Disney executives put on their thinking hats. With the newest films and series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe performing below expectations, the next steps will be decisive for the company.
The annual September retreat of Marvel Studios’ top brass, led by Kevin Feige, used to be a gathering to celebrate the successes of the past 12 months. This year, on the contrary, stress and anxiety were palpable in the atmosphere, according to an internal source who spoke to the entertainment newspaper, “Variety.”
Among the company’s priorities is finding a way to resolve the mess caused by the legal situation of actor Jonathan Majors, whose domestic violence trial is scheduled to begin in November.
The plot of Phase 5 of the MCU revolved around the character of “Kang, the Conqueror,” played by Majors and whom we already saw in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and in the second season of the Disney+ series, “Loki”.
Without a defined plan, Marvel has hinted at options such as introducing a new antagonist for Phase 5 or re-casting the interpreter of “Kang.” None of the options has been considered ideal, but it is well known that Feige is not afraid to make a sharp turn of the rudder to bring the ship to a good port.
The box office revenues of the most recent MCU films have not been as usual, while some of the series released on Disney+ have not had the expected reception by the public.
Although “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” grossed $845.6 million at the box office, “Quantumania” barely managed $476 million. Compared to “Avengers: Endgame’s”$2.8 billion, the problems seem obvious.
In the future, the outlook does not look promising at all, since for its next release, “The Marvels,” the company expects that the collection of its opening weekend will be only $75-80 million, against the $185 million“Doctor Strande in the Multiverse of Madness” achieved.
Some speculate that the endless succession of superhero flicks realeses by Marvel and its rival, DC Comics, saturated the audience, which is looking for other genres in which to take refuge.
Others, in turn, consider that Disney’s desire to always keep a Marvel product on either the big or small screens brought a drop in quality, which the public is punishing by closing their wallets to the company’s products.
Audiences and critics alike have been able to witness a decline in the quality of Marvel films and series. Computer-generated images (CGI), in particular, have left a lot to be desired in series like “She-Hulk. Attorney at Law” and “Quantumania” itself.
Although fingers were initially pointed at those in charge of the special effects (VFX), the latter defended themselves by saying that impossible timelines and deadlines were imposed on them.
The constant changes in release dates have not helped either. This year, the company decided to delay the release date of “The Marvels” to November, but advanced “Quantumania” to February, so as not to lose the slot.
The source who spoke with Variety assured that the move was to save “The Marvels,” which is the MCU’s this year’s tent pole, at the expense of “Quantumania.”
Faced with this scenario, the workers at Marvel VFX, the branch of the studio dedicated to these tasks, decided to unionize. This move has caused a ripple effect throughout the industry, the consequences of which will only be seen when it is too late.