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Disney Getting Clobbered At the Box Office Again

The Marvels flops for Disney
Credit: Marvel Studios

Last week, when Disney CEO Bob Iger held his quarterly call with Wall Street and investors, he announced that Walt Disney Studios would be releasing less content to focus on the quality of the films and television shows coming out in the future. But that announcement would not save the movies that were already scheduled to be released, and despite the possibility of good news in the future, Disney still has to deal with the narrative that it hasn’t had a hit in a long time.

The Marvels

The Marvels Credit: Marvel

Related:¬†Are We Witnessing the End of Disney’s Marvel?¬†


And that narrative is going to continue (at least until next weekend when Disney’s¬†Wish (2023)¬†is released), as¬†The Marvels (2023)¬†has had a terrible opening weekend. According to the Associated Press, the latest release from Marvel Studios is expected to take in $47 million at the box office in its opening weekend. This is the sequel to¬†Captain Marvel (2019),¬†which brought in just under $150 million in its opening weekend, on its way to making more than $1 billion at the box office.

If the box office total holds for The Marvels,¬†it would be the worst opening weekend for a Disney-released Marvel film, surpassing Ant-Man (2015),¬†which opened with $57.2 million.¬†The Marvels¬†had a budget of $220 million, which means Disney would have another $100 million loser on its hand, joining this summer’s¬†The Haunted Mansion (2023)¬†and¬†Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023).¬†

Justin Simien Haunted Mansion release

Credit: Disney

Uphill Battle For ‘The Marvels’

Despite coming from a $1 billion film, The Marvels faced an uphill battle from the start. With the SAG-AFTRA strike, Brie Larson and her co-stars, Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani, could not do any publicity for the film. After the strike ended last week, Larson headed to The Tonight Show, but it was too little, too late. By then, critics had already seen the film, and audiences had started to read their reviews, which were generally unfavorable.

The Marvels was also released when audiences seemingly had superhero fatigue. Disney and Marvel flooded the market with shows and films released during COVID-19, and audiences have tuned out. And after the heights of the MCU during its original run with the Thanos storyline, there was only one way to go.

iman vellani kamala khan ms marvel

Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Disney Delays Its Summer Blockbuster, Dramatically Altering Its Future Movie Slate

Marvel Studios recently announced they would delay several high-profile films due in 2024. According to their most recent release calendar, there will only be one Marvel movie released in 2024, Deadpool 3. 

Ground-Breaking Release

Despite the low box office numbers, The Marvels is still ground-breaking for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the first movie led by an entirely female cast with Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani. Director Nia DaCosta is the first African-American woman to director a film in the MCU.

marvel mcu release order

Images Credit: Marvel

However, the audience did not seem interested in dropping their money at the theater for its opening weekend. The MCU film added $63.3 million worldwide box office to help Disney and Marvel Studios come closer to breaking even.

So, Bob Iger may have the right idea. Audiences want something different, and Marvel and Disney don’t have that right now.

We will continue to update this story at Disney Fanatic.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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