Thor: Love And Thunder Just Got Terrible News

Thor: Love and Thunder just arrived in theaters with a boom, but Marvel is already getting some very bad news.

By Mark McKee | Published

thor: love and thunder

Not every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe can be a huge hit. While fans and studio executives alike hope that every film in the franchise inspires the kind of love (and box office receipts) the likes of Avengers: Endgame or Spider-Man: No Way Home, there will always be a few that fall short. Expectations were high with the release of the latest installment into the MCU, Thor: Love and Thunder. While the film enters its second weekend in the theaters, fans and the studio are getting the opposite news as the film is falling short of expectations. 

In a new Deadline report, the 29th film of the MCU is tied for the worst box office drop-off in the history of the franchise. When Thor: Love and Thunder dropped in the theaters on July 8th, it brought in a whopping $69.5 million. The remainder of the two weekend days combined to match Friday’s haul, bringing in $42 million and $32 million. According to Box Office Mojo, the second Friday pulled in an anemic $13 million, a devastating 80% drop-off. To put that in perspective, Chris Hemsworth and Taika Watiti’s previous project, Thor: Ragnarok, saw a 60% drop-off between the first and second week’s numbers. Part of that is due to an opening weekend of roughly a third of Love and Thunder at $46.5 million. 

What does this mean for Disney and the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Phase Four of the MCU has been proven to be the most divisive, with three of the only four B ratings from audiences occurring within the last four movies. CinemaScore meets with viewers outside of the theater to catch their first reactions. Thor: Love and Thunder has officially received a B+ score, matching it with Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The only movie in the entire MCU to score lower than these two is Eternals, which scored an abysmal B. Those three films are the only three, other than Thor, to score below an A rating. With three of the four being near back to back, is it signaling an end to the MCU?

There are two main reasons one could point to try and understand the drop-off in reception. The first is a controversy that the newest Phase sees that the originals didn’t. While Phases One through Three saw marginal backlash for lack of diversity, it didn’t stop viewers from seeing it in the theaters or coming away with largely positive reviews. The newest Phase is seeing pushback from the more conservative groups for their more inclusive natures. Thor: Love and Thunder has been boycotted by the Christian group One Million Moms and their large following. Then there are the reports of dreadful working conditions on set, which doesn’t help anything.

While that may be a marginal drop in viewership, the more significant reason is more than likely a lack of direction. Now five films and six Disney+ series into Phase Four, there doesn’t seem to be a clear direction. Since the climax of the Infinity Saga, the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to be struggling to find an identity. With what most saw as a guaranteed smash hit in Thor: Love and Thunder struggling at the box office and with fans, the hope for the MCU now seems to rest on a Chadwick Boseman-less Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The future of the MCU may look rather bleak.