The Marvels scored the worst opening weekend for a Marvel film with $109 million earned worldwide, potentially putting the future of MCU in jeopardy. What’s the reason behind its disappointing box office numbers, and can Marvel recover from this failure?
The Marvels hit the theaters just a few days after the end of the SAG-AFTRA strike, making it impossible for its stars to promote it. The actors’ strike was one of the contributing factors to its downfall, especially since Disney’s marketing campaign itself wasn’t too splashy.
It’s easy to dismiss The Marvels as the bomb and blame it for the MCU’s downfall, but the studio’s recent films struggled to make an impression long before it. Most of the films in Phase Four were a mixed bag with the critics, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania became both a critical and box office disappointment after launching the MCU’s Phase Five earlier this year.
The final reason behind The Marvels’ failure is the most difficult to admit – Marvel’s largely toxic fanbase. The female-led film, which stars multiple women of color, was slammed for its “woke agenda” long before it hit the theatres, echoing the criticism Captain Marvel itself faced when it first came out.
Despite achieving disappointing numbers for an MCU film, it’s important to note that The Marvels also scored the biggest opening for a film by a black female director. It also topped the box office during a particularly slow weekend for theaters and it still has time to make back its budget.