The Marvels Breaks An Expensive Record And That’s A Problem

By Douglas Helm | Published

the marvels

The MCU’s next big super blockbuster The Marvels hits theaters this weekend, and the film clocks in at a refreshingly brisk 105 minutes. This makes the film the shortest film in the MCU’s greater tapestry, but it also makes it one of the most expensive-per-minute film releases in history with its blockbuster $220 million budget (via IndieWire).

This could spell trouble if the film ends up underperforming at the box office.

Lowest Marvel Opening?


While The Marvels has been getting relatively positive reviews from critics, with many specifically citing the length as a great break from the over-bloated event films in recent memory, the film is projecting a $60 million opening.

This would make it one of the lowest debuts in the MCU. Of course, the film could always make up the difference in the international market, but those likely weren’t the numbers that Disney was hoping for.

The Marvels Runtime

the marvels

The Marvels will join other recently short and breezy blockbusters like Barbie and The Super Mario Bros Movies, which both cleared over a billion dollars at the international box office.

Those films clocked in at a concise 114 minutes and 91 minutes, respectively, showing that people are still more than happy to spend their money on blockbusters that keep it short, yet sweet.

However, these are juxtaposed against other recently successful epics like Avatar: The Way of Water and Oppenheimer, which brought in audiences despite running at gargantuan lengths like 192 minutes and 180 minutes.

The Marvels Buzz

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If Disney and the MCU do want to shift to shorter superhero movies, which is a move people probably wouldn’t take too much umbrage with, it’ll have to make sure the results are financially viable.

This might mean cutting the budget or releasing fewer projects throughout the year, the latter of which is a strategy that the company has applied in recent years.

The positive buzz about The Marvels runtime could lead to the film exceeding expectations, which might mean we could see more MCU films with brief runtimes in the near future.

Intentionally Made

the marvels

The Marvels director Nia LaCosta, known for Little Woods and the recent Candyman reboot, was intentional about the runtime for the film.

As she puts it, “ I just feel like there’s no need to have it long if you don’t need to, because one hour 45 minutes is pretty average for a movie.”

It’s a statement that most people would likely agree with, but one that Disney might have a problem with if the film doesn’t profit over its $220 million budget.

MCU Movies

Of course, the MCU is no stranger to shorter films, but some of its most successful efforts have been lengthy affairs.

Films like Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: No Way Home have been the most successful MCU films and have all clocked in well over three hours.

Cost Per Minute


Films like The Marvels will need to prove that the shorter runtime is the way to go in the near future if we’re going to see more of these types of movies. 

In any case, we’ll just have to wait and see how The Marvels does at the box office. You can catch the film in theaters this weekend. Stay tuned for more news on this and other MCU projects.