Well, “The Marvels” certainly didn’t disappoint on opening weekend.
Well, I mean, it did. Reviews of the film were consistently bad, and I’m sure Disney and the film’s producers were hoping to sell more tickets — a lot more tickets — than they actually did.
But the projections for the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe installment had been dropping steadily over the past several weeks, and the box office has in fact been miserable so far. So from that perspective, the movie hasn’t disappointed: It’s performed every bit as badly as expected, and maybe even worse.
Deadline reported on Tuesday that in only three weeks, projections had fallen from from the $75 to $80 million range to $50 to $60 million, depending on which prognosticator you believed.
Best case scenario, that’s about a 20 percent drop; worst case, nearly twice that much. Either way, it wasn’t looking good for Disney, which owns the Marvel franchise.
CNBC was slightly more optimistic, predicting a $60 to $65 million opening weekend as late as Thursday — still not a performance to make the
The reality was even worse, according to an updated Deadline estimate Saturday morning that put the weekend’s take in the $47 to $52 million range.
With Friday results coming in at a disappointing $21.5 million, more or less, it was looking like Marvel’s worst opening weekend ever.
“The only films that have opened lower than $60 million have been 2015′s ‘Ant-Man,’ which debuted with $57 million, and 2008′s ‘Incredible Hulk,’ which opened with $55 million,” CNBC reported.
“Unfortunately, countless spinoffs, sequels and universes in both big screen and small screen iterations, and an at times unclear marketing message have resulted in mixed critical and fan reaction and thus resulted in disappointing box office results for some of Marvel’s recent big screen offerings,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, told CNBC.
Those sentiments seemed similar to what Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro had theorized about the film’s poor showing.
“Marvel Studios, “The Marvels” — with its crossover streaming series blah-blah — looks like it was built to be seen in homes, not to get audiences off the couch,” he wrote.
“Marvel, let’s go back to the Netflix days, when Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Punisher lived in homes and not on the big screen,” he wrote. “It’s clearly better for business.”
Even some of the big-screen offerings not tied closely to small-screen series haven’t done well, however, as CNBC pointed out.
“While shows like ‘Loki,’ ‘Ms. Marvel’ and ‘Moon Knight’ scored well with critics and general viewers, ‘Secret Invasion’ flopped,” the outlet noted.
“Similarly, on the theatrical side, ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home,’ ‘Guardians 3’ and ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ won over audiences, while ‘Eternals,’ ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ and ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ made them question the direction of the franchise.”
It is probably of little consolation that, even with its poor showing, “The Marvels” was the No. 1 movie at the box office this weekend, beating out the horror film “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” which is headed for about $9 million in its third weekend out.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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