Not even Goose the cat could save The Marvels from scoring the lowest opening weekend in the history of the MCU, Box Office Mojo is reporting. Although on paper a debut of $47 million is nothing to sneeze at, this is Marvel we are talking about, with the film carrying a massive reported production budget of as much as $279 million. Internationally, things aren’t any better, with The Marvels earning only $88 million worldwide.
What went wrong here? From the get-go, The Marvels felt more like a spin-off than an actual sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel, promising the team-up of two characters from Disney+ shows. Stuff like this can confuse audiences, with marketing really not doing anything to make the movie seem like a “must-see” for fans, with barely any attention being paid to the film’s villain. It looked like a fun time, but with such an emphasis on the “goofy” side of the MCU that some moviegoers may have felt fine to wait to watch it from the comfort of their homes.
It also must be said that Disney may have overestimated how hungry filmgoers really were for more of Captain Marvel. While the original film wowed with a $150 million+ opening, it was riding on the success of the previous summer’s Avengers: Infinity War and the anticipation of the then-upcoming Endgame. It has now been four years since that blockbuster came out, and Carol Danvers hasn’t shown up in any MCU film or show since then. Remember how we were once told that she was going to become the “main focus” of the franchise after Tony Stark died in Endgame? It seems safe to say that isn’t going to happen.
But again, the real problem here is the budget, which somehow got out of hand for The Marvels through reported reshoots, release date delays, and COVID-19 filming protocols. Critics didn’t really do it any favors, with mixed reviews all around, and even the more positive ones praised it as “a good time” and not much else (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Much press has been made over the cast not being allowed to promote the movie due to the SAG-AFTRA strike which only just ended last week, and while there might be some truth in that, this has always seemed like a role that star Brie Larson has never been particularly enthusiastic about (with many fans feeling she was miscast). Would her being on The Tonight Show a couple of times have really given this one a box office boost?
Still, weep not too much for Disney. Their upcoming Wish is set to dominate Thanksgiving with a $50 million+ opening, and next summer’s Deadpool 3 is all but guaranteed to be a hit for them.
Final figures are due today.