- The Marvels projected box office opening is falling short, making it the worst Marvel opening since 2008, which suggests a crisis in the MCU.
- Recent Marvel titles have not performed as expected, causing a rift between the studio and its audience, despite successful series like Loki.
- The poor performance of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and the success of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 indicate a disappointment for The Marvels and a need for changes in future strategies.
Things are not looking good for The Marvels. Despite receiving some criticism from a small fraction of MCU fans, 2019’s Captain Marvel was a box office success. Unfortunately, it seems that its sequel will not run with the same luck, things seem to be even worse than original projections.
Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers returned to action in The Marvels, the follow-up to her stand-alone film set in the ’90s. This time, the story takes place in the present, with Carol joining forces with two other MCU characters in an adventure that mixes action, comedy and girl power. Directed by Nia DaCosta, The Marvels presents the famous hero completing different missions around the galaxy, which will lead her to cross a wormhole that will end up mixing her powers with those of Kamala Kahn aka Ms. Marvel and Monica Rambeau. Between the three of them, they must find a way to restore order by defeating a new, powerful villain who remains in the shadows.
After originally projecting an opening domestic weekend of around $60 million, the latest figures (as per Deadline) suggest the film will struggle to peak above $50 million after taking just $23.1 million on its opening day. This would make it the worst Marvel opening since the inception of the franchise back in 2008. Currently, that record is held by 2008’s The Incredible Hulk with $55.4 million, followed by 2015’s Ant-Man with $57.2 million
Joining Larson is Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton, Park Seo-joon, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, Shamier Anderson, Abraham Popoola, Ffion Jolly, Caroline Simonnet, Jessica Zhou, Randall Park and Samuel L. Jackson.
The Marvels is the last big release from Marvel Studios on the big screen this year, and indeed until the arrival of Deadpool 3 next summer. After the poor performance of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and the smashing success of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, The Marvels appears to be another disappointment for the franchise.
The Marvels is a Reflection of the Current Crisis in the MCU
Although both the Marvel Studios series and movies continue to be extremely successful, it is true that the most recent titles have not performed as expected, especially in the immediate aftermath of Avengers: Endgame. Of course, there are exceptions like Spider-Man: No Way Home, the aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or some series like Loki, which have maintained the high level of success to which the studio is accustomed. But there is no doubt that a rift has appeared between the studio and its audience.
While on the small screen shows like She-Hulk, Secret Invasion or Ms. Marvel were not very popular, in theaters there has been a clear drop in the box office numbers. Since Spider-Man: No Way Home, every movie has managed to surpass $100 million in its debut weekend, but for example, Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania only reached $104 million. If The Marvels falls short of the $100 million barrier, which is what the projections show, it would be a clear indicator that the crisis in the MCU is something real.
In fact, the studio is aware of that, which is why they have announced a series of changes in their strategies for the future, which will mainly affect television productions, starting with Daredevil: Born Again, which will be completely rewritten.