With the exception of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, the MCU has been in a bit of a downward spiral in terms of their creative output. Stories that once felt fresh and were heralded for their connectivity, have now fallen flat and become mundane. It appears that decline hit a head this weekend as The Marvels is pacing to become the lowest opening ever for an MCU film with a take between $47-$52 million (per Deadline), beating out the previous lowest: $55.4 million earned by the Edward Norton fronted The Incredible Hulk.

So where did this one go wrong? Many will blame the actors strike for its failure with the actors unable to promote their film until just last night when Brie Larson appeared on The Tonight Show. That argument doesn’t hold much weight as films such as Five Nights at Freddy’s have been able to overcome the lack of promotion. Some may claim that the brand of Freddy’s is more famous than any actor who appeared in the film, but then again, so is the MCU. For me, this one boils down to the fact that the trailers just didn’t look good. It looked like another run of the mill marvel movie with forced humor and characters I was not familiar with (sorry, I can’t keep up with all of the movies and the TV shows. The TV series Ms. Marvel didn’t look interesting to me and a big screen version of that doesn’t either.) 

It seems I am not alone in my apathy for this movie as the audience is speaking with their wallets and telling the MCU that they need to right this ship before its too late. They have some interesting films in the pipeline including new versions of the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Blade and of course Deadpool 3, but it may be time to accept that you had a killer run from Iron Man to Avengers: Endgame and you will likely have another stellar run with those other more established characters and in the meantime, these in between movies were just holdover titles to bridge the gap between the two. You can check out Alex Maidy’s 6/10 review here.

Speaking of Holdovers, the Alexander Payne directed film saw an expansion this week to over 900 theaters and should see a healthy finish as the theater I saw it in last night was nearly sold out and I must say: this movie is one of the best of the year. For my money, only the masterpiece that is Oppenheimer is better. The thing both movies have in common is the fact that when the film ended the only thoughts going through my head were that I had just seen genuine masterpieces of cinema. For anyone who had read our review by Chris Bumbray who gave it a 10/10 and thought “can it really be that good?” It is! This a beautifully made film with a script that I genuinely hope wins the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (by David Hemingson, who seems to have cut his teeth in the sitcom world writing for such shows as How I Met Your Mother, Black-ish, Just Shoot Me and for my money the most impressive of all: The Adventures of Pete & Pete). 

I also think this film is a shoo-in for acting nominations for Paul Giamatti, Dominic Sessa (in his first ever role) and the one I am most rooting for: Da’Vine Joy Randolph who gives such an amazingly beautiful hilarious and heartfelt performance. I have been a fan of Ms. Randolph’s since I first saw her in Office Christmas Party where she stood out in a crowded film of comedic heavyweights and every time I have seen her since, she has been a genuine highlight (especially her stellar performance in the Eddie Murphy film Dolemite is My Name.) The Holdovers has a genuine feel of the holidays with its snow covered locations and will hopefully play well over the next few weeks as the awards season race really heats up.

In the battle of killer animatronics vs Taylor Swift it appears the animatronics have the upper hand as Five Nights at Freddy’s looks to take second place with around $8 million, representing a near 60% decrease from last weeks 76% decrease. Those percentages would be cause for alarm with most movies, but not Five Nights at Freddys as that film cost just $20 million and has already secured over $222 million worldwide.

What is your take on The Marvels catastrophic opening? Can the MCU return to its former glory? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check back tomorrow when we have the full rundown on this weekends box office numbers.

 The Marvels is currently on track to have the worst debut in the entire 15 year, 33 film history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Read More