How do you gauge the success of the Marvel movies? Here's my small anecdotal answer: I went to an 11am showing of Thor: The Dark World almost a month after it opened. I had already seen the movie but wanted to revisit, and I had a friend to drag along. We were in a fairly empty theater, but the small crowd that was there was really involved. They clapped and laughed. And then when they scene above happened - when Loki turned into Captain America - they went nuts. There were maybe 20 people in that matinee, four weeks after opening. but they got really vocal and cheered and gasped.
These were people who didn't feel the need to run out and see the film in the first weekend. Hell, they barely saw it in the first month. This wasn't an audience of die-hards. But they love these characters, and thats' the key to Marvel's success. People love these characters in a big way, and they want to come back and see them again and again. That's real magic, and you can't just will that into being.
So here's my lame-o pretending I understand contract law question about this: does this cameo count as one of Chris Evans' contractual appearances as Cap? From what I understand he signed a six picture deal, which we would assume assures three Captain Americas and three Avengers. But did Marvel burn through one of those appearances for Thor: The Dark World? I can tell you that Marvel pretty much expects to have Captain America leading the team in The Avengers 3, so I'm curious how this appearance counts, if it does.