I know this has been covered very similarly in this question, but as opposed to just cross-overs, have there been other attempts at creating a cinematic universe? Freddy vs Jason, Aliens vs Predator, Abbot & Costello meeting The Universal Monsters were all "after the fact" ploys at getting more money as opposed to creating a universe. I'd also exclude singular directors who just link their movies like Tarantino's Red Apple cigarettes or Landis' "See you next Wednesday." Using that logic any sequels would be open for inclusion.
I know these sound like harsh guidelines, but I'm specifically after films leading up to other films, using other protagonists, as opposed to the James Bond sequence, the Harry Potter franchise, etc.
EDIT Just to clarify, I don't want sequels like the Dirty Harry movies, prequels like the Hobbit films which use the same protagonists as the Lord of the Rings or single writer or director's worlds (The View Askewniverse being a prime example) or in-jokes like Quentin and Landis do as mentioned above.
Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, and whatever forthcoming titles are not directly sequels to each other nor require any character overlaps in their separate franchises, but DO created a bigger Universe they all exist and interact in. This is the central aspect of my question.