The Marvels has premiered to a disappointing $110.3 million (about Rs. 918 crore) at the global box office in its opening weekend. Marking the worst start in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film is said to have underperformed due to lacklustre buzz and star Brie Larson being unable to promote the film or do any interviews, due to the now-ended actors’ strike in Hollywood. Of course, there’s also the case of superhero movie fatigue, with dwindling interest in the genre causing audiences to be pickier about what they’re spending money on. It has been a less than stellar year for Marvel. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania from earlier this year was heavily panned by critics and fans alike for its poor CGI effects, and its Secret Invasion show hasn’t fared well either.
The newest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) made $47 million (about Rs. 391 crore) within the US and Canada, with Marvel Studios initially hoping to debut with a $75 million (about Rs. 624 crore) collection in the region. The Marvels has also struggled internationally, simply earning $63.3 million (about Rs. 527 crore), against a total production budget of $200 million (about Rs. 1,664 crore). According to Deadline, as usual, China was among the top contributors, though not by a huge margin, grossing $11.7 million (about Rs. 97 crore) in ticket sales. Following in close second is the UK with $4.3 million (about Rs. 35 crore) in earnings, while the Indonesian region adds $3.7 million (about Rs. 39 crore) to the pot. South Korea comes fourth, a little short of Indonesia’s numbers at $3.5 million (about Rs. 29 crore), while France takes the no. 5 spot, having earned $3.1 million (about Rs. 25 crore).
Directed by Nia DaCosta, The Marvels fell short of expectations critically as well, earning a 62 percent rating on aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with many calling out its cluttered storyline. This could be attributed to the four weeks of reshoots the film underwent, while its director reportedly headed out to work on another movie during the post-production stage. DaCosta attested this claim, adding that her last-minute departure wasn’t ‘dramatic’ and that by then, everyone involved knew what the final cut of The Marvels was supposed to be. “For me personally, it was that they moved the date of the film four different times,” she said in an interview. “They knew the entire time that I had an obligation—a green-lit movie with people who were waiting for me. And I pushed that and then I pushed it again and then I pushed it again.”
It also doesn’t help that The Marvels opened the same day Netflix dropped its latest David Fincher movie The Killer, serving as the acclaimed filmmaker’s return to a thriller genre since 2019’s Mindhunter. The film was readily accessible on a streaming platform and therefore, it’s plausible to assume that audiences trusted Fincher’s namesake and chose to watch that instead. Serving as a direct sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel, The Marvels is set in a destabilised universe where Carol Danvers (Larson), Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), and Captain Monica Rambeau’s (Teyonah Parris) power get tangled, forcing them to synergise and thwart the evil Kree imperialist Dar-Benn.
The Marvels is now showing in theatres worldwide.