Does Disney Have A Marvel Problem?
A lot is currently being made about Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s 70% drop off between its first weekend and second weekend.
While some are pointing to the results as symptomatic of larger Marvel fatigue, others are noting that blockbuster films tend to be frontloaded, and the film is still the highest-grossing of the Ant-Man series.
All of this begs the question- does Disney have a Marvel problem? Here is the argument on both sides.
Side One: Marvel is in Trouble
Some critics are looking at the 69% drop in Quantumania‘s ticket sales and proclaiming that Marvel’s best days are behind them.
These people opine that drop that large for a blockbuster Marvel film is a big deal, especially one that is launching the MCU’s Phase 5.
“As second weekend drops go, anything in the 70% realm is pretty significant,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst at Comscore.
Additionally, Quantumania should have been boosted by its familiar set of stars. It also featured the introduction of the next big Marvel villain- Kang the Conqueror.
Furthermore, the latest Ant-Man film has been largely panned by critics and may have been hurt by poor word of mouth. The film also fits into a post-pandemic trend that has seen four Marvel movies drop off 67% since theaters reopened.
When looked at in totality the news certainly isn’t good for Marvel’s pint-size franchise.
Side Two: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Did Well
Those who think Marvel’s demise may be overrated, argue that blockbuster movies have become frontloaded in recent years.
Fellow Marvel films Thor: Love and Thunder, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Spiderman: No Way Home all saw an over 67% drop between their first and second weekend. Despite this, all three films managed to gross at least $760 million.
Furthermore, Ant-Man is a smaller franchise than the other Marvel series. Over its lifetime total Quantumania is on pace to beat both of the prior Ant-Man films. Outside of the Marvel universe, by next weekend, the third Ant-Man film will surpass the lifetime total of DC’s Black Adam.
For comparison 2015’s Ant-Man opened to $57 million in North America. The film ended up grossing $180 million domestically and $519 million globally.
The 2018 sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp opened to $76 million in North America. Before grossing $216 million domestically and $622 million globally
“The opening weekend number was a big step up from Ant-Man 2. So we know the fanbase is still excited,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “I’d be surprised if it meant anything long-term or serious in terms of the quality of the Marvel brand.”
Also working against Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantomania‘s second weekend was that the film was released on a holiday weekend, which inflated its opening numbers. Likewise, last weekend, the film ran against a surprisingly strong Cocaine Bear, which targeted the same young male audience.
In the end, Marvel will likely be fine. The studio has cultivated a loyal fanbase who rushes to theaters to see their newest release.
“You aren’t going to always get a grand slam,” says Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “But Marvel is hitting more home runs than anyone.”
Still, if there is anything the last year has shown it’s that Marvel is not infallible. All eyes will be on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in May to see if the studio can get back on track.
Thanks for visiting MickeyBlog.com! Want to go to Disney? For a FREE quote on your next Disney vacation, please fill out the form below and one of the agents from MickeyTravels, a Diamond level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, will be in touch soon!