The Marvel Cinematic Universe, a franchise known for its box office dominance, took a significant tumble with the release of The Marvels, which crashed and burned at the box office, leaving a trail of disappointed fans and baffled studio executives in its wake. Marvel has reigned supreme in superhero cinema for years, amassing a staggering $30 billion in global box office earnings. However, with The Marvels, the studio has fallen short, offering a film that fails to capture the magic of its predecessors.
The superhero tentpole, hailing from Marvel Studios and Disney Studios, garnered a mere $47 million at the domestic box office, falling far below expectations. This disappointing start extended to the international stage, where the film amassed an additional $63.3 million from 51 markets, bringing its global debut to a modest $110.3 million. These underwhelming figures starkly contrast the hefty $200 million production budget, casting a shadow over the film's financial prospects.
Lacking financial success wasn't the only front The Marvels is waning on. The film faces mixed reactions from audiences, with a CinemaScore of B, making it only the third MCU title to receive this rating alongside Eternals and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Most MCU releases have earned an A or an A-. Its Rotten Tomatoes critics' score of 62% is also on the lower end of the spectrum for MCU films. Men made up the majority of ticket buyers, accounting for 61% of the total, while 45% of the grosses came from IMAX and other premium large-format screens.
While Marvel has enjoyed unprecedented success until recently, its rival DC has endured a rocky road, with many of its films opening to lackluster box office numbers. This summer, DC's The Flash debuted to a disappointing $55 million domestically and ultimately struggled to reach $270.6 million worldwide. The underwhelming performances of The Marvels and The Flash raise questions about the future of superhero cinema and whether audiences are growing weary of an overabundance of superhero titles. Perhaps the success of Taylor Swift's Eras Tour will usher in a new age of concert films over superhero flicks.