That is a very recent phenomenon.
One you can trace back to the first X-Men and Spider-Man movies, and then confirmed by a half-dozen movies since then and Disney's acquistion of Marvel. Nine years
of consistent success of superhero films does not constitute as 'very recent' here.
If something's big and you cash in on a trend, you are not taking a risk. I do not see what is so hard to understand about that sentence. The Hunger Games
in adapting a bestselling YA novel series (after the successes of Harry Potter
) was also not a gamble.
If Disney messes up with Star Wars VII, the brand is in trouble.
That's true. The difference between Star Wars and Marvel is that with Marvel, Disney picked up a multi-film franchise already in production and with one proven hit, Iron Man
. Star Wars has been a consistently successful film franchise (financially), but both the original and prequel trilogies have been wrapped up so this is a fresh venture for the franchise.