It’s a rough time for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “The Marvels,” the newest entry, opened to a surprisingly low $47 million at the domestic box office, marking the weakest start for any MCU film. This is a significant drop, especially considering the usually high standards of the franchise.
In comparison, “The Incredible Hulk” and “Ant-Man” had stronger starts, with $55 million and $57 million respectively. Even “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” earlier this year, doubled the opening earnings of “The Marvels.” Established titles like “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” also had better initial showings, each hovering around the $65 million mark.
The reasons behind this downturn are multi-faceted. Critical response has been lukewarm, with a just-about-okay 62% on Rotten Tomatoes. The SAG-AFTRA strike certainly didn’t do any favors. But there’s a bigger issue at play – fans seem to be growing weary, not just of superhero films, but specifically of the direction Disney and Marvel have been taking.
Many fans feel that recent Marvel movies have been too focused on being ‘woke,’ sacrificing strong storytelling and faithful adaptation of the comics in the process. This sentiment is growing. Viewers want engaging stories and thrilling action, not constant deviations from the source material or unnecessary additions that don’t enhance the plot.
While other films are thriving – “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is a notable example with its $9 million third-weekend haul, and Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” film has impressively crossed $170 million domestically – “The Marvels” seems to have missed the mark.
Directors like Sofia Coppola are making waves with “Priscilla,” and Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” continues to draw crowds. Against this backdrop, the underperformance of “The Marvels” stands out even more.
With a production budget over $250 million, “The Marvels” needed a stronger start. This outcome could be a wake-up call for the MCU, suggesting it might be time for a change in strategy. The question now is, how will they respond to this growing fan discontent?
Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!