You have to sell the CHARACTERS.
The Dark Universe had cunty Tom Cruise, and nothing else going for it.
Godzilla has ho-hum CGI spectacle but all the people are SHIT.
Man of Steel/BvS/Skwad is just a masterclass in awful character writing.
Fantastic Beasts has no one who engages the audience, it asks you to be excited for the SETTING.
Venom succeeded despite all its handicaps because Tom Hardy is fun and interesting in it.
People wanted to see what Tony and Steve and the rest were up to next. It's really not as hard as it seems.
You have to make characters with heart that audiences get invested in, nostalgia/familiarity/spectacle won't let you do an EU, Disney haters can just point to Star Wars as a prime example.