The Marvels has officially become the lowest-grossing installment in Marvel Cinematic Universe history. Per Variety, the film’s downward trajectory started early, with a disappointing debut on November 10, earning $46 million domestically. Subsequent weeks saw a staggering 78 percent drop in ticket sales, with the largest second-weekend decline in the franchise’s long history.
Disney Won’t Report The Marvel’s Box Office Numbers Anymore
Optimism for a rebound during the holiday season has also faded. The Marvel’s North American earnings stalled at $80 million, while global revenue peaked at $197 million, far from the blockbuster numbers usually associated with Marvel projects. The movie taking 11th place on the box office charts, with a mere $2.4 million in its fourth outing, signaled that its run was winding down.As a result, Disney announced that it would no longer report the film’s weekend box office results. “With The Marvels box office now winding down, we will stop weekend reporting of international/global grosses on this title,” the studio said in a memo to the media on December 3. This decision underscores the massive level of disappointment surrounding the movie.
Can’t Even Cross The $100 Million Threshold
One particularly damning statistic is that The Marvels is the first MCU film to fail to cross the $100 million mark at the domestic box office. This starkly contrasts with its predecessor, Captain Marvel, which debuted with $153 million. The original adventure led by Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers went on to amass over $1.13 billion worldwide, making the sequel’s shortfall even more glaring.
Bob Iger Speaks On The Massive Failure
Disney CEO Bob Iger attributed the movie’s lackluster performance to pandemic-related production restrictions. “The Marvels was shot during Covid,” Iger recently explained. “There wasn’t as much supervision on the set, so to speak, where we have executives [that are] really looking over what’s being done day after day after day.”
While Iger acknowledged that prior expectations were set unrealistically high, analysts believe that The Marvels serves as a clear indication that Marvel’s logo alone can no longer guarantee a film’s box office success. Directed by Nia DaCosta, the film features Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, and Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel.
Lacking A Meaningful Story
Along with its financial struggles, The Marvels failed to impress critics. Most reviewers acknowledged the film’s entertainment value but didn’t care for its overall story and abrupt shifts in tone. Additionally, some critics labeled the movie as excessively “woke,” a critique that director Nia DaCosta and lead actress Iman Vellani have publicly dismissed.
Iman Vellani Not Phased By Box Office Numbers
Vellani, in particular, has not shied away from addressing The Marvel’s underwhelming box office performance. She suggested that questions regarding the movie’s financial struggles should be directed to Disney CEO Bob Iger. Moreover, she shared her belief that the prevailing “wet blanket” culture in contemporary society poses a more significant concern than the sequel’s box office numbers.
The MCU’s Future
Following the failure of The Marvels, Disney faces the challenge of retooling Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The postponement of several MCU movies, including Captain America: A Brave New World, Thunderbolts, and Blade, to 2025 due to production delays suggests that the studio is rethinking its release strategy and the quality of projects being developed for the big and small screens.As it stands, Deadpool 3 is the only remaining release on Marvel Studios’s calendar for 2024. Ryan Reynolds‘ Merc with a Mouth might need to pull off a major cinematic miracle to save the day and revive the MCU’s financial fortunes.