It’s an open secret that Marvel has been in trouble lately: in addition to the allegations surrounding Jonathan Majors and the poor reception of television shows like Secret Invasion, audiences aren’t turning out in major numbers for films like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. There are growing fears that The Marvels (a film that teams Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel) may not be the tentpole film that Captain Marvel was, especially with the actor’s strike limiting how much Disney can publicize the film. However, it looks like things are worse than anyone feared: SuperheroHype reports that “presales for The Marvels are currently tracking below DC’s The Flash and Black Adam.”
The Marvels Presales Are Worst Than The Flash And Black Adam
To understand why that is so significant, you need to understand the numbers behind these would-be blockbusters. The Captain Marvel movie earned over a billion dollars at the box office, and Disney clearly wanted The Marvels to equal or exceed the box office performance of its predecessor. Now, with presales lagging below two of DC’s most embarrassing flops, it seems clear that this just isn’t going to happen.
Will The Marvels Opening Weekend Prove To Be A Bigger Flop Than DC’s Biggest Failures?
During its opening weekend, Black Adam earned $55 million and The Flash earned $67 million. Opening weekend presales for The Marvels are lower than they were for either of those DC flops. It could still outperform those movies in the opening weekend: early projections show The Marvels making somewhere less than $70 million in its opening weekend, which is significantly lower than earlier projections showing it would likely earn somewhere between $75-$80 million.
Even The Eternals Might Beat Out The Marvels
Because Marvel movies tend to earn more (historically, a lot more) than DC movies, you could argue that comparing presales for The Marvels to presales for The Flash and Black Adam is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. However, things don’t get much better if we compare this upcoming film to other MCU productions: for example, Eternals earned $71.2 during its opening weekend. If The Marvels is on track to earn less than the most forgettable MCU movie (so far, at least), then the cinematic team-up of Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel might very well be dead on arrival.
Nothing Could Have Saved The Marvels From Its Doomed Fate
Even with the actors strike affecting Disney’s ability to market The Marvels, the movie would likely have a stronger opening weekend if the Marvel brand still carried the prestige it once had. But as was recently pointed out, the Marvel brand has diminished due to the Jonathan Majors controversy, the failure of Quantumania (including criticisms of its shoddy, unfinished CGI), and the sheer glut of MCU content that Disney has been pumping out. In short, Marvel productions have shifted from being major events to being rushed, empty stories that exist mostly to advertise the next unwanted Marvel film or show.
The Marvels Debuts November 10
Obviously, we’d love to be proven wrong: Captain Marvel was a fun romp with de-aging CGI that blew us away, and it would be great if The Marvels was a worthy successor. At this point, though, it seems clear that the sequel film will be a major box-office disappointment compared to its predecessor. And if Marvel’s recent track record is any indication, it’s likely to also be a major disappointment for audiences around the world.