MOVIES

Why The Marvels Bombed At The Box Office

In January 2023, while appearing on “The Movie Business Podcast” (via Variety), Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige candidly dismissed the idea of superhero fatigue, comparing comic book films to novel adaptations. “You would never ask that because there’s an inherent understanding among most people that a book can be anything,” Feige said confidently. A month later, in February, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” debuted to sour reviews (it boasts a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes — the lowest rating in the entire series), poor fan reception, and a below-average box office run, bowing out at $463 million worldwide, some $160 million below its 2018 predecessor. 

While the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Marvel Studios’ box office potential, it’s worth considering that “Spider-Man: No Way Home” managed to rake in over $1.9 billion in late 2021. Since then, Marvel hasn’t been able to penetrate the $1 billion barrier, with almost all of their films post-Spidey failing to reach previously accessible heights. Superhero fatigue has definitely hit Marvel Studios, and “The Marvels” is just the latest casualty of growing audience indifference. 

Projects like “Thor: Love and Thunder” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” both failed to reach the heights of their predecessors and now the same thing is about to happen to “The Marvels,” a film that has little to no chance of even hitting the $1 billion haul of “Captain Marvel.” This isn’t just a Marvel issue — even DC’s recent cinematic fare is having trouble at the box office. 

Simply put, “The Marvels” has debuted in an era where the genre just isn’t as prosperous as it once was, and it remains to be seen if it ever will be. 

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