Disney has recently revealed that the company spent more than $270 million making the upcoming MCU movie The Marvels (via Forbes). The movie is set to be released in theaters around the world sometime in November of this year.
The Marvels has a reported budget above $270 million, making it the fourth most expensive in the MCU.
With its super high price tag, The Marvels is one of the most expensive entries into the Marvel Universe, and the film will have to bank around $440 million at the box office to break even. You’re not alone if you’re wondering why Disney cleared such a high budget for the film.
Marvel movies have not done as well in theaters or streaming since the onset of the pandemic. Many post-pandemic fans don’t have enough money in their pockets to spend on a trip to see the next Marvel movie.
Production of the mega movie was definitely a risk, and the ability to recoup the investment may truly be compromised. The Marvels is set as a sequel to Captain Marvel, and it is supposed to pick up right where the season finale of Secret Invasion left off.
One reason the production of The Marvels was so expensive is that most of the movie was filmed in the UK.
Though Captain Marvel brought in over a billion dollars in theaters (pre-pandemic), the finale of Secret Invasion was the single lowest-rated episode of any Marvel series, with just a 7 percent approval rating on the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
Disney’s Chief Executive, Bob Iger, was brought back to the position in November of last year (2022), and his rehire staged the beginning of some huge budget cuts for the company. Iger cut out 7,000 jobs and saved more than $5 billion for the company, but The Marvels’ budget was approved before this shift was enacted.
One reason the production of The Marvels was so expensive is that most of the movie was filmed in the UK. The studio wanted to cash in on the generous government subsidies available in the region, and they did.
They were granted a stipend of $55 million to help relieve the cost of filming. However, the overall cost of shooting in another country, paying all the cast and crew, and shifting locations for various parts of the film came to a much higher total.
The Marvels is facing an uphill battle to be profitable, through no fault of the cast and crew, as superhero fatigue appears to be hitting the movie-going audience.
Watching how the movie performs when it is released to the public will be a wild ride, as many different aspects of the film will impact the level of success it finds.
One of the positive driving forces is that The Marvels was directed by Nia DeCosta and stars Oscar-winner Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. Bringing Larson back to the Marvel Universe will help maintain fan familiarity with the new film, and DeCosta’s direction of Jordan Peele’s Candyman also sets a high standard of excellence for the upcoming Marvel installment.
In addition, Nia DeCosta will be the first black woman ever to direct a Marvel Universe film, setting a groundbreaking standard alongside the enormous budget. At just 30 years old (in 2020, when she was given the job), DeCosta will also be the youngest director in the Marvel Universe.