Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel in Marvel Studios’ The Marvels.
“The Marvels” didn’t go higher, further or faster in theaters on its opening weekend.
The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe grossed an estimated $47 million domestically in its debut weekend, the lowest in the history of the 30-plus film franchise.
Original estimates suggested the domestic theatrical release would be between $75 million and $80 million, but those numbers shrank to a range of between $60 million and $65 million ahead of Friday’s premiere.
Internationally, “The Marvels” grossed $63.3 million in ticket sales, bringing its worldwide gross to $110.3 million.
Lowest-grossing openings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- “The Marvels” (2023) – $47 million
- “The Incredible Hulk” (2008) – $55.4 million
- “Ant-Man” (2015) – $57.2 million
- “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011) – $65.1 million
- “Thor” (2011) – $65.7 million
- “The Eternals” (2021) – $71.3 million
“Although ‘The Marvels’ posted the lowest domestic debut for the MCU, it once again proved how important the international market is to the Marvel brand,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “The film will now rely on Thanksgiving holiday moviegoing to push the big-budget superhero film closer to profitability and determine the film’s ultimate success at the box office.”
While critics were muted on The Marvels, giving the film a 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences were more receptive with a rating of 85%. Still, Disney had an uphill battle getting moviegoers into theaters for its 33rd MCU film, which the company likely understood. CEO Bob Iger announced earlier this year that the studio would be scaling back its Marvel programming.
After the “final”
After 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame,” which concluded storylines and storylines for popular characters like Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Marvel Studios’ theatrical and streaming content has been a hit or Measure the audience. He also found it difficult to market his new projects to audiences because they want to strike a nostalgic tone but also push storytelling forward.
“Marvel has just set a very high standard for itself,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “When a new movie or series comes out, there’s more pressure on them to stand on their own two feet while pushing the universe forward.”
Not to mention, the studio bombarded Disney+ with series to fill out its platform, leaving some fans feeling like they had to sit through hours of stories to understand what was happening in the films.
“Expanding the MCU brand beyond the Goldilocks zone of balanced presence without feeling like homework for casual audiences has created a challenge for the franchise to rise to,” Robbins said.
That’s perhaps why The Marvels landed the second-worst opening day for an MCU film with just $21.5 million on Friday. That figure includes $6.6 million from Thursday night previews. The only film to see fewer first-day ticket sales in domestic theaters was 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, the second MCU film ever after Iron Man became a surprise hit earlier this year.
Robbins was quick to point out that this box office slump doesn’t mean audiences are ready to give up on the MCU. After all, the franchise has generated almost $30 billion since 2008.
“In fact, this disappointing box office performance comes at the same time as the second season of ‘Loki,’ which is ironically being praised as one of Disney+’s few Marvel series to resonate positively with a large portion of the fan base,” he said.
Of course, a $47 million opening isn’t bad for any film, but compared to the highs Marvel has achieved over the last decade, it’s considered a disappointment. It could also serve as a catalyst for the studio’s leadership to rethink their future release plans.
Iger has previously said he is reviewing the company’s overall theatrical and streaming strategy to reduce the amount of content produced.
“At the time the pandemic hit, we were in the process of increasing our revenue tremendously,” Iger said during Disney’s earnings call last week. “And I’ve always felt that quantity can actually have a negative impact on quality, and I think that’s exactly what happened. We lost focus.”
Additionally, Marvel Studios faces an uphill battle with actor Jonathan Majors, whom they have chosen to play Kang, the next big villain in the MCU. Majors has been embroiled in legal trouble stemming from allegations of assault and abuse.
“If any IP has the depth and ability to do this, it is Marvel, led by Kevin Feige and his teams,” Robbins said. “This is certainly a game changer from a creative and business perspective. Perhaps the relative slowdown in Marvel content next year will provide a healthy and necessary buffer for the studio, for Disney and for audiences.”
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Rotten Tomatoes.
Source : www.cnbc.com