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The newest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) installment, “The Marvels,” had the lowest opening weekend in franchise history, pulling in just $47 million.
The movie included a female-led cast featuring Brie Larson in the follow-up to “Captain Marvel” (2019). Compared to the sequel, the original was a smash hit with $153.4 million at the box office when it debuted, per Entertainment Weekly.
“The Marvels” was a huge disappointment in comparison to some of Marvel’s top-performing films, including “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018), which made $257 million at the opening, and the MCU’s crowning jewel “Avengers: Endgame” (2019), which had a staggering $357 million debut.
This news comes after prediction websites reduced expectations from $75-$80 million to $60-$65 million. In the end, the 33rd MCU film didn’t even hit those reduced projections. Before “The Marvels,” the lowest opening for a Marvel movie was “The Incredible Hulk” (2008), which brought in $55.4 million, not adjusted for inflation.
Poor performance is partly blamed on the actors strike, which ended just before the film’s premiere on Friday. That meant the film couldn’t be promoted the same way as others that came before it.
Also, industry insiders blame a general sense of superhero fatigue with the genre overall. But that doesn’t explain why other films are doing well. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” another Marvel effort, had a $106 opening earlier this year and ultimately grossed $845.6 million globally.
“The Marvels” was lauded for having three female leads. The studio also touted that it’s the first Marvel film with a black female director, Nia DaCosta, who is also the youngest director in franchise history at just 34 years old.
The film currently has a 62% critics score and 84% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The New York Times reviewer called it a “trope-ridden franchise installment” and lamented, “You’ve seen this movie 32 times before.”
Meanwhile, The Guardian’s reviewer said, “You get the sense that everyone involved is going through the motions” and referred to it as a “tepid franchise addition.”