Do ‘The Marvels’ Disastrous Box Office Results Matter?
Now that the dust has settled, it is time to examine the wreckage that was The Marvels.
The 33rd installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Marvels saw Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel team up with Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) to form the franchise’s newest superhero team.
On paper, The Marvels should have been a layup for Marvel Studios. The film serves as a sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel which crossed the $1 billion threshold at the box office, bringing back stars Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson.
Additionally, the film continued the story of Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau, who debuted in Ms. Marvel and WandaVision respectively. Both series were well-received by fans and critics alike.
A Box Office Bomb
While The Marvels looked primed to fly high, the film instead crashed in a ball of fire.
The movie had the lowest domestic opening ever for an MCU film with a paltry $46 million.
Overseas, the film did not fare any better. The Marvels only managed $110 million an opening. That number also set the low mark for the MCU.
Marvel’s decision to shy away from a pure Captain Marvel sequel and instead create a team-up story, has been second-guessed by insiders.
“Why not simply make Captain Marvel 2? Why produce The Marvels when your audience identified, empathized, and even hero-identified with Brie Larson’s character? More importantly, why offer people similar or the same characters and stories that are on Disney+ if you expect them to go to a theater together? Disney/Marvel diluted their product,” says one film producer.
“Of course, a picture works or fails for other reasons too, but losing so much value picture-over-picture is rare and hard to do.”
Any hopes that The Marvels would have an Elemental-like bounceback at the box office were shattered last weekend when the film had a drop off of 78%, the highest for any superhero movie ever.
Unlike Elemental, which was beloved by the audiences that did see the film during its opening weekend, The Marvels has a mediocre Rotten Tomatoes ranking of 62% and a Cinema Score of “B.”
No matter how you cut it, The Marvels failed spectacularly. So, where does Marvel go from here?
Disney and Marvel Are Reassessing
According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, the problem comes down to quantity vs. quality. Marvel, and Disney as a whole, will look to release fewer movies but make them higher quality.
In fact, using the SAG-AFTRA strike a cover, Marvel Studios will only release one film next year — Deadpool 3.
The break in the release schedule will reportedly give Kevin Feige and his team the time needed to take stock of the state of the MCU and make the necessary adjustments.
Does ‘The Marvels’ Change Anything?
In the end, the failure of The Marvels may not really matter.
Captain Marvel is still set to lead the Avengers going forward, and Kamala Khan feels like a breakout star. If Marvel can right the ship with Deadpool 3, the failure of The Marvels will feel like a bump in the road.
All eyes will be on the Merc with the Mouth, however, because should Deadpool 3 struggle, the day of reckoning for the MCU will arrive.
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