Marvel movies used to be films that, if not particularly cerebral or clever, were at least full of action, cool special effects, and semi-witty banter that made them good enough for a family to enjoy seeing, thus making them incredibly successful. But, as with most things wokeness touches, their style and quality have dropped like a rock, and the latest installment in the franchise utterly floundered at the box office.
That movie was “The Marvels,” which cast Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani in the lead roles of the three heroines. But Americans were apparently uninterested in listening to Disney moralize in a movie about female superheroes, so the movie flopped and had the worst opening weekend ever for a Marvel movie.
In fact, “The Marvels” is well below the studio’s formerly worst opener, “The Hulk,” which came out in 2008. That movie opened with $79 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada, whereas “The Marvels” only managed to bring in a dismal $47 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada. It did manage to do somewhat better in international markets, bringing in an additional $63.3 million overseas.
Adding context to those sales, “The Marvels” cost a whopping $300 million to make, meaning that with theaters taking their cut, it will have to make a good bit more to just break even. According to Forbes, Disney spent a total of $274.8 million on the film but garnered a $55 million (£44.4 million) subsidy from the United Kingdom for shooting the movie there, bringing the total down to $219.8 million. Forbes adds that that means it will need to gross at least $439.6 million to break even, as those screening the film collect about half of ticket revenue.
By contrast, the movie to which “The Marvels” is a sequel, “Captain Marvel,” managed to generate a somewhat better $153 million in opening weekend ticket sales at domestic theaters in 2019. It ended up bringing in more than a billion dollars.
Tony Chambers, the executive vice president of theatrical distribution for Disney, acknowledged that the results were “disappointing” and tried to claim that the dismal results came thanks to confusion over what other Disney shows and movies needed to be watched first. “There may have been a barrier to entry, with some people assuming they needed to have already watched the Disney+ shows in order to know what was going on in the film,” he said.
Conservatives, however, pointed to the film’s woke moralizing and Disney’s increasingly bad quality control and pushing of leftist messages in its movies, arguing that those factors have led people to tune out of its content in search of better, less woke alternatives.
The Clown World X account, for example, argued, “Name a worse company making movies than Disney? Watching them destroy every franchise we loved from Star Wars to Marvel was disappointing, but it was nice to watch them lose millions in the process. Disney has lost entire generations of parents who are not woke progressives that will never introduce their children to Disney movies now and will not go to their theme parks. Watching Disney undo almost a century of work in a decade has been insane.”
Featured image credit: By All Urban Central – Brie Larson "If Youre A Woman Of Color Its Hard To Be In Film" Woman In Film Awards, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70845010
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