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‘The Marvels’ Fails to Impress at the Box Office for Marvel

Marvel Studios, known for its string of hit movies over the past 15 years, faced a major setback with its latest release, “The Marvels.” The sequel, which cost approximately $300 million to produce and market, only brought in $47 million in the United States and Canada, marking the lowest ever opening for a Marvel film. Prior to this, “The Incredible Hulk” held the record for the studio’s worst debut at $79 million (adjusted for inflation) in 2008. “The Marvels” is a sequel to “Captain Marvel,” which collected $153 million in its opening weekend in 2019.

The movie, which follows a trio of superheroines, garnered an additional $63.3 million overseas. Despite featuring prominent actors such as Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani, and being directed by Nia DaCosta, the first Black woman to oversee a Marvel film, “The Marvels” failed to meet expectations.

Disney’s executive vice president of theatrical distribution, Tony Chambers, expressed disappointment with the results, attributing the underperformance to potential barriers to entry and audience fatigue with superhero movies. He acknowledged that while the film has resonated with female audiences, the overall box office results fell short of expectations.

The movie’s underperformance can also be attributed to the ongoing actors’ strike, preventing key cast members from participating in promotional activities until the strike was resolved. Additionally, audience fatigue with superhero spectacles and a perceived decline in quality due to Disney’s increased output were contributing factors.

The New York Times review of “The Marvels” stated, “You’ve Seen This Movie 32 Times Before.” The film’s lackluster performance adds to a trend of female-led superhero sequels, including “Wonder Woman: 1984” and “Birds of Prey,” struggling to resonate with audiences.

Disney’s CEO, Robert A. Iger, acknowledged that the company’s focus on quantity over quality may have impacted Marvel Studios’ recent output. In response, Disney is scaling back its Marvel film releases, with only one scheduled for next year and several others being pushed back to 2025.

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