The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is expected to gross between $75 and $80 million when it makes its box office debut next month, barely half of what its prequel made when it debuted in 2019 and an example of what industry experts have called “superhero fatigue” that has movie-goers pressing pause before racing to the theater for every new film.

Key Facts

The Marvels, which will premiere November 10, is a sequel to Captain Marvel and is expected to make far less than the Brie Larson flick did at $153.4 million in North America, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The numbers could be further dented by the ongoing actor’s strike—stars will be crossing the picket line if they agree to promote the movie or walk the red carpet—which shows little sign of reaching a resolution by the premiere date, despite talks scheduled to resume on Tuesday.

A Marvel superhero film hasn’t opened to less than $80 million since Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018, but industry experts have noted that the deluge of superhero movies from Marvel and DC has led to less-than-stellar openings for a number of recent releases.

From underperforming titles likeShazam! Fury of the Godsand The Flashto bad reviews and even criticism from the stars, the superhero genre is losing its hold on the wider market, Variety reported earlier this year.

But that doesn’t mean studios are slowing down—The Marvels release will be followed by Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in December, Madame Web in February, Deadpool 3 in May and a summer 2024 lineup that includes Venom 3, Captain America: Brave New World, and Kraven the Hunter.

Ten Best Openings For Superhero Films (per Box Office Mojo)

Avengers: Endgame (2019)—$357 million

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)—$260 million

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)—$257.7 million

The Avengers (2012)—$207.4 million

Black Panther (2018)—$202 million

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)—$191.3 million

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)—$187.4 million

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)—$181.3 million

Captain America: Civil War (2016)—$179 million

Iron Man 3 (2013)—$174 million

Ten Worst Openings For Superhero Films

Kick-Ass (2010)—$19.8 million (about equivalent to $28 million today)

Hellboy (2004)—$23 million (about $38 million today)

Blue Beetle (2023)—$25 million

Fantastic Four (2015)—25.6 million

The Suicide Squad (2021)—$26.2 million

Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)—$30 million

Blade II (2002)—$31.5 million (about $56 million today)

Dark Phoenix (2019)—$32.8 million

Birds of Prey (2020)—$33 million

The Green Hornet (2011)—$33.5 million (about $46.8 million today)


Marvel superhero films have historically drastically outperformed their DC Comics counterparts, but recent DC films have been particularly hit by a deluge of bad press. Plans to release a completely finished Batgirl film were scrapped last summer and DC co-chair Peter Safran has since called the film was “not releasable” and said it “would have hurt DC.” The Flash, which released in June, brought in $55.1 million in domestic sales in its opening weekend but underperformed when compared to other DC films’ opening weekends. It was expected to earn roughly $70 million but much of the coverage around the film’s release had to do with the controversies of its star, Ezra Miller. Miller faces harassment, disorderly conduct and burglary charges from a number of incidents, including one accusation he was housing a woman and her young children in a home in Vermont with guns and ammunition easily accessible. Miller released a statement apologizing to “everyone that I have alarmed and upset with my past behavior.” Allegations that star Jason Momoa was drunk on the set of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and abusive to his co-star Amber Heard surfaced weeks ago, less than three months before the film’s release date. Heard said Momoa would dress like her ex-husband Johnny Depp in the wake of their high-profile defamation trial and pushed to have her removed from the film. Momoa’s representative declined to comment to Variety. DC Studio released a statement saying Momoa “conducted himself in a professional manner at all times on the set.”

Further Reading

 “The Marvels” is projected to make just more than half of what “Captain Marvel” made when it first premiered in 2019.  Read More