There’s no point sugarcoating things, this is a terrible situation for Disney and Marvel Studios. It’s also an absolute tragedy that this happened to a female-led, female-directed team-up film – a film that is by no means a critical disaster (read our review here). “The Marvels” currently holds a 62% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, to go with an 83% audience rating. But the numbers are what they are, and the MCU is undeniably in trouble (as are superhero movies in general, but that’s a discussion in itself).
“Captain Marvel” earned $1.12 billion in 2019, sandwiched between “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame,” at the height of MCU fever. No one could have expected the sequel to match that figure, but at this point, “The Marvels” will be very lucky to hit $300 million worldwide. This comes after “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” collapsed earlier this year after a massive debut, becoming the lowest-grossing “Ant-Man” film despite having the biggest opening weekend. Marvel Studios’ only direct win this year was “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” But it was the conclusion of a trilogy, which means the studio can’t really build on that success.
Between the many MCU shows on Disney+ struggling for attention, a growing number of these projects (like “Secret Invasion”) receiving unfavorable reviews, and a change in movie-going habits following the 2020 lockdowns, the outlook is not not good at the moment. Marvel Studios can no longer operate with a presumed level of success and would likely have to cut both budgets and production at this time. It’s easier said than done, but even Disney can’t continue to suffer failures like this.
“Les Merveilles” is currently showing in theaters.