Man 2

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Spider-Man: Far From Home
    (1269 votes)
  • 23%
    Iron Man 2
    (400 votes)
1669 votes total Vote Now

How we seeded the films (Writer rankings in parenthesis)

Concessions were made in favor of debate/matchups

  1. Avengers: Endgame (Anthony: 1, Caroline: 1)
  2. Avengers: Infinity War (Anthony: 2, Caroline 5)
  3. Thor: Ragnarok (Anthony: 8, Caroline: 2)
  4. Captain America: Civil War (Anthony: 4, Caroline: 3)
  5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Anthony: 3, Caroline: 6)
  6. The Avengers (Anthony: 5, Caroline: 8)
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy (Anthony: 7, Caroline: 4)
  8. Iron Man (Anthony: 11, Caroline: 12)
  9. Black Panther (Anthony: 10, Caroline: 15)
  10. Spider-Man: Far From Home (Anthony: 9, Caroline: 7)
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (Anthony: 6, Caroline: 10)
  12. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Anthony: 12, Caroline: 9)
  13. Captain America: The First Avenger (Anthony: 13, Caroline: 11)
  14. Ant-Man and the Wasp (Anthony: 14, Caroline: 13)
  15. Thor (Anthony: 16, Caroline: 16)
  16. Ant-Man (Anthony: 15, Caroline: 14)
  17. Doctor Strange (Anthony: 18, Caroline: 17)
  18. Captain Marvel (Anthony: 17, Caroline: 18)
  19. Avengers: Age of Ultron (Anthony: 20, Caroline: 19)
  20. Thor: The Dark World (Anthony: 19, Caroline: 20)
  21. Iron Man 3 (Anthony: 21, Caroline: 21)
  22. Iron Man 2 (Anthony: 22, Caroline: 22)
  23. The Incredible Hulk (Anthony: 23, Caroline: 23)