Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) faced a significant setback as “The Marvels” stumbled at the box office, marking the worst debut in MCU history. The film, with an initial tracking projection of $75 million to $80 million, fell short and managed only $47 million in its opening weekend. The decline in expectations was attributed to a combination of bad buzz and the impact of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike, preventing key actors like Brie Larson from promoting the movie until the strike concluded on Friday.
The disappointing domestic performance was mirrored internationally, with “The Marvels” collecting $63.3 million from 51 territories, resulting in a global start of $110 million. This figure fell significantly below Disney’s hoped-for $140 million globally for the weekend. The film, with an estimated production cost of $220 million and an additional $100 million for promotion, faces a challenging path to profitability.
The film’s underwhelming reception is particularly noteworthy given the unprecedented success of previous MCU entries. Despite signs of wear and tear in the franchise, recent releases like “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” managed to surpass the $100 million mark in their opening weekends earlier this year.
“The Marvels,” directed by Nia DaCosta and featuring Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani, serves as a sequel to the 2019 billion-dollar blockbuster “Captain Marvel.” However, it failed to come close to the $153 million debut of its predecessor. The landscape for MCU films has shifted since the release of “Avengers: Endgame,” and Disney’s introduction of numerous new characters in spinoffs, sequels, and TV series may be overwhelming for both casual viewers and Marvel enthusiasts.
While some speculate whether this signals superhero fatigue, industry analysts emphasize that the unique circumstances surrounding “The Marvels,” including the SAG strike and negative buzz, are key contributors to its underperformance. Disney’s decision to postpone the release of the next four MCU installments allows the studio time to reassess its strategy before presenting future entries to audiences.
‘THE MARVELS’ HAS THE WORST OPENING WEEKEND EVER FOR ANY FILM IN THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
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Despite “The Marvels” disappointment, other films held their ground at the box office. “Five Nights at Freddy’s” secured second place with $9 million, while Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” continued to perform well, adding $5.9 million in its fifth weekend. Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” and Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” maintained their positions, with the latter grossing $4.6 million in its fourth frame.